Residents in and around the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, were treated to an evening of classy and entertaining stage performances by the crew and cast of Etisalat Communications sponsored Hear Word!, the internationally acclaimed episodic stage play that speaks to issues that hold Nigerian women back from reaching their full potentials.
The performance in Abuja was the climax of a thrilling three-continent tour which kicked off in April at the renowned Harvard University in Cambridge Massachusetts and made a stop at Torp Theater – Central Connecticut State University, New Britain Connecticut, both in the USA before moving to the Frascati Theatre in Amsterdam.
Hear Word!, which was premiering in the nation’s capital, Abuja, attracted dignitaries from various circles including politics, government, banking, entertainment, etc led by the wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osibanjo, swarmed the 1000 capacity Congress Hall of the prestigious Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
The stage drama featured a collection of 10 stories of real life accounts of inequality, discrimination, abuse and violence, and other social, cultural, traditional, economic and political manifestations and practices of the society which limit the Nigerian woman from reaching her full potentials and becoming a meaningful contributor to the development of the society.
It is an advocacy piece of performance that uses artistry, social commentary and humour to tell real life stories of issues affecting the lives of women across Nigeria and also examines factors that limit their potential for independence, leadership and meaningful contribution.
Speaking in Abuja, Etisalat Nigeria’s Director, Brands and Experience; Elvis Ogiemwanye, said the Hear Word! captures in part the company’s vision of creating and supporting platforms that empower people to discover themselves and reach their full potentials.
“We are an innovative and expressive company and are delighted to have pulled this through with the Hear Word! team. We share in the everyday experiences of our customers, and also seek for appropriate channels to create desirable experiences for them. We believe in providing people the opportunities to express themselves, be it in innovation, music, sports, literature, photography, theatre arts, education, entrepreneurship and any other way we can contribute to the development of the society,” he said.
Other distinguished personalities at the event include the Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria, Hakeem Belo-Osagie and his wife, Myma Belo-Osagie; Patron, Etisalat Prize for Literature, Dele Olojede; wife of the Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, Mrs. Gimbiya Yakubu Dogara; Former Vice President of World Bank, Africa and Social Advocate, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili; President of DEPOWA, Mrs. Omobolanle Olonisakin; National President, NOWA, Mrs. Theresa Ibass; National President, NAFOWA, Mrs. Sadique Abubakar and National President, POWA, Mrs. Agharase Arase among others.
Hear Word! is directed and produced by Ifeoma Fafunwa and features the theatrical ensemble of home grown actresses including star veteran actresses Taiwo Ajai-Lycett and Joke Silva. Others include Bimbo Akintola, Omonor, Elvina Ibru, Ufuoma McDermott, Zara Udofia, Rita Edward, Debbie Ohiri and Odenike.
*Photo shows (L-R) Elvina Ibru, Cast Member, Hear Word; Ifeoma Fafunwa, Director, Hear Word; Myma Belo-Osagie; Hakeem Belo-Osagie, Chairman, Etisalat Nigeria; Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, actress and cast member, Hear Word; Deborah Willsher and Ufuoma McDermott, cast member, Hear Word at the premiere of the Hear Word stage play series sponsored by Etisalat Nigeria in Abuja at the weekend.