By Godwin Okondo
DIKE Chukwumerije’s last shows were in Port Harcourt in May and Gombe in June. But that was ‘Made-in-Nigeria’ show. Now the train comes to Ikorodu, Lagos on Saturday, July 30, 2022, with ‘Man-Made Gods’, a totally different performance package. Venue is Eriata Heights, an event centre at Ori-Okuta area via Agric bus stop, Ikorodu, Lagos.
According to the spoken word performance poet and entertainer, “’Man-Made Gods’ (MMG) was created in 2018. It has been staged in Abuja, Lagos and Enugu. Unlike, Made-in-Nigeria (MIN) show, it is a pure solo performance. It incorporates features of solo theatre and stand up comedy into spoken word poetry performance. It is a satirical comment on the cult of the big man or woman in Nigerian politics. It looks at how this contributes to our problems at a nation. And how we can respond to it as individuals.”
Chukwumerije is a one-man show stopper whose eclectic performance is an irresistible force of nature.
Lending his voice to what the audience should expect at the show is the poet of founder of Eriata Heights, Sir Eriata Oribhabor who said the show is about Nigeria’s unsavoury political culture and the cult of the big man, adding, “The audience should expect to be entertained and raptly educated.”
Oribhabor gave insight in what Eriata Heights stands for in the arts and cultural promotion in that axis of Lagos that was home to one of Nigeria’s biggest art collectors, late Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, and how Chukwumerije’s show ties in to the vision of Eriata Heights.
“Eriata Heights is set up to promote creativity to the heights toward self and societal fulfilment via her different activities to be staged in her event hall – The Creative Space and Meeting Hall. Dike Chukwumerije is a foremost Spoken Word Poet in Nigeria. Currently on a nationwide tour of our country, having him perform live at Eriata Heights is sending positive messages to creatives in Ikorodu and across the state of Lagos. It is expected that his presence will help to promote the event space but fundamentally falls in sync with our resolve to promote and support creativity and creatives, especially in that axis of Lagos.
“There are lots of upcoming events at the space like schools’ end of session events, literary festival, library, exhibitions, trainings/workshops, etc. Eriata Heights is primarily situated to positively impart the Ori-Okuta community and Ikorodu at large. The locals are already benefiting via different literary activities being organised, using of the hall for different social and religious activities, etc.”
Oribhabor concluded by adding, “Eriata Heights is a place for the future. It is hoped that in no time, it will be the reference, one-stop creative enclave in the Agric and Ori-Okuta area of Ikorodu.”
While that future is already unfolding, Chukwumerije will be part of inaugurating a slice of that future by exposing Nigeria’s ‘Man-Made Gods’ who have held down the destiny of over 200 million people, with a view to liberating them from whatever political, economic and cultural shackles that have held them down so they could live their lives to the fullest.