FirstBank Brings Easter Fun to Theatre Lovers, Sponsors DOS Stage Plays: Ladi Kwali, Zik
Entertainment, arts and fun lovers were treated to exciting moments of theatrical performances during the Easter holidays with Duke of Shomolu stage plays themed ‘Healing Together’ sponsored by Nigeria’s premier and leading financial giant, FirstBank.
Healing Together comprises two exciting stage plays – Ladi Kwali and Zik, which showed from the 7th till 10th of April 2023 at the legendary Muson Centre and Glover Memorial Hall, Marina, Lagos.
THECONSCIENCng reports that Ladi Kwali, a tribute to the heroine, is a powerful depiction of the life and times of legendary Nigerian potter, ceramicist, glassworker and educator, Ladi Kwali, who helped introduce the international community to the beauty of Nigerian art through intricately decorated earthenware designs.
Kwali, who was reputed for putting a unique spin on a traditional craft and sculpting a place for future generations of women artisans, has her image on the current Nigerian N20 currency note, the only Nigerian woman with such feat.
Born around 1925 at Kwali, Abuja, she rose from being an illiterate village girl with no formal education to become a global icon and professor honoured by the Queen of England.
Kwali was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in 1963. In 1977, she was also awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria.
Kwali gained recognition for her works in Europe, Britain and America. Locally, her works were displayed during Nigeria’s independence celebration in 1960. She died on August 12, 1984.
The play, an aesthetic combination of dance and drama, chronicles her birth on a farmland by farmer parents, her peasant background, unmatched skills and craft, undying love for and economic empowerment of Northern Nigerian women through pottery business, global exploits and recognitions as well as marital travails.
The story also captures a robust and rich cultural heritage of the Gbagi tribe in Northern Nigeria, as well as the psychological subjects of digging deep, overcoming challenges and rising to the top despite strong odds.
The play explores striking themes of poverty, courage and will power, hardwork and diligence, vicissitudes of life, as well as difficulties of womanhood in Northern Nigeria which remain relevant in modern Nigeria.
It also highlights efforts already underway to revitalise the Ladi Kwali pottery centre in Abuja as a befitting world class facility for skills acquisition and empowerment in pottery.
The play was written by Prof. Bakare Ojo Rasak of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti who is also Africa’s first professor of Dance, Choreography and Performance Aesthetics and immediate-past Ekiti State Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism.
Zik on the other hand is a play that seeks to highlight the values of vision and nationalism amongst others to the modern-day audience in Nigeria.
With the sponsorship of similar socio-cultural plays in the creative arts industry such as Ayinla, Moremi, Makaliki, Duke of Shomolu Production’s Play (Emotan and Oba Esugbayi), October 1st (a movie) and the Calabar Festival, FirstBank’s sponsorship of ‘Duke of Shomolu Productions’ affirms the bank’s continued support for the development of arts in Nigeria under its First@arts initiative.
According to Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First@arts is FirstBank’s platform for consolidating all its efforts in the arts, supporting the entire value chain of the creative arts, providing much-needed financing and advisory support, showcasing and facilitating the successes of the industry, and enabling customers to explore and access the wealth of opportunities the creative industry has to offer.
She noted that, “For over 129 years, FirstBank has been at the forefront of nation-building; enabling Nigeria and Nigerians through resourceful partnerships to build the Nigerian creative industry value chain, especially the arts and entertainment sub-sectors.”
“Without a doubt, the theatre remains part of the creative and entertainment industry value-chain across the globe and indeed a powerful channel to drive our heritage and culture, which resonates with our legacy of being woven into the fabric of society, ” she added.
Established in 2018, the DOS production is a strong force in telling compelling stories through performances and a leading brand in the Performing Arts sector in Nigeria and was
According to research disclosed in PWC’s recent Entertainment & Media Outlook report, Nigeria’s entertainment market is expected to rise from $4.46 billion in 2018 to a $10.5 billion market by the end of 2023.
In addition, with this initiative and other sponsored events, FirstBank is committed to strengthening its contribution to the development of the entertainment industry in the country.