By Judith Obaze.
As part of efforts to cater and create awareness about the insurgency in Nigeria, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) recently presented the premiere of ‘Bintu The Musical’ at the Muson Centre in Lagos.
Bintu The Musical, is a dramatisation of the humanitarian impact of the decade-long crisis that had plagued Nigeria’s north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
It is based on the real-life experiences of people caught in the conflict which has driven an estimated two million people from their homes, over three million people struggle to meet their needs in the north east Nigeria.
The play follows a young girl called Bintu, whose dreams of going to university are dramatically cut short when insurgents strike. Bintu and her friends find refuge in a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs), where they receive humanitarian assistance. While in the camp, Bintu slowly begins to rebuild her life.
The stage play was written and directed by Agozie Ugwu, a Nigerian playwright who teaches performing arts at the Nile University of Nigeria in Abuja. The play uses powerful song, dance and poetic performances to depict people’s struggles, their will to survive and the vital humanitarian assistance they receive.
“This work goes beyond a theatre piece. It is a call to action from humanity to help humanity,” said Ugwu, whose Mosaic Theatre Production developed the play with WFP,” Agozie noted.
According to the Country Director in Nigeria, WFP, Paul Howe, “We hope the play will spark conversations around the crisis in the north-east and lead to greater engagement of all parts of society, the private sector, government agencies and individuals boosting efforts to achieve zero hunger in Nigeria.”