Friday, October 31, 2008


Venue: Hall 1, National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos

Date: 3rd November - 9th November 2008

Time: 5pm

Further information:

Adedayo M. Liadi
Director/Producer TRUFESTA
Office/Studio Address: Rm 2, Block 4, N.C.A.C,Artistes Village,
National Theater Annex,Iganmu, Lagos, Nigeria. P.O.BOX 903 Surulere,Lagos,Nigeria.
Tel:+234-1- 8928692
Mobile: +234 80-33015983 , +234 80-58583078

Monday, October 27, 2008

Theatre@Terra presents live on stage,

Wole Soyinka’s masterpiece-

The Lion and The Jewel

Every Sunday in November

Written by Wole Soyinka

Directed by Wole Oguntokun

Assistant Director: ‘Sunkanmi Adebayo

Venue- Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage St, Victoria Island
Time- 3pm and 6pm
Tickets – N2000

Produced By Wole Oguntokun

A Terra Kulture and Jason Media Production

Supported by GT Bank

For Tickets and Enquiries, please call 0702 836 7228, 0808 123 9477 or e-mail

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I took my bike down to the Moshalashi area to see Rotimi Fakunle, Theatre@Terra's Production Manager. A complete stranger walked up to me and asked if her daughter could sit on the bike. After a while, the little girl tried to jump off the bike forgetting her plate of dodo on my rear seat.

In photo, Rotimi, far right takes a picture with his phone. For those who wonder how my bike changed colour so fast, I did a trade in. Its a Suzuki 750 cc now. Give me a wave when I go past.

I rode down to the monthly 'Poetry Potter' this saturday. The dance/drama/performance poetry fiesta takes place at the National Library,Herbert Macaulay Way, Yaba. It's produced by Remi Adegbite's Kowry Kreations.
Special guest was Dayo Liadi (Ijo Dee), one of Nigeria's foremost dancers and whose face is easily recognizable through Infinity's Olori Oko video.
The unassuming Dayo has been to more than 55 countries on dance missions. After speaking with (and questions from) the audience, he did a dance routine (top pic)for those present to Lara George's 'Ijoba Orun'.
In bottom picture, Dayo is flanked by the lawyer and literary activist, Deji Toye and laspapi.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Girl Whisperer

as published by

the Sunday Guardian of Oct 19


You don’t have to be an Einstein to know that the Whisperer is fascinated by the female form. (Interpret that anyhow you like) He loves the beauty of womanhood and the grace by which many of that ‘tribe’ are naturally endowed. About two years ago, the Whisperer stood waiting for a food order with a friend somewhere in Surulere, and somewhere in the conversation, the phrase, ‘Anatomy of a Woman’ was birthed.

So the Whisperer wrote a stage play about it and had it performed several times at the Muson Centre and Terra Kulture. It focused on gender relations, the complications and undertones that continuously affect the manner in which men and women regard, and relate with each other. One of those performances (March 2007) featured one example of some of the best forms of female beauty to emerge from this side of the planet, Stella Damasus.

What reminded the Whisperer of the ‘Anatomy of a Woman’? As he stood by the ticket stand at Terra Kulture waiting to produce another play last Sunday, a vision of loveliness appeared. It was Peju Alatishe, the architect and writer of the work of literary fiction known as ‘Orita-Meta’ (Cross Roads). The Whisperer has known her for more than two years now and Peju continues to fascinate him the way the writer, Chimamanda Adiechie, fascinates his big brother, the geologist and man-about-town, Toyin Akinosho.

Peju is beautiful in every sense of the word, honestly. For those whose hearts are not large enough to accept when another woman is being...ahem... praised, there are no apologies. It’s like saying Raji Fashola, the Governor of Lagos is a good governor. It’s a given. The world realizes that, even with the discomfort the citizens’ face with his machines chewing up the streets of Lagos. But I digress.

Back to the purpose of this piece. Many of us have people we are smitten by. They are people we find attractive, and are easy to converse with, They have keen minds and seem to fit our bill on all fronts. Yet even with this, women and men practically live on different planets. And it is a patient man who makes up his mind that he will attempt to unravel all that is mysterious about females. Or a very foolish one.

The things that are considered important by women are often disregarded by men. Men tend to judge their contribution into a relationship by the things they physically do. ‘I bought a return ticket when you went for your summer holidays last December’. In the mind of a man, it’s a grand gesture, the same as having bought a car for her or something of earth-shaking importance as registered on the Richter scale that rules in the world of men , and should be enough to hold her for a year at least. The man expects gratitude all the way, no complaints, no grumblings and cannot figure why a woman would act in the next breath as if it was nothing. If another man is the recipient of such a ‘magnificent’ gift, the receiver is grateful for all of eternity (well, most would be). He would find it hard to expect another gift until time had lapsed on that one. Not so for women. In the mind of a woman, giving her the Eiffel tower weighs the same as remembering her birthday. To her, there isn’t much difference, really. A gift is a gift, an act is an act. Men are the ones who carry measuring scales and shake their own heads in self-appreciation when they remember how generous they have been.

