oer | Ambrose Alli University

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Abstract

Quite a good number of Afro-centric scholars assert that there is the existence of drama in Africa before the intrusion of the colonialists. African drama is distinct from other forms of drama in the world because of its inseparable link with its cultural and traditional elements. The use of traditional elements generally in African literature and, specifically, African drama, by writers cannot be over-emphasized. This work investigated the use of traditional elements in modern African drama through some selected Wole Soyinka’s and Zulu Sofola’s plays. This project which uses the exploratory research and textual analysis method is anchored on the ethno-dramatic indigenous theory of drama analysis. The analysis, however, reveals that there is the ample and adept use of traditional elements by both playwrights. The depth and style of such usage of these traditional elements differ considerably from Soyinka to Sofola in certain given texts. Although, there is the fusion of both traditional and literary drama in the works of both playwrights, there appears to be localization of western influences as a result of the inevitable cultural contact. Drama in Africa is culturally challenged to creatively exploit and explore the abundantly rich cultural and traditional contents and elements so as to re-mould its socio-political setting and situation in the face of a sub-merging world called a global village. African drama deserves to be evaluated within the confines of Afro-centric theories which have to be developed and used religiously by scholars.


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