* Efunsetan’s ‘resilience’ consistent with festival theme, society in constant flux
WRITTEN by Akinwumi Sesan and directed by Yomi Duro-Ladipo, the historical drama, Efunsetan Iyalode Ibadan, will be the curtain-raiser tomorrow, Friday, October 20, 2023, to a series of fascinating line-up of events to mark the 27th edition of the MUSON Festival of the Arts.
A week-long artistic extravaganza, the 2023 MUSON Festival, which has as theme ‘Resilience,’ is a commemorative celebration of the organization’s 40th anniversary and also serves as avenue to remember the founding fathers of the musical society, particularly the deceased who founded and sustained the MUSON in the past four decades. The festival will take place from October 20 through to 29, 2023. Such personages include Pa Akintola Williams, Mrs. Francesca Emanuel, among others.
Sponsored by Chevron, MUSON Festival Drama is scheduled for three performances. The first enactment is on Friday, October 20. On Saturday, October 21, the drama will be staged twice at 12noon and 5pm at the Agip Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.
According to the Executive Director, Professor Muyiwa Peter Awodiya: “Efunsetan Iyalode Ibadan reveals the resilience of our society to ensure gender balance.” The former Manager of MUSON Centre and a retired professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Benin, Benin City, further declared that history was not fair to the protagonist of the play. Efunsetan was the Iyalode of Ibadan during the reign of Aare Latoosa.
The common historical belief, Awodiya said, “was that Efunsetan was a very cruel woman with no historical value in Yorubaland. The present play re-interrogates this popular historical belief thereby revealing the resilience of the woman to ensure peace and unity among the Yoruba people of her period. In the contemporary society, the play underlines the need to be critical and proactive in our thoughts and actions to ensure fairness, equity and justice.”
The thematic concern of the play is relevant to the theme of MUSON Festival 2023, as it shows the resilience of a woman to live above threats and tribulations that she faced in a patriarchal society. It is the resilience of Efunsetan that still makes her historical figure and subjects of discourse in literary and non-literary texts.
Written by Sesan and directed by Yomi Duro-Ladipo, the drama features impressive cast members that include Bello Roseline Temitope (as Efunsetan), Isaac Sanjo Ilori (as Osungbekun), Nicholas Akpore (as Osile-Egba), Duro-Ladipo (as Latoosa), and Adesola Ogundoyin (as Old man/Narrator). The audience should expect outstanding stage and performance aesthetics as found in the use of costumes, make-up, props and lights. The play offers unique experiences that would call for more.