NEWS FROM NIGERIA, FINLAND, UK, BULGARIA, PAKISTAN, & CUBA
UNIVERSITY DRAMA IN NIGERIA
This edition of the newsletter features a report from Ijagbenu, Olokesina Peters on a play based on the book by Ken Schoolland, The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey, that they’ve produced in Nigeria. It was performed August 13 to 15, 2009 at the Drama Village, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria. The play was written and produced by Adedayo Thomas & Paul Ugbede and directed by Dr. Sam Kafewo.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Ishaleku Ebenezar – Merchant 1
Akajiaku Dirichi Princewell – Merchant 2
Mark Daniel – Merchant 3
Habila Adoka Sharon – Merchant 4
Ikieke Jessica Emododo – Woman
Barnabas Liman Ayuba – Showman Phil
Agbim Chidinma Gladys – Common 2
Igoil Kpadoo – Common (no 557)
Adakole Micheal Greg – Dr. Tinstafl
Abisabo Damian Samuel – Police
Edozie Aloysius – Chair of Farmers UnionGwamna Nuhu – Man
Ebebunjo Chiamaka – Chairman of Workers
Fabian Emmanuel – Common 4
Emeka Njoku – Lord Ponzo
Adeola Kushino Stephenie – Common 1
Eunice Atama – Lady Tweed
Blessing Udoh – Lord Julia
Precious Chrisantus – Common (no 221)
Dashe King Ponzhi-Nanchwat – Common7
Stanley – Postmaster
Dominic – Common 5
Lord Dr. Julia Pavlov sentence woman for cutting trees with sharp object.
Right from the rehearsal of the play, we the actors were apprehensive that the audience might not respond appropriately to the play. The theatre was famous for producing indigenous plays that involved dances, songs, and African proverbs and riddles. Here was a play based purely on ideas. Will the audience be receptive?
We were pleasantly surprised when the play started and the audience sat in rapt attention, following its message and even comparing images and symbols to the contemporary Nigerian situation. For instance, when one of the lords said that a house was not built according to specification and had to be demolished, the audience chorused the name of Nasir El Rufai. He was the immediate past Minister of the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria who became infamous for demolishing ‘illegal’ structures in his bid to return the city of Abuja to its original master plan.
The audience members were unanimous on the three nights that the play should go beyond the four walls of the University and should be taken to the authorities in Abuja who perpetuate the problems enunciated in the play.
On the first day of the performance, we had a little challenge on the turn out of the audience, which could have affected the acting of the players. But the actors were still able to carry the audience along not minding the number of the audience. The weather of the first day of the performance was favorable and there was no delay in transition from one scene to another.
FIRST DAY CHALLENGES/SUCCESSES
Power failure: On the very first day of the performance, we had a problem with lighting, which caused a little delay for us. A generator had to be hired and used, which made the actors put in extra effort in projecting their voices for the audience to hear, since the sound of the engine is higher than human voice.2. Tempo & pace: The tempo of the play was very high, which made the audience want more of the play because of the kind of songs that were raised and the dances introduced to ‘garnish’ the play. The pace, however, was rather slow because of the director telling the actors not to rush their lines so that the audience could get the message of the play. This instruction worked perfectly.
The Commons Protest
On the second day of the performance a lot of improvements were made, learning from mistakes of the first day. A major crisis ensued when an actor that left without telling the director. This was resolved by grooming a new actor for the role of Lord Ponzo.
This was the most challenging of all the three days of performance. Rain started some minutes after the performance began and did not stop drizzling until the end of the play. Despite the weather and the audience discomfort, the actors performed with the same high spirit throughout. This singular act could be credited to the director’s slogan “the-show-must-go-on.”
The kind of cast party we are used to is biscuits and coke entertainment, or occasionally suya and coke. However, the production of A Letter from Jonathan Gullible crew came up with a new dimension (big chicken and varieties of drinks). The actors ate and drank to fill on the final night.
A long list of people made the play a success from the first day of rehearsal to the end of the play on August 15, 2009. Those whose names are not mentioned should please bear with us, your efforts are also appreciated in the same way as those mentioned.
ISIL – For the wonderful work they are doing and for financial support towards the production of this play.
Professor Ken Schoolland – A wonderful mentor and a true friend of the continent. He actually made it possible to open up the light in us.
Professor Sam Kafewo [below right] – the Director of our time. His knowledge and skill is a big wealth to us. His time, total devotion, moral and financial support cannot be quantified. He is a teacher.
Professor Dapo Adelugba – His fatherly criticisms made us strong. We have learned a lot from him.
