Ntozake Shange’s Experimental Play, “For Colored Girls,” Adapted for Nigerian Theater

Chioma Obii-Obioha January 18, 2012

On December 29 and 30, 2011 at the Muson Center in Lagos, Nigeria, one of the most talked-about and important plays of cultural significance was adapted for the Nigerian theater. African-American award-winning poet/playwright Ntozake Shange’s riveting experimental play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf (simply dubbed For Colored Girls) was brought to life – and it was about time.

For Colored Girls is quite frankly a heavy play as it deals with very deep issues plaguing black women: from racism to rape and physical and sexual violence, Ntozake Shange sought to bring to life the harrowing experiences of black women. Finally, in a society which has, much like its African counterparts, swept such deep issues under the rug, it is so refreshing to see that a play like this was put together. Of course, it was adapted to cover the specific issues that the Nigerian woman faces in the 21st Century.

This adaptation was the brainchild of award-winning playwright and stage director, Wole Oguntokun, and entertainment solutions company, Flytime Promotions. The cast of the play included heavyweight actresses and talented singers: Joke Silva, Ireti Doyle, Matilda Obaseki, Marcy Dolapo Oni, Reanne Weruche Opia, Olajumoke Ladi Bello and Omawumi Megbele.

Hopefully, the issues raised by this play will initiate some important conversations and lead to healing and acceptance.

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