I did not really take pictures of the Day 1, which took place in Lagos, as I was too busy thinking of my performance. We moved to Abeokuta two days later, and enjoy the pictures below. And yea Wole Soyinka really lives in a forest, probably for spiritual inspiration from the heavenlies. Ijegba forest, to be exact. And no, you cannot go and visit him there. You will soon find out why, from one of the pictures below.
|I'm small. I know. No need to rub it in, lol|
|Wole Soyinka's birthday cake|
|Professor Niyi Osundare|
|Important people cutting the cake... where is the celebrant?|
|Famzing with Muta Baruka, a world-renowned legendary poet|
|Kuto cultural centre, Abeokuta where most of |
the events took place
As we got to the movie reception, the first thing that greeted us were the faces of many important people in Nigeria, actors, actresses, corporate bodies, etc, (excluding politicians. I don't think they like Wole Soyinka or vice versa, lol). Unfortunately, I was too shy to go around and ask for pictures. The only drink was palmwine, which you had to drink with calabash. Even water was absent. And the snacks were kokoro and Adun, made with Epo pupa. It was at this point we knew we were in for some serious different stuff,
|See this traditional centre mat|
|Yemi Sodimu: If you are one of those Nigerians who|
wear Oleku, and you don't know this man, please
return our cloth to Tunde Kelani,
|Do you remember the man on the right from|
all the Mount Zion movies you watch
And this picture below was the first message that greeted us at Wole Soyinka's forest residence.
Of course, since we are not trespassers, we all snapped pictures, and proceeded with confidence. And then...
Efun Worshippers started greeting us, and kneeling down for us. A lot of people were scared, saying "Hee, what is this?" lol. I even heard there was a lady around me speaking in tongues. As for me, I wasn't scared. Since I understand yoruba, I know there were just saying "You will live long, you will not die young, you will grow old..." basically traditional greetings they pass on to people who come to celebrate with the old. I was greeting the back with my simple "Ekale ma."
The below picture looks like I was transported into a scene of a babalawo shrine in a 1985 yoruba movie on NTA channel 7, lol.
|Traditional lanterns. Forgotten what they are called.|
I kid you not, Wole Soyinka was seated two rows behind me, watching his own drama, but you don't need the Holy Spirit to tell you not to approach him in such a setting, so I just pretended to be gentle, and not even allow the thought cross my mind.
Enjoy pictures of the stage drama, Dance of the Forest, written by Wole Soyinka at the age of 26 (@ilola, see your life). I wonder how he felt watching the drama. The drama was staged in the forest, as you know by now, and ran for about three hours
|The actors ran away when the car drove in. |
Don't be scared, it was part of the act
|Can you see the tree spirit? lol|
|I tried to get a shot of the whole cast. They|
were 203 renowned stage actors
|Fireworks after the event was over|
|Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State. |
The only politician who would not be eaten up in the forest
|The governor and the people that put the drama together|
We all got this gift bag by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism when we were about to leave the hotel for Lagos the next day. Guess what it contained... A calabash to drink palmwine, a traditional wrist bead, and a clay bowl lantern, that you would light up with Epo Pupa (called Fitila in Yoruba). I passed them all to my mum, lol. I was thinking I would get an iPhone.
I stayed at Green Legacy, Obasanjo's hotel, and actually saw him and his entourage walking around the premises, inspecting some things. I'd have taken his picture if he weren't too far from me. Oh well...
It was really a great event, despite the whole Efun stuff, babalawo scenes and all. I am glad I was part of this, and exposed me more the yoruba culture.