n African Performance Review - Resistant voices in African popular performance

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1753-5964


There are implicit opportunities in Ugandan theatre that allow us to explore the tensions of politics, culture, ethnicity and gender in a performance rooted in the women's experience of growing up in a post Idi Amin Uganda. The prospects arise within uniquely layered performances integrating dialogue, play acting, song, and dance that interweave narratives of contemporary and past experiences. This paper investigates women's resistant strategies in the performance of popular theatre. The paper seeks to demonstrate that women in popular theatre are in an exceptional position because they have to struggle for the control of a space, and the power of their voice, in an art form dominated by men. As opposed to male performers, who sustain the traditional patriarchal concerns, themes dominating the works of female popular performers are female sexuality, male promiscuity and rediscovering the female voice. I draw examples from women's performances and productions including Rose Mbowa's , women popular band, and (Picking Guitarists), music recording and performances.

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