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    EkANA May Reading: FUOYE don reveals global opportunities for talented African female writers

    By Wole Balogun
    S.A Media to VC

    The Acting Head of Department, Department of Theatre and Media Arts (TMA) of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), Dr. Tosin Kooshima Tume, has revealed global opportunities for African female writers, particularly female playwrights. She invited them to come on board as members of the African Women Playwrights Network, (AWPN), an international association for African women playwrights.

    Dr. Tosin Kooshima Tume
    The Acting Head of Department, Department of Theatre and Media Arts (TMA) of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE)

    Dr. Tume who doubles as the Lead, Steering Committee of the AWPN said her association has created an exciting hub for African female playwrights, making it possible for them to showcase their talents in this area as well as network for brighter and helpful opportunities across the globe. She said it was high time the African women began telling their unique stories and contribute richly to the African literary corpus in the area of drama.

    The Guest Reader and other dignitaries, ANA members after the reading

    Dr. Tume made the remarks at the May Reading of the Ekiti State chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (EkANA) held on May 1, 2024 at the Akogun Tai Oguntayo hall of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), (state secretariat) in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital.

    Mr. Wole Balogun, also a lecturer at the TMA, FUOYE and member of EKANA was the Guest Reader while Dr. Tume was Special Guest of honour at the occasion. The Honourable Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, Ekiti State, Prof. Rasaki Ojo Bakare, who doubles as Chairman of the Committee of Arts, Culture Commissioners in Nigeria, presided over the event as the father of the day.

    Balogun’s reading was from two of his drama texts, the excerpts of which were already published in EkANA’s third and fourth editions of anthology and which titles are Seer’s Mandate and Looters’ Trials.
    He disclosed that the published excerpts in EkANA editions were extracted from full manuscripts of same titles which he hopes to publish pretty soon.

    Balogun, who is also serving FUOYE as Special Adviser on Media Matters to the progressive Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abayomi Sunday Fasina, revealed that his grouse against some political gladiators in Nigeria inspired most of his writings in drama, poetry and opinion articles . He singled out Seer’s Mandate as a story inspired by the unhealthy Nigerian factor where religion has become a major determinant for electorates in electing their leaders.

    Citing instances of political prophecies having unwholesome influence on the nation’s political situation, Balogun disclosed that the play satirizes Nigeria’s troubled political reality where political mandates have been hijacked by hypocritical seers posing as representatives of the divine but misleading unsuspecting electorates to make mostly wrong choices during elections.
    The Seer’s Mandate, according to the Guest Reader, tells the moving story of Bosun, an advocate of the Not-too-young-to-rule movement in Nigeria, who rides into power on the shoulders of his political godfather, Chief Kokosari, who is of the older generation of Nigerian politicians, and turns against the unhealthy political practices of the older generation which are characterized with corruption, exploitation of the masses, and inept leadership among others. His daring actions incur the wrath of godfathers who swear to make the state ungovernable for him. They deploy their arsenals, both spiritual and physical against Bosun while he surges on undeterred. Did he survive the onslaught of the godfathers who seemingly “own and controls” the system? This becomes a germane question the playwright leaves open to the audience as the play ends on a note of argument on whether Bosun is right to have turned against those who give him the state power or not and whether he deserves any punishment for being patriotic.

    The Guest Reader reading from his work

    The second play, which published excerpts was also read to the participants by the Guest Reader is Looters’ Trials. It is a play with which the playwright questions the legality of punishing some angry and hungry Nigerians who helped themselves to the COVID-19 palliatives made available for the public by the Federal Government but hoarded in some warehouses by government agents. It narrates the story of the court trial of four suspected looters of a warehouse where the palliatives were hoarded. The trial holds to decide whether the suspects are guilty as charged or not . The play ends with the victory of the suspects which is made possible by the brilliant defense put up by their lawyer who convinces the judge that it is wrong for the government agents to hoard the palliatives meant for the public in the first place.

    Thus, the Guest Reader stimulated a rich discussion on the wrong attitudes of political office holders in Nigeria and its adverse effect on the citizenry. Contributors to the rich discourse included the immediate past state Chairman of the Ekiti State chapter of the NUJ, Comrade Rotimi Ojomoyela, Barr. Tai Oguntayo Akogun, who is a former national General Secretary of ANA, the current state chairman, EkANA, Dr. Olugbenga Daramola, and his Vice, Miss. Funke Awodiya, a poet and the MC of the occasion. There was also rich contributions from Dr. Tosin Tume and Mr. Adeolu Ajobiewe who is the state Treasurer of EkANA.

    Barr. Tai Oguntayo and Ekiti NUJ chairman, Comrade Kayode Babatuyi at the event


    Other dignitaries who graced the occasion included Prof. Lara Owoeye, a Professor of Dramatic Literature of the Department of English and Literary Studies, Ekiti State University(EKSU), Com Kayode Babatuyi, NUJ Ekiti State chairman , Mrs. Oguntayo, Mr. David Tume, Master Terhide Tume, Mr. Demola Atobaba, Mrs. Tomike Arowosegbe, and Comrade Dare, Provost of the International Institute of Journalism ( IIJ), Ado-Ekiti campus.

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