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


An unending spiral going forward and returning
Return you 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 outerspace
You are the mirror that distorts the image
And establish an alternative visual order
The old way of seeing must experience death
Born to die


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 9 - 14 2020 : Columbia College. Chicago. USA.
8 - 13 June 2020 : Rencontres Chorégraphiques de Seine Saint Denis MC 93. Bobigny, France.

there are many riddles that neither the living, nor the dead can answer...

IJUBA - Those here before us...
Hubert Ogunde . Duro Ladipo . Oyin Adejobi . Amos Tutuola . D.O Fagunwa . Kola Ogunmola . Amadou Kourouma . Maya Angelou . Chinua Achebe . Sony Labou Tansi . Ola Rotimi . Wale Ogunyemi . Christopher Okigbo. Nnamdi Azikiwe . Obafemi Awolowo . Buchi Emechita. Olaudah Equiano. Aimé Cesaire. Léopold Senghor . Octavia Butler . Tosyn Bucknor. Sarah Baartman . James Baldwin . Steve Biko . Josephine Baker . Jomo Kenyatta . Bode Lawal . Bob Marley . Alvin Ailey . Walter Rodney . Walter Sisulu . Baba Salla . Ahmed Baba . Ahmed Kathrada . Ahmed Timol . Ellen Kuzwayo . Tupac Shakur . Nina Simone . Hannibal . Akhenaton . Nefretiti . Queen Idia . Queen Luwoo . Queen Amina . Queen Nzinga . Queen Shiba . Sun Ra . W.E.B Dubois . Frederic Douglas . Ameyo Adadevoh . Catherine Dunham . Edward Saïd . Marcus Garvey . Haile Selassie . Julius Nyerere . Rosa Parks . Mariam Makeba . Mariama Ba . Mummar Ghadafi . Micheal Jackson . Prince . King Shaka . King Jaja . Oliver Tambo . Olusegun Olusola . Adunni Olorisa . Moremi Ajasoro . Winnie Mandela . Nelson Mandela . Chris Hani . Wangari Maathai . Rubem Valentin . Mestre Didi . Mestre Bimba . Mestre Pastinha . Binyavanga Wanaina . Sojourner Truth . Zumbi dos palmares . Tim Maia . The Black Panther Party . And all those who hung . Those who burned, and still aflame . The Amazons of Dahomey . Nanny of the maroons . The Aba women rioters . The matchers on grand bassam . Mahatma Ghandi . Jalal ad-Din Rumi . Ibrahim Niass . Nana Asma’u . Yaa Asantewa . Mohammed Alli . Malcom X . Martin Luther King . Bisi Silva . Raphael Jimoh . John Coltrane . Jimi Hendrix . Pius Adesanmi . Dora Akunnuyi . Okwui Nwezor . Ken Saro Wiwa . Cheikh Anta Diop . Ibn Battuta . Ousmane Sembene . Djibril Membety . Gamal Abdel Nassar . Amilcar Cabral . Sophie Oluwole . Samori Toure . Sekou Toure . Babemba Traore . Kwame Ture . Kwame Nkrumah . Thomas Sankara . Sundiata Keita . Modibo Keita . Mensa Musa . Patrice Lumumba . Jomo Kenyatta . Milton Obote . Toussaint L’Ouverture  . Frantz Fanon . Olufunmilayo Ransom Kuti . Fela Anikulapo Kuti