Joseph is a man who dreams, wakes up, and makes that dream a reality.
Popularly referred to as the Duke of Shomolu, Joseph Edgar has gradually become one of the biggest names in theatre production.
He started as an Investment Analyst and has over 20 years of experience spread across the investment and wealth management industry.
Joseph, in just a few years, morphed from an investment banker to a rapidly influential writer, a two-time-author and now theatre producer whose recent work “Emotan” a stage play, was the rave of the holiday season, with the hall packed full, show after show. He maintains a weekly column on one of the widely read national dailies.
His works have touched on cultural taboo issues, such as emotional infidelity, love, lust and marriage, pseudo deity, among others.
How can one man be all these, gets all these done and still shoot for more? So Ibiene had a one-on-one with Joseph Edgar. He lets us into his life with brief yet poignant responses.
Ibiene: From an investment banker to a rapidly influential writer, author and theatre producer. Share your journey with us.
Joseph E: The journey is invisible, driven by an unforeseen force that continues to confound even me. I see myself like a drifter, drifting towards platforms that seem to put me in a position to affect the society. All this is not deliberate I assure you.
Poverty! The fear of it, its power, its cascading capacity to maim and destroy. So it serves as my fuel and to find a footing as a late comer I must disrupt to get a fighting chance. Nothing is easy in this county. Nothing comes cheap. The forces are real and you cannot ask kindly and gently for a seat at the table. You must take it!
Ibiene: How would you describe the Nigerian Audience? From their response to some of the works you have done especially local content?
Joseph E: The Nigerian audiences are majestically powerful. They react instantly and will not clap for a dour show. The energy levels coming from the audience during a powerfully rendered scene still makes me cry.
Ibene: How has this influenced or affected sponsorship and investment in the industry?
Joesph E: The more ticket buyers we get, the more interested the brands become. Ticket sales for theatre have erupted and there is a fine competition going on between the players.
Ibiene: What is your dream for the theatre in Nigeria?
Joesph E: I want to make Nigerian Theatre using the Duke of Shomolu platform as the major revenue earner for all stakeholders within the shortest possible period. Let me just end it there for now.
Ibiene: Nigeria is replete with rich cultures. How can creators like you help with its preservation?
Joseph E: The cultures are deep and rich. We have not even scratched the surface I tell you. When we were doing Emotan I was amazed at the depth of the story.
Ibiene: You don’t look 50. Tell us your secrets for looking and staying young.
Joseph E: *Afang, afang, Afang. Try it!
Note: Afang is a local delicacy made with lots of leafy vegetables, fish and other protein of one’s choice. It is served as a sauce for starchy and wheatmeal balls.