Maitisong Festival 2015: Interview with Donald Molosi

“Africa does not tell her stories enough. The fact that this one man who saved the lives of millions of Africans is largely unknown is a problem. I tell this story now because it does not exist in the stories we tell of Africans solving their own problems…”

The Maitisong Festival 2015 is an arts and culture extravaganza that’s taking Gaborone by storm for the rest of this week (22nd – 26th April). Among the amazingly talented performing acts is the unstoppable Donald Molosi who leads a stellar cast in the production of his award winning play Today It’s Me on the 25th. We were lucky enough to steal Donald away from his hectic schedule for a little chit-chat. Enjoy!

Donald Molosi's TODAY IT'S ME hits Gaborone

Tell us about your participation in the Maitisong 2015 festival? How did you get involved? Was it a contest, special selection?

I am elated to be performing at the Maitisong Festival 2015 as a headline act. I submitted my work like any artist and then the Director later informed me that they would be leading the theatre aspect of the festival with my show, Today It’s Me.

How has the public’s reacted to the festival?

The public loves this festival and its staying power 30 years later stands as testament to that. Batswana love seeing many different arts in one place so Maitisong festival provides exactly that. In a way, my show Today It’s Me is a microcosm of the festival in that my show has movement, dance, theatre, acting and live music.

You’ll be performing your award winning play Today It’s Me on the 25th of April, tell us about it.

Today It’s Me is a biographical story I wrote about Philly Lutaaya, the first prominent African to declare that he was living with AIDS. The play explores his courage, musical legacy and struggle from a humanist angle that leaves the audience very inspired and encouraged.

Why this play? What informed its choice for this festival?

Africa does not tell her stories enough. The fact that this one man who saved the lives of millions of Africans is largely unknown is a problem. I tell this story now because it does not exist in the stories we tell of Africans solving their own problems without the problematic intervention of the West. I have not performed in Botswana since three years ago when I performed Sir Seretse Khama’s story so this is an opportunity for me to show what else I can do.

How challenging has it been embodying Philly Lutaaya?

This is so far the hardest role I have taken on. I had to learn Luganda, both language and culture, and also do research in languages I did not know before. I spent years looking through photographs of his, listening to and dissecting his music, speaking with his family and truly beginning to embody him before I wrote the play. It has been a wonderful 5 year journey with his story so far and I look forward to it getting out more.

Molosi Maiti (2a)

In performance actors always seek to reveal layers of truth about their characters. Is the pressure to do this amplified when the character is a historical figure?

Pressure is not what I call it. I just call it basic work. Every character must be given the privilege to exist off-stage so that whatever you perform is a slice of a full life. With real historical characters, that work is even more crucial because you are more consciously creating an oral or performative archive about a people’s story. I enjoy every bit of it and it makes me a better human being to know so intimately the legends on whose shoulders we all stand on.

Your body of work reveals an affinity for historical African figures in your dramaturgy, and we must say it is always brilliant to see someone representing an aspect of the African continent that doesn’t get enough mainstream exposure. How has this focus on historical figures affected you as an artist and an African?

Thank you for seeing value in my obsession with African history and having it color my acting work. Too many Africans self-hate without realizing and those are the ones who ignorantly ask me why I tell African stories. So, it is refreshing and encouraging to hear you call my choice “brilliant.” Through my niche I have created a unique identity for myself in Hollywood, Broadway and at home in Botswana. I am a brand that is lucidly understood because the thread of African history runs through all my work. As a human being I have evolved a lot from learning about our communal human ancestors and seeking to live my life in honor of their efforts that in the 21st century I can be on Broadway telling an African story.

How impactful are events like the Maitisong festival on Botswana’s arts and culture scene? Would you say they demonstrate the economic potential of arts and culture in Africa?

Maitisong unites artists that ordinarily don’t cross paths so the networking aspect of the festival must be stated. It is a hub of activity that university students can use for internships and the like, so the festival goes beyond just thrilling audiences. It takes its social responsibility seriously as a gateway to international arts markets. Maitisong does not demonstrate our potential. Rather, it demonstrates our excellence in its fullest glory. I am past the days of celebrating potential and I celebrate excellence because excellent is what I want to always be.

