Team Nigeria has set a new Guinness World Record of 85 hours, 15 minutes, 30 seconds for the World’s Longest Marathon Theatre Performance By A Team for Nigeria. Team Nigeria is the largest performing group of young Nigerians set up for the purpose of breaking the existing world record of 76 hours set by Team USA in 2014.
The team accomplished the feat at the public performance held at Maryland Roundabout, Lagos, where it set up a 12 by 12 feet stage to put up the 85 hours of non-stop theatre performance. It had thousands of members of the public watching the world record attempt for four days and four nights continuously.
Director of the team, Olafemi Olabode George, said the team had 16 months of intense rehearsals to prepare for performance, which took place from May 17 to 21, 2017.
In his words: “The preparation period was one of greatest challenges for the team. At a point, we were almost at the brink of breaking up due to lack of funds and support until Professor Wole Soyinka stepped in to help the team. He supported the team with foodstuffs and a new rehearsal ground. The team was also adopted to be a part of the [email protected] celebration at the theatre fest.”
In order to ensure credibility for its Guinness World Record attempt, the team took its world record attempt to the public where every second of its performances was seen by members of the public and vetoed for as being real, true and original. It was the reason the team set up a public theatre stage at the popular Maryland Roundabout, an axis plied by over two million motorists and passengers every day.
George said the team of 124 actors, dancers and singers began its world record attempt for the period of 85 hours, 15 minutes, 30 seconds to break the existing record of 76 hours, 18 minutes set in 2014 by a team of actors in Coronado, U.S., thereby setting a new world record.
While it awaits official confirmation of its world record attempt from the Guinness World Record team, Team Nigeria hopes to embark on several other art-related projects in its Art-4-Hope campaign across Nigeria. The aim is to challenge other young Nigerians to think of what they can do to make Nigeria great and better and not just wait for what the country could offer them.
He said the team’s success is a symbol of hope to every Nigerian everywhere, adding, “we are a nation that will never give up and a people that will never stay down.”
A member of the team, Mercy Evbhidaghe, said by attempting one of the most difficult of Guinness World Records ever and succeeding in breaking it, the team of young Nigerians have proven that something positive could come out of Nigeria and that Nigerian youths were ready to sacrifice greatly and make positive impacts in helping the country become better.
George expressed gratitude to Soyinka for his immense support for the team and his amazing faith in the team’s artistic abilities and strength and to Lagos State Government and organisers of [email protected] for providing them the opportunity of being a part of the historic celebration of Lagos State’s 50th anniversary.
Also, in a bid to unearth hidden talents, and as part of activities that climaxed [email protected] celebration, Team Nigeria organised drama competition for 20 secondary schools in Lagos. The competition, also known as Eko Theatre Fest, had a weeklong run at the National Theatre; it ended yesterday. It had as theme: Theatre Expo.
Most of the schools had performances from such famous books like One Man One Machete by T.M Aluko by Kosofe Senior College, and directed by Abidoye Ronke. It won the school 10 awards. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe was performed by Angus Memorial Senior High School, and directed by Olagwu Cardine. Elepe Community Senior High School enacted The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born, directed by Obi Desmond was display by Satellite Senior Secondary School and directed by Fadeni Tolu while some of Wole Soyinka work, The Beautification of an Area Boy was performed by Zumiatul Islammiyyah Senior High School, directed by Adeyemi Omotola and The Road had CINAC Royal College enacting it; Okediaro Rasheed directed it.
The following schools also participated: Luwasa Senior High School, which performed The Concubine by Elechi Amadi and directed by Fehintola Clara; Interland College enacted Once Upon Four Robbers by Femi Osofisan, directed by Odin Jeffrey; Epe Girls Senior Secondary School enacted Sons and Daughters by J.C. De Graff, directed by Olufeyisan Gbenga; Twist of Destiny by Joseph Niyi was performed by Aaresther Divine Secondary School and directed by Uzor Udeozo; Funktab School enacted The Boomerang by A.O.Oyekanmi, directed by Ojo Eunice Bukola; Imoye Senior High School and Agboju Junior Secondary School performed The Priest and the Gods by Damilola Afufe, directed by Odiru Oghenevwede V.
Also, Government Senior Secondary School enacted The Blood of a Stranger by Dele Charley, directed by Adelaye Abimbola and Dayo Tunde; Grandmate Secondary School, Ago Okota performed Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe, directed by Edith Onedibe; Best Metropolitan College played The Reward for Patience by John Okoho, directed by Otadimeji Ifeoluwa.
Others were Eko Akete Senior Grammar School, which enacted Morountodun by Femi Oshotisan, Kings Ado Senior High School performed The Concubine by Elechi Amadi, Lagos Model College performed The Cross Road by Pitan Adebanjo, Okesuna High School enacted Wedlock of the Gods by Zulu Sofola.