National Troupe sensitizes IDP children on folklore
National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN), in a bid to showcase Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and diversity, carried out a sensitization exercise for children at the Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camps in Abuja, on folklore. The aim was to keep them rooted in their culture.
NTN also organized a folklore performance competition among schools in IDP camps in Abuja, including Bethharbel Elementary School for IDP; Durumi; Interfaith School, Malaysia Garden ID, Apo; Sharing Prosperity School, IDP camp, Kuchingoro, and students of Junior Secondary School, Karmajiji, to bring some hopes to the children in the camp who are victims of circumstances, and to create some exposure to the children.
Speaking at the event tagged, ‘10th Children Workshop’ organized to commemorate the 2023 International Theater Day ( ITD), the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, blamed parents for the worrisome state of the nation.
Mohammed, who was represented by the Managing Director of National Theater, Prof Sunday Enessi Ododo, lamented that most children have been exposed to violence at a very tender age and have grown to see it as the best way of living.
He said: “Most misbehaviours in Nigeria are due to lack of family attention to children’s upbringing. In our society today, most parents have assigned their duties to nannies as they go to work. The children have to feed from the behaviours and characters of nannies.
“We have seen videos where our children are maltreated by these nannies. At very tender ages, they are introduced to violence and are made to believe that it is the way of life. This a general call for parents to revoke their schedules in such a way that they can have enough time for their children because teachers can’t give everything.”
In his remarks, the Director/Chief Executive Officer, of the National Troupe of Nigeria, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed, explained that the sensation would help the children to learn new things that will inspire them.
He said: “The desire to resuscitate the dying culture of folklore which many of us enjoyed while growing up cannot be over-emphasized. Back then, through this artistic and entertaining medium, we were taught many soft skills and oriented to hate evil and to love good.
“Through story-telling, our parents and elders delivered very salient and meaningful messages which helped to shape us in some ways. The stories rallied around different themes, such as love, friendliness, community life, peace, and marriage, and were characterized by the usage of animals or inanimate objects.”
Adding: “To drive home these stories, children are sometimes made to sing along either in repetition or in response, thereby creating interaction and involving the audience. Today, folklore is taking involving the audience.”
The competition saw the children perform dance, drama and song presentations in addition to presenting a few speeches on the importance of peace.
Their performance was judged by a three-man jury, comprising the Deputy President of the National Association of Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), Esther Omale Onwuka, Director, Media and Publicity, (NANTAP) National, Jerry Adesewo, and NANTAP Abuja Chapter Chairman, Kayode Aiyegbusi, based on six criteria – originality (25), presentation (25), costume (10), audience appreciation (10), timing (10) and thematic relevance (20).
The first-place winner, Junior Secondary School, Karmajiji, received a cash prize of N100,000, and second the place winner, Interfaith Schools were awarded N75,000. An N50,000 cash prize went to the third place holder, Sharing Prosperity Schools, while the fourth place winner, Bethharbel School won N20,000 cash.
Similarly, the two best dance acts from the event received additional individual N5000 cash prizes from the General Manager and CEO of National Theatre, Nigeria, Mr. Sunday Ododo as he pledged to support their talent in the creative industry.