Drama – This genre of literature is often neglected and like an old house seems almost forgotten, as though it is fading away, only to be replaced by more widely read genres like; prose and poetry. Notwithstanding, we have had great dramas written over time and more still surface. Here are 5 great dramas written by celebrated African writers.
The Lion and The Jewel by Wole Soyinka
Written by our own Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, this drama was first performed in 1959, just before Nigeria’s independence. It portrays two blocks, Lakunle, representing the modern, civilized and ever evolving world and the conventional, uncivilized blocked portrayed by Baroka while at the centre is a Jewel, Sidi, whom both men are attracted to. At a time when there was doubt as to when Nigeria should be independent from the British, especially as the North wanted the colonialists to stay a bit longer, the political undertone of this drama cannot be overemphasized. This drama is an all-time classic, with critical analysis, it mirrors Nigeria at the time.
My Children! My Africa! by Athol Fugard
Fugard examines apartheid in South Africa through his young impatient protagonist, whose tongue, unable to stay still, wanted a taste of freedom, at a time when South Africa was home to all kinds of inhumanity.
Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again by Ola Rotimi
Award-winning playwright Ola Rotimi, x-rays the myriads of challenges confronting Africa in this drama filled with suspense and humor. You will laugh, but you will also learn the truth.
Madmen and Specialists by Wole Soyinka
Conceived during his incarceration in the Nigerian civil war, Soyinka dramatizes the sad reality that Nigeria is, the inhumanity of man to man and the torture his incarceration brought upon him, mind and body.
I Will Marry When I Want by Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Ngugi wa Mirii
First performed in Kenya in 1977, Ngugi wa Thiong’o explores post-colonial Africa, the anti-climax that came with independence and our collective struggle and failures.