Art is enjoying a lively renaissance in Nigeria, with festivals building on previous successes and bringing in larger audiences. The 2014 edition of the Taruwa Festival was no exception. This was only the second edition of the festival, and in launching with The Engagement, a stage play written by prize-winning author Sefi Atta, festival organisers made a statement of intent that this year would prove a broader, richer experience. The Engagement centred on a family at odds on the day of their daughter’s engagement ceremony. A large turnout roared with laughter, the actors providing the perfect foils for the writer’s incisive wit.
The next day’s focus was dance, as the Ijodee International Dance Exchange took the stage to dazzle the audience with its moves. The festival was about more than entertainment; it was also a place for involvement. An arts workshop was conducted by some of the best in the Nigerian industry including musician Bez, movie director Charles Novia and music mogul Audu Maikori.
Day 3 of the festival concluded with a special evening of poetry, jokes, and music, all eagerly appreciated by a crowd who were clearly loving every minute. The festival ended with the Ankara Ball – an epic way to bring events to a close which left attendees with just one question: how will organisers Gbagyichild Entertainment top this? We’ll find out when the Taruwa Festival returns in in 2015.