A persisting trend in Political theatre in Nigeria has remained a careful evaluation and a critical analysis of the vicious Politicking and corruption perpetuated by the Nigerian political elites in the Nigerian polity, questioning the status quo.for a general social change. However, this vicious politicking and corruption has demeaned and maimed the society, thus creating a dichotomy between the oppressor and the exploited. fr is on this note that, Once Upon a Tower is analysed in this study to highlight and discuss the various odious politicking and selfish corruption of Nigerian leaders especially within the educational sector and its effect on the majority as well as radical social transformation that the exploited class clamours for. Therefore, this research submits that Political theatre can be employed as a tool to prod out the various issues of corrupt politicking in the society, by questioning the status quo and socially preaching change and proffering solutions if need be as demonstrated in Once Upon A Tower. The study concludes that corruption which is an offshoot of dangerous politicking, has maimed our society drastically especially within the educational sector. Thus this study recommends that corruption and dirty politics will continue to retard the society and debase the Nigerian society, until the oppressed rise up to challenge the status quo, thereby taking the bull by the horns, to liberate themselves from the inhumane treatment they are subjected to, change will only be a mirage.
TABLE OF CONTENT
1.1 Background to the study
1.2 Statement of the Problem .
1.3 Purpose of the study
1.4 Research Questions
1.5 Significance of study
1.6 Scope and Del imitation of the study
2.2 Political Theatre in Nigeria: An Overview
2.3 Politics and The Nigerian Situation
2.4 Drama as a tool for Promoting Good Governance and Leadership
2.5 Marxism as a theoretical Frame Work
2.6 The Nigerian Playwright and the Issue of Commitment
3.2 Research Design
3.3 Data Collection Instruments
3.4 Method of Data Analysis/ Presentation
DATA PRESE TA TIO A DA ALYSIS
4.2 Textual Analysis of Once Upon a Tower
1.1 Background to the study
Politics and Theatre are two different entities but from the standpoint of the Arts, the) are two sides of a coin. Politics is simply the methodology and activities associated with running a government, an organisation or movement. Thus Easton definition of politics as quoted by lsaak(l 9) argues that "politics is the authoritative allocation of values". From another standpoint Wikipedia the free encyclopaedia posits that "politics is the study or practice of the distribution of power and resources within a given community (a hierarchically organised population) as well as the interrelationship(s) between communities••.
ThuS<;politics is not an obscure entit) to humanity; it can be traced to the activities of
the primeval men. Ancient states like Egypt, Greece and Rome are conspicuous evidences of the long standing nature of politics. Suffice to say politics is as old as man, man is ambitious and man loves power. therefore politics cannot be separated from man. These assertions would be further exemplified by Aristotle•s notion when he notes that "man is a political animal'•.
Theatre on the other hand is simply the blend of ample art forms presented as spectacles for its audience. The fusion of these t\\ o \.\'Ords Politics and Theatre (political theatre) which derives its impetus from the society denotes a trend in the arts which seeks to employ the stage as a place where societal issues are prodded and examined. Therefore in its broadest sense, it is sufficient to say that Political Theatre is an ideological bend in the arts ''-hicl, uses drama to heighten the consciousness of the society towards the political complications and issues that confronts the society as a whole. This position is fu11her justified by Osofisan when he stressed that:
lfwe must change our societies, if the theatre (indeed all generic forms of literature, oral and written) must fulfil its vocation as an agent of progress. the dramatists(writers) who create it have no option than to pitch their camp on the side of the common people and against the formidable agents of the ruling class (88).
The above position of Osofisan suggests that good theatre overtly places its search light on the corrupt practices within the polity and its effect on the citizens. Therefore, political theatre is a comrade in arms that seeks to obliterate all forms of political corruption in the society.
According to the Nigerian ICPC Act (section 2) "corruption includes vices like bribery. fraud and other related offences .. this standpoint is succinctly corroborated by the Long man dictionary of contemporar) English which defines corruption as "•dishonest, illegal. or immoral behaviour, especially from someone with power .. (352). The above definitions suggest that, corruption is not only plaguing igeria alone. it is global in its impact. Corruption is a trend (associated with man) that has permeated almost all important sectors in the igerian society since independence especially in the management and control of the state.
Over the years igeria has been plagued with diverse forms of corruption in its political terrain, which are basicall) leadership oriented. igerian leaders have become megalomaniacs; they indulge in bribery. looting. squander mania, money laundering etc. The moment the mantle of power and authorit) is passed do\\ n to them, they grow corrupt with po"er and mal-administer the country"s resources thereby patterning a dystopian thread in the igerian economic and political fabric. These corrupt acts have undermined her government and soi led her image.
