TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

FirstBank strengthens support for arts, brings Kakadu to Calabar Carnival

By The Citizen
Listen to article


FirstBank Nigeria Limited, Nigeria's consumer centric bank, is sparking the resurgence of stage and theatrical performance in the country. The bank has, once again, reiterated its commitment towards the development of Nigeria's arts and culture by bringing the award winning hit musical, Kakadu to the Calabar Carnival 2013. This move, according to FirstBank, is in line with its [email protected] initiative which seeks to employ arts and entertainment as a vehicle to promote tourism in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation. In recent times, arts and theatre practitioners have raised alarm over the imminent extinction of theatre plays and production in Nigeria due to lack of patronage.

According to the Bank's Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney, FirstBank's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sponsorship initiatives resonates highly with nation-building and economic development, hence its deliberate focus on tourism as a non-oil revenue earner for Nigeria. This is in view of the country's earnest search for an alternative revenue source to oil and gas. 'We are confident of the potentials of this sector to create jobs for the unemployed. Increase in arts and entertainment activities will also lead to an increase in the number of personnel required by event centre operators and event marketing companies', according to her.

'Kakadu the Musical', written by Uchenna Nwokedi, took place, Friday, at the Main Bowl, Cultural Centre, Calabar. It is a play set to music and captures the attempt of a recently independent peoples who strive to live within the concept created by the independence from colonialism. Kakadu is the soul and night-life of Lagos, the cultural capital of Nigeria. Lovers of the performance arts in Calabar and environs came in droves to see the musical, which, according to Okey Ndibe, visiting professor at Brown University in Providence, Rhodes Island, in a review, is a moving dramatic portrayal of Nigeria's promise shortly after independence and an exploration of how that promise dimmed.

According to Winifred Nwokedi, the musical's producer, ''Kakadu the Musical' is essentially the story of Lagos. It is a 'play' on the historical factors which show how Lagos lost its innocence because of events occurring outside Lagos, which were beyond its control.' She noted that the play was written with great simplicity and sincerity for historical considerations for the period it is set in. 'As a story, it is told with such intensity that we immediately identify with most of the characters within the play, who represent the everyday Nigerian. We see the cultural influences at play in the immediate post-independence Nigeria, as shown by the music, fashion and attitudes of the period', Nwokedi stated.