Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Review: Ipade Omoluwabi

Ipade omoluwabi was unique in its conception and perhaps even in its execution, most certainly in its combination of contents especially for its audience in Lagos. Like most parts of the world, entertainment and serious intellectual exploration are largely kept into two or many completely detached containers labelled ‘radioactive if mixed’. With Ipade Omoluwabi we not only mixed we turned into one dish. We had three powerful elements:

1) A presentation of the conceptual model that is ‘Omoluwabi’ using a multimedia presentation that used the blend of data, video clips, audio commentary, photographs and analysis. It was not a lecture but a facilitated interaction with the audience. An excursion into the drivers of Omoluwabi for the times will live in globally and in the locality of Lagos, Africa. It was also a deliberation of each of the seven elements and case studies of how they play out in the individuals, organisations and societies.

Lesson: The crowd participated, debated and were passionate. We as facilitators needed more questions than answers and materials for the audiences as well as participants so that it takes their journey to the next level of depth when they go back to their homes.

2) A Fashion show provided the second element as an exposition of character in action. It was a composition from four designers complementary to the core of Omoluwabi that ‘Africanisation is the new modernisation’. Models were bearing ethnic tattoos on their faces, music was the Ijala Omoluwabi and all designers used elements of the concept in fabric, cut or look.

Lesson: The creations were not completely thematic even though they were quite a spectacle. Models have to range the shapes and sizes of African women not thin waifs. The fashion element needs to be more philosophically integrated.

3) Obalola the accompanying play was the third element. It was written to explore and examine the character of the ruling classes in Lagos. Looking at their buffoonery as` caricature of the west and exploring the possibility of their conscious evolution.

Lesson: The most successful aspect of the day. It blew away the audience and shows that the most controversial views are absorbed through myths and stories. The dialogue it excited and the fun that accompanied it were a true testament of the power of Satire. Each play should be relevant and specific to each locale the Omoluwabi wisdom is being played out.

Our audience for the 9th of September were a largely an unprofiled and random group of people from all works of life, part of a larger network of contacts. The event was organised as a pilot and it was delivered on the sense that ‘if we build it they will come’. Invitation was exclusively by email and there was no prior media publicity. There was no follow up to the 100 invitation sent out originally.

On the 9th of September we had about 70 or more people attending. Along with other contributors we got about 100 signed up people for our future activities. They are new addition to our growing network of co-travellers.

The event has captured the imagination of all those present. It has led to many new possibilities including partnership with a National talk show as well as regular platform with a Cultural Centre. Feedback continues to flow and they have all been positive. It seems the time of Omoluwabi is now. Hope you will join us next time most likely Johannesburg in January, London in March and New York to be decided.

For more on Omoluwabi see