Corruption in Nigeria thrives every day, because the elites are obsessed with amassing wealth and the down trodden also crave for wealth too. Therefore, the trend is now part and parcel of the society. But while corruption and dangerous politicking perpetuates virtually all sectors of the human society, theatre serves as machinery for truth and change, questioning the methodology, manipulations and statusquo of politics. demanding social change and the enthronement of political liberation, dethroning maladministration in all gubernatorial strata beyond entertainment purpose. This position is supported by Ngugi Wathiongo (2 I) when he stressed that •'every writer is a writer in politics the only question is what and whose politics". Achebe also supported this when he argues that:
An African creative writer who tries to avoid the big social issues of contemporary Africa, will end being completely irrelevant like the absurd man in the proverb who leaves his house burning to pursue a rat fleeing from the flames. (54)
The above submission by Achebe suggests commitment in drama. To him African creative writers should serve as the conscience of their society, issues that confronts their society should be the driving force behind their art. By so doing a sense of obligation towards tl1esociety is created.
Little wonder, that, Bakare takes theatre beyond the entertainment level, his works pointedly address the political status quo, demystifies capitalist vices and conscientises the society by radically clamouring for change. Most of his works focus on issues of social concern in igeria. His plays include but not restricted to Drums of war ( 1995), This Land must sacrifice ( 1991), Rogbodiyan ( 1995), Once upon a Tower (200 I), The Gods and the Scavengers (2006) etc.
Other writers that revolve around this virtuous circle include Femi Osofisan, Esiaba lrobi, Bode Sowande, Wale Soyinka, Kole Omotosho etc. Their commitment is geared towards Humanity, man, his culture and all the institutions that constitute his society.
In the history of theatre and politics. a long standing relationship has been established even from the classical times in histor) that theatre has been used and employed to address issues and events of politics, it has served as an ideological weapon of change and a vehicle for political liberation. The classical writers and philosophers in their preponderance are empirical evidences of this disputation. The likes of Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus, A.ristophanes, Arion, Plautus, Terrence, Seneca etc, used their works to advocate for change during their epoch. For example Aristophanes lysistrata reveals the futility of the Peloponnesian war by employing v.omen as advocates of peace when they went on a sex strike.
Against this backdrop, it is palpable that theatre has been a comrade in arms fighting corruption and other social maladies. For the longevity of academics. constant investigation should continue until the corrupt status quo of politics is dethroned and a standard politics is enthroned.
Th11<:, it is sufficient to sa) that 1.:v1::rycreative work of art is a reflection of the society, this assertion is supported by gugi WaThiongo •s ( 1997) postulation that says " literature does not develop in a vacuum it is given impetus. shape and direction by the social, political, economic forces in a particular society'•. Suffice to say every work art is a reflection or the society
I .2 Statement of the problem
Prominent among the problems faced by the Nigerian society today is corruption. Over the years, it is vivid that Corruption in Nigeria is an offshoot of the selfish politicking of her leaders. These corrupt practices. which is leadership induced, blossom every day in virtually all sectors of the country especially political corruption. Political corruption 111 Nigeria manife ts in various forms such as embezzlement. squandermania, misappropriation of funds, hooliganism, bribery etc.
All the aforementioned activities pose challenges to the Nigerian community, hence these problems has created a class struggle or conflict between the haves (affluent) and the haves not (the lower rungs of the society), because the manifestation of these corrupt practices especially by the affluent widens the gap between these two groups in the society. Thus. images of corruption in Nigeria will be analysed as presented in the play.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The purpose of this research is to find meanings and reveal the various images of corruption as analysed in the plays, in order to effect a social change. Especially in the management and control of educational affairs, which has destroyed our world, maimed our economy and has created a great dichotomy between the oppressor and the oppressed.
1.4 Research Questions
I. How has the playwright portrayed issues of politics and corruption in the Once Upon a Toll'er?
2. What are the effects of these corrupt practices on the Nigerian society, and what are the possible ways through which the menace can be tamed?
1.5 Significance of the study
This study will be significant in the sense that it will help the working class, policy makers, legislators government agencies etc, to find means of adjusting corruption because this study seeks to reveal and explicate the corrupt politics of our government by prodding out existing societal issues and proclaiming the way forward.
1.6 cope and Delimitation of the study
This study focuses on the diversified corruption influenced by selfish politicking that has inched its way into the Nigerian political system and the effect of corruption on the society. Moreover it also examines the radical change that man clamours for.
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