Man Enough - The story of every man

Mar 12, 2024

They say it is a man's world, yet, he is never man enough. MAN ENOUGH as written by Paul Ugbede and directed and produced by Bolanle Austen-Peters (BAP) portrays the societal pressure that men bag at the expense of their humanity. 

The play is set in Lagos, Nigeria starring  Gideon Okeke, Moshood Fattah, Ayola Ayolola, Tana Adelana and others. The play tells the story of three men - Oyinlo (Gideon Okeke), who owns a struggling studio and is in a struggling marriage. In a bid to secure the former, he loses the latter as his pregnant wife abandons him for not being man enough. Bruno (Ayola Ayoola), despite the wealth and power he has, is afraid of competition and abashed as sexually weak, by his imperiously autarchic wife (Tana Adelana), when he confronts her promiscuousness. And Thino (Moshood Fattah), who works at a company that makes footwear and takes his own life due to responsibilities he couldn't bear. 

The spine of the story says that the man is human too. Being a man in Africa comes with the expectation of being a superman. So if that man can not fly, he is undeserving of the cape of manhood. This play critiques the government, the foreign investors, the selfish Nigerians and the woman for putting the man in such a hard position: “Thino did not commit suicide…. the society murdered him” - Oyinlo. 

Gideon Okeke's dextrous versatility in emotive variation and singing, sustained the audience's erected eyelid. While Tana Adelana's delivery of a silver-tongued, and suave boss-lady left them with goosebumps.

The three spotlights descended at intervals on the actors and actions on stage, without giving away too much of the background. It was simple set design, but aesthetically appealing. 

The costumes were contemporary and befitting for the characters they portrayed, and the unseen orchestra backed up the performance with resounding live music. Running emotive commentaries on the actions on stage - in the scene where Thino dies, a dirge moved our heads, left and right in a recognized pity.

The play concludes in the way it started; with Oyinlo in a conundrum: to refuse an intimate relationship with Bruno's wife is to the detriment of his studio, to accept, is to die by Bruno's gun. He leaves the audience with the decision: “..don't put yourselves in my shoes.. this is your story…. what is it going to be?”