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FirstBank Puts Awo, OBJ On Stage

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

August 29, (THEWILL) – FirstBank of Nigeria Limited has announced its sponsorship of “A Deep Dive Into History,” a theatre production from the Duke of Shomolu (DOS) Production House, spearheaded by Joseph Edgar, which comprises two exciting stage plays titled Aremu and Awo.

FirstBank, in a statement, said the plays that started showing from 22nd August will run every Sunday till the 12th of September 2021 at the Glover Memorial Hall, Marina, Lagos.

The statement said: “Aremu is a powerful depiction of the life and times of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The play takes us through his birth, the errant stages of his adulthood, exploring his peasant background, his travails as a freedom and human rights crusader and other milestones.

“It  is a rich cultural play that preaches hope to the audience, that they can be whoever they want to be.”

The play was written by Prof. Ahmed Yerima, the former DG of the National theatre and National Troupe.

The statement  further explained that “Awo  is a play that seeks to reintroduce the dying values of loyalty, integrity, vision building amongst others to the modern-day audience who seem to have lost their way in the fast and seedy lifestyle of modern-day Nigeria.”

Deploying 26 years of local and international experience, Lagos State Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Theatre Practitioners, Makinde Adeniran, is set to direct the play.

With the sponsorship of similar socio-cultural plays in the creative arts industry such as Ayinla, Moremi, Makaliki, Duke of Shomolu Production’s play, including; Emotan and Oba Esugbayi, October 1st (a movie) and the Calabar Festival, First Bank’s sponsorship of ‘Duke of Shomolu Productions’ affirms the bank’s continued support for the development of arts in Nigeria under its First@arts initiative.

First@arts is First Bank’s platform for consolidating all its efforts in the arts, supporting the entire value chain of the creative arts, providing much-needed financing and advisory support, showcasing and facilitating the successes of the industry, and enabling customers to explore and access the wealth of opportunities the creative industry has to offer.

Achieving these and a host of many others have been implemented through strategic partnerships with organisations like the British Council, Live Theatre Lagos, Freedom Park, Terra Kulture, and the Cross Rivers State Government (Calabar Festival), among others.

Expressing her delight on the plays, Folake Ani-Mumuney, group head, marketing & corporate communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, said, “For over 127 years, First Bank has been at the forefront of nation-building; enabling Nigeria and Nigerians through resourceful partnerships to build the Nigerian creative industry value chain, especially the arts and entertainment sub-sectors. We remain proud of this sponsorship that creates an excellent platform to showcase Nigeria to the world as being part of a collective goal to continually keep dreams and hope alive; holding strong to our commitment to reignite cultural heritage.”

“Without a doubt, the theatre remains part of the creative and entertainment industry value-chain across the globe and indeed a powerful channel to drive our heritage and culture, which resonates with our legacy of being woven into the fabric of society.”

The Duke of Shomolu Productions is a positive disruptive force that has been designed to push the agenda of “telling stories through performances” aggressively.

According to research disclosed in PWC’s recent Entertainment and Media Outlook report, Nigeria’s entertainment market is expected to rise from $4.46 billion in 2018 to a $10.5 billion market by the end of 2023.