chapter  5
6 Pages

Gender and dramaturgy in Wale Ogunyemi’s Queen Amina of Zazzau

WithOjo Olusegun Olorunleke

Contrary to C. Okonjo-Ogunyemi's plays that had utilized Yoruba myths, which made critics like Omafume Onoge and G. G. Darah categorize him as a playwright dominated by a "mythopoeic consciousness", his Queen Amina of Zazzau makes an ideological rupture as he embraces history as his material. He attempts to restore the image of women not only as capable managers of resources but also as effective political and military leaders of their societies. This gender sensitivity of the playwright is explored through his dramaturgic devices that are contrived to question the patriarchal values ingrained in contemporary African societies. In his Queen Amina of Zazzau, the playwright consciously crafts his story around a female protagonist, Queen Amina, who defies the norms of society by refusing to marry and taking up the phallic toga of a warrior queen. Thus the playwright employs nonverbal tools to enhance his art.