Item description for The State Visit by Niyi Osundare...
A recently published play from the prolific Nigerian poet, dramatist and literary critic, which testifies to the author's commitment to socially relevant art and artistic activism for which he is justifiably renowned. The play tells the story of Yankeland, an imaginary African country, where the country's natural and donated wealth is in the hands of a few corrupt rulers in cahoots with the American military. The powerful prey on the exploited masses, whilst upholding a facade of god-fearing morality. The play is written in the style of street theatre and producs a biting and dramatic satire on political authoritarianism and ignorance, which the author holds responsible for the backwardness of many African countries.The play does however show that such oppression is being challenged; and that the natural inclination of human beings is towards resistance and solidarity, for which Osundare's characters demonstrate great capacity.The courage, unambiguous criticism and optimism in the future are reflected in the performance history of the play itself, which was first staged at the Arts Theatre at the University of Ibadan in 1997, during the time of one of Nigeria's most repressive military dictatorships.
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