n Institute of African Studies Research Review - Preserving culture through new artistic forms : the case of Duro Ladipo's folkloric theatre

Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0855-4412



This study has asserted that art does not only exist for the mere titillation of the senses, but rather, it performs a functional role, its main objective being to affect man. The popular tradition of drama in West Africa by the traveling theatre troupes, and which they are still dominating through the television and film media, is one of the new permanent forms through which the mythical repertory is transfused with new life and vigour and stored for posterity. These forms also serve as propaganda machineries through which traditional cultural practices are disseminated to the world at large. This study examines some of Duro Ladipo's folkloric plays and how they disseminate a message of moral re-armament and cultural renaissance in 21st century Nigeria. The African mythical repertories, which are important manifestations of the African culture, have been used as source materials for these plays. Newer artistic forms such as writing and television production have been used to bring the myths alive and make them available to a wider audience. Relevant themes presented in the plays include patriotism, the womanist ideal as extant in the traditional African society, the African moralistic ideal revealed through the presentation of religion as an indispensable part of the Yoruba existence, etc. Duro Ladipo's plays have sought to catch up with the dynamics of Nigerian life and have attempted to establish the relevance of the mythical repertory to the Nigerian condition.

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