Nigerian dramatists as change agents: The trajectories in three Nigerian playwrights
The Nigerian dramatist from the days of colonial invasion has always led in the vanguard for change. Change is one phenomenon whose constancy is as sure as the morning dew. Drama on the other hand is one veritable art form that has championed change for the socio-cultural, economic and political development and good governance of nations. This study sets out to critically evaluate the trajectories of political change in Nigeria vis-à-vis the works of select Nigerian dramatists. Historical and textual analysis are methods of research employed on the works of the three Nigerian dramatists: Wole Soyinka’s Kongi’s Harvest, Femi Osofisan’s Once Upon Four Robbers and Emeka Nwabueze’s A Parliament of Vultures. This paper concludes with the view that against all odds, Nigerian dramatists leveraging on their artistic medium have chronicled political change in anticipation for good governance over the years in Nigeria. This has not abated even in the present democratic dispensation as they have continued to influence change especially serving as voices to the downtrodden in the society, thereby entrenching the functions of drama, which are not only to entertain, educate, enlighten, but also to mobilize the masses against undemocratic policies. The paper concludes that change, whether attitudinal or psychological, must first be politically induced for every other change to fall in place.
Copyright is held by Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA).