in the begining, there was a river...
                                     Ben Okri


This wandering in place takes us into the restless mind of the spirit child, as he move from place to place, generating important new ideas, from art works to art practice, extending the scope of the stage to encapsulate the city, the society, the extended family, the historical context, the epistemology of truth, the myths and the legends.

He is working in motion, moving along with the roofs and the roots, labelling all he sees and perceives, smells and tastes, hear and feels, with new names afresh. For this wanderer everything is without name, everything is seen for the first time without familiarity. The land of the living holds him dearly and the spirit world wants him more.

Malomo (stop wandering), Jiyigbe (The snatched-one), Kosoko (No hoes to make your Exit Bed again), Jokotola, Durojaye, Ayedun... Stay still here and enjoy our profound love for you. Bath in this wealth we've woven around you. Make here HOME and remain a blessing to us, for our bones are growing weak and her womb too is getting weaker... Omolohun. BUILD your PARADAISE here.

But for this hero’s journey, there is no paradise, only an unending spiral going forward and returning. Return he must, o you perpetual voyager, caught in an invisible labyrinth, the rhetoric of excess and overflow, an invisible that is at once present and absent. The owner of secret portals that lead to outer-space, you are the mirror that distorts the image and establish an alternative visual order.

The old ways of seeing must experience death. Born to die. Abiku.

Africologne Festival | 21-23 June | c: Marie Koehler


The Spirit Child Project is a multidimensional research that accompanies Qudus Onikeku’s 2019 creation “Spirit Child”.

"Spirit Child" is inspired by the main character in Nigerian author BenOkri’s Booker Prize winning novel, "The Famished Road". The spirit child, Abiku child(born to die) Azaro, is restless, caught between life and death, earth-bound reality and an idyllic spirit world.

Along with Uruguayan multidisciplinary artist Fernando Velázquez and Nigerian musicians Olatunde Obajeun, Abiodun Fabiyi and Ayodeji Habeeb Awoko, as well as the light creator Matthew Yusuf, we are set to create an atmosphere of transitions between the enchanted world of dreams and spirits and the world of the living, a space where everything glows with possibilities.

Spirit Child offers the audience a meditative journey into dreamscapes, creating a poetry that brings a new kind of truth, or an old truth that we stopped paying attention to.

This digital appendix will feature video essays, texts, podcasts and further reading on Yoruba Cosmogony and AfroFuturism, based on the belief that ancient knowledge could be a catalyst for collective future making. We also consider this,  as a portal through which the audience could calve their own path through this journey.


June 30, July 1 and 2 : National Art Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa
July 5 : Vrystaat Festival, Bloemfontein, South Africa
October 16 : Les Halles de Schaerbeek. Bruxelles. Belgium
October 19 : Rencontre Teatral Tres Continent. Agüimes. Canary Island.
March 13 - 14 2020 : The Dance Center, Columbia College. Chicago. USA.
March 26 2020 : The Dance Biennial in Africa. Marrakech. Morroco.
12 - 13 June 2020 : Rencontres Chorégraphiques de Seine Saint Denis MC 93. Bobigny, France.