Though some of the students who participated in the maiden edition of the conviction play, 1930: Life and Times of Ayo Babalola of Mountain Top University, were science students, they gave a sterling performance, to the admiration of the audience.
The University Multi-purpose Hall was filled with the management of the institution, parents, students and visitors, as they were thrilled and entertained by the artistes.
The play, comprising of a large cast, started at 12:45pm and ended at 3:50pm.
1930: Life and Times of Ayo Babalola is a deep historical play on the missionaries and the strongholds of the Yoruba traditional fraternity. The witches open the play and close it to send a signal to Christian and religious adherents that, as long as the earth is concerned, the battle between negativity, them, and positivity, we, is neither a win nor a loss.
Babalola is a good character but Olose of Olose forest is better, while Oba Alaye is a replica of current Yoruba Obas who are more political than being custodians of the Yoruba heritage and cosmological protectors of ancestries.
In his review, Mr Bayo Ogunyemi, a lecturer in the Department of Music, said, “The play is a drama in an elaborate task in commemoration of the maiden convocation. The actors are not professional actors but mere enthusiasts. The simple description of the actors is that they are rooky and not professionals but they have done their best. These students of various backgrounds and disciplined have displayed a rare feat of accomplishment.
According to the reviewer, 1930: The Life and Tmes of Ayo Babalola “seeks to re-enact the earliest days of Christian movement in the country which is depicted in the traditional African society.” Also, “those characteristics of Ayo Babalola have made it a reference point in the work of evangelism in the world today.”
Lead actor in the performance, Fiola Joshua, a student of Food Science Technology, who played the role of Ayo Babalola, expressed his happiness to participate in the dramatisation. Though the lines were quite lengthy, he loved challenges as an individual, which informed why he had to play the role.
Indeed, the play has impacted on his life and has created an avenue for him to participate in future stage plays if given the opportunity. “We had several weeks of rehearsal and, after the seventh week, he noticed that he was getting used to the behaviour of the character. He saw that he had inculcated the habit of Babalola. With regular readings and practices, he got used to the character and it was fun.
The playwright and director of the play, Mr Olatunbosun Taofeek, a lecturer with the university, observed, “He was a little bit anxious, because the subject was very controversial, but, as a playwright, it is not a spiritual exercise; but he looked at it as a situation where people need to take socio-cultural history and a lot of history in consideration for them to appear literally and not necessarily celebrating religion, which is a difficult thing to do.
“At the end of the play, the witches were not killed. It is always a wrong perception to think that one can completely eliminate the negativity of this world, rather the negativity and positivity will all operate together to make it a universal place for people to dwell,” he said.
A parent, who identified herself as Mrs Bunmi, said. She had learnt a lot from the play, and she commended the students for their performance in entertaining and educating the audience.