Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine Anthology

Dear Friends, 

We are launching a Valentine’s Day romance anthology by 7 African writers, translated into 7 seven languages and audio in all the languages.   Please help spread the word and share the love 

Check it out and here

Friday, August 23, 2013



·         2014 World Congress 28 July to 1 August 2014 at the University of Warwick, UK
·          HELSINKI essay competition and PRIZE
·         NEW SCHOLAR’S essay competiton and PRIZES
·         BURSARY APPLICATIONS to attend the 2014 World Congress.

The mission of the International Federation of Theatre Research is to foster theatre and performance research communities across the globe and to to foster research conversations between and across countries and regions. The membership is drawn from five continents.

To fulfill this mission, IFTR expends considerable academic and financial resources on new scholars. To find out who qualifies as a ‘new scholar’, go to the website: At the bottom of the home page, click on the link to ‘Prizes’.

The Helsinki Prize is Conference Registration Fee, Airfare to and Accomodation at the 2014 World Congress in Warwick, England. The Helsinki Prize is only open to young scholars who took at least their first degree at a university NOT in the first world – in other words, scholars from Africa, Asia, India and South America.
The New Scholars’s Prizes (there are three) likewise cover Conference Fee, Airfare and Accomodation to the 2014 World Congress and you can send in an essay to BOTH categories.
THE DEADLINE FOR ESSAY SUBMISSIONS IS 1st December 2013 so begin thinking what you should submit ... This is the best way to attend the conference – nearly for free! Discuss this with your supervisor ... 

At the same time, if you know you can not afford to attend the conference on your own financial resources, there may be at leastthree avenues open to you:
-          Apply for a bursary through your university post-graduate resources
-          Apply for a bursary through the South African, NRF (the national research foundation)
-          Apply for an IFTR bursary.
THE DEADLINE FOR IFTR BURSARY APPLICATIONS IS 1st December 2013 and it INCLUDES SUBMISSION OF AN ABSTRACT FOR A PAPER.  To find out more about the bursary scheme, you can read about how it was applied at the 2013 conference in Barcelona. Go to the website: At the bottom of the home page, click on the link to ‘Conferences” and on top left of that page, click on the link to ‘Conference Bursaries’.

Warwick will issue the call for papers on 1st October. Look on the IFTR website from that date onwards. The Conference Theme is theatre and stratification ... and is promising and broadly applicable to the African context.

Begin to consider what your paper might encompass so that when the call for abstracts is submitted you are not taken off-guard. You are welcome to submit a bursary application as well as an essay to the competitions.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Expect new things from first female president of Actors Guild of Nigeria, says Gloria Young - By Bamidele Adeleye

Gloria Young
Nollywood actress, Gloria Young has expressed confidence in the new leadership of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, to take the movie industry to the next level.

In an exclusive interview with WorldStage Newsonline in Lagos, Young said the new leadership headed by a woman for the first time, would transform the industry.

Former beauty queen, Ibinabo Fiberisima was on Saturday, September 30, 2012 sworn in as the new president of Actors Guild of Nigeria.

According to Young, “this is the very first female president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria. We hope that new things will come up from there.”

She however called on other members in Nollywood to support her and ensure that she succeeds.

Speaking on the growth of Nollywood over the years, she said, the industry had done well and that other African countries were now trying to copy it.

“We have done very well, other African Countries are trying to copy what we are doing and I believe we are going places,” she said.

On the contribution of the industry to the national economy, she said it had created many jobs and still creating more.

 “More actors are been discovered, we need people who can carry cameras, we need people who can carry light. Job opportunities abound in the industry,” she said.

On the standard of movies coming out in the industry, she said “you are who you are.  You can’t change who you are. If that is what the people are looking for, give it to them. Nigerians are commercial oriented. Everybody wants what is happening. Don’t forget that drama is a mirror of the society. It is what is happening in the society that we are just showing you.”

She said Nollywood would continue to come up with relevant movies that will educate and appeal to the conscience of the people.

She however called on the government to support the industry, adding that “it is not just about financial alone” but other areas they could come in to further transform the industry.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Using theatre to promote better living at the grassroots

IN Erema community located in one of the South-South Local Government areas of Rivers State called Onelga, people not only practice Christianity as their religion, traditional worship with shrines and worship grounds in the community is also strong. Some of the shrines seem also to be responding to modernity as bottles of coca-cola and Fanta, Five-Alive and other assorted foreign gin and wine bottles are seen displayed at the feet of the shrines as offering to the gods and the spirits.
The annual New Yam festival called the Egwu-ogba festival provided evidence that accounts for how the Erema people are still close to their traditions and roots. The festival, which has fire carrying as its major effect, is a source of spiritual purification for the people and the entire land. During this festival, confessions are made, evil practice renounced, sacrifices are offered and promises by the people to live peacefully and happily with one another through the year are made.

