By Ogar Monday/Oto-Bong Clement
Mountain Cinema Nigeria, a theater and movie production company based in Calabar, the Cross River State capital has staged a play in honor of a missionary and change agent Mary Mitchell Slessor in Okoyong, Odukpani Local Government Area.
The play which depicts the life and conditions of twins in pre-Slessor’s Okoyong, is centered around the character of Obong Kebenta Okon Ekpo Ita Effiong Offiong of Okoyong kingdom who furiously and religiously follows the tradition by ordering the killing of twins and punishing pregnant women who attempt to escape for fear of giving birth to twins.
The king, who sees himself as the custodian of the tradition, refuses any and every perceived attempt at desecrating the land by giving birth to twins. Providence catches up with him, when his pregnant wife, the Queen gives birth to a set of twins few days after the killing of one of his guards who tried hiding the wife who gave birth to twins from the king.
The play ends with the coming of a man from the Presbytery, bringing message of the arrival of Mary Mitchell Slessor.
Speaking after the play, Akpeke Francis the Producer of the play said the play was staged so as to continuously re echo the good deeds of Mary Slessor.
“The kindness and doggedness of Mary Slessor is evident in the thousands of twins who are alive today because she choose to put even her life on the line so as to stamp out that bad tradition.
“It is our hope that as we will continuously tell her story, it will move our hearts towards being change agents in our closet”, he said.
Also speaking, the writer of the script and a director with Mountain Cinema, Temple Lawrence said he was moved by the reception of the villagers, “they connected with the story being told, especially the elderly who must have been told the stories by their fathers who experienced that period.
“I saw some of the elderly people crying as the play was going on, and I said yes, we are passing across a message here”, he concluded.
Residents who spoke to CrossRiverWatch expressed happiness over the play staged as it brings back memories of history nearly buried, they all enjoined Mountain Cinemas to from time to time come over for such programs.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.