Kakadu, a unity statement on stage

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Uche Nwokedi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and his Playhouse Initiative troupe make case for Nigeria to live as one again.

Uche Nwokedi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and one of the leading oil and gas lawyers in the country is not given to much talk. Nwokedi is not just fulfilled that he is a SAN at a very prime age, but one with a difference.
While other senior advocates argue their cases in the court, for Nwokedi, the stage is the bubbling and vibrant court where he has shown that lawyers can go beyond jurisprudence to engage in producing good stage plays. His clients, however, are the growing lovers of stage art as well as others who are concerned about the project called Nigeria and how it can be made  better for all, despite ethnic differences.
This came to light on Saturday, last week, at the  prestigious Agip Recital Hall, Onikan, Lagos, when the Anambra State indigene and his Playhouse Initiative staged the award-winning musical play, Kakadu. The musical play produced by Nwokedi, which ran for three days was remarkable. The audience watched  with unwavered interest as the  large cast which include Kanayo Omo, Benettti Ogbeiwi among others appealed to their conscience on why Nigerians should live as one people.
Kakadu, the musical, is the journey of four friends through a time of infinite possibilities. It is a story of peace and war, of friendships and broken promises and of innocence. It is a powerful plot and a captivating storyline that  looks at the Lagos of the 1960s, as a nation celebrates the end of colonialism and the birth of a new nation. Lagos, as a city, was as colourful then and as hedonistic as any cosmopolitan city in the world.
The performance, which was the first ever contemporary stage musical, is an exciting and eclectic blend of music, drama and dance. It is a  tribute to the period and infinite possibilities of Nigeria in the 60s and early 70s. It uses the famous Lagos nightclub of the 60s as a backdrop for an era, which gave birth to wonderful music  and the distinctive social life that followed the birthing of a Nigeria.
In the stage play, Lagos of the 1960s was re-enacted as a period when many were together, suddenly, that love and peace were shattered with the first military coup, then, the crisis began. The casualties of the war in Igboland, but importantly, the cordial relations that had existed between the Igbo and Yoruba was shattered. The musical play comes at a time when Nigeria and Nigerians are gradually forgetting the ugly cause of the nation civil war. It re-echoes the need to avoid ethnic sentiments and why every Nigerian should join together to build a united country. “The Kakadu storyline catches the watershed years in Nigeria’s history”, said Nwokedi.
The play calls on all to renew hope in Nigeria’s future. A well researched story, the choreographic display of the actors revealed how talented the producer Nwokedi is.
Audience at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos was glued to keep the stage alive as the performance lasted.
Kakadu, the Musical, won awards and the commendations of many organisations including an award from the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) as the “Most Outstanding Total Stage Performance for 2013”. Kakadu, the Musical, was Nigeria’s official cultural export and cultural performance at the World Economic forum in Davos,  Switzerland in 2014.
Sponsored by MTN Foundation and Access Bank Plc, the audience included Professor Wole Soyinka among other stage art enthusiasts.
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