Journalism in the service of society

BOAT Festival 2022… Bariga explodes with theatrical thrills, Oct 28-30

ANOTHER season of the annual Bariga Open Air Theatre, BOAT, has dawned, and the streets of the famous Lagos suburb, ghetto to some, is wearing festive colour and mood already.

From today, October 28 through Sunday, 30th, the lavish theatrical talents and skills of the mixed-tribes community will all be on parade to breathe to life the annual communal feast of performances.

“A feast of music, dance, drama, poetry, visual art exhibitions, boat regatta, cuisines, and games shall be the communal offering throughout the 3 days event,” offers Segun Adefila, founder of the Crown Troupe of Africa, who is regarded as the founder/initiator of the festival.

“Different groups, as well as individuals, shall entertain the community with their kind of arts. It will be 3 days of variety shows and talent exhibitions,” he continues.

 Adefila, perhaps the community, most renowned and revered theatre personality, gave outline of the festival thus:


Dates: Friday, October 28- Sunday, October 30.

Venues and Time:

DAY 1. Friday, October 28-Seaside Cottage Theatre, 54 Ajayi Olaiya Street, Ilaje Bariga.

Time: 4pm.

DAY 2. Saturday, October 29-

Kings and Queens Arena (MbariNbajo) Ilaje Road, Bariga.

Time: 5pm.

DAY 3. Sunday, October 30-

The Art Factory, 32 Awofodu Street, off Pedro Road, Bariga.

Time: 3pm.


Adefila, writer, performer and Artiste-Philosopher, writes on the ideas behind the festival:

THEATRE has as one of its roots, traditional festivals where people congregate for the purpose of communal rejuvenation. Now in its ‘matured and contemporary’ state, this gathering with its theatrical elements has been dichotomised into secular and non-secular components. The result is a sharp deviation from the purpose of festivals and retentions of its non-secular elements as evident in traditional festivals such as Eyo, Osun,  Argungun, and New Yam celebrations as well as (if you like) non traditional religious revivals to mention a few.

These activities though communal are not as all-inclusive as they used to be as a result of sectarian pluralism.

Theatre in its integrated form of dance, music, drama, poetry, visual arts e.t.c being an offshoot of these festivals now appears to be for an exclusive audience. Its communal garment has been shed and replaced with an exclusively elitist one. The state of the economy being a major culprit for this misnomer.

Like most things formerly available to the people such as public schools, healthcare and libraries, the recreational outlets appear to be gradually racing away from the reach of the people.

This is evident for instance, in the gradual disappearance of Cinema houses from low income areas to high income areas. )The Agege Pen Cinema is for instance a relic while Silverbird Cinema is flourishing in its highbrow domain).

This obvious need for a communal gathering where theatre without sectarian coloration or class divide shall be within the reach of the people, becomes the main purpose of the Bariga Open Air Theatre Festival.

Artists and art companies resident in Bariga as well as invited artists will come together to ‘pool their brew’ for the collective benefit of the community.



Comments are closed.

Naija Times