Project Objective

  1. Chams realizes the gradual loss of the Nigerian culture and heritage through deep westernization of our daily lives. As such, we now have generations of Nigerians that are fast losing touch with their origin, since culture has been found to be at the heart of origin. As part of our corporate social responsibility, Chams Nigeria Plc intends to reinvigorate and reawake the consciousness by promoting the Nigerian culture through the Creative Arts.
  2. Return to the society all revenues generated from gate takings, revenues from sales of multimedia disks, etc through our Corporate Volunteerism Programme (CVP).

2nd Edition

CHAMS THEATRE SERIES 2: IREKE ONIBUDO (FABULOUS ADVENTURES OF A SUGARCANEMAN)

The play, Ireke Onibudo was based on Fagunwa’s 1942 book of same title,is about the adventures of an eponymous hero, Ireke Onibudo, who had lived a most turbulent and interesting life, and is narrating it to a long-lost friend, Akintunde Beyioku, whom he implores to write it all down for posterity.

Ireke was born into a wealthy family, but his philandering father soon runs into debt over an unfortunate business affair, and quite early in his life, the little boy finds himself orphaned, poor and homeless. Forced to take to the road therefore, he begins a life of wandering, begging for food along the way, until one day he meets a farmer who receives him kindly and gives him his first employment.

Unfortunately, however, this happy situation with the farmer does not last long. When the man takes a new wife, Ireke is chased away in disgrace through the woman’s act of conspiracy, when he spurns her advances.
As the story progresses, this abrupt shift from fortune to misfortune, and success to disaster is going to be the regular pattern of Ireke’s life.

Ireke’s adventures as he struggles to keep afloat take him everywhere in this world and even beyond – from the forest to the mountain, to seabed and even to the land of the dead. This brings him in contact with all sorts of characters, sometimes human and friendly, and sometimes weird and deadly – until finally, his act of valour brings him to a woman he loves, and who loves him in return. Through her, he wins a kingdom, but above all, finds happiness and fulfillment and overcame all his troubles.

The play placed emphasis on the capabilities of man in the struggle for survival. Both adaptations gave prominence to the interplay of humour, as well the presence of all dramatic ingredients which Fagunwa injected into the writing of the play, like fables, folktales, poetry, perseverance, love etc.

HIGHLIGHTS

The play opened to a packed house of Eminent Nigerians including former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Joseph Sanusi and his wife, Doyin Ogunbiyi of Tanus Communication, poet Odia Ofeimun, chair of the Fagunwa Foundation, Diwura Fagunwa, artistic director of the National Troupe, Ahmed Yerima, chairman, board of directors, Chams plc, Reverend Bayo Akinde, Lagos State commissioner for tourism, Tokunbo Afikuyomi and other lovers of stage drama were among those who saw the play. Children drawn from schools across Lagos also saw the English adaptation specially scheduled for them.

Similarly, some popular Nollywood actors in the Yoruba genre who feature in ‘Agbara Ife’ gave a good account of themselves. Peter Fatomilola, Toyosi Arigbabuwo, Samson Eluwole (Jinadu Ewele) and Kayode Olaiya (Aderupoko) who started their careers on the stage showed that their skills have not deserted them. Others including Gbolagade Akinpelu (Ogun Majek), John Adewole (Tafa Oloyede) and Jolaade Adejobi (Mama Wande) also distinguished themselves.

In a short speech at the end of ‘Agbara Ife’ on Sunday, Demola Aladekomo, Managing Director of Chams Plc, thanked the audience and stressed the importance of love and highlighted that it was also a means of promoting our culture and re-orientating Nigerians to the values that we hold dear.”

1st Edition

CHAMS THEATRE SERIES 1: OGBOJU ODE (FOREST OF A THOUSAND DAEMONS)

Ogboju Ode (Forest of a Thousand Daemons) captures the trials and triumphs of Akaraogun (Toyin Osinaike) and his hunting colleagues who go in search of a metaphoric Langbodo, for the sake of their fatherland for which they are out to attract resources that will invoke progress peace and development for their country.The King of the land commissioned the trip after learning of the exploits of Akaraogun, a brave hunter who visited the mythological land of Langbodo and returned to give account. His hair-raising accounts aroused the curiosity of his compatriots, but made his King remember a word from their forebears that Langodo held the magic wand for development of their land.

