Enugu State Governor, Dr Peter Mbah says his administration wil promote Arts and Culture and make them economically viable to enable the council for Arts and Culture contribute it’s qouta in the economical development of the State.
He made this known,Sunday, during the unveiling of a stage play, tittled , “The Trial of King Ahebi’s Premiere, written by the Executive Secretary of Enugu State Council for Arts and Culture, Laurence Ani, and presented in collaboration with the Enugu state ministry of Culture and Tourism ,at the International Conference centre,Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Chidiebere Onyia, Governor Mbah emphasised the need for people to begin to see things they considered leisure as economic values. He urged them to attract investors to invest in Arts and Culture.
The Governor said that the state government will invest in different culture and tourism sites in the state to boost the state’s economic base.” This is one significant sure that Enugu state is ready to invest in tourism, Arts and Culture, to attract the kind of strategy we need to attain that economic base “, Onyia said ..
He disclosed that the play ,’The Trial of King Ahebi “,will be produced as movie and be shown in Cinemas, both locally and internationally, when produced
Earlier, the Executice Secretary of Enugu State Council for Arts and Culture ,Laurence Ani said “the play is the first in a series of exciting programmes concieved to reinvigorated Enugu “s art and culture scene and make the city a prime destination for leisure as His I’m, the Governor had envisioned.”
He said the Council for Arts and Culture was established by an Act of the Enugu state House of Assembly and ” that law empowers the Council to Foster and promote the revival of arts and culture in Enugu state. “The Trial of King Ahebi is a practical demonstration of this mandate.””, he said .
According to Ani , the play was inspired by the legendary tale of Ahebi Ugbabe, who was born in Enugu- Ezike in the late 19Th Century , and reputed to be the only female Warrant Chief in Colonial Nigeria, as well as ,the first recorded female monarch in Igboland..
Group picture of the crew
In line with Governor Peter Mbah’s vision to grow the economy of Enugu state from the current $4.4Billion to $30Billion , Ani said,
” It is envisaged that this play will become self- funding after it’s initial run, mostly through ticket sale and corporate partnerships. It is also projected that the play would inspire a movie Production , which will earn substantial royalties for the state.
Still on the viability of the Arts and Culture sector, the Executive Secretary said,
“At the Council for Arts and Culture, we have imbibed the philosophy that Arts and Culture shouldn’t be content with it’s traditional place at the bottom of the social and economic pecking order.
“I believe we can creatively curate our cultural heritage, our artistic resources in a way that yields immense economic benefits for the individual artist, sundry players in our cultural space and the state.
“Of course, being a play steeped in history, I recognized that sensitivity might run deep for some , especially among individuals who share a common provenance as the play’s heroine .I ‘d like to emphasize that any unflattering depiction is unintentional. And even if such exists, it cannot possibly overshadow Ahebi’s important status in Nigerian history ,”Ani said.
He added that as he researched the broad outline for the play, he was amazed at how so little the public seemed to know about the riveting tale of Ahebi Ugbabe.
“The more I read about Ahebi, the more convinced I became that,” bringing this story to mainstream audience was expedient .
While I have no doubt that this is a remarkable play, I concede nonethess, that the ultimate verdict rests with the audience”, Ani said..
He said the play will be staged as a drama in Lagos and Abuja next year.. March ,2023 during the International Women’s day.
Ani said the play was historical . “Ahebi doesn’t have a child of her own but her palace still exists , her room, where she lived still exists in Enugu-Ezike.”
In a brief remarks, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Ugochi Mmadueke commended the Writer of the play, Laurence Ani for putting together the play. She said the state government will produce the stage play, “The Trial of King Ahebi”into movie to reach wider audience and yield more economic benefits.
Ani(L) Mmadueke(R) commending Ani for a job well done.
She added that Ani has brought posetive changes in the Council for Arts and Culture and the successes extended to the ministry of Culture and Tourism.
” My brother, you have made us proud. I say congratulations to you. Thank you so much”, Mmadueke told Ani..
She added that the play was presented by the Council for Arts and Culture in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.. She said the play will be turned into movie and it will be a global thing She thanked Governor Mbah for appointing them.
Author: Maureen Ikpeama