The Moxie of Kurunmi: The Tale of Legendary African Hero Comes to Stage
It was indeed a successful outing at the De’ Peace Hotel (Banquet Hall) Ilorin on the 5th, September 2021 where the Moxie of Kurunmi was staged with over one thousand people from all walks of life in attendance. A gubernatorial candidate in Osun State was in attendance with other dignitaries.
The stage play, produced and directed by Emmanuel Duntoye popularly known as “Asanlu” was borne out of passion, hard work and love for keeping our history. It is laced with cultural aesthetics through songs, dance, chants and panegyrics with over 50 cast members and 10 crew members.
Besides reinforcing the fact that performance is central to human experience, underlining the event is the re-enactment of the life and times of the 11th Aare Onakakanfo, Kurunmi
Beyond history, Moxie of Kurunmi satirizes the political system in the country. What happens when a man is caught in the web of cultural loyalty regarded as rigidity vis-à_vis treacherous disposition under the aegis of flexibility? Such is the fate of Are Kunrunmi of Ijaye.
Kurunmi is an ardent believer in the sacredness of tradition. This philosophy is trampled upon when Adelu who is meant to have died with his late father king as provided by tradition is crowned the new Alaafin. Kurunmi happens to be a loner in this fight for tradition as other prominent chiefs in the Empire support the abolishment of a Prince dyeing with his father-king. War looms, the smell of annihilation usurps the air, and the sky is pregnant with the rain of blood. Where two elephants fight, the grasses don’t live to tell the tale. Kurunmi stands ready to lose all in his defence of the tradition but is it worth it? Is Kurunmi a hero who defiles all odds and remains unflinching safeguarding the pillar on which a people is erected or just a war lord blindfolded with emotions and eluded by reasons?
The production presented the present state of our political leaders who tend to misuse power once they get to the office. It is a historical account that is creatively interlaced with elements of fiction to suit theatrical plausibility. The production was furnished and forged under the fire of theatrical aesthetics to enhance entertainment and plausibility on stage. The heroic status of Kurunmi is highly debatable. This is why the audience were left to a side with the open endedness of the production. Is Kurunmi a hero or not?
Afro-futurism has been a strong theme in contemporary arts; the legend of Kurunmi is a blast from the past that seeks to make us appreciate our history and culture.
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