Eko Theatre Carnival: The arts are alive


The Crown Troupe of Africa successfully concluded hosting its 2020 edition of the Eko Theatre Carnival on 9 August.

The 24th edition of the carnival brought together theatre practitioners, comedians, musicians and poets, that have been on a five month furlough due to the global COVID-19 pandemic in a burst of colorful and energetic performances.

The seven-day drama and dance carnival held in Bariga, Lagos opened on 3 August with a virtual lecture on ‘Nigerian Theatre in The Age of Pandemic’ by Professor Rasaki Ojo Bakare, Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Ekiti State, moderated by Dr. Funmi Adewole, dance scholar, writer, storytelling artist dramaturge and lecturer at De Montfort University, Leicester England.

Over 25 events held during the seven days of the carnival included another virtual lecture by Ali Baba on entrepreneurship and the arts moderated by comedian Pryncess Damilola, performances by Sound Sultan, Wunmi Olaiya, Edaoto, Yemi Sodimu.

It also featured Corona Palava – a satire on the pandemic – written by Tosin Jobi Tume and directed by Segun Adefila, The Journey – drum ensemble by Pappy Drums, Difu – a play written by Chinyere Lilian Okam directed by Ifeanyin Eziukwu and performed by Just Theatre House, Iba – drums and dance fusion devised by Peter D. Abayomi, directed by Seun Awobajo and performed by Footprints of David. Another highlight was Aluta, an opera composed by Segun Adefila and the Crown Troupe of Africa amongst many others.

Adefila, the founder of Crown Troupe of Africa and convener of the Eko Theatre Festival said “The 2020 edition is a combination of a ‘minimized real’ and ‘maximized virtual’, a ‘Real_Tual’ experience. It is a truism that when the rhythm changes, the sane must also change their dance” in reference to the reality of COVID-19.

Adefila continued in a social media post: “Eko Theatre Carnival 2020 finally safely berthed. This edition of was special in so many ways, particularly the manner in which people took ownership of it. We simply danced to the people’s rhythms. When the people played, we swayed. Hopefully as gracefully as you all did. When I say the people owned ETC 2020, I mean it. You, the people, made it happen, and I have no words to adequately express my gratitude. Thank you, Thank you.”
Crown Troupe of Africa is a dance-theatre company, engaged in the integrated arts of dance, drama, music and visual arts with inclinations towards the rich African cultural heritage. Its mission is to constantly engage the viable tool of the arts for entertainment and social re-engineering through the creation of works that are barrier breaking and adventurous. The CTA works with young artists in Bariga, a popular neighbourhood in Lagos.