Area Boy: A Stage Play Exposing the Many Vices of Substance Abuse

Area Boy: A Stage Play Exposing the Many Vices of Substance Abuse

What better way to educate than through art?

As part of efforts to increase the awareness on substance abuse, MTN Foundation during its recently held Anti Substance Abuse Programme (ASAP) roundtable in Lagos, organised a stage play to accurately spotlight issues around substance abuse among young drug users in Lagos.


Tagged ‘Area Boy’, the stage play harnesses the power of theater using elements of music, dance and acting rendered by thespians who elaborately forged a captivating ambience on stage as a means to highlight the prevalence of substance abuse and factors that predisposes youths to hop on the ‘one chance’ bus that is drug abuse.


The play’s plot is one that elaborates on some of the common predisposing factors to substance abuse like parental neglect, poor education of law enforcers and regulatory agents, peer pressure, and a lack of social welfare in the society.

A perfect brew of satirical elements, the play brilliantly touches on the various types of substances commonly abused, thus educating and exposing the crowd to a broader range of these substances. This approach helps the audience with the basics of identifying drugs or if they were abusing these drugs without knowing.


“If you do cocaine, you will go insane” were the words of warning emblazoned in red paint on a white placard. Another one held by a dancer who swayed vigorously in his white garment reads, “Drugs take you to hell disguised as heaven.” The last dancer who exhibited signs of psychosis as part of his act held the third sign that sounded the words “Drugs aren’t cool; they make you look like a fool.”

In this organised chaos stood a robust orator relaying tales of substance abuse gone bad. Recounting chilling tales of this predicament that have befallen youths today, she had members of the crowd watch in sheer awe, not just for her portrayals and mannerisms, but also for the bulk of information she tactically reveals to them.


Whilst the play’s focus remained largely on substance abuse, it also managed to highlight issues on drug trafficking, and some of the socioeconomic effects tethered directly and indirectly to drug abuse.

The play’s summit gains a balanced outlook through proffering ways in which the issue of substance abuse can be better tackled. It buttressed this through its messaging of strengthening support systems at various levels to ensure that exposure to drugs is reduced at the barest minimum.


The MTN Foundation takes cases of substance abuse seriously, especially as it is becoming a growing and endorsed trend amongst the youths. At the Foundation, education through proper channels of learning is key to achieving the goals of reducing the rate of substance abuse; hence, the use of edutainment to capture the attention of young persons; informing and shaping them into leaders that promote the cause of nation building.


We all have a lot to do, a lot to learn and a lot to share.

Drug abuse needs to stop. Now.