Abuja audiences are known to be reserved and not so expressive in comparison to our event supporters in the west and east of the country. If you are a bit of a nightlife fan In Abuja, then you will bear witness to the fact that Standing ovations and almost endless applause must have been exclusively reserved for Heaven’s angelic choir performance. However, this was the case yesterday night as the cast of “Hear Word” play took a bow to end their inspiring, hilarious and eye-opening performance.

To commemorate 16 days of activism against sexual and gender-based violence, the European Union In collaboration with “iopeneye” productions, funded the stage play which has been running for 6 years now but performing again in Abuja. It was graced with the brilliance of veteran and seasoned actors such as Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Joke Silva, Elvina Ibru, Ufuoma McDermott, Omonor, Zara Udofia-Ejoh, Rita Edward, Odenike, Debbie Ohiri, and Oluchi Odii at the Shehu Musa Yaradu’a center Abuja on the 25th of November.

The play was directed by Ifeoma Fafunwa. If any woman walked into that hall and left with self-esteem not higher than what she came in with, then we could blame it on the approaching harmattan. The play was not just an “edutainment” piece, it inspired and evoked a sense of worth and the idea in a woman that I am an entity of worth and value, I give value and am entitled to a basic level of dignifying humanity. While having a good laugh, verbally expressing opinions as we were invited to being very happy participants in the play, our minds were set to work on practical issues that affect women and most times in negative cultural practices sets them at a disadvantage in being happy and fulfilled individuals as well as productive drivers of society.

They include embracing sexuality, speaking out against rape culture, women supporting women, open parenting, approachable parenting, excusing and exonerating abusers while stigmatizing victims, victimizing widowhood and death practices, child marriage and the mental abuse/physical molestation, economic and intellectual capacity, and prowess of women, over-ambition as having any ambition at all, girl child training and the perpetual culture that breeds these societal ills against women, valuing one’s self and demanding more from life, taking initiative and the fact that our destinies are ultimately in our hands. This play Brilliantly Highlights both the victims and heroines rising from the ashes, cautions Chauvinism, misogyny, and the patriarchy as fuelers of gender-based violence.

Ultimately there is a way out and with plays like this to educate and reprogram society’s thinking and direction of thought, change for good is coming soon.

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