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Chico Aligwekwe replaces Femi Branch in Oba Eshugbayi


Chico Chukwuma Aligwekwe

Nigeria’s on air personality, Chico Chukwuma Aligwekwe, will play the role of Oba Eshugbayi in Duke of Shomolu theatre production, replacing one of Nollywood acts, Femi Branch. Oba Eshugbayi is a story of tribulation, emancipation and romance. It brings together the rich cultural heritage of Lagos and the colourful and insightful traditions of the Efik people, who inhabit the banks of Cross Rivers in South Eastern Nigeria.

According to the executive producer, Joseph Edgar, Aligwekwe’s choice for the role of the monarch, who ruled Lagos from 1901 to 1925, was based on his talents.

“Chico is well known as a brilliant OAP, but has recently been doing some wonderful things on TV,” Edgar said. “He played a powerful role in the highly exciting DSTV series Battleground, and to the best of my knowledge, has lined up some things on stage in the New Year.”

On what should be expected in terms of production, Edgar said, “The production quality of Oba Esugbayi is world standard. From the technical quality down to the sequencing and blockings are top notch. Coming from the massive success that was Isale Eko, you cannot expect less.

The technical director is William Benson is trained and highly gifted. He has handled three of my last productions with Isale Eko being nominated for a series of awards. He comes to this production with the same eye for detail that he has used in previous outings.

“He has a knack for discovering new talents. This time he’s introducing U.K.-based actress Ayobami and daughter of legendary actor Yemi Shodimu, who has so far shown very strong quality. Another new talent is Chantal Edgar, who has had bit roles in prior productions but is being given a meaty role this time.

“For us, our vision is to tell our story through performance. We are happy that there seems to be a reawakening in not only our history but also in our culture as a people as could be gleaned from the very many productions on the topic. The prayer is for a continued and sustainable interest so that we can better redefine ourselves as a people. Very suitable for family. We have teenage actors in it and one actress just turning 10 this year.

“It’s a total experience. Deep historical and pre-modern narrative spiced with wonderfully sequenced song and dance routines carefully designed to give the audience an experience of a lifetime.”The show is scheduled to take place at Agip Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Lagos, from December 23 through 25, 2018.

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