THE Anama-oji (Village Square) is a very important cultural and political space where the community meets to discuss and take major decisions as a people. The space is symbolic because it serves both political and cultural purposes. Any case decided at the Anama-oji becomes binding on the people. It is traditional democracy as the case may be. The Civic Centre, which is a space for community interaction and other community activities, is also a dominant feature in the community. Most of the community leaders are not comfortable in accepting ‘visitors’ to attend the community meetings held at the Anama-oji.
The Anama-Oji is the proverbial equivalent of the National Assembly of Nigeria at Abuja. However, in the case of the Erema people, the decisions taken at any meeting of this ordinary looking but hallowed turf is binding on all members of the community. Indeed, it is correct to say that most of the members accept and believe in the power of the Anama-Oji and its mystical significance.

Doing TFD in Erema
IN October 2008, Cordaid (Netherland) awarded a grant to the Nigerian Popular Theatre Alliance (NPTA) to conduct training on participatory drama, specifically Theatre for Development (TFD) and Participatory Video (PV) as part of the grant activities in the Niger Delta area. The overall purpose of the grant was to strengthen the participation of ordinary people in the Niger Delta communities in non-violent civic action, advocacy, and peace promotion initiatives. The strategy was for the project to work with various NGOs who were working at the ground level in the Niger Delta.
The mandate was to engage with community groups using TFD and other Participatory Learning Approaches (PLA) resources to discuss community issues and how to carry along all community members on board in a horizontal and participatory way towards solving community problems and facilitating peaceful coexistence and violence-free resolution of conflicts, especially amongst the youths as they respond to elders and oil companies.
In actual sense, the entire journey of the project began from the training organised for the participants from the Niger Delta area. The training was conducted at the Drama Village, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, from March 16-25, 2009. Within the project activities, and according to the implementation schedule, the first main activity was the training of SDN programme staff and leaders of NGOs that SDN works/collaborates with in the Niger Delta. The training was conducted by the Theatre for Development Centre (TFDC), the research and training unit of the Nigerian Popular Theatre Alliance.
It was attended by fifteen persons drawn from SDN and ten other NGOs/CBOs from three core States (Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers) in the Niger Delta region. The training in Theatre for Development (TFD) and Participatory Video (PV) was to offer a hands-on training to the participants in the techniques of TFD and PV. To take the participants through the process of collectively devising drama with community members; To coach the participants in the techniques and processes of story-boarding through to shooting a video of their stories; To provide advocacy techniques that would be useful in community work; To embark on community visits that exposes the participants to the practice of TFD in communities; to impart facilitation techniques.

