George Okoh in Makurdi
The paramount traditional ruler of Idoma people world-wide, Agaba-Idu, King John Elaigwu Odogbo, Och’Idoma V, has disclosed plans to institute an Idoma theatre series aimed at preserving the Idoma cultural heritage.
Odogbo made the disclosure in an excerpt from his speech delivered at the weekend during the 2022 Convention of Idoma Association in the United States.
The royal father said with his recent ascension to the throne of Idoma kingdom, it was time to begin telling “our own story.
“The Idoma theatre series shall be dedicated to Idoma myths and legends, and serve as a form of cultural conservation, preservation, transformation, spiritual upliftment, and entertainment to Idomas and visitors alike.
“There can never be a heritage without a deliberate effort to preserve, transfer and keep it. The Idoma theatre series would recruit storytellers, songwriters, scriptwriters, poets, dramatists, stage directors, costume managers, among others. The project welcomes local and international partnership, endorsement, coverage and patronage.”
He, therefore, called on all interested persons to become worthy partners of the noble cause, stressing that the short stories, dramas and poems will become bestsellers in the nearest future.
The monarch said the stage for all of the events would be the prestigious Och’Idoma Square at the palace of the Och’Idoma in Otukpo town of Benue State.
Odogbo added that the project has the potential to promote the Idoma nation and culture globally, and would attract foreign investors in tourism to the region.
“The Idoma theatre series in recognition of the exigencies of the times we live in shall employ the use of ICT, feature the new media, get poems done and sent in as blogs and podcasts, and create YouTube channels as well as build a boot camp and the Idoma Theatre Academy.
“We shall also partner universities and colleges and other reputable organisations across the globe known for cultural advancement,” the Och’idoma posited.