Since no good thing comes easy – and that is one basic lesson that is being taught,  they encounter stiff adversity on their way. They have to wrestle with many daemons in the forest. But they too are very much prepared. Apart from physical strength, each of the adventurers has a special natural trait that proves very useful each time the chips are down. For instance, while Kako‘s invincible club can knock even an elephant, Olohun Iyo‘s sweet-singing voice can lure the most dreadful cobra to sleep. Imodoye, a name derived from knowledge and wisdom, is in the team to think and reason intelligently each time his people are in trouble.

The character of Akaraogun is developed in such a way that he is a symbol of quality leadership – demonstrating determination, perseverance, and sowing no seed of hatred among the hunters he leads.
The play is a story of bravery, discipline, ambition, industry, endurance, focus, perseverance, leadership, compassion and courage. It also speaks of integrity and fidelity. According to the Managing Director, Demola Aladekomo, the play “speaks to the values and traditions.

HIGHLIGHTS

Audiences trooped out in large numbers for the English and Yoruba theatrical performances of Ogboju Ode (The Forest of a Thousand Daemons) in Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja and Ife. The enthusiasm, interest and subsequent appreciation of the performances underscored the fact of the Chams Theatre Series helping to fill a gap in the cultural life of Nigeria.

According to Mr. Demola Aladekomo, Group Managing Director, “The Chams Theatre Series is a strategic intervention and contribution of Chams Plc to the rejuvenation of the Arts and stage culture in Nigeria. It is also a means of promoting our culture and re-orienting Nigerians to the values that we hold dear. We believe those values should prompt action in our society.” The Ogboju Ode performances are “the beginning of what we envisage as a long journey of discovery and sharing”, Aladekomo informed guests.

Extensive reportage and reviews in the media confirmed the strong interest presentation of the plays elicited with local and international stakeholders of the company. Culture and Tourism minister Mr. Adetokunbo Kayode wrote in to offer official Federal Government recognition and support of the effort by Chams plc to provide corporate support for the revival of theatre culture in Nigeria. Chams Plc sponsored production of the plays after acquiring the rights to the works of D.O. Fagunwa from the family of the late author and the D.O. Fagunwa Foundation. Fagunwa’s daughter was a star guest at the Lagos performance of the Yoruba adaptation on Sunday, September 14 at the Muson Centre.

Other guests included Chief Segun Olusola, Chief Mrs. Derin Osoba, Rev Olu Odejimi, doyen of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Rev Ola Makinde, Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria. There were also Mr. Tayo Aderinokun, MD of Guaranty Trust Bank, Ahmed Yerima, Tani Obaro, MD, SystemSpec, as well as other major players in the banking, financial services and oil and gas sectors.

Town met gown in Ibadan as the civil society joined the academia to watch presentation of the play. The audience spilled over and actively participated in the presentation. Diplomats and members of theNational Assembly joined a large number of stakeholders in the information and communication technology world to watch the performance at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. By the time, it got to the Ile Ife on September 24, enthusiasm and interest was at fever pitch. The Chams Theatre Series has the rights to the five works of Fagunwa and would sponsor one play each year. Aladekomo said the firm has also acquired the rights to works by writers from other parts of Nigeria in order to broaden the appeal as well as showcase the universality of positive values shared by Nigerian communities. Professor Femi Osofisan of the University of Ibadan, wrote the English adaptation while Professor Akinwumi Isola of the Obafemi Awolowo University wrote the Yoruba adaptation. Speaking on the significance of the performances, Prof Femi Osofisan, a former General Manager of the National Theatre, asserted, “By selecting this work, Chams is rendering an immeasurable service to the preservation of our culture, at a time when our country like others in the socalled Third World are faced with the menace of globalisation. Certainly, such projects as this will help the process of our cultural rebirth.