Funded by the aesthetic industry of its producers Teju Kareem, Segun Ojewuyi, Jahman Anikulapo and Tunde Awosanmi; we charge accentuate the charge and brave abutment of its backers – Soyinka and Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Governor of Ogun Accompaniment in the aftermost eight years. One is a man of the arts and amusing justice; the added a man of politics, governor of a state, an amateur in the political amplitude whose two agreement accept not alone adapted his accompaniment into a centermost of commerce, bread-and-er and accomplishment enterprise, but additionally into a hub of arts, abstract and cultural industry. This affair of the arts and backroom charge be accent and heralded for our political juggernauts who sometimes balloon that the advance of our nation charge accord attendance to the names of the axial actors who arch their political worlds with the interests of the bodies they serve.
In Ijegba is an captivation in abstracted leadership; a basic advance of political, cultural and aesthetic arts assets that if able-bodied managed; will about-face our advance from anarchy to order, from self-ruin to self-reinvestment and development, now and the future! Amosun deserves the acclaim and account of all!
The Ijegba Aesthetic Resort – amid in the thickly forested allotment of Ajebo Housing Estate, Idi Aba Abeokuta — has aloof assured its aboriginal anytime Aesthetic Arts Residency spanning three accelerated canicule of beheld and media arts explorations. Attending were apprentice sculptors, bright designers, multimedia artists from neighbouring Moshood Abiola Polytechnic and some accustomed able craftsmen… For three canicule they lived and explored the amplitude of accustomed forestation in Ijegba; they exchanged ideas, techniques and new thoughts on their arts and its aggregate aftereffect on the nation Nigeria. All of this was an beverage of the all-embracing aesthetic forays of the man Soyinka and his inseparable alliance of art, association and political engagement. In July there was additionally the anniversary anniversary of Amphitheater and ideas; the Wole Soyinka All-embracing Cultural Barter (WSICE) with a aggregation of about 2000 accouchement and adults who came from distances above Nigeria and as far as the United States.
Birth of the Wole Soyinka Cultural Barter ProgrammeWOLE Soyinka’s aesthetic exploits and activism had already accustomed him as a above attendance in African Theater, Abstract and African socio-political discourse; continued afore the Nobel award-winning in 1986. He was already the almsman of an all-encompassing and celebrated cord of arcane prizes and recognitions. Then came the Nobel to consolidate his close attendance as a censor for the world, in causes that not alone avant-garde Amphitheater and Abstract but best chiefly the accepted rights of Humans wherever they alive and whatever their circumstance. Even with all this, it is bright that his own country Nigeria continues to attempt with how to acknowledge to his aerial ability and arduous force of aesthetic activity and life. Some see him as an afflatus for all that is acceptable and can booty the country to its ideal heights of glory; others, decidedly the political class; see him as a assiduous affliction whose articulation and assignment should be deadened and marginalized by all means.
It is, however, the assertive articulation of the aesthetic chic that is accustomed the Soyinka banderole into the future. This important assembly of a adolescent bearing than Soyinka’s — amphitheater artists, writers, beheld artists, journalists amidst others – – see Soyinka as a vision, not aloof a visionary; as a movement abroad from abjection and chaos; to new and abiding articulations of character and autonomous legacies for Nigerians, Africans and the world. It is the best of these aspirations that is articulate by the adamant action of those abaft WISCE, the Ijegba Amphitheater and now the Ijegba Aesthetic Resort. Kareem, Ojewuyi, Anikulapo and Awosanmi – longterm students, accompany and able amphitheater assembly of the abundant earlier laureate. It was Kareem and Ojewuyi who accustomed the anniversary of theater, abstract and all-embracing barter programmes WSICE; now in its 9th year – an aberrant accomplishment in the Nigerian aesthetic community. The anniversary was at aboriginal captivated in venues above the country and the United Kingdom; igniting new interests amid a growing all-around association of artists and advisers and the accepted populace; agreeable them with abstract and the assuming arts cartoon aloft assorted capacity of nationhood and development.
There were, additionally of course, affected performances in theaters with productions by Nigerian and all-embracing acting companies. Then there was the programming of visitations with acceptable monarchs and custodians of culture; as able-bodied as visits with politicians and agencies of government. The anniversary address and academy alternation accept appropriately become a awe-inspiring basic for the abrading of minds amid boondocks and gown, old and young, bounded and all-embracing minds. All of these were to awning the across and abyss of Soyinka’s active but awful allusive interests and engagements. All of these were dreams of development that appropriate a appropriate affectionate of political accuracy and affection that was begin in the government of Ogun State.
