Jogbo Tuntun, Parody Of Modern Nigeria Hits Ibadan Theatre Stage
All is set for the much anticipated stage play, Jogbo Tuntun scheduled to hold on Friday and Saturday, 26th and 27th of January 2024 at Wole Soyinka Arts Theatre, University of Ibadan.
The Stage play, which will be showing 5pm and 7pm on each of the screening days, promises to be entertaining and educative.
Jogbo Tuntun is a stage adaptation of the late Prof. Akinwunmi Ishola’s Saworoide, directed by Waheed Olamilekan of Orolabi productions.
Tribune Online had a conversation with Waheed Olamilekan, A.K.A Orolabi Productions on why Jogbo Tuntun stage play is a must watch for every lover of stage plays and what makes the play relevant to our contemporary society. Read what he has to say:
Can we meet you?
I am Waheed S. Olamilekan, a theatre producer and director with half a decade of theatre experience. I am the Director of Orolabi Productions.
What’s the idea behind the title Jogbo Tuntun? How did it come to become a recurring play?
Jogbo Tuntun is a stage adaptation of the late Prof. Akinwunmi Ishola’s Saworoide. This is a way to keep remembering our ancestors, who have contributed immensely to art and culture.
Jogbo Tuntun is also a piece made to celebrate our living legend, Baba Tunde Kelani, for his invaluable contributions to the world of filmmaking in Nigeria and the diaspora. This is very important for everyone to know. Ẹni iyì, ẹni ẹ̀yẹ ni àwọn bàbá wá wonyii.
The title Jogbo Tuntun is a parody of modern Nigeria, where political culture has lost its value and the citizens are being trampled upon by the sit-tight patriots who monopolise national treasure without remorse.
I adapted Saworoide for the stage and named it Jogbo Tuntun in anticipation of the 2023 general elections and as a means of sensitising people. The general election has come and gone; has there been any difference in our political culture
What should the audience expect at the screening of the play, Jogbo Tuntun?
The audience should expect a pedagogical piece that is embellished with moderate entertainment.
Even in aesthetics, there are deep philosophies. The audience should be ready for a beautiful work that will remain in their memories for a long time.
What’s the most challenging part of directing a stage play like Jogbo Tuntun
The most challenging part of stage play is the funding. Beautiful work like Jogbo Tuntun is a product of money. Producers of stage plays hardly have access to such sponsorship. When there is sponsorship, half of the work is done.
Can you take us a bit into the journey of building a career path as a director and where does it lead to? (for younger aspiring thespian to learn from)
Building a career path in directing is the best decision I’ve made for myself. I can say that again. It’s an interesting journey that has no end. The level of success of the previous production sets the level of the challenges of the next one for a director who knows what is right. Hence, a director becomes more creative with each work.
I started out with a dream, but I didn’t end it there. I took a giant step toward producing my own play because if I didn’t, I would still be dreaming right now. All I needed was to start, and since then, things have been falling into place. The journey is endless, but I am not in the same zone where I started out.
For young, aspiring directors: Dream and work on it. Then know this: See yourself as a bodybuilder who goes to the gym every day. Don’t start counting until it hurts you. You won’t build the muscles at once, but if you don’t quit, you will definitely get better every single day! Don’t be discouraged by what Naysayers have to say.
What challenges face theatre in Ibadan, Nigeria generally?
Like I said earlier, it’s time for investors to know that theatre is a place where people see themselves live—flesh and blood. It’s a mirror of life, and its experience cannot be compared to cinema. People love theatre, and they want to see it.
However, the challenge of limited investment in theatre is a big deal for the arts in Ibadan and Nigeria generally.
As big as Ibadan is, there is no functioning theatre apart from the Wole Soyinka Theatre at the University of Ibadan. That shows how much the theatre culture is lagging in the state. This, as a matter of fact, is a justification for the fact that the state government needs to do something about the art of theatre. It’s lucrative!
If you have the chance, who would you like to work with in the industry
If I have a chance, an actor I’d like to work with is Ibrahim Chatta. He’s an encyclopaedia of knowledge. In directing, of course, Kunle Afolayan and Femi Adebayo. Those are the people I look up to in the industry.
What do you have to say about theatre education in Nigeria as you have experienced it?
I have not been to any institution other than the University of Ibadan. And I must say this here for the sake of record: We have the best “teachers.” They are the ones who know this profession on paper and in practice. My colleagues and I are doing well in the theatre in all ramifications—academic and professional. This is a testament to the brilliance and love of our lecturers for us and for the art.
Would you like to tell us about the team that put this play together?
Excellence! That was the first word that came to mind. This team of artists that is hungry for excellence makes the production an interesting journey. Whenever we work, it’s fun. The team is ready to do everything humanly possible to make sure the audience gets value. The producer, BlueOrchid Production and I have the best team in the world.
What next after the January screening?
After the January staging, beautiful works are coming. We hope to tour Nigeria with Jogbo Tuntun because the play deserves it. Aside from that, I’m done writing a socio-cultural and political play that is motivated by a political and business juggernaut in Nigeria. Watch out for it. BlueOrchid and I have more Productions coming soon.
Jogbo Tuntun is a play everyone should see. The theatre is a place everyone should always go to to reflect on life, existence, and its existential phenomena!