Community Issues
The community work phase of the project threw up critical issues bothering the community chief of which is leadership. The Erema community participants explained during the presentations that there was apparently no control over leadership positions in the community as every person who has made some money and garnered some influence imposes himself on the community as leader. This has caused a lot of friction in the community over the years and has given rise to camps emerging as members of the community align with the various leaders.
They observed that the situation is as a result of lack of a coherent document or process of people ascending to power. This situation has implications and the only way out is to resort to producing a document that will guide the election or selection processes of the leadership in Erema community. According to their report, there is already an existing machinery set up to make this work facilitated by a Senator from the community. However, it has not produced results as the community people have become suspicious of the sponsorship and control of the project. The community people believe that there is a presence of some personal interest in it.
Participants also hinted that other institutions like the CDC, Youth and women group all operate their various constitutions. However, there is no central constitution that holds the various divides of the community together.
In an exhaustive interaction with some of the stakeholders in the community who were visited during the advocacy exercise in the community, the problem was emphasized as very pressing in the community.
There are also issues around the negative treatment of women in the community, which manifested loudly in the challenges experienced by widows in Erema community. Fortunately, this is an issue already being tackled by the Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN) in their work in the community with women. The women complained of relegation to the background and usually have no say in the community in spite of the organized women group with the women leader at the helm. Widows are especially subjected to hardship by being denied essentials of livelihood by the families of their dead husbands even in terms of portions of land to farm in order to fend for their children. They are also ‘encouraged’ or forced to remarry into their late husband’s family. This has become endemic and a source of frustration for the women. This scenario cuts across in terms of women’s participation in civic responsibilities in the community.
At the end of the performances and the post performance discussions, the community came to some tentative agreements on the issues of leadership, widowhood practices, treatment and participation of women in community affairs, etc. For instance, the community agreed to conclude the process of reviewing and fashioning a constitution acceptable to all that will regulate the activities of everybody in the community.
There was also the agreement on the need for the fairer treatment of women with some misgivings. Could this be the reason why the men vehemently refused that the performances and post performance discussion should not take place at the Anama-Oji? While the women had no problem with this, the men insisted that the performances and post performance discussions should happen at the civic centre constructed by Shell Petroleum Development Company. Will the men respect decisions reached at the civic centre like that of Anama-Oji? Only time will tell!
Prof. Oga Steve Abah, the leader of the Nigerian Popular Theatre Alliance/Theatre for Development team, said he was happy with the outcome of the project: “Our original intention was to use the tools of video and drama to give voice to the voiceless in the Niger Delta; to enhance their ability to take positive action devoid of violence. How do you get women, youths and the men to start talking about their common problems and finding solutions without resorting to armed struggle that has become the hallmark of the Niger Delta crises recently?
“In some respects, we succeeded. But the water hyacinth issue, which is one of the several issues the project unearthed, has brought home not just the environmental crisis but the disproportionate nature of the sufferings of the different groups in the Delta and this time, the scale is tilted against the women”.
At the end of the day, the project ‘Local Voices’ helped to bring to public arena the voices of the women, the problem of the teenage girls, the increasing inability of the men to handle family and community issues and the drifting of the youth away from support for their community.
The project also trained members of the Community Development Committee (CDC) on leadership. The project team concluded that if what they heard from the women and men were anything to hold on to, then the project had made impact. As the project came to an end, Prof. Jenks Okwori and Samuel Kafewo who were part of the facilitating team said: “We have worked enough over these past three years with the CDC and community members for them to take the issues forward.”

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Arojah Theatre Returns with ‘The Wizard of Law’ in honour of the CJN

The Abuja based group, Arojah Royal Theatre will on Wednesday 31st October return to the stage with the late Professor Zulu Sofola’s play, ‘The Wizard of the Law’ which is being dedicated to the honour of the first ever Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar.

The play which will feature the likes of Oyewale Oluwatoba, Jovita Anyanwu-Chukwuemeka, Oluwaseun Odukoya and Zeb John among others; is a satire about an old lawyer, Ramoni who has met with reverse and tries to impress his wife during a festive period by purchasing nine metres of lace material on credit at a time he is penniless. The cloth seller, Rafiu, takes advantage of this opportunity to inflate the prices of clothes in other to make a heavy gain. Unable to pay the debt, Ramoni gets into more trouble and desperately looks for a court case through which he could raise the money to pay his debt.

The Executive Producer of the play, Om’Oba Jerry Adesewo said “We were planning to stage the play to celebrate the International Day of Justice in July, that was to come immediately after our last outing. We missed the timing and so decided to find another relevance for the play. That was when the idea of using the production to commemorate the appointment by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, of Honourable Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar as the first ever CJN because we feel it is a lanmark achievement.” He added that the whole idea is to celebrate the CJN by hosting her, her family, friends and well wishers to an evening of theatrical performances.

Directed by Adesewo Fayaman-Bay, the Abuja presentation of The Wizard of Law, which is supported by the National Centre for Women Development, African Independent Television, NTA Entertainment and the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) will also starred the likes of Zubairu Jide Atta and Lara Owoeye-Wise.

Arojah Theatre’s last outing was in June 2012, when the group put up a weeklong festival of theatre in honour of the Executive Secretary of the National Institute of rCultural Orientation (NICO), tagged Festival of Barclays Ayakoroma’s Plays (FESTIBAP) which was held at the French Cultural Centre.

“This is the first of a very busy last quarter of the year for us. Apart from the monthly Play Reading Party we organise in collaboration with the Korean Cultural Centre, we have two other outings this year and I think it is good but for us as practitioners and for the theatre loving residents of the nation’s capital”. Jerry Adesewo said, adding that the group will stil stage two plays, Adinoyi Onukaba-Ojo’s ‘Sssooommmaaallliiiyyyaa’ which will be entered as Abuja’s entry for the annual Festival of Nigerian Plays (FESTINA) and Dr. Seyi Adigun’s HIV/AIDS awareness play, ‘Call for me My Osheni to celebrate the World Aids Day 2012.

The Wizard of Law comes up on Wednesday 31st October October, 2012 by 6pm prompt @ the National Centre for Women Development, Abuja with a Matinee for students of FCT schools.