‘High’, a contemporary play that spotlighted the menace of substance abuse many Nigerian families encounter, showed at the MUSON Centre, Lagos in mid-April achieved critical acclaim and media airplay. In the play, a group of childhood teenage \friends on holiday from boarding schools have their lives, as well as the lives of their parents and families, dramatically upturned when one of them suffers a drug overdose.
The play was supported by the MTN Foundation as part of its Arts and Culture Cause and in furtherance of efforts to spark a wider conversation around Nigeria’s growing substance abuse problem – highlighted by its Anti-Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) campaign which it launched in December.
For those who attended the production, there were many thought-provoking moments and quotes, including the five quotes reproduced below.
“I like the ‘S’ on your chest”
We start with this hastily, indeliberate comment on Lami’s Superman designed T-shirt post by Kayode because it changed his life forever.
He is teased by his friends online and offline and is pressured into ‘drinking-up-to-man-up’ so that he can profess his never-ending love for Lami who is convinced by Maimuna (Ryan’s sometimes side-chick) that Kayode considers her as just a friend. He unknowingly gets drugged by Ryan and is hospitalised for a codeine overdose, embarrassing his dad in front of his professor friend in the process.
Kayode’s mom gets slapped accidentally by his father as a result, an act which according to his sister Ronke “has never happened.” The overdose eventually destroys his family and Kayode ends up in a rehab centre.
“I was so high… it felt so good, I became less depressed…”
Did you know that you can be described as a junkie if you are abusing prescription painkillers?
Mrs Cole (a new member of the rehab family who is addicted to prescription painkillers after a difficult childbirth) got her newborn baby burnt to death because she was high on prescription drugs that seemingly made her “feel so good and less depressed.”
Codeine, a prescription (as well as an over-the-counter) drug for cough, is one of the country’s most abused substances.
“If God made weed grow naturally, then how can it be bad?”
Peer pressure lands Kayode in the rehab home in the first place, for something he knew nothing about, but later got involved in after meeting ‘Slow’ (His given name is Richard, a philosophical inmate who pretends to be an understudy actor playing different roles in the rehab centre).
‘Slow’ convinces him that “love is like drugs and if you’ve never been high before, then you’ve never loved because a shish opens the third eye...” He reasons with Kayode that “If God made weed grow naturally, then how can it be bad?”
“Remember what I promised your father…”
Parents should show greater responsibility in limiting the amount of pressure they place on their kids. For example, in the play, Mrs Johnson makes use of emotional blackmail to coarse her daughter, Lami into seating for countless scholarship examinations. This makes her give in to the pressure of taking a ‘catalyst’ (from Ryan) to aid her studying and not disappointing her deceased father.
“Your father is right, it is for the good of this family…”
Rehabilitation is not a disease. The significant others of substance abusers should help victims go through their recovery process, no matter how slow their progress is. Do not be ashamed of them, visit them and show them love.
If Mr and Mrs Balogun had gone to check up on their son, Kayode instead of lying to all his friends that “he’s with a relative in Ibadan” and being ashamed because of what the society would think or say, Kayode would not have been more entangled in drugs. It took one family member, his sister Ronke Balogun, to speak sense to their parents.
As with many tough situations in life, it takes a voice and a firm stand to make a real difference. MTN Foundation and a consortium of stakeholders are already working, through the Anti-Substance Abuse Programme (ASAP), to increase awareness on the state of substance abuse in Nigeria.
For more information about substance abuse in Nigeria and what the MTN Foundation is doing about it, please visit www.asapmtnf.com for more information.
Comedian Woli Agba Gifts Cars To Crew Members
Nigerian comedian and gospel singer, Ayo Ajewole alias Woli Agba, recently surprised three members of his crew with brand new cars.
The comedian’s right man and ministry son, Mide Oladimeji, otherwise known as Dele Omo Woli Agba, took to his Instagram page to share the exciting news.
Dele Omo Woli Agba posted a video which captured the moment each of them received the car gifts.
The young man captioned the post with the words;
“Words fail me I can’t contain my JOY. My daddy bought me a car. IPM not only me oooooo and also to our manager. Ko tan sibe. Pastor OJO is not excluded 3 cars at a time KPK. Thank you Daddy @woliagba_ayoajewole Thank you @olori_olaifeayo”
See the screenshot of the post below:
‘I Don’t Want To Return To Lagos’, Toke Makinwa Says From Her Vacation Abroad
Popular media personality, Toke Makinwa, has shared her desire to remain at her vacation spot and not return to Lagos via her Snapchat account.
The actress, author, vlogger and entrepreneur says in the video:
“People, I am serious about this. This is the life I was made for. Like, I did not come to this life to suffer. I don’t want to come back to Lagos.
I just want to enjoy, just be relaxing and be taken care of. I have lived a ‘stressless’ life in the last two days. This has been an ultimate getaway for me.
I am absolutely loving it, guys. I’m loving it. I don’t want to come to Lagos again.”
Watch the video below:
Davido Celebrates Late Mom On Her Posthumous Birthday
Popular Nigerian singer, Davido wished his late mother, Veronica Adeleke a happy birthday via his Instagram page on Monday.
The ‘FEM’ crooner commemorated his mum, Veronica Adeleke on her posthumous birthday.
According to reports, Veronica died of cardiac arrest at the age of 39 in March, 2003.
The singer, who still holds memories of his dear mother close to his heart, posted a throwback photo of them with the caption;
“Happy Birthday Mama … love and miss you always”
Information Nigeria recalls that the singer got emotional after his fiancée, Chioma Avril Rowland gifted him a necklace with a photo of himself and his mother.
Read Also: Davido Shows Off Birthday Gift From Chioma
See his post below:
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