National Troupe Takes ‘Murna’ To IDPs | Independent Newspapers Limited
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National Troupe Takes ‘Murna’ To IDPs

Posted: Dec 31, 2015 at 1:51 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
National Troupe
By Sam Anokam
The National Troupe of Nigeria took a break off its annual end of year season of theatrical stage performance, which it normally stages at the National Theatre for a performance at the Internal Displaced People (IDP) settlement in Bauchi.
The performance, a dance play titled Murna was performed in solidarity with those displaced by the insurgency, which the Nigerian military has successfully tamed.
Written by Mike Ayanwu and directed by Josephine Igberease with Artistic Direction provided by the Director General of the National Troupe Akin Adejuwon, Murna which in Hausa means Joy throws the spot light on different communities that found themselves together because they were forced out of their homes with no hope for the future. But the Chief of Defence Staff and other high ranking government officials including the Minister of Information pays them and the troops a surprise visit which made them realise that they have not been forgotten by the government. During the visit, the IDP’s are assured as a government of change they will be catered for and that in no time they will be re-settled.
The play ends with heavy singing and dancing as all those in the IDP camp spread the message of hope.  The performance by the troupe took a different dimension when some displaced persons joined in the singing and dancing. It was as though the drumming and singing reminded them of how they used to do it before they were displaced.
Speaking after the performance and shortly after he made some donation of gift items to the IDP’s, the artistic director recalled that on assumption of office as the new Artistic Director of the National Troupe of Nigeria, he had given a hint as to what the directive principle of his tenure as Chief Executive would look like. According to him ‘’I had hinted that our repertoire at the Troupe will be organised in such a way that the policies and all the things that the Federal Government represents must be showcased in a way that will add value to government. So what we have done is to support the effort of the Federal Government in providing succour and in identifying with our displaced compatriots’’.
Indeed when Adejuwon took over as Artistic Director last year, he promised to lead a National Troupe that will ‘’be very proactive’’ and very aggressive in its drive to generate very superior quality products that will impact the lives of the people, government and the collaborators of the troupes. And the performance in Bauchi is one among the many proactive steps that Adejuwon has led the troupe to take.   The first is the four state performance tour the troupe undertook shortly after he took over as CEO. He has also led the troupe to perform outside Nigeria.
The performance of Murna in Bauchi and in other IDP location across the country is in line with the proactive steps he has resolved to take especially as regards using performances to resolve conflicts in the country. “If you have been following me since I assumed office, you will realise that I have been working on the theme of ‘Performative Expression in a Conflict Environment.’ The idea is to take edifying performances to conflict zones in the country, to IDP camps and even to the barracks so that we can entertain the military when they return from the field and so we can perform the out reach function of theatre as a tool for conflict resolution and change. So our performance here today is in line with that objective and funds permitting, we shall cover all the other areas,” he said.
On the next stop for the Troupe, Adejuwon disclosed that the troupe would head further north with the dance-play as soon as it finalises logistical arrangement with its key collaborators the National Orientation Agency (NOA), the Federal Ministry of Information and the Armed Forces. ‘’There is a whole lot of logistical needs that is required to embark on this tour. We are fine tuning arrangements. Once we get that sorted out, we shall head up north in furtherance of our outreach function’’ he promised.