Playwright and public relations professional, Olutayo Irantiola, has released his historical play, ‘The Òkehò Exodus’.
The play is a unique documentation of the story of Òkehò, the headquarters of Kajola Local Government, Oyo State. It highlights the regicide of Ońjò Olúkìtìbí in 1916, an incident that changed Òkehò story.
After the incident, the British colonial administration stepped in to restore law and order. The resolution was that the community relocated from its nature-endowed refuge in the hills of Òkehò-Ahoro to its present site.
Commending the author’s effort in the foreword, Professor Segun Gbadegesin noted that “Ìrántíọ́lá has woven the goals of truth-telling and entertainment seamlessly and has demonstrated fidelity to historical accuracy while also achieving artistic excellence.”
He added that “through this drama, he has effectively presented, not an unhistorical entertainment, but an entertaining history. I fervently hope that this volume will generate the interest of serious cultural enthusiasts. The play will be staged in theatres across the country and the world in no distant future. ”
The Chief Operating Officer of Verdant Zeal Group, Dípọ̀ Adéṣidà, also commended the play, noting that it speaks to the present times. “Sadly, this story is still reminiscent of many African communities today who cannot see the bigger picture beyond the immediate economic or political benefits of personal gain in exchange for building a legacy of worthy governance structure for posterity.”
On his part, Irantiola said, “writing this play is a dream come true for me. I am excited that Nigerians will read and appreciate some occurrences during the colonial intrusion in Yoruba land. I hope this play will form the basis for identifying who we are as an ethnic group and revitalising the profound ingenuity in us beyond the identity given to us by the colonialists.”
The book’s release coincides with the Okeho Day celebration beginning on November 20.
ALSO READ FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE