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Title:Popular Hausa drama in Niger and the politics of its appropriation
Author:Alidou, Ousseina D.ISNI
Book title:African visions: literary images, political change, and social struggle in contemporary Africa / ed. by Cheryl B. Mwaria, Silvia Federici, and Joseph McLaren. - Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press
Geographic term:Niger
folk drama
Abstract:Traditional Hausa drama prior to colonization set the stage for the emergence of the modern Hausa popular theatre. 'Wasan kara-kara' (the play of the stake), a form of public satire or parody of prominent leaders in Hausa society, gave the common people the opportunity to express their assessment of the sociopolitical performance of the society's leadership through the parody. During the colonial period this art form transformed into a 'popular' national symbol of resistance, and 'wasan gujiya' (the play of the peanut) was born as the major artistic tool of contestation. After independence, this drama form was used as a political tool to denounce both the Diori and Seyni Kountché regimes, which called for the development of an alternative, 'wasan kwaykoyo' (the game of imitation), which combined elements from the indigenous culture and the Western culture. This new Hausa drama has become a political tool that objectifies the masses with entertainment and government propaganda. In order to play an active role in the democratization process, the Hausa drama must regain its traditional 'popular/militant' and democratic character and the power to portray in a dialectical manner the sociopolitical and cultural reality of the people. Bibliogr.