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In the realm of theatre, few experiences can match the sheer delight of witnessing a well-crafted show that tickles the funny bone while also exploring the intricacies of human relationships. Boluwatife Orimolade, the talented playwright and director behind Ankara&Black Playhouse, has once again delivered a feel-good gem in Visiting the Kunbis. This outstanding production joins the ranks of his other productions such as Family Reunion and Meeting the Alakijas. Visiting the Kunbis not only delivers side-splitting laughter but also offers a refreshing perspective on love and second chances. The play was staged at Alliance Française in Ikoyi, on the 17th – 18th of June, giving audiences multiple opportunities to experience the delightful performance of the 7-member cast.
Visiting the Kunbis: A Review
The play revolves around two eccentric middle-aged mothers– Mama and Mama Wa, who are connected through the marriage of their children, Durodola and Dolabomi Adekunbi. Their unannounced visit to their children’s residence in Ikoyi, Lagos sets the stage for a show that had the audience in stitches. Debbie Ohiri‘s portrayal of Mama and Mawuyon Ogun‘s portrayal of Mama Wa showcased their talent as their chemistry on stage added an extra layer of humour.
One particularly hilarious moment in the play involved Mama asking Durodola to show them the way to their room, only for Mama Wa to interject exclaiming, “Ahahn, I know the way to the room nau, gbé bag já lọ!” (which translates to carry your bag, let’s go!). The audience couldn’t contain their laughter as it perfectly captured the classic African mother’s knack for taking charge and acting like they know it all.
But that wasn’t the only hilarious moment. When Mama and Mama Wa learned about Durodola and Dolabomi’s decision to wait 18 months before having children, in true African mother fashion, they started praying and speaking in tongues, trying to ward off any evil spirits that might be influencing their children’s choices. As a GenZ I can relate to this on a personal level, as African mothers have a way of overreacting in situations where it may not be necessary. Furthermore, the play cleverly incorporates many expressions used by GenZ. For instance, when both mothers-in-law planned to cook a tasty meal, Mama Wa expressed her desire
to find a place where they sell good iru, a smelly condiment. However, Mama didn’t approve of adding that ingredient to the meal. When Mama Wa questioned if it was really that bad, Mama responded with “Ah, it’s werser!”, underscoring her disdain for the local ingredient. Additionally, when they both decided to go to the market, Mama mentioned wanting to change her outfit and when Mama Wa asked why she replied that being in Lagos, she wanted to “pepper dem,” in reference to a desire to outshine others and make a lasting impression.
The actor who stole the limelight was Myde Glover, who portrayed Koffi McDaniel, the home assistant to the Adekunbi family. With his witty comments and grandiose pronouncements, Glover’s performance became a favorite among the audience. His character’s catchphrase, “My name is Koffi McDaniel, executive chef of the Adekunbi dynasty,” had the audience join in whenever he introduced himself.
Amidst all the laughter, there was a deeper storyline at play. Mama had found love again, however, her child, Dolabomi, portrayed by Demilade Aiyegbusi, remained skeptical and hesitant about her mother’s choice of a partner. This led to an argument between her and her partner, Durodola who advised her to let her mother be and to support her happiness. Dolabomi however couldn’t wrap her head around her mother having feelings for someone else in her old age.
The underlying message of this play is to appreciate the second chances that come our way and to embrace the newfound happiness of our loved ones. Mama and Mama Wa, despite their initial reservations, eventually opened their hearts to love once again. The heartwarming “Awwn” moment in the theatre occurred when both of their spouses named Akin confessed their genuine feelings, evoking a collective sense of joy and warmth among the audience.
The play serves as a poignant reminder that our parents have dedicated their lives to us and when life presents them with unforeseen circumstances, it is our duty to support and encourage them in their pursuit of happiness. Visiting the Kunbis beautifully captures the essence of this message, showcasing the power of love and the importance of supporting our parents and the opportunity of experiencing joy once more. Through the laughter and the relatable family dynamics depicted in the play, young people can gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of adult life. We learn the significance of compassion, empathy, and the ability to see beyond societal expectations. The play transcends age, demonstrating that love knows no boundaries and can flourish at any stage of life.
Have you ever witnessed or experienced a second chance at love in your own family life? How did it impact your perspective on relationships and happiness? Share your experiences with us in the comment section below!
You should also watch out for other theatre productions happening this July. Kelvinmary Ndukwe’s Kaineto, presented by Terra Kulture, will be showcased with seven showings every weekend in July. If you’re interested in attending, you can purchase your tickets Here. Additionally, the Crown Troupe of Africa will be presenting a play called The Road on the 8th and 9th of July. For more information about the production and to buy tickets, you can visit the provided link Here.
You go girl, go see some theatre this July!
There are definitely events worth checking out, you never know what amazing new stories you might discover, or what characters you might connect with on a deeper level. So why not take a chance and explore all that the theatre community has to offer? Who knows – you might just find your new favorite play!comments powered by Disqus