When Chuk­wumer­ije per­formed ‘Man-Made Gods’ on In­de­pen­dence Day

Sunday Trust - - ART & IDEAS - By Isaac Ade­biyi

On Nige­ria’s 58th In­de­pen­dence An­niver­sary Dike Chuk­wumer­ije per­formed his lat­est spo­ken word pro­duc­tion, ‘Man Made Gods.’ The two-hour show was an en­ter­tain­ing blend of spo­ken word, sto­ry­telling and po­etry about the pre­vail­ing cul­ture of el­e­vat­ing hold­ers of po­lit­i­cal of­fice to al­most ‘god-like’ sta­tus. It also ex­am­ined sev­eral sub-themes around the re­la­tion­ship be­tween ordinary cit­i­zens in Nige­ria and the po­lit­i­cal class, such as the use of po­lit­i­cal power to sub­due the will of the masses and de­prive them of ba­sic ameni­ties, the con­stant re­sort to re­li­gious sen­ti­ments and the paint­ing of out­siders and non-in­di­genes as the ‘prob­lem’ as a cover for non-per­for­mance and medi­ocrity.

“This is fill­ing a gap both in terms of in­spir­ing young peo­ple, but also demon­strat­ing the fact that, yes, change is ac­tu­ally pos­si­ble. I had a won­der­ful time. I was go­ing to come with my wife this time around, but the next time I will make sure I come with her and my four chil­dren,” one of the at­ten­dees, Dayo Olaide, said af­ter the show.

‘Man-Made Gods’ is the ninth out­ing of Chuk­wumer­ije’s Night of the Spo­ken Word (NSW) event. “I wanted to in­ter­ro­gate mod­ern Nige­rian po­lit­i­cal cul­ture in a way that was both en­ter­tain­ing and deeply in­sight­ful. Even more, I wanted to in­ter­ro­gate my­self as a Nige­rian, to un­der­stand how and why I help sus­tain the po­lit­i­cal cul­ture as it is, even to my own detri­ment,” Chuwkumer­ije ex­plained.

The stage was taken first by other po­ets and per­form­ers. Chuk­wumer­ije then took the stage twenty min­utes in and be­gan a spir­ited pre­sen­ta­tion that lasted for an hour and forty min­utes.

“I was re­ally im­pressed with the show. I thought it was ge­nius. It was funny and witty. It spoke to the heart of peo­ple. It was very hon­est, and blunt in its judg­ments. I thought that it was in­ter­est­ing that he was able to cap­ture an au­di­ence all by him­self for al­most two hours with very lit­tle props, while tak­ing on dif­fer­ent roles and be­ing flu­ent while telling such a story. I think that was re­ally im­pres­sive,” Sophia Sabrow from the Ger­man Em­bassy in Abuja said.

Haruna Ab­dul­lahi who came for the show on the rec­om­men­da­tion of his wife also praised the im­pact that the show even­tu­ally had on him say­ing it was a “... fan­tas­tic show that brought out the sen­ti­ments in me and the Nige­rian in me as well.”

Dike called on the au­di­ence to search them­selves as well as the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal cul­ture in Nige­ria and in­ter­spers­ing the se­ri­ous­ness of that call with re­flec­tions on pop­u­lar cul­ture and child­hood in­ci­dents.

Dike Chuk­wumer­ije

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.