Brother Jero goes on trial at Edidot College’s Art Day
Pupils of Edidot College, Badore, Lagos, showed uncommon talent at its yearly Art Day, with various performances such as music and more. But it the stage drama, The Trials of Brother Jero by Wole Soyinka, that took centre-stage. The event, which took place at Oloye Dotun Okubanjo Hall, Badore, brought together students from different schools and lovers of art.
Director of the play, Mr. Mature Tanko Okoduwa, also a poet and writer, said the play is a light, satiric comedy that takes a jibe at religious hypocrisy in the form of a charlatan or fraud, named Brother Jero, who preaches to his followers at the old Bar Beach. According to Okoduwa, Jero is a master of manipulation, who keeps his followers in a subservient position because he understands what they long for: money, social status, and power, which he promises to deliver; they are gullible enough to believe him.
The vitality of the rogue, Jero, makes him a popular figure with audience and this rambunctious, humorous play is one of the best-known of Soyinka’s early works. Okoduwa also delivered a speech titled, ‘Art in a Time of Recession,’ saying art thrives in time of discomfort, and an artist is more inspired to be creative at such a period.
He lamented that poor economic planning, lack of encouragement for foreign investors, failure to diversify the economy were reasons for recession.
While expressing delight at the performances, Principal of Edidot College, Mrs. Franca Adeyemi Alayo, said the Art Day was fun-filled and educative, adding, “Art and culture make life better, help to build diverse communities and improve our quality of life. We advocate for our students to place a value on art and culture because they form part of our value system. No matter anyone’s achievement in life, art and culture will always remain relevant.”