ANTP gets royal blessing, to perform at Olojo festival
By Olaoye Ademola
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi has set the stage for his first celebration of the annual Ile-Ife traditional Olojo Festival aimed at boosting the nation’s tourism generated income.
Oba Ogunwusi, expected to preside over the 3-day Olojo Festival 2016 tagged, ‘Community Festivals: A veritable avenue for boosting domestic tourism’ in conjunction with the Osun State Government, wants a command drama performance by foremost Yoruba dramatic artistes under the aegis of Association of Nigeria Theatre-Arts Practitioners (ANTP) at the festival.
He said theatre artistes are moral teachers, saddled with the responsibility of moulding characters, shaping lives and bringing lasting peace to the society through their lesson-filled drama stories. Ooni expects a large turn out of the international communities at the festival.
The ancient belief of the Ifa oral tradition is that the Aare crown is very heavy and it is believed that the Ooni of Ife is spiritually empowered to wear it during the Olojo Festival, as the crown is too heavy for him to bear on any other day.
Addressing the artistes in his palace where they have gone to introduce the Association’s newly elected officers as directed by him, the Ooni said the artistes should always be focused on unity and selflessness towards harnessing their rich potentials without leaving room for pirates to take undue advantage of their collective and individual works.
Ooni warned the artistes against betrayal of each other’s trust, saying the root of some individuals problem is their inability to be trustworthy.
Appreciating the Ooni, National President of the Association, Chief Jimoh Aliu (MFR), said the ANTP will always partner with local and foreign counterparts to contribute its quota to the upliftment of Nigeria’s tourism industry. He added that ANTP is ready for cultural exchange programmes with other countries to create awareness on “our rich culture and tradition via stage performance and film exhibitions. Aliu also assured the Ooni that ANTP will never deviate from its role nation building through teaching of good moral values in members’ artistic pursuits.”
Besides the National President, the new officers as introduced to the Ooni are: Deputy President, Rasak Oyadiran, Vice President (North) Mariam Aponbepore Bakare, Vice President (South) Biodun Adekanbi, General Secretary, Alhaji Yahaya Adetunji, Treasurer, Bola Obot, Financial Secretary, Adewale Elesho, Internal Auditor, Bolanle Adeniran, Organising Secretary, Olanrewaju Ayodele, Publicity Secretary, Benjamin Adekunle, Welfare Officer, Fatimah Afunku, Chief Whip, Tajudeen Gbadamosi, Ex-Officio, Salaudeen Azeez.
And the National appointments: Chief Special Adviser, Alhaji Kareem Adepoju (Baba Wande), Special Adviser (Special Duties), Chief Oyewole Olowomojuore (Baba Gebu), Special Adviser (Screen Craft), Chief Eddie Ugboma, Special Adviser, (Stage Craft), Prof. Kola Oyewo, Special Adviser (Inter Association Matters), Prince Saheed Balogun, Special Adviser (Media), Chief (Mrs) Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu, Patron & Chief Legal Adviser, Chief Afe Babalola, Special Adviser, (Legal Matters),Barr. Femi Falana,ANTP Lawyers, Barrs. Olawale Omoloye, Abdul-Hameed Gambari,Ag. Chairman, Elders Council, Chief Oluseyi Adelesi, National Director, ANTP Troupe, Prince Jare Adeniregun and National Choreographer, Akeem Ogunde.
States leadership were also in attendance. ANTP Governors that graced the occasion include; Musiliu Akinyemi Dasofunjo, Oyo State, Bashir Adekile, Ondo, Alhaji Afolabi Ismail, Ekiti, Tunde David Oladeinde, Ogun, and Nike Peller, Lagos Deputy Governor.