n African Performance Review - Performance in his blood : performative rhythms in Femi Osofisan's writings

Volume 3, Issue 2_3
  • ISSN : 1753-5964


The drama genre has benefited much from autochthonous art forms. One notices that the transition from traditional drama to the modern form of literary expression has left many African playwrights battling with the challenges of rendering indigenous thoughts, ideals and oral traditions in written forms. Drama deals with man's experience which is the raw material for the playwright who is above all else a member of his particular society. He absorbs the culture of his society, takes in the language, observes the environment, discovers its peculiarities and oddities and tries to reproduce them in his writings, especially in a format that connects with the aesthetic and social values of his audience. Femi Osofisan is one African dramatist who has developed a unique theatrical technique that easily addresses both the aesthetic and social yearnings of his embattled contemporary Nigerian society by resorting to the indigenous idioms of his native Yoruba society. This perceptive 'orality in literacy', or the deployment of performative rhythms in practically every of his literary engagement, is evidently the reason he is reputed to be the most popular and the most frequently performed dramatist in Nigeria. This paper identifies and examines Femi Osofisan's performative strategies in three of his plays, and , and one of his critical essays, an inaugural lecture titled . In these instances I demonstrate how he uses these strategies to immerse his audiences in 'total' African theatre experiences.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error