Posted by News Express | 27 May 2020 | 1,925 times
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought socio-economic as well as to educational activities to a halt globally, organisers of the ‘Femi Branch Playfest 2020’ is set to announce new dates for the event, which was postponed as occasioned by the virus outbreak.
A release signed by Tee Abiola Oduola (Sean Polotee), the organisation’s Media Consultant, said new dates for the festival tour would be announced immediately schools resume in all the affected states.
Nevertheless, as part of its corporate social responsibility, ‘Femi Branch Playfest 2020’ has been on an advocacy drive to sensitise and reorientate Nigerians on how to protect themselves from contacting the virus.
“In order not to lose steam, and also in keeping with the spirit of social advocacy needed to sensitise and orientate our people on how to protect themselves from this pandemic, we have been creating the much needed awareness as outlined by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, the Federal and State Governments, and the World Health Organisation WHO, to help our people understand the necessary precautions needed to protect them and their loved ones from the virus. Prominent among this, is the MASK UP CAMPAIGN, which our entire team has undertaken, using the social media space,” Chief Babafemi Branch, the event’s initiator, was quoted as saying.
Continuing, Branch said: “After intense deliberations, we decided to expand the scope of the festival by increasing our catchment figure to 100 students per school across ten schools, making it a total of 1,000 students now as against the overall 100 formerly planned. To ease this process and make it achievable, we have organised an online audition to enable students from all participating schools try out for roles in the festival play.
“It is our hope that with this, we shall lighten the burden of the audition process in the respective schools when they eventually open, thereby pacing up the progress of work when we resume after the lockdown. We continue to pray that we, as a people, and as a nation, shall survive this scourge and we wish to assure everyone that our plan to impact the lives of these 1,000 young upcoming actors from ten Nigerian universities across ten selected cities will still be a reality.
“We thank the Federal and State Governments, the NCDC and especially our frontline workers for their selfless and tireless efforts to safely ferry us through these trying times. We thank our sponsors who have come on board already and call on other corporate entities and individuals to partner with us to make these 1,000 dreams come true.”
It will be recalled that on February 15, 2020, Femi Branch had announced plans by his entertainment outfit to tour no fewer than 10 Nigerian cities across Nigeria, from April 3 to June 21, 2020.
He disclosed this to newsmen at the Excellence Hotel, Ogba, Lagos venue of a press conference he organised to raise awareness for the maiden edition of the Annual Femi Branch Playfest, a celebration of theatrical writing of the Nollywood actor, one of Africa’s leading actors, playwrights and poets.
At the press conference, he had announced that the Festival was scheduled to kick off his biggest play yet, “Kunme The Musical”. He had hinted that the tour would take a one-week break in Lagos from May 25 to 31, 2020 for the Festival proper which will feature performances by different selected troupes of Femi Branch’s other plays such as Poi, Shalanga, Jungle Justice, and Ankara Committee, with final performance being of the tour play, Kunme.
Thereafter, he said, the tour would then resume from June 12 and end on 21, 2020 in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory with host cities as Ife, Akure, Ado Ekiti, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Ijebu Ode, Ikorodu, Badagry, Benin City, and Abuja.
However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had put paid to the initial schedule of the event.
The project has Lady Prevail Olayinka as its Project Director, Tee Abiola Oduola (Sean Polotee), as Media Consultant, Ben Ogbeiwi as Music Director, Anuli Onwuadi, as Project Coordinator, as well as a host of other professionals.
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