The Ajegunle Theatre Arts Forum has organised its maiden edition of Ajegunle Cultural and Arts Festival AJECAFEST to celebrate Nigeria’s uniqueness in culture.
With the theme, ‘Oneness’ the 3-day festival had an array of cultural performances from the many theatre groups that make up of the umbrella body in the community.
According to the Coordinator of Ajegunle Theatre Arts Forum, Uzorchi Uyamasi, the festival is the first of its kind and the idea is to use arts and theatre to bring the youths of the area together to live in harmony. Also, to tell the world that cultural unity is the best solution for us as Nigerians.
The highpoint of the festival was the command performance of ‘Crows of the Dawn’, a play written by the award-winning Journalist cum dramatist, Ola Awakan. The play directed by Prince Chukwubueze examines how infiltration from the western world has caused cultural disunity for the people of Nigeria.
The playwright explicitly suggests cultural appraisal and renewal, peace among ethnic groups and celebration of unity among the more than 300 ethnic groups in the country.
In an exclusive interview with Artourey, Ola Awakan said, “It took me less than 24-hours to write the play back then in Taraba when I was serving my nation. This was borne out of the passion I have for the unity of Nigeria and to advocate against war. I believe that if only Nigerians can do without cultural differences and embrace unity despite the diversity, the numerous challenges in the country would be a forgotten episode. I also deployed the strength of NYSC in preaching the message of cultural unity”.
Uyamasi explained that the selection of the play for the festival was well thought out given the fact that Ola Awakan started professional theatre from Ajegunle and the message of the play is apt at this period that the country is under serious tension.
The festival was also a way to bring together sons and daughters of the Ajegunle soil who have left the community to come and give back by appreciating the arts and encouraging the young theatre artistes.
The display of energetic dance performances exemplifies the strength that the youth of Ajegunle posses.
“Ajegunle youth need to embrace the power of the art and theatre for them to be successfully diverted from the social vices inherent in the community. That I have seen being displayed at this year’s edition of Ajegunle Cultural and Arts Festival AJECAFEST, Ola Awakan added.
Other activities at the festival designed to be celebrated annually are Costumes parade, street carnival, dance, music to mention a few.
It was witnessed by some politicians, Nollywood actors, residents of the community and invited guests from other theatre arts bodies in the State.