Resurgence Of Poetry, Drama In Rivers

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Poetry is a form of literature in which words and actions are described and painted in their beautiful forms. It is an inspirational expression in words and actions. This is most times complemented by theatre which involves stage performances such as dance and drama.

These forms of entertainment took the centre stage at a recent Christmas concert organised by some young talented minds of Rivers State origin under the umbrella of  Legends Christians and Poetry at Christmas.

Tittled “Jubilee Fusion at Christmas”, the concert which was held on Sunday, 26th December, 2010 at the Artruim Jade Hall along  Stadium Road,Elekahia, Port Harcourt was unique in various ways. It added spice to the Christmas celebration in the “Garden City”. This year, the artistes, who on individual basis, have been organising poetry and drama concerts since 2006,  decided to come together to hold a joint concert to give their Port Harcourt audience a memorable Christmas full of comic performances, fun and  relaxation.

The first major dance of the event was the ‘Unity Dance’ which showcased the different dances and people of Nigeria and how they still live in oneness despite their diverse culture. It is an expression of unity in diversity.

The second dance tagged “Happy Day” taken from South Africa also emphasised the beauty of oneness devoid of acrimony, rancour and selfishness.

The first play titled: ‘Village Assembly’ is the comic display of National Assembly members. It portrayed Nigeria in a dying state, depicted as a lady in a wheel chair . The members in the National Assembly were depicted as the chiefs with the Igwe representing the Speaker of the House.

They were portrayed as representatives who were only in the National Assembly to represent their pockets. They were shown talking about Nigeria’s development with little or no positive impact on the people. This elicited hilarious laughter from the audience.

‘Nigeria and corruption’ was the title of the second play, another comic sketch which portrayed Nigeria battling with corruption. Corruption, as a very tricky person, tried to convince Nigeria to accept rice and salad instead of national cake which in this case, represents national development and equitable distribution of resources. Unfortunately, Nigeria fell for the trick. The idea of the play was to highlight the situation of things in the country.

There was another play, Christmas dance that indicated a Nigerian woman living in wealth with her husband, but with no child.  At, last, the Angel of God gave her a gift of Christmas which is the child she had been looking for after several prayers.

The ‘Legend’ was another Christmas play from the theatre section which showcased the birth of Jesus Christ.

There was also a play called ‘Oracle’ which reminded the audience about the slave trade era in Nigeria particularly  in Benin, Edo State.  All the plays were pure comic which the audience enjoyed to the fullest.

Mr. Ken Gorge-Kalio, director of the poetry section who spoke with The Tide shortly after the end of the concert, disclosed that the whole idea of the event was to ensure that people who enjoy theatre and poery had some thing fresh at Christmas and other festive periods. He observed that some young talents who appreciate art did not have the opportunity to either express or enjoy it, hence the need to build up an event and create an enabling environment for them to enjoy themselves.

The Okirika, born poet said that poetry at Christmas dated back to 2006, while the theatre section had been in exitence since 2007.

He recalled that Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital was known for its rich arts and culture in the early days, but regretted the gradual death of theatre in the State. According to him,  it was an unfortunate situation because “theatre is the first form of acting and if one is good in theatre, the person would do better in the big  screen acting”. He stressed that  theatre is the bedrock of the movie industry, therefore, it should not be relegated to the background.

Mr. George Kalio contended that despite the challenges  they faced in terms of finance and logistics, the concert was more successful than they bargained for. He thanked the State Ministry of Information for their support in the area of wide publicity of the event as well as other supporters whose contributions led to the success story. The poet also expressed gratitude to the impressive audience that witnessed the event, stressing that their presence was inspiring and served as a moral booster to both the organisers and participants as they look forward to another interesting outing next Christmas.

 

Jacob Obinna