• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
businessday logo


Duke of Shomolu Foundation partners Ekiti State in theatre festival

Untitled design – 2020-11-13T231112.052

The Duke of Shomolu Foundation, a leading theatre production company, is set to partner the Ekiti State Government in the Ekiti International Theatre Festival.

The government, through the Ekiti State Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, is offering Duke of Shomolu Foundation a five-year franchise for organising the festival starting from 2024 to 2029.

Read also: Duke of Shomolu production stages ‘Fajuyi’ in Lagos this Sunday

Addressing the media at a press conference, which held at the National Troupe of Nigeria, at the National Theatre Lagos, Rasak Ojo-Bakare, a professor, who is the Ekiti State Commissioner of Arts, Culture and Creative, noted that the event is designed to be the largest indigenous theatre festival in the country with a five-day, multiple venue and 10 play format structure.

“It will pull in massive development in the tourism, infrastructure, hospitality, art and craft sectors of the state as it would involve not only the plays but exhibitions, seminars, tours, sports among others,” the professor said.

On the choice of Duke of Shomolu Foundation, he noted that the theatre production company has proven its worth over the years with quality and sold-out productions, especially Fajuyi, which enthralled Ekiti residents recently.

According to Ojo-Bakare, Kashimawo, a new play by The Duke of Shomolu Foundation, will open the festival, followed by 8 other performances from universities that offer Theatre Arts, theatre associations and companies in the state.

He also noted that there would be a night of short plays for each local government of the state for about 5-7 minutes each. Also, some performances of the festival will hold in Ado Ekiti, while others will be at Ikogosi, the tourism destination of the state.

The festival, according to him, would be rounded up with a play Fajuyi.

On his part, Joseph Edgar, chairman, The Duke of Shomolu Foundation, which doubles as the main promoter of the festival and a major catalyst of economic renaissance using theatre as its main vehicle for operation, noted that the project would change the face of art, culture and even tourism in Ekiti State, amid huge impacts.

He noted that over 200,000 visitors are expected at the festival, which is expected to throw in about N5 billion in generated consolidated revenues to both the private and public sector operators within the state

Speaking further Edgar, an investment banker, said that the festival aims to generate jobs, impact infrastructure and engender youth social cohesion and mobilisation, while arrowheading theatre as a major vehicle for economic growth.

Speaking on the reason for the festival, Edgar said, “We saw the immense potential of theatre in Ekiti when we did Fajuyi.

For us it is an economic thing. We want to use theatre to unlock the economic potential of Ekiti State.

“We are looking at injecting over N2 billion into Ekiti with the festival.

“Hotels, cabs, tour operators, airlines, restaurants and vendors will be impacted positively.

“We want to give jobs to 20,000 people with the festival,” he concluded, noting that his company is using Ekiti as a case study for other states in running projects of this magnitude.

The festival is expected to run for two weeks between August and September.

Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Internal Revenue Service is a major partner of the festival, as Yemi Shodimu, a versatile theatre practitioner, is going to be the festival director.