As the country’s unity comes under threat of secession, the founder and Artstic Director Arojah Royal Theatre, Om’Oba Jerry Adesewo has appealed to Nigerians to embrace one another in love and brotherliness and stop fanning the embers of divisiveness and hate, saying that is one sure way the country can move forward.
According to Adesewo, the country’s progress will be impeded where there is rancour and lack of love for one another.
Adesewo who is also the Director Media and Publicity of National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, NANTAP spoke on Saturday at the Cyprian Ekwensi Arts and Culture Centre Abuja shortly after the stage presentation of the play ‘Who Is Your Neighbour’ by COCIN LCC Youth Fellowship Gwarimpa Abuja.
He noted that at this stage in Nigeria’s history, the spectre of love for one another across religious, ethnic and political divides should be raised.
While admitting that the country may be facing peculiar challenges, the playwright noted that only through dialogue and engagement can issues affecting the unity of the country be resolved, urging the youths not to make themselves available as instrument of destruction, violence and hate.
In her comment, the director of the play ‘Who Is Your Neighbour’ Nanji Joy Zingfa said it seeks to address issues affecting the society, particularly the dwindling love among the ethnic and religious groups in the country.
“We want to tell each of us that love still exists no matter what the challenges are. If you look back to 1960 when the country had Independence, it has always been a wazobia thing.
“With all the crises and ills going on in the country, the play wants us to go back to old good days when we lived in peace, in togetherness. Nothing should break us.
“From the play, you saw how an Igbo man got married to an Hausa lady, living in peace and harmony.
“It tells us that in inter-tribal marriage, we can live together in peace regardless of individual difference, culture, tradition, religion and all of that.
“With this, we want to bring the minds of our people back to where we started, to teach us on the need to love each other as it was in the past. This way, collectively we will achieve exploits as a great, indivisible nation” she noted.
Earlier, Mr. Adesewo announced Abuchi Modilim winner of the 2021 edition of The Arojah Students Playwright Prize.
Modilim of the University of Nigeria Nsukka grabbed the star prize of N150,000 with his play ‘In Saint Mulumba’.
Ojo Joshua Miracle of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife whose work ‘Hope In Pains’ got honorary mention along with UNIBEN’s Adekeye Segun Lukman’s ‘Clamour of Agony’ smiled home with N50,000 each.
The literary prize is supported by MacArthur Foundation, NANTAP and Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA.
Adesewo assured that beyond the prizes, Arojah Royal Theatre would also organize mentorship sessions for the winners and all those who participated competition.
According to him, the undergraduates will be brought in contact with veterans in the industry to provide opportunity for the former to hone their skills.