Nigerian play, Maafa, on unity set for show in London


Lagos – Prof. Ahmed Yerima of the Department of Theatre Arts, Redeemer's University, Ede, Osun, says the play entitled Maafa will be shown in Broadway, London soon.

Maafa, a Swahili word meaning disastrous, was written by Mr Segun Olujobi, expressing the essence of unity among Africans through the agony of the slave trade era.

It was recently shown at the National Theatre, Lagos State.

Yerima said he was impressed with the production, observing that such plays would “preserve history and educate our grandchildren about occurrences of the past.

“I am thankful to God for this kind of production. It shows that playwrights are still relevant in passing useful information through the theatre arts.

“This play should be neatly packaged and taken round the country starting from Abuja for all to see.''

He commended the National Troupe of Nigeria on its supportive role in encouraging the development and production of the play.

Mr Akin Adejuwon, Artistic Director, National Troupe of Nigeria, said that the play was wonderful and concise but needed sponsorship to be shown in other states and eventually, worldwide.

“The play is relevant today because the trauma of slavery and slave trade is still on — the power tussle and the people that suffer from the outcome.

“We still have them going on in Africa today that is why the play is relevant in educating the people on the importance of unity,'' he said.

Adejuwon said that the theatre industry had the potential to bring about innovation thereby creating jobs for thousands of youths and curbing unemployment if adequately invested in.

Mr Makinde Adeniran, Director of Maafa, said that the play told Africans through the slavery story on how we had wronged ourselves and the essence of peace and unity in our continent.

Adeniran said that the play was educational theatre and commended the playwright and the actors and actresses that participated, noting that they were diligent in bringing the play to fruition.

Olujobi said that he was thankful to God for the success of the play and encouraged upcoming artists never to be discouraged in whatever venture they found themselves in.

He said his inspiration came from trying to bring people of different tribes in unity to be able to speak with one voice for the progress of the country.

“I thank everybody that contributed and encouraged the production of the play. Our driving force is to make a statement that art can contribute positively to the nation,'' Olujobi said.