Communicating social and development issues through Theatre for Development (TFD): A study of Eziokwu- Bu -Ndu Project
Among many communication tools available, Theatre for Development (TfD) is a powerful medium for communication because of its performative, festive, communal, realistic and concrete nature. It is a good medium of communicating messages to local communities for the actors are often from the local community and the villagers do not have to travel to see the performances for it is performed in their locality. Many Social and Development issues facing various communities require public investment to address them. This investment will only arise if the general community is supportive and community support is only likely if the issues are widely acknowledged and understood. Some believe that Social and Development issues have to be solved by government alone, they do not seem to understand their share of responsibility in solving the problems. TfD is known to be alive to the social and development realities of its time. It is a kind of performance where the economic, social, religious and political issues of the society are outlined, evaluated and judged. Practitioners are usually vanguards of social and developmental change in their respective capacities and they keep watchful eyes and attentive ears to the happenings in their various communities. The aim of this paper is to investigate the potentials of TfD in facilitating Social and Development change. The objective of this study is to propagate the use of Theatre for development in achieving social and development change. It examines TfD as a tool for communication that enables people contribute towards the development of their community. The paper analyses the role of TfD in communicating social and development issues. Data for the study is collected using the qualitative research method approach. Focus group discussion, oral interview and the participant observation approach are employed for data collection. The study investigates the TFD workshop carried out by the researcher in Nibo community, Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State, titled Eziokwu Bu- Ndu and concludes that TfD can be used in communicating Social and Developmental issues. It therefore, recommends that TfD should be used in communicating social and developmental change and suggests that its funding should be by prominent members of the community and government.