The Whisperer was once like this, unable to figure women out, until the calling came. He had read in a book that the ways in which women and men perceive the world are different, but had ignored it. He learnt the hard way.

Now it doesn’t really matter what colour or creed the woman in question is. Women are basically the same all over the world, (after you factor in the cultural differences). They speak Armaic, and the men, Greek. There are no similarities, no reference points. Both languages have been around for a long time, but are spoken by entirely different groups.

It is a rare man that can make an extended conversation on the phone with a woman if it is not a life or death issue. After the initial period of wooing when you spend hours on the phone and they seem to be only minutes, there comes the point where your phone habits diverge. A woman can move from topic to topic, glossing over or harrying the subject-matter depending on how the mood takes her. She will expect her partner to concentrate and give intelligible replies. The man on the other hand, is ‘gone’ after a conversation that takes more than one and half minutes. He might appear to be grunting replies but is really on auto-pilot, reading newspapers, packing his stuff for work the next day, gesturing at his friends standing by and waiting to go out with him. Different worlds.

The man comes home after work and is silent but the woman comes in and wants to have a ‘discussion’. One of these two species really is from another planet. Yet, living in harmony means you must find one, (I speak to those who are monogamically inclined), learn her quirks, her likes and dislikes, pray hard, close your eyes, and jump. Attempting to figure out what makes a woman tick is to attempt to count the stars in the skies. You get frustrated and the stars continue to look down coolly at you.

So, I’ll continue to appreciate lovely people like Peju Alatishe, while understanding that she and her specie speak a code that is state-of-the-art while most men still use sign language. And I’ll think to myself, ‘what a wonderful world’.

Many of my friends have expressed their concern on the web as to my safety on the bike. Here's a picture from last Sunday at Terra Kulture (I rode to the island) to show that I could double as 'Robocop'.

I'm as prepared as can be. Now we pray...

Monday, October 13, 2008


1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
2) When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your hair.
3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
6) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
8) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
9) Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
10) The best place to be when you're sad is Grandpa's lap.


1) Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don't hurt.
3) Families are like fudge...mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.


1) Growing up is mandatory; growing old is optional.
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
4) You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


My mother told me how at Nigeria's independence (whatever that term means), she had willingly traded her British passport in (all citizens of the colonies had a right to the British Passport at the time) for a Nigerian one.

Many Nigerians who had studied in Great Britain returned home to help move the young nation forward. They settled everywhere, with Lagos receiving its fair share. There was no real demarcation between areas then- Iwaya, Onike, Surulere, Mushin, Ikeja...Opebi was bush-land, no one wanted it.

And the high-brow places were where the colonial 'masters' had lived- Ikoyi and Victoria Island.

They obtained mortgages, car loans, had steady jobs, paid back the loans. A Head-Of-State (Gowon) told the world that Nigeria's problem was how to spend money. There was too much of it.

Then the melt-down. Mismanagement, avarice, nepotism...all came disguised as Nigerian leaders and they tore through the treasury like rabid dogs in a cage of canaries.

When the final feathers floated to the ground, there was nothing left and a generation that had known the security of colonial influences had nothing. The security they had thought would last forever was gone and the economy was a shambles. A sitting 'President' (Babangida) told reporters he had no idea what was holding his country's economy up.

Those who had trusted the country to look out for them found they had nothing left. There was no where to go, no one to turn to. And old men who should have retired into quiet country homes to live out the rest of their lives in peace, returned to work. Some to offices, some to construction sites, carrying rubble in the tropical sun with their failing strength side by side with boys they could have been grandfathers to.

They roam our streets now, these tired old men, weary to their very souls, feet dragging as they walk in search of employment, but who will feed them if they stay indoors?

There is a generation though that has refused to be quiet. Some of those who studied abroad decades ago, gave birth to their children in those countries and now the children return in droves, seeking solace in distant, less-confused lands. Those not so 'lucky' to be born in those places, look for loop-holes, stow away in ships, walk across deserts. Some reach their promised lands. many fall by the wayside.

Some stay in Nigeria and make headway. It is my prayer that our country becomes a much better place, a place where many can thrive. It is my prayer that those who betrayed a people will someday pay heavily for their crimes.

The next time you walk past that tired old man on the street, spare a thought for him. He was once like you...before the betrayal.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Girl Whisperer

published by the Sunday Guardian

of October 5, 2008

Duress and Undue Influence

I thought I’d go the way of the lawyers today, seeing that the Whisperer has actual degrees suitable for that calling. Whether he uses them or not is a different matter, entirely. For today’s purposes, we shall define acting in duress as taking a position or doing an act you would not normally, because you are under pressure from an external source. Undue influence is an integral part of acting under duress because the person putting you under pressure is often in a position of influence over you and has the resources to put you at a serious disadvantage.