Molosi Maiti (10)

The festival is only a few days away and preparing for it must have been a challenging but exciting journey. What has left the biggest imprint on you, thus far?

I have been fortunate to be working with amazing actors. I will always be grateful to be in such good company and to perform alongside Kgomotso Tshwenyego and Donn Swaby, both of them international actors of note. I am truly grateful and inspired especially that I am doing what I think is the hardest role of my acting life!

Molosi Maiti (6a)

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Back and Better: Resurrection Laughter Season 3

resurrection flyer new publicity

The Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON) Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral in collaboration with Bluetooth Entertainment once again presents RESURRECTION LAUGHTER ON EASTER DAY, a night of comedy, music and dance. featuring the best, fresh and sizzling talents and materials Uncut – and censored, with the hilarious McBluetooth (HOST COMEDIAN )

resurrection flyer new

Tickets are selling out fast so grab yours as soon as probable.
DATE; 5th of April 2015
Red carpet; 4pm prompt
VENUE; The parish Hall Area 3 catholic church Garki Abuja Nigeria
Tickets
Regular- 1,000 naira
VIP (Table of 5)- 10,000 naira

ATTA AND OTEH TEAM UP FOR PLAY PREMIERE AT TERRA KULTURE

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This November, playwright Sefi Atta and theatre director Patrick-Jude Oteh team up for the production of “Last Stand,” featuring the acclaimed Jos Repertory Theatre.

“Last Stand” is the first in a new series of modern Nigerian family dramas written by Atta, and the play is about a battle of wills between a dying general and his estranged heirs.

When General Mashood Balogun on his deathbed decides to leave his estate to his first son Rotimi, bypassing his daughters, he creates an uproar in his family. Rotimi, a medical doctor, refuses to step into his father’s shoes, and his father stands firm in his bid to make Rotimi his successor.

As the Balogun family conflict plays out, Rotimi in the end is forced to look after his dying father. But who will win the final face-off between father and son?

“Last Stand” premieres @
Terra Kulture
Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014
3 p.m. and 6 p.m
Tickets are available at Terra Kulture and Quintessence.

Patrick-Jude Oteh is a trained theatre director and holds a Master of Theatre Arts and a Master of International Law and Diplomacy, with an emphasis on international economic law. He is the founding artistic director of the Jos Repertory Theatre as well as the festival producer of the annual Jos Festival of Theatre currently in its ninth season. He holds fellowships with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington D.C., the Brademas Center for the Study of Congress at New York University, and the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP).

Sefi Atta is the author of novels “Everything Good Will Come” (2005), “Swallow” (2010), “A Bit of Difference” (2013), and the short story collection “News From Home” (2010). Her radio plays have been broadcast by BBC Radio, and her stage plays have been produced internationally. Her recent stage credits include her one-act plays “The Naming Ceremony,” which was directed by Ifeoma Fafunwa and premiered at London’s Theatre Royal Stratford East in 2012, and “Hagel auf Zamfara,” which was directed by Nick Monu and finished its two-year run at Germany’s Theatre Krefeld in 2013

“THE WIVES” opens Today @ Muson Centre

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The Play will definitely be worth your time & money.
The play focuses on the intriguing character called Chief Theophilus Gbadegeshin Olowookere, his sister and his three wives, Angela, Cecilia and Tobi.
“In The Wives, the question of ‘Whether a man keep his most cherished secrets forever?’ is the central theme of the play. There lies a sordid little secret and no one wants to talk about it. It is a dark comedy rich in sensuality and scathing humour.”

Starring : Joke Silva, Kate Henshaw, Jide Kosoko, Iretiola Doyle, Lala Akindoju, Toyin Oshinnaike and Debola Williams.

