‘The evening was not just about the play, but about the Chibok girls, to whom Amina, dedicated her Actress of the Year Award and prize money, with promises to establish a foundation. Though a simple line in a fictional play, this wish immediately became a reality as Nicole Patrick-Otoro, immediately pledged the support of her NGO, Sow A Smile Initiative, to support Girl Child in Nigeria, mobilise resources, educate and train interested victims of insurgency in Nigeria’
SALAH break in Abuja ended on a theatrical note on Sunday, July 2nd, as Rivers of Water Productions, in collaboration with Transcorp Hilton Hotel, staged Amina, an advocacy play for the girl child.
The play written and directed by Patrick Omo Otoro, who also played the lead role of Alhaji Ibrahim Dankasuwa, treated Abuja theatre lovers who defied the harsh economic situation in the country, and particularly a wet Sunday to see the play, were treated to a scintillating performance, that not only entertained, but educate them.
Amina (played by Samira Aliyu) is the first daughter of industrialist, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankasuwa, who rose from grass to grace, and in his desire to ensure the security of his children insisted, they must both study business administration, in other that they might succeed him and run the family business. However, Amina had a different idea. She will stop at nothing to become an actress, while his father is willing to do anything possible to make her study business administration or be striped of her right as his child.
To say Amina was determined would be an understatement. She stood her ground and would not agree to study anything other than theatre, and soon, the peace in the family was disrupted. Alhaji accuses his wife, Zainab (played by Yausahyel Sulaiman) of aiding Amina, while the wife accuses Alhaji of having an affair outside matrimony.
In the end, reason prevails, but not without some drama. Amina was nominated for the actress of the year award, and to make her parent accompany her to the award ceremony, she had to devise some plan. With the help of Dr. Sanni, the family doctor, played by Ezekwesiri, who also doubled as the production manager; Amina faked pregnancy, and her parents, desperate to protect their image in the society, especially because Boy Alinco (played by Laban Mutong), Amina’s baby papa, is a ‘wobe guy’, they pleaded with her to abort the pregnancy, and she agreed on the conditions that they accompany her to the award ceremony, and allow her to study theatre, which they did.
The award ceremony was all Amina needed to achieve her aim. She won the award and received a N5m prize money and a brand-new car for herself, and her parents were excited at the prospects. In the euphoria of the honour she had brought the family, Alhaji Ibrahim pleaded with her to fulfil her own part of the deal, which is to get rid of the pregnancy, and then return to school, this time to study theatre, in line with her passion and their gentleman agreement.
Amina is a beautiful family play that resonates with the audience, as evident in their almost spontaneous response to some of the issues. It brings to the fore the agelong battle of expectation and choices with families. Most parents desire that their children follow in their footsteps, to keep the family lineage, or at least pursue a career they considered ‘lucrative’ as against course or career choices like theatre or art in general.
Amina was funny but poignantly revealing, though performed in English, the spontaneous insertion of Hausa languages, which reveals the setting of the play, was an effective technique that help that draw the audience in.
The set, designed and constructed by Naturemark was beautiful to behold, and one of the immediate attractions to the play. Seun Odukoya, a theatre director and cultural director said as she stepped into the hall, “Wow! This is beautiful! This is surreal! I love it.” It was the same feeling for many others who beheld the set and compliment its share beauty. The set is adorned with beautiful Hausa motifs that reveals the cultural background of the play, and in consonance with the stature of the industrialist and protagonist of the play, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankasuwa.
The evening was not just about the play, but about the Chibok girls, to whom Amina, dedicated her Actress of the Year Award and prize money, with promises to establish a foundation. Though a simple line in a fictional play, this wish immediately became a reality as Nicole Patrick-Otoro, immediately pledged the support of her NGO, Sow A Smile Initiative, to support Girl Child in Nigeria, mobilise resources, educate and train interested victims of insurgency in Nigeria.
Photo credits: SOLOMON YACS SHEKONLUMI (Mr Saint)