Let’s run through some of these things so we can be clear. The bank managing director who states you must bring in a quota in deposits, and he doesn’t really care how. You, the married or engaged female (by the way, it’s as criminal even if you’re single and free as a bird) are told there’s no way you can continue to be retained by the bank if you fall short of expectations. Deposits by hook or by crook and every which way but loose. He (or she) doesn’t really tell you what to do to bring these deposits in from lecherous money-bags, but you get the feeling that you must use what you have to get what you need. Sometimes in these matters, talking is kept to a bare minimum yet all positions are made utterly clear. If you do not go through with this, there are repercussions you will face. Duress and undue influence.

There’s the lecturer/teacher onto student type where the student has a borderline pass or fail score. The lecturer can defend his decision to fail the student and the student knows what must be done to prevent this. Kind of ugly, but these things happen. Like my friend, Funmilola Iyanda likes to say, all you have to do is work really hard, and then you can challenge any unjust score. Unfortunately, it’s much easier to pass borderline, what with MTV and the numerous distractions that hold the attention of the hare-brained.

There’s the one that’s sanctioned by some families. Dad (or Mum) says I can’t afford to pay your school fees, buy this or that for you. ‘Uncle’ so-and-so, who is a good friend of the family, has made it clear he thinks you’re adorable and has hinted he would like a hand in your education. Dad (or Mum) and sometimes both together send you off to go greet Uncle on a quiet Sunday. Uncle’s wife is long gone, children are abroad. You’re alone with this man and somewhere deep down in your heart of hearts, you know your parents have placed their seal of approval on this liaison. Impossible? You may doubt the evidence of your eyes when a magician shows you his arsenal of tricks, you may doubt the strength of a skyscraper to withstand the gusts of heavy winds, but do not doubt the Whisperer on this matter. There are parents who do this.

Duress and undue influence. All around the world, these are major factors in decisions taken daily. The refugee who knows she must share body heat with the official of the camp she is compelled to live in if she wishes to eat well; the policewoman who knows she’ll never get beyond the rank of corporal, if she doesn’t yield to the very subtle advances she perceives from her superior. ...numerous examples

The females who have to face these twin-tidal waves should be differentiated from those who willingly yield themselves to anything for the sake of advancement. In the latter case, there is no duress, no undue influence. There are those who deliberately go on the hunt for their tutors, confident in the belief that their academic futures are secure if they can catch him alone in a private room. There are many who advance far above their colleagues at work and in business because they are ready to go to any length to attain the corner office. For those who have this tenacity of purpose, this single-minded obsession to achieve their goals no matter the cost, the Whisperer has no word for them, not praise or an iota of condemnation. These things have existed before time and will continue to, long after we’re gone from the face of the earth. Some go to war to extend their lands and the borders of their countries, other fight smaller wars to advance themselves. It’s the way of the world.

My concern is with those who are forced to give up the things they hold dear, their most sacred values because they are under duress from people in positions of authority in their lives. When the person who has put a roof over your head asks you for some things, it takes a very brave heart to say the word, no.

Still, you must sit and ask yourself, what things are most important to you. You must ask whether you will be able to look at yourself in the mirror the day after, or you will spend the rest of your life cringing in misery each time you remember the event. There are those whose consciences are dead, who hold nothing dear and can do any act to get to any position. That kind of state of mind cannot be cured by one article written by the Whisperer and what they really need is therapy. Therapy and a re-orientation to lead them back to the things that are right and proper. Many of us instinctively realise that the confidence with which we speak about things attained through merit is different from the things we took corners to get to. If your first thought at this is that the end justifies the means, your value system needs an overhauling.

For those who face this kind of dilemma, you must balance what is being asked of you against your sense of self-worth. If the sense of self-worth weighs more, it is better to be true to yourself. No matter how hard it might seem when ‘tribulation’ hits you for holding on to what is dear to you (and repercussions will come, don’t be fooled), you must stand by what you believe.

Keep this in your mind always, however: A person who doesn’t stand for something will fall for anything and good guys don’t always finish last.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


“Writing Our Rights Creatively: Workshop on Engaging Literature in Education.”

An Internship Project for Young Nigerian Writers

Date: November 22, 2008.

Invitation is hereby extended to young Nigerian writers (ages average 18 – 30 years) to participate in an internship writing workshop organised by PEN NIGERIAN CENTRE.

The interactive internship workshop, which will be under the direction of two established Nigerian authors, is slated to take place at the University of Ibadan , on November 22, 2008.

Post-Workshop Activity

Each intern shall execute a post-workshop activity in expanding on the objective of the project, that is to teach and disseminate the function(s) of writing to a selected audience, emphasising on the role of literary creativity in the education of the civil society.


Prospective participants are required to send in a proposal for the follow up activity they wish to carry out as part of their application to attend the workshop. The proposal should include details of where the workshop will be held, who the audience will be and when it will take place. All workshops are to take place before or by the end of January 2009.

To apply for participation, please send a statement of interest including date of birth, contact details, favourite genre of writing, and a post-workshop activity proposal to:, and

The deadline for submission of application is October 21, 2008; invitation by email or telephony will be sent for confirmation of participation in the workshop.


Femi Osofisan
President, PEN Nigerian Centre