Full Schedule below;

Date: Thursday 9th ( Today ), Friday 10th ( Tomorrow) & Saturday 11th October 2014
Venue: Agip Recital Hall Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos

Date: Friday 10th October 2014
Time: 7PM
Venue: Agip Recital Hall Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos

Date: Saturday 11th October 2014
Time: 3PM & 6PM (Command Performance)
Venue: Agip Recital Hall Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos

Ticket Prices
Regular: N5000
VIP: N7,500

Tickets available at Terra Kulture for bulk tickets and group bookings please call /text 08026881046 or send an e-mail to admin@tmihp.com

PAWSTUDIOS PRESENTS AHMED YERIMA’S “THE WIVES”

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PAWSTUDIOS, producers of the BRITISH COUNCIL Lagos Theatre Festival 2014invites you to a stage play titled The Wives written by Professor Ahmed Yerima and directed by Kenneth Uphopho.

Venue: TerraKulture, Plot 1376 Tiamiyu Savage Street, V/Island, Lagos.
Date: Saturday 6th September 2014.
Time: 1pm, 4pm & 7pm.
Tickets 3500,5000

Our star studded array of Actors include Cool FM OAP Kayla Oniwo, Songstress EVAEZI, Red Carpet Xtra Oola Heavens and Odenike from Ojos in tha House.

The story is about Chief Theophilous Gbadegeshin and his three Wives and Sister.

“I miss you broad mi, tell mama and papa that I will join them….but not so soon sha!”…….Auntimi( Gbadegeshin’s Sister)

The Play focuses on incest, murder, inheritance fraud and polygamy amd will keep you enthralled from the start to finish

“We have continually excelled at putting Nigerian Stage Productions back on the map locally and this play will not be different” says Kenneth Uphopho Director of The Wives

PAWSTUDIOS the production company responsible for the show have been in the business of staging plays for over 10 years .

Supported by Majmua Theatre

Audience Reactions to the Premiere Performance of “54 Silhouettes” in Jos

Ishaya Nathaniel said,
“Never a fan of theatre performance, but I think I am one now. So interesting. The best so far.”

Charminboi Nimyel said,
“Totally exhilarating, exciting and innovative. Love the piece and writing… better days ahead!!!”

Carmen McCain said,
“Really great dialogue, important response to the Hollywood ‘Africa image’.

Mohammed Ado Ibrahim said,
“Had a wonderful time watching you guys perform, fantastic!”

Meagan Mark said,
“Great!”

Ruth McDowell said,
“Great play.”

Joy Egiri said,
Wonderful. Nice. But you can do better.

Gabriel Ishaya said,
“Nice presentation, keep it up.”

Hope Bulus said,
“Keep it up. Had a wonderful time.”

Buwah Uram Lilian said,
“Some lyrical sh*t, if it were music, but… whew! It was awesome. I really enjoyed it. Rich talent… I wish you guys the best.”

Terna Tarkehe said,
“Men, you people are magically wonderful. Please keep it up.”

Chyke said,
“Nice enactment. Keep it rocking.”

Imoh Emeka said,
“Really happy and appreciate your effort in bringing out these from yourselves. Asking God for his protection and guidance throughout this project.”

Patience Godwin said,
“It was excellent.”

Efe Ejeba said,
“Great play…Please do it again.”

Jonathan Nimpar said,
“Great acting. I’m impressed with the acting.”

Adam Zainab Yakubu said,
“This is a remarkable display of true patriotism and artistry. I hope to catch you next on this. Came all the way from Bauchi.”

David Yohanna said,
“I’ll definitely love to be informed about subsequent productions, thank you. More support should be given to this event.”

Listen to the radio version of 54 Silhouettes here or here.

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This December in ABUJA! Double award winning play 54 Silhouettes written and directed by Africa Ukoh, LIVE ON STAGE!

Venue: French Institut, Wuse 2, Abuja (Beside Mr. Biggs)
Date: 5th & 6th December
Time: 6pm (pre-show entertainment), 7pm (main show)
Tickets: N2000

Costumes and accessories by ONTOP Apparel, a leader in top quality fashion. Photography by Victor Audu from VIA Concepts.

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Related stories:
African Renaissance Theatre & Entertainment announces Abuja performance of 54 Silhouettes.
Put your creativity to the test with A.R.T’s Creative Interpretation Challenge.
Meet the actors from 54 Silhouettes.
Meet the characters from 54 Silhouettes.
Check out the new ensemble photo for our Abuja performance of 54 Silhouettes.

