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OGBONNA, Kelechi Stellamaris

Cultural and Ritual Aesthetics in Nigerian Theatre: Implications for Nollywood

Kelechi Stellamaris OGBONNA

Department of Theatre Arts

Alvan Ikoku University of Education

Owerri, Imo State


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Despite the challenges posed by urbanization and alien ways of life, culture and ritual elements are still part of the life of Africans. These helped mankind in Africa in the time past not only to survive but to also do so very meaningfully. Hence, ritual and cultural elements are integral parts of many African literary works and performances. Its aesthetics of using African values to modulate revolutionary aesthetics is a measure worth tapping by Nollywood in order to infuse into motion pictures a conscientization towards socio-cultural renaissance and nation building. This work adopts the sociological-analytical methodology in x-raying cultural and ritual elements in Nigerian drama. The works are studied here both as play texts and as performances. It is admonished that conscious efforts be made to give unbiased interpretations to ritual and cultural elements in African plays and Nigerian films. These elements are to the African, if we can use this analogy, what the shell is to the snail – even in foreign habitats, the snail does not leave its shell behind. They should also be adequately adopted by Nollywood filmmakers, especially in the area of security and policing of the nation.



Kelechi Stellamaris OGBONNA hails from Nnentu Village in Aba South Local Government Area of Abia State, Nigeria. She studied at the University of Calabar where she earned a Barchelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts (Playwriting) and a Masters Degree in Theatre Directing. She also holds a Post graduate Diploma in Education and is currently researching for her PhD. Ogbonna, who currently teaches at the Department of Theatre Arts, Alvan Ikoku University of Education, Owerri, is a Playwright-Actress-Performer with research interest in African values.