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Ibadan Theater


I miss Nigeria, and particularly I miss the Nigerian people. More than twenty years I lived in Nigeria, with different people and from different cultures in a diverse society. I have learned a bit from the different cultures, such as the Yoruba, Fulani, Hausa, Igbo, Efik, Uruan, Ijaw, Bini, Ibibio, Anang, Anyema, Baushi, Eket, Etong, Igala, Nupe, Oron and more.


Ten years I lived in Ibadan. The capital city of the Yoruba people, if we consider Lagos, as a multicultural city. There are 5 million Yoruba in Ibadan, but it looks more like a mega-village with rusty roofs, open drainage systems, open sewage systems and a system that spread the garbage around the city, allowing all to equally enjoy it.


There are some efforts in developing public infrastructures, and one of the projects was a semi-circle modern cultural center, or theater.


Now, this Schroder is a 61-year-old and he is the project superintendent. He is accurate and discipline, with German roots. He loves teaching his staff about the construction techniques. Specifically, he likes Adewale, the foreman, since Adewale, already have some knowledge, in construction techniques.


That evening, Schroder tells me, he felt badly.


Why? – I asked him.


Well - Schroder says – This morning, we had to construct a curved wall. The stairs, of the cultural center, going up to the second floor, along the curved external wall. So, under the stairs, they should build an internal wall, like a semi-circle, to enclose the space under the stairs.


Schroder said that he demonstrated to Adewale, how to place the bricks, with small twists, such, that the wall will go with the stairs, and close the space thereunder. Then - Schroder says – I went for my "Schlafstunde." Schroder always go for a break by 1pm.


Before Schroder goes for his Schlafstunde, he asks Adewale - who will he give this complicated job? Adewale suggested Babatunde, since Babatunde has good hands, on one hand, and since there is no one else on the site, except Babatunde, on the other hand.


Schroder confirm the choice, and take-off for his "Schlafstunde."


When Schroder returns from his "Schlafstunde", around 5pm, he is amazed with the high quality of the wall, built by Babatunde.


He calls Adewale and praises him for a well-done job. Adewale too is proud. He knows Schroder will give him a nice bonus, for a well-done job. Plus, a bonus for Babatunde, of course.


Schroder ask Adewale – and by the way, where is Babatunde?


Adewale hesitates – Mastaaaa (master) … he says - we have a big problem, Masta.


Schroder – okey Adewale, what is the problem?


Adewale - You see Masta … Babatunde can't go out, he is trapped behind the wall, under the stairs. How can we get him out, Masta?


Of course, this is the end of the story. But, few years later I passed-by the theater and decided to have a look.


To my very big surprise, Babatunde is the person in charge of this site. It is good to see Babatunde getting such a promotion.


I ask Babatunde, when is the next show? Can he arrange tickets for me?


Babatunde gently says - right now there are no tickets for at least the next 2 weeks ahead.


Two minutes later, he admits - there are no tickets at all, since there are no shows at all.


The new governor, decided to freeze the project. He doesn't want his predecessor to get credit for such a nice project.


Thus, in the meantime, for the past 3 years, Babatunde is using the site as a goat's pen and grow cassava around the parking lots.

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