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Cultural renaissance or monarchical terrorism: A postcolonial reading of Yerima’s <i>Iyase </i>and Osofisan’s <i>Many colours make the Thunder-King</i>

Clement O. A. Ajidahun


This paper is a critical analysis of two Nigerian plays with a view to examining, first, the preoccupations of the playwrights with cultural renaissance in  their bid to project the indigenous African culture as a response to the prejudices and the negative predispositions of the colonialists and their apologists  who have, for several decades, been denigrating the African culture as barbaric and uncivilised. The paper also examines the monarchical terrorism  tendencies depicted in modern African plays. It x-rays these terrorism tendencies inherent in the monarchical superstructures of African culture to  ascertain whether they are manifestations of African cultural renaissance or an attempt to project the African cultural traditions as intimidating and  terrorising. The plays examined are Ahmed Yerima’s Iyase and Femi Osofisan’s Many Colours Make the Thunder-King. The features of cultural rebirth and  terrorism are intricately interwoven in the plays. While Ahmed Yerima’s play depicts the Benin history and culture, Femi Osofisan’s play portrays Yoruba  culture, myth and history. The theoretical framework of the paper is based on the postcolonial theory, which is critical among other things, of all forms of  internal colonisation. The conclusion is that the plays examined exhibit cultural  renaissance and monarchical terrorism. The theatre, therefore, becomes  a veritable platform to project African culture as well as to condemn all forms of cultural terrorism inherent in the indigenous African culture.

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eISSN: 2971-6748
print ISSN: 0189-9562