With divorce or suicide, Latif Abubakar shows he is a force to reckon with

Thu, 1 Oct 2015 Source: Mohammed, Inusah

Paa Paul threatened me in the face that he is vehemently going to campaign against me. He said this because of what he saw at the National Theatre. I was then a candidate in the just-ended District Assembly Elections in the Nima-East Electoral Area in the Ayawaso District. The reason for his threat was interesting to say the least.

Paa Paul is the CEO of Palrose Ventures, a printing and designing company in Nima. He had taken a video of me in display. Together with my friends, we were in a state of frenzy, singing, dancing and clapping in a wild ecstatic style and fashion. It was the last day of the viewing of Latif Abubakar's What can come can come. And the spontaneity with which we came out with ‘jama’ from the main auditorium coupled with our completely outlandish display attracted almost everyone to us. That was when Paa Paul captured me in motion. And when I am in motion, I become possessed like the egwugwu in Chinua Achebe’s Things fall Apart which he described as “guttural and awesome.”

The display was not rehearsed. Neither was it planned. It was certainly not a pre-conceived idea also. It was just an outward knee-jerk manifestation of how the drama hit each and every soul of ours. It was absolutely a masterpiece and most of the audience were left with the statement “you have not seen anything yet” a cliché that run through the show from the most interesting character of the day. He kept repeating that like Chiwetalu Agu’s usage of particular language slangs or clichés in Nigeria movies.

We left the edifice near midnight wishing the show could restart. There was an untold feeling that we will jump at any show put up by the small in body yet creative in mind Latif Abubakar.

That is why I dedicated a considerable space on my Facebook wall to share the posters of his next play Divorce or Suicide, which had its viewing ending on Saturday 26th September, 2015 with pomp and occasion, stemming from its effect on the audience.

With five characters, Latif Abubakar trumpeted home invaluable nuggets of wisdom for marriage couples and to a larger extent those in relationships.

In a world where reasons for the overwhelming number of marriage break-ups are mostly as disgusting and irrelevant as a used sanitary pad, the play sought to imbue in couples the sense of guarding their tongues and fidelity in their matrimonial homes. “You are guaranteed a successful marriage and even paradise when you use correctly what is in-between your cheeks and what is in between your thighs, your tongue and your private parts. And note that ninety-five percent of all marital problems revolve around these. The whole world rotates around these. ” That is the personal message of the playwright to the audienece as captured in the play.

The use of veteran movie actors like Adjetey Annan and Ekow Smith Asante made the whole show a delight to watch. One could sense years of experience reflected in their performance. Adjetey Annan who played the dual role of a pastor and a fetish priest did that expertly not losing touch of the distinctive characteristics of each. What leaves one gaping in excitement is the unusual situation of a fetish priest quoting copiously from the Bible to substantiate his claims."Life and death lies in the power of the tongue" he stated to Mrs. Wimbledon in the play. She was taken aback and retorted, "these are words of the Bible." He replied “yes, but the gods say so”. Isn't that intriguing?

In Divorce or Suicide, Marriage is likened to the movement of the moon and sun which rarely results in an eclipse (the blocking or partial blocking of light from one by another). This phenomenon does not last when it occurs. Its occurrence is transient and a short-lived experience. Therefore, turbulence in marriage is just like the eclipse. It is temporal and fleeting. It is up to the couple to realize that and never submit to the temptation to divorce during periods of turbulence in their marriage.

Another lesson that we took from the play was the inefficiency and incapability of deities that people believe in and that absolute power resides in the everlasting and eternal Supreme God. The fetish priests that people visit to have their problems solved are powerless and most times live in far worse situations than them. “How can you put your faith and belief in a god and in someone created by God? Someone who you can be more powerful than”? A solid question asked by the unmasked fetish priest in the well-written, well-directed play.

Lastly, the writer of the play is a man whose career path charms my eye and fascinates my imagination. Latif Abubakar studied Zoology for his first degree in the University of Ghana. He is now the CEO of Globe Management Institute (GMI), a training, consulting and business research firm and a founding member the Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs, Ghana (AYEG).

With this career far away from the Arts and its related field, one then has to admit the diligence of this young man when he has written oversix plays that have all proven to be masterpieces n the own right.

I had the chance of watching the technical rehearsal of the play, Divorce or Suicide at the National Theater. After that I sent Latif Abubakar a message on facebook saying "Boss... thanks! With what I have seen, I believe you have further entrenched yourself as a force to reckon with in the theater industry."

Inusah Mohammed

NB: The writer is Youth-Activist and a Student of Knowledge.


Columnist: Mohammed, Inusah