BONG-It was a magical and electrifying evening of beautiful dances, enchanting vocals, and attractive locally made costumes all coming together in opulence and style for the live performance of ‘The Lion King,’ the first of its kind in Liberia, restaged by Ms. Rose Kingston.
Held Friday, May 6, 2023, at the Monrovia Christian Fellowship Center on 9th Street in Sinkor, the live performance of ‘The Lion King’ attracted an impressive audience of dignitaries, including Her Excellency Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, Chief Justice Sie-A-Nyene Youh, parents and of course excited kids.
Speaking at the show, H.E. Jewel Howard-Taylor commended Ms. Kingston and her team of producers and casts and the choir of the night for putting an amazing show together.
“This just reminds me of how beautiful, how talented, how exciting, how amazing our young people are. I want to thank Rose and her entire team, including those who worked in the background. I can imagine how many months this took to get everyone to learn the different dance steps and to perform.”
Vice President Taylor praised the team of young casts consisting mostly of children and teenagers and expressed her delight over the level of talents they displayed.
“You are an amazing crew, and we are so proud of you. Our nation has many beautiful things and tonight my heart has been ignited to the talents around us.”
The Liberian Vice President urged members of the audience to support Liberian arts and talents as a way of showcasing the richness and beauty of the country.
She also encouraged Rose Kingston, the executive producer of the first-ever live performance of ‘The Lion King’ to take the show to other parts of Liberia to give other Liberians the chance to enjoy the talents that were displayed Friday.
Organizing the performance of ‘The Lion King’ was a vision by Ms. Kingston, but it took the strong collaboration and support of several organizations and individuals to make the dream a reality.
The show was organized in collaboration with Josephine Clark Academy, Body Zone Fitness and Spa, Auggie Images, Imail, Image Africa, CSM, and Sustainable Initiatives International.
Costumes, makeup, and masks for the show were done locally by Deborah S. Wollie, George N. Wilson, Francis Kamara, Prince Myers Ponder, Mary Jallah, and Rebecca Kwabo amongst several others who supported in the background. Their contributions are well recognized by Ms. Kingston.
Kingston, an enthusiastic, visionary Liberian artist, and educator with over twenty-five years of experience in the arts, education, and leadership in West Africa and the US is passionate about using arts to drive change and impact lives.
“I hope that after tonight, you will support and invest in the arts. In all developing countries, arts are a vibrant part of the nation’s success. Arts are around us and in everything we do; art is the beauty we see through the work of visual artists. Art is the magic we experience through our performing artists; art is the expansion of our minds through media artists. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to all the artists who have worked tirelessly to make this possible, to the children for taking risks and daring to try new things, and to all of you for being here,” a delighted Kingston said.
The live performance of ‘The Lion King Musical’ was to showcase the untapped musical and artistic talents of young Liberians and to raise funds to help underprivileged children. The event also sought to bring awareness to the importance of arts integration in our schools to help children with the development of motor skills, language skills, social skills, decision-making, risk-taking and inventiveness.
The Lion King is a Disney animated feature that follows the adventures of the young lion Simba, the heir of his father, Mufasa. Simba’s wicked uncle, Scar, plots to usurp Mufasa’s throne by luring father and son into a stampede of wildebeests. But Simba escapes, and only Mufasa is killed. Simba returns as an adult to take back his homeland from Scar with the help of his friends Timon and Pumbaa.