Kwame Nkrumah under attack
The National Theatre in Accra is yet to laugh its best ever. Barring any last-minute ‘intervention’, the Black Stars of Ghana will for five nights (September 11, 12, 18, 19, 21) not compose of the Michael Essiens, Stephen Appiahs, Sule Ali Muntaris and goalie Richard Kingstons.
Rather, it will take on new set of players, both seasoned and promising freshers, who will descend on the over 1000-capacity facility to play their own kind of football on the facility’s to play their own kind of football on the facility’s grassless turf (stage).
Thus, the Black Stars will be renamed the Talents Theatre Company, under the captainship of renowned veteran actor and dramatist David Dontoh who will lead a strong, battle-ready line-up of the Fred Amugis, Edinam Atatsis, Kojo Dadsons, Kwame Gadagos, Theo Oklus, Ernest Youngmans, Kofi Asamoahs, Gloria Bentums and Abi Atatsis, to mention only but a few.
What are they going to do? Well, to restage something nationalistic, historic and evergreen, about the country’s independence struggles, in satire. It is all about Uwa Hanwick’s award-winning play The Black Star.
In an effort to relive the nostalgia that greeted Ghana’s independence in 1957, the Talents Theatre Company is partnering the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to make the centenary celebration of the birth of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the country’s first president and independence hero, a memorable one.
The play which became the toast of theatre–lovers across the continent in the 1970s and years after, is a satire on Dr. Nkrumah and relives the twists and turns in the politics, traditions and cultures of the newly–independent, Ghana, set to champion the total liberation of the black continent from the grips of colonialism.
Teacher (or the president), the protagonist in the play, comes face–to–face with stiff opposition from within and without his government, about his style of the country’s development.
He is thus compelled to arrest and imprison a young, dynamic minister who openly stands up against his style of leadership, but later finds out that he (the incarcerated minister) is his own son, and also a grandson of a popular prominent chief on the land.
Will Teacher, as uncompromising as he is seen by his detractors, circumvent his own ideals now that he finds out that the minister her has incarcerated is his biological flesh and blood?
The Black Star was first staged in the 1970’s and years after by the Talents Incorporated which has now changed name into the Talents Theatre Company. Many of hits original members, including David Dontoh and Kojo Dadson, as still alive to play different roles in the play as it is restaged at the National Theatre from next week Friday.
Taking to Spectator Agoro ahead of the show, the spokesman for the group, Ernest Nsiah Youngman, said the group would soon stage some of its popular productions (Jogolo, Mambo, Chaka, Aiking Mata, and Trail of Kwame Nkrumah) “top show that the theatre is still alive in Ghana”.
On the play, he said the group was staging it “as our contribution to making the centenary celebrations of Dr. Nkrumah a memorable one”.
The Spectator - pages: 14 Saturday, September 5, 2009