‘Theatre Will Address Country’s Social Ills’

June 9, 2013

L-R: Owa Ooye of Okemesi, Oba Gbadebo Adedeji; Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; daughter of the deceased, Mrs. Peju Ogunmola-Omobolanle; her husband, Mr. Sunday Omobolanle; and President, Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, Prince Jide Kosoko, during the unveiling of a bust to mark the 40th anniversary of the death of foremost theatre practitioner, Kola Ogunmola, at Okemesi-Ekiti.

Apart from its huge revenue earning potential, the theatre has been identified as a veritable platform to address the social ills plaguing the country.

This was the view of the wife of Ekiti State governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, while addressing industry players at the 40th anniversary celebration of the death of the renowned theatre artiste, Kola Ogunmola, in Okemesi-Ekiti, on Saturday.

The state had played host to foremost Yoruba theatre artistes, under the aegis of Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, who converged in Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort and Okemesi, for the two-day fiesta sponsored by the government.

Erelu Bisi Fayemi is the Chairperson of the state’s 50-member Technical Consultative Committee on Arts, Culture and Tourism.

The First Lady charged the artistes to harness their resources by staging plays and producing films that promote moral rectitude, patriotism, equality, protection of the rights of the girl-child, among others.

She was optimistic that there would be a drastic reduction in violence against women, child abuse, rape and other social malaise if films were produced to enlighten the public about them.

Erelu Bisi Fayemi charged the ANTP members to take advantage of the tourist attractions in the state by using them as locations while shooting films.

She said that the Dr. Kayode Fayemi’s administration renewed interest in arts and tourism industry was informed by the belief that the industry had huge potential for the state and the artistes.

Erelu Fayemi used the opportunity to charge the artistes, especially those of the state origin, to always use their creativity and talents to support the administration.

The ANTP members, led by the Vice President, Chief Dele Odule, had staged one of the plays of late icon, Lanke Omu, in a command performance, on Friday at Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort. The play is an adaptation of Amos Tutuola’s Palmwine Drunkard.

The train moved to Okemesi-Ekiti, the birthplace of Ogunmola, on Saturday for a memorial service and unveiling of a bust in honour of the late artiste, whose daughter, Peju, is one of the popular faces in the Yoruba theatre industry. The ceremony also witnessed the planting of commemorative trees at Ita-Ode in Okemesi Ekiti.

In his remarks, Odule expressed his profound gratitude for the sponsorship of the programmes and the level of hospitality the artistes enjoyed during their stay in the state.

Following the tremendous infrastructural development of the state, coupled with the state government’s commitment to arts and tourism rebirth, he said Ekiti would always be on the mind of the artistes.

Ogunmola was born to the family of late Pa George and Madam Aina Ogunmola of the famous Alagbede compound in Okemesi-Ekiti.

He started his career in theatre arts in 1949 and died in 1971.

One of the children of Ogunmola, Peju, described her father as an honest and hardworking man, who gave his best to the industry and touched lives in his short sojourn on earth.


Last modified: June 9, 2013

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