Ìlọ Yá  

Writer and performer: Oluwasegun Lafup Ogundipe 
Dramaturge: Katlego Chale
Where: Theatre Arts, Methodist Church Hall, corner Milton Road and Wesley Street, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925
When: March 21, 2024
Tickets: R120-R150 for general admission with concessions for students
Direct booking link: https://theatrearts.co.za/show/djeli
Age advisory: Over 13s
Info: caroline@theatrearts.co.za or call 0812553519  
Tickets and programme: Available online at www.theatrearts.co.za   
Info: For updates about the shows, follow Theatre Arts on Instagram and Facebook        

Ìlọ Yá… the journey begins… This new play, written and performed by Oluwasegun Lafup Ogundipe, an award-winning Nigerian creative is making its debut in Cape Town, at Theatre Arts on March 21, 2024. Oluwasegun Lafup Ogundipe is currently based in Cape Town. He is a stand-up comedian, stage actor and theatre producer, with a huge following in Nigeria. Check out the scope of his work on Instagram, where he has over 54 thousand followers https://www.instagram.com/lafupcfr/

His solo play, Ìlọ Yá, captures “the hilarious tale of Mokan, a young Nigerian who tries to navigate different challenges on his way to achieve ‘The Nigerian Dream’. The piece, “creates a comical exploration of Mokan’s challenges and obstacles as he tries to achieve his goals at home while contemplating migration.” Physically and emotionally, the challenges are immeasurable. “The mental process of leaving everything behind, for a new place is a conversation that many are hesitant to have. I Ìlọ Yá tackles that subject in a simple and relatable way.”  It is not easy to tag Ìlọ Yá in terms of genre: “It is comedy with frills of satire”, he muses. Read on for insights about this exciting new play: 

Collaborative experimental theatre piece- Africans in the diaspora

Katlego Chale is on board as dramaturge in “this collaborative experimental theatre piece is laced with relatable themes that many Africans in the diaspora can connect with: Facing setbacks, heartbreak and ultimately finding one’s way in a new country. This performance brings the city of Lagos closer to theatre lovers.”

The inspiration for the play

“What sparked the idea of this play for me?” Oluwasegun Lafup Ogundipe: “It is the fact that there is an exodus back home of my brothers and sisters trouping out of the country for a ‘better life’. This is not a new phenomenon – what’s new is my people now save up money and invest to have themselves in a place where the system is more supportive of their dreams. This is not exclusive to only Nigeria but cuts across even beyond Africa- people leaving to pursue their dreams – somewhere else. The mental process of leaving everything behind for a new place is a conversation many are hesitant to have. Iloya tackles that subject in a simple and relatable way. I tried to captures the mental struggle we all go through before giving up our comfort to pursue our dreams in a new land. As a producer and performer I love exploring fresh writing and putting a unique African spin on well-known classics. It is exciting to present these plays in a way that resonates with our African context.”

Innovative experimental theatre – experiential play

Ìlọ Yá is an international experimental theatre collaboration between Oluwasegun Lafup Ogundipe and Katlego Chale. Chale wrote Djeli the recently produced play for Theatre in the Dark festival, at Theatre Arts in Observatory. “Ìlọ Yá is a social experiential play. We invite the audience in – to be immersed in the performance, so the audience should be ready to play along.” 

About Oluwasegun Lafup Ogundipe

Oluwasegun Lafup Ogundipe is a stand-up comic, theatre actor and producer who was born in Nigeria. This multi-skilled artist studied theatre arts in Nigeria “for his first and second degrees” and has a MA in arts. He has lived in Lagos and Ibadan, Nigeria and Accra in Ghana and now lives in Cape Town: “My work has moved me around often and the choice to support my spouse for her work transfers … I prefer to be close to family while making sure I keep working as a performer and a creative.”

As a producer, he has over 15 years’ experience in theatre and production.  He has produced for TV, stage, radio and festivals. Career highlights, include being featured on the Comedy Central ‘grab a mic’ comedy show, the Nigerian edition. He was co-host Maltina Dance All family Dance Reality Show which aired across Africa and creator and was the producer of Omobaba Landlord daily TV comedy series on Africa Magic Yoruba . His lead roles credits, include: The Lion and Jewel, The beatification of Area boys, Sizwe Banzi Is Dead,Midnight Blackout, The Proposal (Anton Chekhov) and Elegua. He is the creative director of Lafup Live Theatre Studio. 

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