28 Apr Sankara by Jude Idada Resurrects in Lagos.
As the Nigerian political scene continues to seek the right leadership, notable Nigerian storyteller, Jude Idada joins the conversation with the production of ‘Sankara’, his second stage play this year.
The play which received overwhelming feedbacks after it was staged at the Shell Hall of Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos on Sunday, April 22, 2018, shows how in a space of four years, former leader Sankara renamed his country – Burkina Faso – meaning – The Land of Upright Men, and singlehandedly rewrote a new anthem, and with the force of his will, vision, courage and integrity transformed the country from a dusty Sahel waste land of want and deprivation into a bustling self-reliant economy that was brimming with cultural, social and historical renaissance.
“… It was like Sankara himself had risen from the grave and was right there on stage,” said Senator Florence Ita – Giwa, just as another member of the audience, Marvelous Dominion noted: “I learnt a whole lot last night from this performance, a whole lot I can’t begin to express it all. I left that hall with food for thought. I only wish great men of this country would pick a thing or two from Thomas Sankara’s story during his reign as President of Burkina Faso.”
The audience laughed and cried at other moments. They stayed after the show for a while, taking pictures and sharing more information about the life of Thomas Sankara.
“Sankara’-the play is a pulsing dramatic thriller about the last 100 hours in the life of a great African patriot and recreates the cumulative events that led to his assassination by his best friend and deputy, Captain Blaise Compáore, in collusion with local conspirators and foreign governments. It also espouses his vision for a new Africa and his hope that one day, Africa will rise from the ashes of its past into the magnificence of its glorious future.
It is a story of vision, faith, patriotism, treachery, betrayal and one man’s indefatigable love for his country and continent.
Starring Patrick Diabuah as Captain Thomas Sankara; Kelvinmary Ndukwe as Captain Blaise Compàore; Chris Iheuwa/Austine Onouha as Captain Gilbert Diendéré; Deola Gimbiya as Mariam Sankara; Charles Etubiebi/Abiodun Kazeem as Traore Alouna; and Sarah Boulos as Valerie Giroud, the play, according to its playwright/director, Jude Idada, was inspired by “the true-life events that led to the end of the life of a great revolutionary hero and an icon to the students union political movement in Nigeria.”
The play is an adaptation of Idada’s book of the same title published by Parresia Books under their Origami Imprint and available in bookstores and online.
According to Idada, “It was also inspired by the need to show Nigerians what true leadership really looks like because we are living in an age where the common man on the street and even the elite cannot identify what a great leader should look like, hence they end up voting in or fighting for lesser crooks to replace bigger crooks when as Sankara had shown through his exemplary life, a good leader must not be a crook in the first place.
“In addition to that, it was inspired by the need to show a vision of a prosperous, self-reliant, proud, effective and law-abiding society which Sankara had. A vision hinged on the notion that first and foremost, Africa must be for Africans, with the belief that it was the only way towards true success, in the ilk of the Asian tigers.”
The play has Winifred Adufe Dibie and Nnamani Tochukwu as producers; Achalugo Ezekobe as Co-Producer; Bayo Sodiq as Production Manager; Dotun Olagbadebo as Stage Manager; Gloria Teshi Biachi as Costume Designer; and Cynthia Isaiah as the Makeup Artiste.
As guests at the show continue to give their positive remarks, Kinabuti says, “…this play has inspired me and given me a purpose, to be a better person…”
Anthony Effiong says: “… Fabulous show. Was transported and inspired all at the same time.”
According to Femi Olayiwole, “… I kept wondering if Sankara wasn’t killed, maybe Burkina Faso will be Wakanda,” just as Chikaodili Louis Okoye opined: “… Please, this play must go on tour. The government should also buy copies of the play and share it to all citizens. It is so powerfully written and shares so many messages and teaches so many lessons. I can see it again and again and again.”
For Pricilla Nwikpo: “… What a great way to end my birthday. Wow is all I can say. And the actor that played Sankara, my God! He is awesome. Yes, Sankara is truly the greatest president Africa never had.”
Indeed, Jude Idada makes a bold statement with ‘Sankara’ stage play as Nigerians seek another round of elections next year.
(Victor Akande is a Nigerian writer, who writes mostly entertainment news for The Nation. This article was copied from the online page of The Nation.)