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"Bintu - The Musical" brings the crises in Nigeria's Northeast to the stage

Photo: WFP/Jean-Fidele Ebenezer, ‘Bintu the Musical’ charts the struggles of families affected by violence and hunger.
LAGOS/ABUJA - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today presents the premiere of Bintu - The Musical, at the MUSON Centre in Lagos, Nigeria. The theatre production is a bold and thoughtful dramatization of the humanitarian impact of the decade-long crisis that has plagued Nigeria’s north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. WFP taps into Nigeria’s vibrant performing arts and entertainment industry to tell a story of conflict-driven hunger, resilience and humanity.

“We hope the play will spark conversations around the crisis in the North East and lead to greater engagement of all parts of society – the private sector, government agencies and individuals – boosting efforts to achieve zero hunger in Nigeria,” said Paul Howe, WFP Representative and Country Director in Nigeria.

The play follows a young girl called Bintu, whose dreams of going to university are dramatically cut short when insurgents strike. Bintu and her friends find refuge in a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs), where they receive humanitarian assistance. While in the camp, Bintu slowly begins to rebuild her life.

Written and directed by Agozie Ugwu, a Nigerian playwright who teaches performing arts at the Nile University of Nigeria in Abuja, the play uses powerful song, dance and poetic performances to depict people’s struggles, their will to survive and the vital humanitarian assistance they receive.

“This work goes beyond a theatre piece. It is a call to action from humanity to help humanity,” said Ugwu, whose Mosaic Theatre Production developed the play with WFP.

Bintu - The Musical, whose premiere in Lagos will be followed by a showing in Abuja in the first quarter of 2020, is based on the real-life experiences of people caught in the conflict which has driven an estimated two million people from their homes. Nearly three million people struggle to meet their food needs in the three crisis-affected states - almost double the number at the same time last year.

Since 2016, WFP has been providing a lifeline for vulnerable families affected by conflict in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, supporting internally displaced people, returnees, young children and pregnant or breastfeeding women with life-saving food and nutrition support. In 2019, WFP and partners have served an average of 800,000 people with food or cash every month.


Teaser trailer for Bintu – the musical is available here

Video Footage from opening night will be available as of 20 December time 12:00. If interested please contact Chi

Photos from rehearsals are available here.

Feature story on Bintu - the musical available on here.'


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The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.


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For more information, please contact:

Chi Lael, WFP/Nigeria
Mob: +234 802 553 3218

George Fominyen, WFP/Regional Bureau Dakar
Mob: +234 807 801 2109

Frances Kennedy, WFP/HQ Rome
Mob. +39 3467600806

Bettina Luescher, WFP/Berlin
Tel. +49 30 20 614929
Mob. +49 160 99261730

Jane Howard, WFP/London 
Tel. +44 (0)2038 577413
Mob. +44 (0)79 68008 474

Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington
Tel. +1 202 653 1149, Mob.  +1 202 770 599