By Prisca Sam-Duru
It’s a week of Nigeria’s independence celebration and as part of its celebration of the country at 60 tagged, ‘The Future is Now’, Open Doors Series presents, ‘Brittle-ing Diamond’, written by former Director-General of the National Arts Theatre and Playwright, Professor Ahmed Yerima and, produced by Ayobamidele Aladekomo.
The play which is directed by Niji Akanni, is performed by the Segun Adefila-led group, Crown Troupe Of Africa.
According to the producer, the play ‘Brittle-ing Diamond’ reflects the sacrifice of the Military in Nigeria, in the country’s political trajectory while spotlighting its role in helping to sustain and consolidate democracy. It was the military Aladekomo noted, that rescued the First Republic from its descent into chaos adding that but for its intervention at that critical period in history, the entity called Nigeria would have disintegrated barely five years into its attainment of self-governance, from the colonial powers.
“The Nigerian Army, like the Nation it helped to rescue, has had its own plethora of challenges; much of which arose from the nature and structure of the country and the idiosyncrasies of its military personnel. Though they overtly got involved in partisan politics, became manipulative of the perceived weaknesses in the system, and participated in mismanaging the resources of the Nation, they, however, redeemed themselves by returning the country to democracy thereby reinstalling our hard-earned independence. And by its continuous sacrifices in the theatre of war, the Military has helped to sustain and consolidate democratic governance in the last two decades”, she intoned.
Brittle-ing Diamond puts a mirror in the face of Nigeria as it clocks 60. The play is a re-work of ‘Mirror Cracks’ by Prof Yerima. ‘Brittle-Diamond’ is, however, repackaged to examine the impact and relationship of the Nigeria Military with the Nigerian populace. It also takes a critical look at salient issues in the military such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The re-work of this play as well as the themes which were selected during a series of workshops involving the Producer, Aladekomo, and the Executive Producer, Teju Kareem, were done specifically for the 60th celebration of Nigeria.
The play also aims to activate a mentorship programme in the arts. This will create a product that will be solely on Zoom and enjoyable to the audience in the comfort of their homes.