chapter  2
14 Pages

Nigeria

Theatre for empowerment
WithHansel Eyoh

The idea of using the theatre for the empowerment of marginalised communities is fast gaining ground throughout Africa. Cut off from mainstream media, marginalised communities find it difficult to validate their experiences and express their desires. The dominant ideology responsible for their deprivation is that of the ruling classes which, although a minority, nevertheless continue to impose their will on the masses. Popular theatre has come to be recognised as a viable alternative form of communication. In the nine days of living, working, dancing and singing with the villagers, relationships were struck up between individuals, the group as a whole and the community to such an extent that the thought of leaving each other was as painful as the problems which had brought the community and the participants together in the first place. The village head joins the group and pours libations, ending with communal blessings, on the Onyuwei group.