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The Legend of Aku Sika: A beautiful piece of drama
The Legend of Aku Sika: A beautiful piece of drama

The Legend of Aku Sika: A beautiful piece of drama

For many patrons who thronged the National Theatre over the weekend, the popular folklore story, Aku Sika may have been read and heard many times but seeing it on stage was a totally different experience.


And that purpose was achieved when the “The Legend of Aku Sika,” directed by Naa Ashorkor Mensah-Doku with the assistance of Ato Ghartey and George Quaye as part of the National Theatre’s Director-in-Residence programme did justice to the theme of the play. 

The play kicked off with a fortune-telling opening scene, setting an otherworldly tone that immediately captivated the audience. 

Been sworn in as the new King and with tradition not forbidding him from marrying more wives, the news of the King having “eyes” for Aku, a beautiful and orphaned child raised  by her ailing grandmother became the talk at the market square.

Thanks to Oppong, the village gossip, the King’s wife, Nanayere Ama gets to know of her husbands’s intention. Oppong drops the bombshell that Aku is deformed, and by tradition, the king cannot marry her.

Armed with the information and a decision not to allow her husband, the King to marry a wretched and poor orphan like Aku, which she deems an affront to her status, Nanyere Ama calls a meeting to address her concerns to the elders.

And in the bid to seek support, she swears by the scepter of truth that Aku is deformed, based on what Oppong told her, and that the elders and decision makers of the land shouldn’t allow the king to marry her since the customs and traditions forbid the king from taking such a person for a wife. 

The King denies this allegation of Aku’s deformity, so the queenmother and elders summon the Aku before a grand gathering of the townsfolk to reveal her arm. 

However, there are consequences: the King will be dethroned if Aku has a disability. Nanayere, on the other hand, will lose her life if Aku is not deformed by swearing by the sacred scepter of truth. 

Knowing her fate and the shame of revealing her disability to the community, Aku seeks divine help by praying her problems to the river god and the gods heard her cry. She was restored and made whole with a golden arm. 

Aku Sika explores the themes of love, drama, mystery, and discriminatory cultural norms against disabled persons set in celestial and earthly realms.

The theme of discrimination against the physically challenged is a global concern and that was addressed in the play, probably evoking empathy and reflection among the audience.

Some of the characters such as Oppong the village gossip, Gadede, Andrew,Tapoli and Okyeame were outstanding. Yaa, the king’s sister didn’t do badly with her role as well. 

Perhaps, the highlight of the evening was the first-ever live waterfalls, a spectacle that mesmerized the audience and transported them into a world of magic and enchantment. Accompanied by a live snake, an awe-inspiring depiction of heaven, and mind-blowing cultural performances, the play showcased Ghana’s rich culture.

The performances of Ghana Dance Ensemble and National Symphony Orchestra were a good addition to the play. 

The roles of  veteran actors, Mawuli Semevor and Edinam Atatsi, who was the queen mother added to the rich cast of the play. 

There will be a repeat showing of the play, which is in honour of Professor Martin Owusu this weekend on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, at 4:00pm and 8:00pm each day.

The play was in honour of Professor Martin Owusu 

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