Dr. Barclays F. Ayakoroma, the Executive Secretary of the National Institute For Cultural Orientation (NICO), was practically transported back on stage, as one among the numerous plays he has written and directed, Dance On His Grave, was staged on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th March, 2011, by Arojah Royal Theatre, at the community Hall, Cyprian Ekwensi Council for Arts and Culture Area 10, Garki Abuja.
Arojah Royal Theatre, a roving performing group and an arm of Arojah Concepts, an Abuja based edutainment outfit which was incorporated in July 2007, in collaboration with Initiatives For Women And Child Development, FCT Social Development Secretariat, chose Barclays Ayakoroma´s Dance On His Grave, a play which focuses on Women´s quest for equal right as agents of change in society, to commemorate the centenary celebration of International Women Day, as well as mark the Commonwealth Day 2011.
The International Women Day, is a day set aside by the International Community to celebrate women the world over who have made a mark in history and the contribution of women in general to the development of their various societies. And Dance On His Grave, a play by NICO´s Executive Secretary, Dr Barclays .F. Ayakoroma, set in his native community, Angiama of Bayelsa state, x-rays women, trying to lend their voice in the affairs of state even in an African traditional society which forbids them from doing so. Yet they defied tradition and forged ahead in search of their rights as equal citizens with the male folks in society, this quest was succinctly captured by the protagonist- lead character in the play, the Amananarau, Alaere, the king´s wife when she stated “shouldn’t women be consulted in matters that affect them and their children”? a rhetorical question indeed.
Dr Ayakoroma´s Dance On His Grave, is a celebration of women for trying to restore their image as responsible citizens in society.
Jonathan N. Nicodemus