ISBN 9789780390587
Pages 68
Dimensions 203 x 127 mm
Published 2002
Publisher Kraft Books, Nigeria
Format Paperback

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 produces 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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About the Author

Niyi Osundare

Poet, dramatist, critic, essayist, and media columnist, Niyi Osundare has authored over ten volumes of poetry, two books of selected poems, four plays, a book of essays, and numerous articles on literature, language, culture, and society. He regards his calling as a writer and his profession as a teacher as essentially complementary.

He was educated on three continents: B.A. (Honours) from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, M.A. from the University of Leeds in England, and Ph.D. from York University, Toronto, Canada. The wide and varied exposure accruing from this has proved very useful for his writing and teaching careers. Born in Nigeria, one of the most linguistically and culturally heterogeneous countries in the world, he learnt early in life the complexities and challenges of diversity.

He began his teaching career at the University of Ibadan in 1974 and rose to the position of full professor there in 1989. From 1993 to 1997, he was the chair of its Department of English. He was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990 to 1991, and in 1991/92, an associate professor of English at the University of New Orleans, where he returned as full professor in 1997, and was selected university research professor in 2001. His areas of specialization are African literature, literature of the African diaspora, literary stylistics, sociolinguistics, and creative writing

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