Adedayo Thomas – The playwright, the continent and especially our generation owes you great appreciation. His discovery of the original text is a plus, the adaptation is a wealth and his support towards the production is beyond our expectations. He deserved an award. We hope that he will not relent in his drive to make others think and act about their freedom. firstname.lastname@example.org
Serving The Commons with soup and straw
The Barber Complains
Merchant’s Farewell to Sunta city
Edit: Janette Eldridge has created a PowerPoint slideshow of images of various scenes of the play. Click to view or download the slideshow: Nigerian-Jonathan-Gullible-Play-Slideshow
FINNISH EDITION OF JG
Petri Kajander has just begun serialization of JG in Finland. Says Petri,”Last November I began to translate some essential Austrian texts and books into Finnish since the existing variety was pretty much non-existent (only a couple of books existed, out of which none was from Rothbard or Mises – even Atlas Shrugged has not been translated!). It’s now a bit less than a year and there seems to be a growing awareness and interest towards an Austrian / free-market approach in Finland. You can find some of my translations in a website titled ‘Essential Economics or Basics of Economics’: http://www.taloudenperusteet.com .” Reports Petri– Now I have released the complete Finnish version: http://www.taloudenperusteet.com/jonathan/index.html (Online)
Downloadable pdf: http://www.taloudenperusteet.com/jonathan/Jonathan_Gulliblen_seikkailut….
INTERNATIONAL POLICY NETWORK–UK
Linda Whetstone of IPN has just written that the Ideas of Liberty CD with libertarian literature, including The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible, is now being distributed. As many as 100,000 copies are being distributed globally. Writes Linda, “I think that JG has probably already reached these countries but JG and the CD are now on their way to Zimbabwe, Malaysia, South Africa, Malawi, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Slovenia, Ghana, Afghanistan, China, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, Vietnam, Cambodia, Montenegro and Nepal. Someone working in the US treasury on international affairs has also asked for copies for some of his colleagues….I may have told you that we sent 3000 to Afghanistan but possibly not that they arrived without a hitch so Jonathan Gullible is now available at two separate universities in Kabul.” Bravo! email@example.com
JG has just been nominated by two separate institutes for the Sir Antony Fisher Memorial Award. The Atlas Economic Research Foundation offers this award in recognition of “the institutes that published a book, magazine, report, monograph, or study that…made the greatest contribution to public understanding of the free society.”
The book was nominated for the third Bulgarian edition of JG that was published by the Bulgarian Society for Individual Liberty and the Sindhi and second Urdu editions of JG that were published by the Alternate Solutions Institute of Pakistan. Says Mark Skousen, former President of the Foundation for Economic Education and author of nearly 30 books on economics, investments, and history: “Nobody has done what this book has done, with JG and getting read by thousands around the world via 46 translations.”
SMUGGLING IN AND OUT OF CUBA
How do we know of the impact the book is having? When Yuri Pérez, 26 years old, recently escaped from Cuba, he wrote to me because of a smuggled Spanish copy of JG that he obtained covertly in Cuba. Writes Yuri, “I read your book The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey. It is a great book and an easy way to teach [classical] liberalism to a new generation. I really thank you because of your book…Now I escaped from Cuba and I am living in USA with political refugee status. I arrived about 2 weeks ago and I’d like to keep in efforts of expanding liberalism in the world. I’d like to make contact with you.”
I immediately wrote to him to learn more of his story. “I’m happy,” said Yuri,”because the USA is a great country and I’m safe here but a little frustrated because I left the fight for freedom in my country. There in Cuba, my uncle was a political prisoner and my father was expelled from his job. In Cuba everything is under government control, including the economy. I had a lot of problems at my university while studying law. On orders from State Security (Cuba’s secret police), I was expelled from the university…Later, I entered the Juventud Martiana organization (it is the [classical] liberal youth in Cuba) and on December 2006 we got our observer membership in the International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY)…In November 2008 I became president of the organization…
“Your book The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible and the Filosofi’a de la Libertad [the animated epilogue of the book] I used to open with a video player (internet access is not easy in Cuba) and I had a book written by the French [classical] liberal, Frederic Bastiat, who says the same. I don’t remember who gave these to me, some people who visited us in Cuba, maybe it was a diplomat from the US or Europe. I just liked it a lot and as I wrote you it is a very good way to teach our principles to a new generation.”
Yuri Pérez will be a featured speaker at the conference of the International Society for Individual Liberty in Phoenix, Arizona, January 8-10.