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Creative Artist: A Journal of Theatre and Media Studies

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Travelling Theory The Feminism and Womanism of Tess Onwueme

AD Akoh

Abstract


Osonye Tess Onwueme is arguably the leading female Nigerian dramatist today within and outside the country. Since leaving Nigeria for the United States, she seems to have acquired a deeper orientation of the concept and theory of feminism, especially feminism as praxis. The totality of her plays since A Hen too Soon explains clearly the place of time, location (of
culture), and the artistic growth that every good writer experiences. In discussing this topic, the paper shall look at three areas of Onwueme’s artistic development and shifts. Out of her over twenty plays, only four shall be used as paradigms of these three crucial phases. The first phase shall deal with her early feminism (The Broken Calabash and The
Reign of Wazobia); the second phase with womanism referred to here as her early African womanism (Tell it to Women) and the third is her later and purer African womanism (Then She Said It); all discussed within the framework of the playwright’s artistic development vis-à-vis the influence of her sojourn in the United States. The paper shall also endeavour to reconcile these three phases within the framework of the feminist dilemma
in Africa.



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