BMB Wedding Fair, Lagos.

THE BEST IN LIFE IS FREE! THE BEST MOMENTS IRREPLACEABLE!

So why not capture and relive those precious moments with timeless pictures and priceless pixels!

Leading Nigerian photography outfit BMB Hive presents: the BMB RAIN PACKAGE. How does it work? It is simple: give your wedding photography coverage FOR FREE.

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Visit the Rain Package page on the BMB site and book a free wedding coverage.

Like we said, simple!

NUTAF RETURNS

The Nigerian Universities Theatre Arts Festival (NUTAF) has announced its return to the theatre academia scene with an invitation to a whooping 37 Universities nationwide.

Following a 7 year hiatus the event is being revamped with Nasarawa State University, Keffi, playing host to hundreds of students from departments of performing arts around the country.

In the past NUTAF was considered the “olympics” of performing arts activities in academia, attracting the support of established Nigerian actors, theatre practitioners, film makers, and more.

The event was last hosted by the University of Jos, Plateau state, in 2006. This year Nasarawa State University, Keffi will be hosting the event from 14th – 20th July, 2013. To all young thespians we say, get out there and have a theatrical blast! The renaissance is well alive!

NUTAF 2013: INVITED NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES

These are the 37 Universities invited to participate at NUTAF 2013:

FEDERAL UNIVERSITIES (16)
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Obafemi Awolowo University,Ile-Ife
Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka
University of Nigeria Nsukka
University of Ibadan, Ibadan
University of Benin, Benin
University of Calabar, Caliber
University of Jos, Jos
University of Abuja, Gwagwalada
University of Ilorin, Ilorin
University of Port-Harcourt, Port-Harcourt
University of Lagos, Akoka-Lagos
University of Uyo, Uyo
University of Maiduguri, MAiduguri
Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Oye-Ekiti
Federal University,Otuoke, Otuoke

STATE UNIVERSITIES (15)
Nasarawa State University, Keffi
Benue State University, Makurdi
Plateau State University, Bokkos
Niger Delta University
Imo State University, Owerri
Olabisi Onabanjo University, Aguoye
Lagos State University,
Delta State University
Ambrose Ali University
Kogi State University
Osun State University
Akwa-Ibom State University
Ekiti State University
Kwara State University
Kaduna State University

PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES (6)
Redeemer’s University, Mowe
Igbinedion University, Okada Benin city
Bowen University, Iwo, Osun state
Afe Babalola University, Edo-Ekiti
Obong University
Western Delta University, Oghara

Pictures from the Resurrection Laughter Easter Show in Abuja

Easter was a blast with the Resurrection Laughter show! Top comedic talent in Abuja gave the audience at the sold out event enough laughs to last them till next Easter. Check out some pictures from the event.

comedy show

The host Mc Bluetooth at the red carpet which was covered by Urban Reality TV. (Photo credit: Villagesquare)

Audience at show

Guests at the show were given a little red carpet celebrity treatment. (Photo credit: Villagesquare)

host and comedian

Mc Bluetooth and an artist being interviewed. (Photo credit: Villagesquare)

comedian performing

The man himself, Mc Bluetooth, opened the show with some rib cracking, laugh-till-you-throw-your-legs-in-the-air jokes. (Photo credit: Villagesquare)

comedians talent in Abuja

Comedians D2 (left) and Warri Connection (right). (Photo credit: Villagesquare)

performing

Comedians Jubilee (left) and Orolee (right). (Photo credit: Villagesquare)

hip hop breakdancing

The very talented dance group Magic Steppers thrilled the audience with some exciting moves. (Photo credit: Villagesquare)

celebrity attendance

Amongst the audience were renowned artists in Nigerian stand-up comedy. Seen here in the face cap is 6 Foot Plus. (Photo credit: Villagesquare)

Comedienne and musician

The audience kept getting entertained with more and more talented acts. (Photo credit: Villagesquare)

Abuja artists

Gully Ryder (left) and God Mouth (right). (Photo credit: Villagesquare)