January 24th, 2011
It is more than three months now that “Ajanitanla”, the 50th Anniversary
play written and produced by me for the Lagos State
Government was rounded up in the National Theatre Iganmu in
Lagos. It is a pity that up till date the final payment for
sponsoring the play has not been paid by Lagos State
Government. I begin to wonder why a responsive government
has not seen it as a breach of business trust to delayed
payment for this long. If I had borrowed money from the Bank
to produce the play, I would be paying a huge interest by
I have been unable to pay the 50% balance contract fee for
the actors and actresses who took part in the play. I have
had to hide from these artistes and remain at home after
several promises to pay before Xmas 2010 failed. It was not
a happy Xmas and New Year for the artists and the
playwright. As at today I do not know what else to tell
The embarrassment is compounded by the fact that those who
participated or provided services for the play are of the
opinion that I have been fully paid for the production.
There were threats recently by some of the artists to go to
the press when some politicians, dissatisfied that I refused
to be dragged into partisan politics in my Local Government
Area started spreading rumor that I had been fully paid.
I remain resolute on my decision to devote the rest of my
life time to drama not partisan politics and no matter the
blackmail I will not be involved in partisan politics
because of my health.
I do not believe the rumor making waves that the Lagos State
government is withholding the final payment for sponsoring
the play Ajantala because I have not publicly declared my
support for the party in government Lagos State.
Is it by withholding what I worked for, that they would get
my support? Does anyone think I can be broken by such
blackmails? Has it occurred to those who make these claims
that over twenty artists where involved in the play and that
it is wicked to expect people to beg to be paid what is due
I am an artist not a beggar. At my age I do not have to beg.
I work for my pay. I am involved in drama to tell a story. I
have great respect for Lagos State and the Governor but not
those who curry favor by telling lies.
My plays, TV series, Radio programs and write ups had for
years been focused on Lagos State because I have special
passion for Lagos. I am proud let the world know that I am a
great grand son of a Lagosian. I do not need any accolades
from any one when I am alive and I will definitely not
expect any when I die.
I am appealing to Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola to pay me
the final payment for the play Aja nta nla so I can ensure
that I do not remain a debtor to the artists who took part
in the stage production with me during the 50th Anniversary.
I have served the Nigeria and Lagos State for well over 50
years and I do not deserve to be treated this way.
The world they say is a stage. As an actor, there are
entrances and exits. No one knows when it will be his turn
to exit the stage. I do not want to be called a debtor after
I quit the stage. No amount of money donated, then, by any
Government will give me a peaceful rest. I am not praying to
leave the stage right now but who am I to argue with the
almighty God ; the greatest playwright of our time, when he
Chief Femi Robinson.