The cast and crew for Chioma Onyekwe’s stage play August Meeting will be taking the play to Abuja, Lagos and three south east states before the end of the year.
The play adapted by Paul Ugbede and directed by Kenneth Uphopho tells the story of the aftermath of the 1929 Aba Women Riot in which The Women of Oloko, a town in present day Ikwano local government of Abia state, returning from the protest, take on a new adversary building on the momentum of the successful protest. The fight this time is with their husbands, who have put structures in place to keep them perpetually subservient. The battle turns out not to be as easy as they had envisaged.
The producer, Onyenwe, said:
“The August Meeting examines themes that are extremely topical such as gender equality, women participation in politics, monopolized power, women as second-class citizens, motherhood, family and domesticity. It highlights the problem with patriarchy and the need for women empowerment.”
The play is inspired by the events of November 1929 where over 10,000 women came out in protest of colonial oppression and tax imposition on women.
The historical riot started with a fight between a widow by the name Nwanyereuwa and Emereuwa. Emereuwa was the messenger of the warrant chief who was sent to take census of livestock and inhabitants in each household for the purpose of taxation. This practice was wrong from the perspective of tradition; hence the upheaval, which snowballed into a mass protest by women from at least 6 ethnic groups, in which 56 people died. The victory was won with the repealing of the tax policy on market women, and curbing of the powers of the district officers.
August Meeting will be showing in Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Nsukka, Awka, Owerri and Aba, casting Gloria Anozie, Inna Erizia, Odera Orj, Bella Rose Okojie, Ijeoma Aniebo, and Deola Gimbiya in a beautiful history inspired tale of women emancipation and self discovery.
The show schedules are as follows
Sunday 18th November
Main Stage, Freedom Park, Lagos
3pm and 6pm
Friday, 23rd and Saturday, 24th November, 2018
Shehu Musa Yaradua centre, Abuja
6PM (Friday) and 3pm and 6pm (Saturday)
Tuesday, 27th November 2018
New Arts Theatre, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
Wednesday 28th November 2018
Sports club, Enugu
Thursday, 29th November 2018
Marble Arch Hotel, Awka
Saturday, 1st December 2018
Cubana Centre, Owerri
Sunday, 2nd December 2018
Binez Hotel, Aba