| Two months after its brilliant premier before an enthusiastic audience at The Real Place, Anifowose, Ikeja, Lagos, ‘Story Theatre with Grandma Wura’, a total theatre piece specially created for children and indeed, families, returns on stage in Lagos. Unlike the earlier show, this Children’s Day performance is a full musical train, with the orchestra. It will hold at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos on Friiday May 27. The musical which is directed by director Israel Eboh, choreographed by Uche Onah and songs composed by multi-instrumentalist Patrick Edwards, is a #Back2myRoots project initiative by Proud African Root.|
Creative Director and co-owner of Proud African Roots, Patrick Edwards, said #Back2MyRoots is an initiative specially created to raise a new generation of future leaders equipped with the right values for leadership. “This initiative seeks to educate children and teenagers on impactful topics such as service, integrity, hard work, team-work, love, etc. for the overall development of Nigeria while sustaining and reinforcing her value system as well as her rich cultural heritage which seems to have become extinct, resulting into the high moral decadence we are witnessing in the society today. “It is host-driven by Grandma Wura, a riveting grandmother character who engages children through storytelling, proverbs, songs and conversations on topical issues,” he said.
Eboh further said the idea is to awaken a movement of reviving our culture and value system. “Nigeria is being portrayed outside as a country without integrity, but we know that it is not true. The fact that we have challenges does not mean that the country does not have people with integrity. “So, what we started doing is going to the kids – cradle – and see how we can begin to make them imbibe leadership values, using the arts as a medium to pass this message. “On this premise we have started a movement called ‘Back2MyRoots’, taking us back to our roots where values are the utmost above materialism. Our target audience is the children; let us get to these children; let us begin to inculcate in them with good leadership skills and values.
“The peculiarity of Proud African Roots, what we do is that it is a form of art but it is skilfully done in a way we want leadership in passing these values.” “We are a children’s-content-provider of afro-centric ideas with world class and professionalism. Our concepts are specifically designed for today’s child and teenager. We are a pacesetter and flag bearer for African arts education for children in Nigeria and the Diaspora. We are here to create a national frame work for the purpose of the ‘New Nigeria’ dream. We take each child on a journey of self-discovery, development and expression of their individual talents and skills.
“Back2MyRoots campaign initiative uses storytelling and the arts entertainment as alternative tools for education. The initiative is designed to prepare and position society for the birth of a ‘New Nigeria’. It strategically conveys and imparts positive values through several promotional categories while involving society in a mentoring process for nation building. It captures children’s attention and interest by innovatively spreading its tentacles across various platforms such as television, radio, theatre and school tour events.”
Explaining further, co-founder of Proud African Root, Bola Edwards said Grandma Wura is a character that Proud African Root created to push the Back2MyRoot project.
“Grandma Wura has been going from school to school; there has been a school tour which is called ‘The Assembly Time With Grandma Wura’. She goes to assemblies, and she tells the children a story titled ‘I wish I wish’, which is about a little girl who wished that she was an ant. Her dream came through but then she realized that there was a lot to ant than what she thought. And she was able to learn some values about ants, with regards to leadership.
“We believe that children can learn a lot about leadership from the ant; that is why we have the story theatre, which is something we intend to become – a culture for families, where parents can come with their children and watch a show, not just watch a show, but also let it be an experience for them; the children get to learn more things about the stories they see on stage,” she said.