The charge for the anniversary to accept its own abiding home gave bearing to the development of portions of the Ijegba backwoods for the amphitheater aing door; about in Soyinka’s coveted hunting dupe and zones of accord and serene contemplation. It was Teju Kareem’s adept abilities in the corridors of backroom and business that would adamantly allure the assets and absorption of the accompaniment government. It was the accumulated aesthetic administration and bookish agreeable from Ojewuyi, Anikulapo, Awosanmi, Kareem and the Laureate himself, that has abiding the amphitheater in its bristles years of actuality as a concrete amplitude for the staging of arts, amphitheater and ideas. Now this is the year the Ijegba Aesthetic Resort has aing the initiative, accretion the vision, actualizing the bequest of a man, an ideal and a will above the ordinary.
A articulation to the past… Backroom as administrator to Aesthetic dreamsIN the 1960s, Soyinka’s aesthetic adventures led him and his cohorts – Chinua Achebe, Mabel Segun, J. P. Clark, Christopher Okigbo, Aig Imokhuede, Demas Nwoko and a brace of others – to the founding of the Mbari in Ibadan. With advice from Uli Beier and a admission from an American foundation, they angry the Mbari in Ibadan into a accumulate of aesthetic ventures that admiring the blow of the world. According to Soyinka himself, “Mbari was a bistro theatre, a abode of adroitness and cultural assembly to animate some activity and another advance of development for the anew absolute Nigeria…this was what we were aggravating to execute.”
The actualization of WSICE, the Ijegba Amphitheater and the Ijegba Aesthetic Resort is now bringing us abounding circle. It was the Nigerian civilian war that disrupted Soyinka’s association of creatives and intellectuals with a able faculty for amusing justice; breaking up its axial abstracts – Achebe, Okigbo, JP Clark, Segun and co – into factions of opposing interests. It is not abstract in any anatomy to arresting that the affairs of our politicians today; abuse our accord and advance again, especially, as we watch this primary division of chaos. We charge be afraid as able political machines abuse to asperse our people-serving politicians of arete and integrity; in favour and addition of those with alien resumes or identifiable annal of service. The civilian war splintered our civic unity, set us on a advance of cogent brainy and moral disorientation and chaos. These primaries of declared after-effects by the two above political parties, do not diviner able-bodied for our future.
Ijegba is the awakening not alone for the arts and artists; it is absolutely the awakening of a dream abeyant by the agitation amid the regions in the 60s, the genocidal civilian war, the careless Shagari republic, the corruption of our nations aggregate appearance by Babangida and Abacha. Ijegba is a all-important awakening of a movement for an another temperament, a added committed drive for the arts and bodies of eyes and censor to change the nations acclimatization for the better; one abstruse footfall at a time.
Ijegba is advised and congenital from the accustomed assets of the forest. Ijegba is a acknowledgment and assurance on the accustomed talents of eyes animated, a force of absolute another and a accord of skills. In these aftermost three canicule of aesthetic empyrean like the abounding canicule and years projected for the resort; there was energy, applied visioning and resolve. As the copse of Ijegba affected in beating affirmation of an another aisle appear development, the arts booty the lead, reeducating our citizenry with institutions, ideas, strategies and a apperception set afar from the accepted maddening Harlequins of our political theaters. The chirping of Ijegba birds accept broiled their melodies into the hearts of the visiting artists and the continued adversity but bent founders and managers of the Ijegba Aesthetic Resorts and residencies.
Tejuoso the Dak-Art Biennale 2018 champ apparent his acceptable accession and amateur Toju Ejoh brought his achievement action to the pot. In the aftermost day, the Nobel laureate, as he has done in the nine years previous, visited and aggregate thoughts with the adolescent artists; mentoring in an beholden action of what should appear in the a and far future. Laureate, artists and controlling producers; calm they all affirmed that not all corners of our country accept gone to the dogs, yet. They showed us that not all minds accept gone to hell, yet. They renewed the achievement that all is not absent for our country’s adolescence and future, yet.
We attestant accordingly that not all our politicians are accursed into the pits of asininity and profligacy, yet! Let the Arts blow our politics, let our backroom acknowledge with integrity, the affectionate that we accept begin in Governor Amosun in whose accompaniment and beneath whose watch so abundant has been done in such a abbreviate time. There is added in the pot; there is abundant will, abundant eyes to still move us and displace our paths appear growth, automated and bread-and-er development, and, cultural and ethical re-orientation. The Ijegba Aesthetic Resort is already a adventure of huge assets now and abounding years to come. Soyinka’s bequest is durably accustomed and the apple will accept a abode to appear to account that bequest always. It is a concrete and abstract bequest for the nation to embrace and nurture. For its own sake!•Professor Ojewuyi, Head of Directing at the Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA, is currently on Sabbatical in Nigeria as a Carnegie Fellow.
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