…epic tale stages this March by Duke of Shomolu
If you were at the Nicon Luxury Hotel Abuja sometime ago to see Saduana or the Obafemi Awolowo Civic Centre, Ado Ekiti, last November to see Fajuyi, two epic and enthralling plays by The Duke of Shomolu Production, you will appreciate the creative ingenuity of the creators; from the writer, cast, crew, director and producer.
Of course, the creative juices of the foremost indigenous theatre company have never gone dry since inception, instead it keeps flowing and offers theatergoers stellar theatrical performances that always leave them in different stages of emotions, probing issues, or enjoying the excitement on stage.
From Our Duke Has Gone Mad Again, Awo, Saduana, Emir Sanusi, Isale Eko, Emotan, Ogiame Erejuwa II, Ufok Ibaan, to other stellar productions, The Duke of Shomolu has proven its worth on stage.
With many planned productions, the theatre production house is not relenting on its efforts at pushing theatre to as many people as possible, while passing the salient message.
This year, it is riding on the success of its many productions, especially Fajuyi, the most recent, to further enthrall its growing audience across the country.
From the stables of The Duke of Shomolu, the Nigerian theatre scene will be alive in March and April this year with Kashimawo; an enthralling stage play that delves in to the life of M.K.O Abiola, late Nigerian billionaire and winner of an annual presidential election, from a different perspective.
Written and directed by Professor Rasaki Ojo Bakare, the play stages on March 31 and April 1, 2024 at the Agip Recital Hall, Muson Centre Lagos.
However, Joseph Edgar, executive chairman, Duke of Shomolu Foundation, had time to discuss the new play with the media this New Year, especially, what makes it unique, amid his future plans.
According to the investment banker cum theatre producer, settling down for Kashimawo was a difficult task because of the many stories that need to be told.
But he assured that Kashimawo, which is executive produced by Mofoluwake Edgar, his wife, who is gradually handling affairs of the company, is going to be different from what has been out there.
“The Kashimawo we are doing is not June 12. We are trying not to be obvious,” he said to the media during a private chat in his house.
“When we did Awo, people thought they were coming to see Awolowo, but it was the wife they saw. That woman used Awo to live her life. Maybe she was born when she was born. If it is today, we may be seeing the first Nigerian female president.
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“She was so powerful and she was the first woman to hold a broom at a political rally, the broom that the APC is parading around now. She was sweeping her shop when they said Nnamdi Azikiwe had arrived and she unconsciously ran to the rally with her broom to meet Zik and she held that broom throughout the rally. She was the first to merge political parties East and West of the country.
“For Kashimawo, that is MKO Abiola, we are not going to talk about June 12 at all. We are going to start from when he was born and the spirituality around his birth.
“We are going to deep Yoruba mythology. We are going to D.O. Fagunwa’s forest to bring all the Yoruba gods, the incantations and proverbs; we are going to look for the meanings of the proverbs.
“Every other thing he did after Scotland, he had fulfilled his destiny in life and that is why he died the way he died because his time had come.
“So, it is going to be a very deep traditional story that will bring out the spirituality of Kashimawo”.
Edgar is also using Kashimawo to trail the spiritual trend among Nigerian leaders that nobody has been able to look into.
According to him, all Nigerian leaders have spiritual missions. “If you look at the circumstance of their birth, how they moved and how they lived, you will find out that they are not ordinary people, there is something strange about all of them. About 90 percent of us come to the world to just pass, the others came differently.
“If you read Zik’s story, MKO, Lateef Jakande, and even our current president, their lives are different from ours. Obasanjo’s own is very obvious and very mysterious. There were three women that followed him from birth till today; he sees those women, interacts with them and that is why people think that he has seven lives, he escapes death every time”.
According to him, Obasanjo came from abject poverty and so also Awo, MKO, Zik and others, yet they excelled in life more than those with blue blood and all the opportunities.
“For us in Kashimawo, I want to know why a man who was richer than Dangote died the way he died. He had a private jet in 1972 and he was the first man in Africa to employ a white pilot; he paid £500,000 in 1972. I want to know why he was more powerful than heads of states, why he insisted against his wife’s advice to make that ultimate sacrifice. It is that play that we want to show this Easter,” he concluded.