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Lovesong for my Wasteland





in conjunction with






Cultural Night of the International Conference on Postproverbials 


Venue: Wole Soyinka Theatre, University of Ibadan

Date: June 19 & 20, 2019

Time: 7.00pm


*This performance is dedicated to the memory, and presence, of:

Pius Adebola Adesanmi (1972-2019), the sapling who became an iroko,

wayfarer, who loved the land and left in the beginning of a new dream…


Lovesong for my Wasteland: Production Notes (June 19, 2019)


where the river runs with thirst

where thirst runs through the river!

Fifteen years after its first performance, Lovesong for my Wasteland has had a new opportunity of airing, in the hand of the same director, Chuks Okoye, my compatriot and classmate, himself a consummate artist and interpreter. In collusion with Ropo Ewenla, Okoye has touched the artery of the abstract word and made a living flesh of the energy, the interstices of the vital message.

Nothing has changed in the carriage of this message, nothing; except for a few lines introduced, except the newly refined choreography brought into the rhythm, except the conscription of  a new generation of actors, students all, who have brought their talents to the re-translation of the poem, and except the re-naming of the Arts Theatre as Wole Soyinka Theatre! The message remains as verdant, and the love as blistering and kindled as ever. But our wasteland faces new challenges and greater potentials for all kinds of positive transformations. This is the history and philosophy of a people’s perseverance, told in metaphors of herbs and scars. - Remi Raji

In Remi Raji’s poetry I have found that pervading rhythm which resonates from and beyond the lines on the page. The vehicle is haunting. This quality makes it easy to translate Raji’s lines of poetry from that abstract conceptual rhythm to a kinetic and aural one. If in the process of performance you understand what the poet says, we would have succeeded in our purpose to breaking him down to more accessible pieces and saved you the rigour of intellectualism. If, on the other hand, you fail to apprehend the meaning in his lines, but you nod your head in rhythm and even get so aesthetically moved as to applaud the performance, we would also have succeeded in our mission. There is no way you can fail with Raji’s poetry. If you fail to understand, surely you would not fail to nod your head. Do not take my words for it. Seeing is believing – or not-believing. Have a good time! - Chuks Okoye


Cast - Prologue

Gong: Tosin Akinyemi/Amen Onome Nze

Gambia: Damilare Oyebode 

Asabi: Blessing Mkpayen 

Takie: John Oluwadare

Music: Seun Soneye (Special Appearance)

Set & Lights

Yemi Adebo

Set hands

Victor Adedewe 

Feranmi Oyediran 


Demilade Rongbe 

Philip Olorunsanmi


John Oluwadare 

Samuel Akpan

Oladeji Onaolapo 

Kenneth Nwuzor


Tolu Ajayi

Make Up

Tolu Ajayi

Stage Manager

Emmanuel Orisunmibare  

Assistant Stage Manager

Kofoworola Owokotomo  


Ropo Ewenla


Augustine Efe 


Chuks Okoye


Remi Raji



Omolara Oyewunmi Ewenla: There's a land

Charity John: No one is clean

Glory Nwuzor: The blemish of holes

John Oluwadare: Forty full seasons gone like yesterday

John Oluwadare: We have ore but invent nothing

Tosin Akinyemi: I was a victim before I became a cynic

Solomon Oluwatobi: And all those who predict the world's end

Williams Emmanuel Ojo: Why would I think of love in times of war

Ifeoluwakitan Akinmulire: Everybody is talking solutions

Zion Oloruniyi: This history is filled with the deeds of tetrarch and swines

Amen Onome Nze: Ten monarchs, ten seasons

Omolara Oyewunmi Ewenla: There can be no argument on where I stand

Charity John: When I consider how some dreams melted

Tosin Akinyemi: Let those who would follow

Amen Onome Nze: Step into your new selves with new hearts

Blessing Mkpayen: But as it was in the beginning 

John Oluwadare: The clouds

John Oluwadare: And the scorpions built open caves in the mind

Glory Nwuzor: And we children of the gun

Ifeoluwakitan Akinmulire: As spiders to surprised flies

Charity John: This is the end, this is the end

Amen Onome Nze: In the beginning of a season

Solomon Oluwatobi: My words, I fear go like a tame river

Tosin Akinyemi: What is Poetry then if it cannot raise a flood

Damilare Oyebode: Brief, brief like the hunters pouch  

Blessing Mkpayen: Shall I just write that epitaph now

Williams Emmanuel Ojo: The sunken-eyed must learn the art of weeping 

Amen Onome Nze: Trapped, double-trapped, triple-trapped

Damilare Oyebode: And the battalion will return again with new weapons

Williams Emmanuel Ojo: But I have learnt the reward of patience

Tosin Akinyemi: And the cannibal said: Patience is not mine

John Oluwadare: Now all these words may mean or mean nothing

Omolara Oyewunmi:  The work is done, the job is waiting

Ifeoluwakitan Akinmulire: And the fathers of secrets cast a spell

Charity John: All, all alone

Glory Nwuzor: Those who live in the underbelly of forgeries

Favour Aniboro: What does it all count for, this wastefulness

Williams Emmanuel Ojo: My brothers spew bitterness like yesterday's kolanut

Solomon Oluwatobi: I have built my tent

Omolara Oyewunmi Ewenla & Amen Onome Nze: And suddenly my land becomes a bride again

Solomon Oluwatobi: A mountain of desires

Charity John: Do I speak in sweat so furiously you don't understand


Appreciation: The Department of Theatre Arts (UI) and Dr. Alphonsus Orisaremi

Published on:: 
June 20, 2019