In the past years, the arts have taken a back seat in many schools, as competition for better grades took priority. Many prefer to pack students with assignments, and no rest.
Taibah International Schools, however, have tried to keep the artistic flame burning they regularly host parents, well-wishers and fans of literature for different productions usually adopted from famous classicals. On Friday, at the National theatre, the school interpreted the famous comic Lion King which they presented as Mfalme Simba.
Being one of those books our generation grew up reading, and the animated film we always saved for Christmas day, or its spin-off TV show, Timon and Pumba, which we came home to after a disturbing day at school, attending was a right.
If you love Lion King, you will have to watch this show it is reminiscent of the good old days when king Mufasa and his prince Simba allowed us a good laugh and cry. Backed by both electro and break dancers, the story was executed to excellence, catching the audience off guard especially when the dance routines took centre stage.
The play’s biggest point must have been the music performances mostly done on a live band entirely made up of the students – they played songs such as Rihanna and Eminem’s Love The Way You Lie, Ellie Goulding’s Burn and probably the performance of the night, an acoustic version of Rihanna and Kanye West’s Four Five Seconds.
Some of the songs were interludes used to benefit the story or help carry it somewhere, and others were mere performances regardless how good they were done, the story could have done without them. If you went for Mfalme Simba expecting a near-perfect adoption of the classic, you had to be disappointed especially with the fact that this particular one was tailored and synergized to celebrate the best of pop culture.
The downside was that the songs and lyrics in vogue celebrated were all American and Nigerian at one point one could think one was watching a Nigerian school on a Ugandan visit. Their dance moves to songs including Davido’s Shoki or P-Square’s Shekini were flawless, and they knew all the lyrics.
One member of the audience complained that the school had done its best to tell this story using songs from everywhere but Uganda:
“And after school, these talented guys may want to do music but who will listen to them if they did not listen to Ugandan music in the first place?”
The Taibah shows are held annually and in the past a couple of actors have been discovered from such plays. An alumnus of the school is set to make a debut on award-winning director Kenneth Kihire’s New Intensions, so the productions cement the importance of arts on the school curriculum.
Source : The Observer