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Egungun-Alabala Mandela 

This is a processional performance that was premised on the context of a second burial of Mandela. Using the words of The Economist of December 14, 2013 “Among Nelson Mandela’s many achievements, two stand out. First, he was the world’s most inspiring example of fortitude, magnanimity and dignity in the face of oppression, serving more than 27 years in prison for his belief that all men and women are created equal. During the bleak years of his imprisonment on Robben Island, thanks to his own patience, humour and capacity for forgiveness, he seemed freer behind bars than the men who kept him there, locked up as they were in their own self-demeaning prejudices. Indeed, his warders were among those who came to admire him most. Second, and little short of miraculous, was the way in which he engineered and oversaw South Africa’s transformation from a byword for nastiness and narrowness into, at least in intent, a rainbow nation in which people, no matter what their colour, were entitled to be treated with respect…” Mandela has therefore become Orisha (Deity) and the ritual of alignment with Irunmole (spiritual energies and beings) was done during the performance. 

The Performance and its symbolic contents consisted of Kanaga (Mask), Cross, water (Omi), cola-nut (Obi), bitter cola (Orogbo), salt (Iyo),  210 Ifa Divisional trays (Opon Ifa), cups, and cloth (Ankara (Dutch-wax) that has been wore by people), etc. 

The objects were used as objects of commemoration and symbols of dignity. It made reference to Kanaga as it is being used in Dogon. The Kanaga is used in traditional performance of DAMA as object of honor and commemoration of the dead.

In DAMA, the performers rotate their upper bodies from the hips and swinging the Kanaga in wide circles, as imitation of life-creation force. “Their outstretched movements symbolically spread the force of life throughout the world”. Hence, the meanings and essences of the Kanaga and other objects in the performance, Egungun-Alabala Mandela, were incorporated as metaphorical statements of the essence of good leadership.





The 20th century saw revolutionary breakthroughs in many fields of science and technology, which also include advances in nuclear science. The furtherance in the advancement and proliferation of nuclear weapons has heightened the fear of future catastrophes like the ones in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The five nuclear weapons states United States, Russia (former Soviet Union), United Kingdom, France and China, which are the only countries allowed to have nuclear weapons according to the Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) from 1970 have become biggest threat to world peace. Statistically, the world's combined stockpile of nuclear warheads as of 2013 was put tomore than 23,000. This can be seen thus, United States of America - 7,700, Russia/The Soviet Union - 8,500, United Kingdom – 225, France– 300, China-250.

Many security experts believe that nuclear weapons are the greatest challenge the world; hence, the worries about the vulnerability of the vast and varied arsenal of the nuclear possession and its proliferation.

US President, Barack Obama on the 5th of April 2009, in Prague, declared that “One nuclear weapon exploded in one city - be it New York or Moscow, Islamabad or Mumbai, Tokyo or Tel Aviv, Paris or Prague - could kill hundreds of thousands of people.  And no matter where it happens, there is no end to what the consequences might be – for our global safety, our security, our society, our economy, to our ultimate survival”.

In 1981, Kenneth Waltz, asked a pertinent question that was based on the consequences of the spread of nuclear weapons in the world. He asked, “What will the spread of nuclear weapons do to the world?”. 


He went further to ascertain that “Someday the world will be populated by ten or twelve or eighteen nuclear-weapon states (hereafter referred to as nuclear states). What the further spread of nuclear weapons will do to the world is therefore a compelling question. Most people believe that the world will become a more dangerous one as nuclear weapons spread. The chances that nuclear weapons will be fired in anger or accidentally exploded in a way that prompts a nuclear exchange are finite, though unknown. Those chances increase as the number of nuclear states increase. More is therefore worse” (see Kenneth Waltz’s article, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: More May Better, in Adelphi Papers, Number 171 (London: International Institute for Strategic Studies, 1981).

The above context directed the contents, objects meanings and actions of the performance Ologbere. The piece assembled and made use of the flags of the five nuclear weapons states (United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China) that have higher nuclear warheads; skeleton of a woman, milk, anchor-rope, and wooden-carriage. It involved a processional walk – where the performer pulled along the skeleton of a woman, which was laid on the wooden-carriage and dragged along in the streets with the aid of the anchor-rope from Slussen /Södermalmstorg to Fylkingen Stockholm, Sweden. In the couse of the walk, the performer occasionally fed the skeleton with milk. The performance ended in a gallery space (Fylkingen) where all the objects of the performance were installed and text

was incorporated.


Elégbà is a spirit of good character in Yoruba tradition –where Elégbà assigns corporal punishment(s) to whosoever deserves to be modeled in character or human values.

Eleegba is a social intervention performance integrated dance techniques and borrow heavily from the ideals and actions of Elégbà. In this performance, 5 mannequins, which each were dressed in the flags of United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China, were installed in a public space. The performer – a deconstructed human image danced energetically around the mannequins and whipped them viciously. The actions were accompanied by sound of Yoruba drum. The sounds were installed through numerous smaller speakers that were fastened on the body of the performer. The audience was involved in the performance through writings out the text from the object of performance: 48 pages of paper which contains the history of the spread of nuclear weapon. The text include: Nuclear Development!!! Nuclear Revolution!!! Uranium Mining!!! Nuclear Weapons!!! Nuclear Spread!!! Nuclear Power!!!


In the words of the Commission on Human Security, security is to protect the vital core of all human lives in ways that enhance human freedoms and human fulfillment. Human security means protecting fundamental freedoms—freedoms that are the essence of life. It means protecting people from critical (severe) and pervasive (widespread) threats and situations. It means using processes that build on people’s strengths and aspirations. It means creating political, social, environmental, economic, military and cultural systems that together give people the building blocks of survival, livelihood and dignity.

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