State of Art

Nigeria Re-commissions Wole Soyinka's Play

Fifty years after it was first commissioned, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka’s controversial play, A Dance of the Forests, is finally being performed for its original purpose: to celebrate Nigeria’s independence. The play was initially shunned because its message of warning was considered inappropriate for a national celebration of liberation. Soyinka writes in The Root that he believes it is important have both the celebration and the recognition. “I experienced no contradiction in all this—to participate in the insertion of a landmark event in national consciousness, yet exhume a shameful, glossed-over history as a warning for the future. That history was that of African's culpability in the enslavement of her own kind.”