I attended a musical in Muson Centre, Lagos on Boxing Day called Kakadu. See what I wore here. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking while I buying the ticket because I thought I was purchasing a ticket for the comedy show, Stand Up Nigeria. In short, I was excepting to laugh and laugh so hard I’d roll over and cry and laugh some more. It took me 20 minutes into the show to realize that it wasn’t what I thought. Apparently the comedy show was that same day at the same location but the tickets were sold out and it was at a different time. Darn! Lesson learned: Ask questions when in the unknown.
I actually didn’t regret watching the musical and I was really impressed. It did have bits of comedy and I learnt stuff. It was a modernized, historical, romantic, musical… I guess.
A quick summary: It was set in Lagos 5 years after Nigeria’s independence (so 1965) which was before but close to the Nigerian civil war. Kakadu was the happening nightclub, the place to be basically and it represented Lagos life; lively, fun, energetic. Then things turned for the worse and the Biafran war basically destroyed everything. Families were broken, lovers were separated, jobs were lost and basically everything was chaotic. People had to leave Lagos to go back to their home states and women/men were taken away to participate in the war.
Kakadu which represented Lagos, went from hero to zero. Hearts were broken and things were really bad. After the war things started started falling back in place gradually and there was one thing people thought they’d never feel. Hopeful.
A quick history lesson that blew my mind and made me realize my knowledge of the Biafran war was kind of a lie…. Ooops!
The Easterners (the Igbos) wanted to break away from Nigeria and form a country of their own called Biafra (which explains the name, the Biafran war) but the rest of Nigeria said “Nuh-uhn, you’re a part of Nigeria and there’s no way you can break away”. So the Easterners fought for their independence while the rest of Nigeria fought for their assimilation. This is a simplified version of the cause of the war. The Easterners were REALLY intelligent, industrious and persevering. They built their own ammunition and weapons and machines and they were not so easily subdued (the war lasted for 3 years, 1967-1970). They’re only setback was the fact that their soil was poor for cultivation so hunger was their undefeatable enemy. It caused them so many casualties especially amongst the children and this made them rethink their rebellion. The Biafrans were led by Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu and their opponents by General Yakubu Gowon (ok, I actually remember this guy from primary school history). Colonel Ojukwu eventually surrendered to General Gowon putting an end to the war. Ok, this was a crash course but you need to know that the war REALLY sucked… Like a lot. That’s obvious though cause there’s never a “pretty” time in war.
Back to the musical. After the war things gradually went back to normal but of course there was the romance, the forbidden love. The Yoruba girl (Pro-Nigeria during war) and the Igbo boy (Pro-Biafra during war). They had actually been dating before the war but after it ended, no one wanted to associate themselves with the Easterners which explains why no one wanted to consider such a relationship. It was like an abomination. To cut the long story short, they ended up being together (duh, the whole love conquers all) and Kakadu came back alive meaning Lagos rose back to what it formerly used to be.
The musical ended with the question “How do you build a better nation?” And it really got me thinking and I was grateful I wasn’t born during that time and the fact than I things were wayyy less messed up now as they were then. I was also shocked cause I realized I didn’t know that much about the war. I was also prouder to be a Nigerian because we were able to pull through and get our acts together. Though things aren’t bread and butter today, they are definitely a thousand times way better than they once were. Don’t mind me, I’m downplaying the brutality of that time but you need to know things were really, really bad and dark and horrible. Thank God.
I spoke to my dad who was a young (and lucky) child at that time. They had to eat Akpu and Pounded yam and lots of eastern foods they didn’t like because they didn’t have any other choice and it was better than nothing. Food was cut of from the Eastern part and the East had poor soil due to erosion. The little food they had they couldn’t cultivate it because they were fighting. So there was lots of malnourishment, undernourishment and death. Like I said before food was a major factor that led to the Biafrans’ eventual defeat. Daddy says it was an extremely tough period and thank God he and his siblings survived. Wow…
If you don’t already realize, I loved the musical. I laughed, I cried, I learned new things and I had a good time. It was like a fun, history crash course with music and no homework!
I was able to take a picture with some of the crew cast. I should have taken with main character (the owner of Kakadu) I couldn’t see well cause I wasn’t wearing my glasses (totally my fault) but he looked like he was attractive. That’s a rather lame excuse. Oh well…
After, we passed through the Zenith round-about. That place never seizes to amaze me. For reallll! I went to take pictures and was like. Lagos is beautiful.