WAIT TODAY: Celebrating the life and times of Professor Duro Oni (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Nigeria)
4pm; 17th of April, all roads led to the Theatre at the Creative Arts Department, University of Lagos (UNILAG) where a play about Professor Duro Oni – the Deputy Vice Chancellor (management), UNILAG – was being staged. The play projected Professor Duro’s conception and delivery as a child, his struggles and challenges growing up and rise to fame. Yours truly, the vibrant Asa team were there to bring you the views and lines from the play.
The play was woven around the ‘dizzy angel’ kind of children, what is called Abiku in Yoruba. When a woman experiences a repeated cycle of delivering a child only for him or her to die in the early months or years, the child is said to be Abiku. It is believed that it is that same child that keeps coming back, and that he/she belongs to a group of other Abiku children in heaven. Some rites are usually performed to stall the child from going back to heaven subsequently. Such children are given names such as: Durojaiye, Durodola, Mafikuyomi, Ikukoyi. With regards to the naming, this interesting piece comes to mind http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com/2013/12/yoruba-names-meanings.html .
The best scene for me was the classical battle between the gods for Duro Oni’s Conception; Esu, Orunmila and Ogun battled the Abiku group severally that Duro was never going to be birthed on earth as a child. The lighting and sound of this scene was fantastic! It gave me some chills, not just me, I could see a lot of people shivering in the theatre or maybe it was my imagination.
The Play also took us through different Cultural geographies that explained Professor Duro’s origin touching on his parent’s Ijesha (Osun State) background and his birth in Niger State dominated by the Nupe.
My second best scene in the play was where Orunmila (the father of Ifa) had neglected his divination box for Google, where Ogun (the god of iron) abandoned his consultation mirror for Skype and how Sango (god of lightning and thunder) had replaced his axe with a GSM. That sure evoked laughter from a good number of the audience, including me. And this may be a cultural allusion as to how technology is fast replacing our indigenous customs and practices.
By 6:30pm, the play was over and out trooped the audience in the theatre. We wish Prof Duro Oni more success in his career and life. Below are a few pictures from the Play.