Right now, I feel like a recalcitrant, sober, itinerant husband creeping into bed after a long, unexplained absence from the matrimonial home. I cannot explain it and I am not going to try but why is writing sometimes so tedious? I envy writers who have to write with deadline looming all the time. They are nothing short of super humans. However, they continue to be my inspiration and hopefully they will dash me some more to write regularly. One thing for sure is that there is enough to write about as we embark on the special screenings of Arugba, our latest film in fifty seven local government councils and development areas of Lagos State. I can confirm authoritatively that it is a reality. It was flagged-off yesterday 17th February, 2009 with a packed press conference held at the Press Centre of the Lagos State Secretariat. My speech follows.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we are gathered here today to flag-off a very important journey, a set of premieres of our latest film Arugba in each local government and development area of Lagos State.
Physical contact with the audience is a filmmakers delight and this opportunity to observe and interact with the audience of Arugba is most appreciated. I must therefore acknowledge the visionary leadership of His Excellency, Governor Babatunde Raji Fasola, the Executive Governor of Lagos State for providing this opportunity to screen the film Arugba in each of the 57 Local Government councils and development areas of Lagos State. By doing so, the Lagos State government is opening up an important communication channel between the government and the governed. This feed-back channel, in accordance with modern approaches to governance will avail government a vital insight into the feelings of the people of Lagos State. Modern approaches to governance puts a lot of emphasis on interactivity as interactivity with the governed ensures inputs from the people in the governance process. True development cannot be achieved without the input of the people, after all, development is fundamentally about people. This set of screenings will surely fulfil this important purpose.
I am delighted to inform you that Arugba has been selected in competition at the approaching Pan African Film and Television Festival FESPACO 2009 holding in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from 28th February to 7th March, while The Women of Color Arts and Film (WOCAF) Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, USA has already programmed the film to feature at this year’s festival from 19th March to 22nd March, 2009. For me however, it is gratifying that we have this opportunity to show the film to its primary audience before it goes out to the international community.
The Film Arugba is yet another effort to state a case for our language and culture in a fast globalising world. It touches on wide ranging issues such as gender equality, HIV/AIDS, good governance and many other contemporary issues, all within the context of traditional
and contemporary Yoruba culture. The heroine moves smoothly between the two sides of the same culture coin, functioning as the votary maid in the traditional Osun festival yet, a key figure in her secular University. She combines traditional virtues of chastity with modern life skills that enables stand against the distractions of modern living.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I invite you to join me in flagging off the screening of Arugba in the 57 Local government councils and special development areas of Lagos State.