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Lagos partners Stagecraft Production on Kurunmi Play

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l-r: Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Gboyega Akosile; Event and Sponsorships Manager, Tolaram Group, Ms. Frances Ohwo; Permanent Secretary, Lagos Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Mrs. Toyin Atekoja; Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka and the Production Manager, Stage Craft Studios & Film, Mitchel Bare-Adegbola during a Press Conference on a stage play ‘KURUNMI’, directed by Oladapo Muyideen (LALA), at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, the Secretariat, Alausa-Ikeja, on Monday, 10 June 2024

Lagos State Government on Monday expressed its readiness to partner with Stagecraft Studios and Film Production Ltd. to stage a play titled ‘Kurunmi’.

The decision of the Lagos State Government was revealed by the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, during a press conference held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.

She said the government is partnering with the production firm in staging Kurunmi in its bid to foster historical heritage and prevent African culture and traditions from going into extinction, as well as expose and awaken the consciousness of youths to the role of good leadership anywhere they find themselves.

Kurunmi is a play written by the late renowned author, Prof. Ola Rotimi, that explores the themes of collective political and military leadership, social change and development, responsible leadership, control and accountability.

Kurunmi, which is to be staged at Alliance Française on June 13 and 14 and at the Terra Kulture Arena on July 20 and 21, is directed by a renowned movie producer and actor, Mr. Oladapo Muyideen, popularly known as Lala. The stage play, which has 75 cast and crew members, will also be taken to the five IBILE divisions of Lagos State for the delight of residents.

Speaking during the press conference attended by the Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Media and Publicity, Mr. Gboyega Akosile; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, Mrs. Toyin Atekoja; and representatives of organisations sponsoring the Kurunmi stage play, Benson-Awoyinka, said the stage play speaks to the THEMES+ agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration to revive and preserve the rich cultural heritage of Lagos and Africa.

Benson-Awoyinka pointed out that the cultural rebirth and reorientation much desired could happen faster through entertainment and arts, and that is why the Lagos State Government is partnering with the production firm on Kurunmi.

She said: “In line with the vision of the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to make Lagos State the preferred destination for tourism, leisure, and business in Africa, I am honoured to present this captivating stage play, KÚRUNMÍ put together by Stagecraft Studios and Film Production.

“This play is a masterpiece that showcases our rich cultural heritage, steeped in tradition and history. It showcases the talents of our vibrant arts industry and the creativity of our theater practitioners.

“The play is a historical play that tells the story of a legendary Yoruba king, Kúrunmí, who embodied courage, wisdom, and leadership. The play masterfully weaves together elements of history, culture, and entertainment, making it a must-see for everyone.”

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Speaking on why the Lagos State Government is partnering with Stagecraft Studios and Film Production Ltd. in staging Kurunmi, Benson-Awoyinka disclosed that “as the Commissioner of Tourism, I recognise the significance of arts and culture in promoting tourism and showcasing our state’s diversity. The play is an excellent representation of our cultural wealth, which I encourage everyone to experience.

“The world is changing rapidly, and cultures and traditions are fast losing steam to the world order. As Africans, we have a culture; we have our history. These two elements are most cherished and are a reminder of who we are as a people.

“It is on that basis that the Lagos State Government, under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, threw its weight behind the production of Kúrunmí, the stage play. We know that the cultural rebirth and reorientation that we talk about can happen faster through entertainment and the arts. Therefore, by attending this play, you will not only be entertained but also gain a deeper understanding of our rich cultural heritage. The talented cast, stunning costumes, and impressive set design will transport you to a world of wonder and awe.

“We support the production of Kúrunmí because we understand the inherent importance and value that it would bring to our society, especially the numerous Lagosians that would go out to watch the play on stage. I urge all residents and visitors to join us in celebrating our cultural excellence by watching KÚRUNMí. Let us come together to support the arts and make our state a hub for cultural tourism.”

Also speaking, the Director of Kurunmi, Mr. Oladapo Muyideen; the Production Manager, Michelle Adegbola; and the Technical Director, Mr. Biodun Abe, commended the Lagos State Government for supporting and funding the project for cultural rebirth, especially among the GenZ youths.

Oladapo said Kurunmi is about promoting the Yoruba cultural heritage. “As people of different cultural backgrounds, there are ways the Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa do their things. So Kurunmi is taking us to the way we do things and the way we address issues. It is about reminding us of our heritage,” he said.

Adegbola said the reason for the play is about a leader—a legendary warrior who stood up for the tradition. He said stage play is a message for the youth that “no matter the level of technology, we should not forget our background. That is why we are showcasing the play to the public. Governor Sanwo-Olu had seen the good in our culture and we want everyone to connect with our culture.”

Adegbola also disclosed that whoever wanted to use Uber to get to Ikoyi to watch Kurunmi will enjoy 30 percent on Uber using Kurunmi as the code.

Speaking during the press conference, the Media and Insight Manager of Rite Food, Mr. Adedotun Ajibade; the Group Executive Director of Omnicon Media Group, Mr. Yinka Adebayo; the Events and Sponsorship Manager of TOLARAM Group, Miss Frankie Ohwo; and other partners, whose companies are partnering with Stagecraft Studios and Film Production Ltd in staging Kurunmi, said they are committed to the play because they believe strongly in it.

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