With Jagabanism, Ola Awakan extols Tinubu’s virtues
It was John Calvin Maxwell, the popular American author, who said: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” His description of a leader here, is a person that does what he/she says; a pragmatic person. The servant-leader type headship that talks, participates and leads his/her followers to achieve expected group goals for a community.
Ola Awakan must have seen all these virtues in Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, when he wrote the play titled: Jagabanism to celebrate him.
Performed recently at the Lagos Theatre, Igando, the play was directed by Ihuoma Harrison with the inventive Gifted Steppers, an all-children art, music and dance troupe, interpreting the various roles.
The dance-drama opens with the protagonist, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Gifted Samuel), receiving counsel from his mother, a petty trader, to take his studies serious, so that he will be great in the life. The young Tinubu obeys his mother and excels in his final primary and secondary schools exams that warrants him to go abroad for further studies.
Graduating from tertiary institutions in the United State of America, he works there for a while before returning home. Not long he came home, he establishes his own firm.
Joining politics and becoming first a senator and later governor, Tinubu uses his positions to impact lives, opens up Lagos State to further developments and also ameliorates the sufferings of the downtrodden.
Showcasing array of dance from different parts of the country, the play which also aims at relieving the nations 20-year unbroken democracy, hypes the protagonist popularity, presenting him as the ‘man of the people,’ anti-tribal, a tycoon and a political juggernaut, whose role in the nation’s political space earned him the chieftaincy title, Jagaban — leader of warriors — by Halliru Dantoro, the Emir of Borgu Emirate in Niger State.
Set in Lagos, the play, which has also been translated into Yoruba language and performed by different primary and secondary school pupils, showcases how Tinubu, through his leadership style, has touched different people including making some of his loyalists — Fashola, Ambode and Sanwo-Olu — state governors, aside from some others he made commissioners and federal ministers.
With main theme and subthemes on service, building institutions and humanity, mentorship, continuity of policy in government among others, the director projects, Jagabanism, as an institution that brings about orderliness and progress of a nation.
Using dance to tell the story of the leading character’s struggles from birth to political stardom, the play hypes his philosophy, values and contributions to the nation building as well as his acumen in business, making a role model for any body including the youth to emulate.
Systematically arranging the acts, the children put up a matchless performance to bring out the character of each person including the Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Gifted Oreoluwa) wife of the protagonist; Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Gifted Joshua) among many others close associates of the lead character.
Despite their young ages, their skills at mimicking these personalities, bringing out their comic sin their miens further add meaning the storyline and make the audience relate to the play. Their stagecraft was ingenious and captivating.
While the playwright tries to keep Tinubu in the minds of the people, especially children and young adults, who should be encouraged to learn good leadership, human interaction and stay away from unfeasible activities, he makes the sage look like a saint, as he never mentioned any negative thing about him.
This is, indeed, a fallacy of composition, as no human, even the various religious sages, could be said not to have the dark sides of their lives. Tinubu is not an angel; he must have done some unspeakable things, either as a youth or an adult. The playwright should have brought out the two sides of Tinubu to make the play not only balanced, but to project as a national legend.