Political Perspectives and Popular Theatre in Nigeria

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Nigeria as a democratic nation-state is ailing. One of the consequences of this ailment is the cascading standard of social justice in the country. Instead of correcting the trend, the leaders continue to rationalize every action taken by government and describe Nigeria’s democracy as being unique to the cultural environment, yet the human-rights violations, political dishonesty and the declining social standards induced by government are not compatible with the tenets of liberal democracy. The civil society, through its organizations and institutions, has been challenged to initiate a plan of ideological reorientation for social and ethical change, using nonconfrontational methods. Drama and theatre, being veritable media of communication are considered extremely suitable in this regard. The method of Theatre for Development is strongly recommended for its potential of using community members to develop and communicate relevant messages to grass root communities. This methodology has been applied with evidence of positive results in health advocacy, environmental education, women and youth development and other issues. The method is also ideal for the possibility of obtaining a feedback from the target audience for impact assessment. Keywords: Social Justice, Civil Society, Democracy, Nigerian Drama and Theatre for Development.
This article recognizes an emerging social purpose agenda in adult education in the United States and the concomitant need for new processes and tactics to fulfill this agenda. Popular theater is one process that communities and adult educators throughout the world have used to meet a multiplicity of learning needs and as an aid in helping people analyze and solve community problems. Popular theater is defined and contrasting uses of theater as an educational process are discussed. An ideal model of popular theater practice is presented and it is argued that there are aspects of popular theater that suggest it has the potential to be a useful process for adult educators in the United States.
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Bettina Schmeídel 23 FOR YOU / Bettina Schmeídel I cut my hair again for you very short, to avoid confusions. My ears really stick out. I was twenty and didn't know much about children's wars. We'd eat oatmeal at night. The neighbors' dog came in December. The June bug couple spent the winter in our rubber tree. Two years later we moved to the country. The carrier pigeons worked out well - we only accepted birthday cards. It was Christmas again when the trouble started. The swallows forgot to migrate, froze, and fell off the roof. We ate crepes and cottage cheese every year and decorated our rubber tree. This time you wanted a fir tree and a turkey. I wrote Mother and told her you were pregnant. One of her signed postcards reported that it was a great year for snakes. No one wanted to take the blame the neighbors' dog flatly refused. It turned out to be a girl. The pigeons squatted on the fence. No birthday card. You've watched me, you're waiting for me. We laugh ourselves sick at your crazy short hair. Your ears stick out as much as mine. translated by Claudia Johnson ...