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NGO tackles gender-based violence with stage play

Ms Ebuka Chukwu 62 December 10, 2022

In observance and celebration of the 2022 United Nation’s ‘16 Days of Global Activism against Gender-Based Violence’, a non-governmental organisation, Live Abundantly, sponsored a play titled, ‘Menace,’ in partnership with The British Council. The play was produced by Magni Cedar Production.

The event, which held last weekend in Ikoyi, Lagos, was attended by several dignitaries.

The one-person multi-dimensional play focuses on gender-based violence issues that affect both sexes, while beaming light on the root causes of the problem that causes trauma, shame and stigmatisation, particularly for men, who ordinarily don’t like talking about such.

According to Benny Akinyemi, the sole actor and writer of the play, it was inspired by true life stories of people, while stating that he had also had personal experiences in that regards.

The founder of Live Abundantly, Dr Onyerinma Ama, also condemned violence in any form, urging that attention should also be paid to violence against men. She said, “It is high time we recognised that men are also being violated; perhaps not to the same degree that we know of women. But, it does exist and for that reason, it should be given attention. Unfortunately for men, their cultural and societal biases make it tough for them to speak about it.

Ama also recounted how some families of victims refused to pursue cases in court because of shame and guilt. She added that an adequate system should be put in to place, so as to help victims reintegrate into society.

In a similar vein,  Chim Chalemera, the representative of the British Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria, Ben LLewellyn-Jones, agreed that there wasn’t enough attention on the violence suffered by men. She, however, noted that plays like this could help create awareness and enable men to speak up when violated, and not feel ashamed.

Chalemera said, “It starts at home with parents acknowledging that all children, both male and female, have voices, and they should be encouraged to use them.

“The notion that men don’t cry has not helped our men. It starts from parents raising their sons to not feel ashamed to cry and show their emotions.”

Other dignitaries at the event included the British Council’s Director of Examinations Nigeria, Marniee Nottingham, who represented the British Council Country Manager, Lucy Pearson; the chair and trustee of Live Abundantly, Gbenga Oguntayo; and singer, Daddy Showkey.