Words of Wisdom:

"If your ship comes in, row out to it." - Shawn9er

Theatre-for-Development in Africa

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 07:12 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 30 
  • Words: 4773
  • Essay Grade: no grades
  • Report this Essay
In Africa today, Theatre-for-Development   (TfD) is widely viewed as both an effective and appropriate medium for communicating development-orientated information at the grassroots level. Capable of functioning on multiple levels, theatre encompasses many types of learning ranging from the transmission of practical skills through to the advancing of political and social consciousness. As such, various styles of theatre are being used by both government and non-government agencies as a tool for tackling a multiplicity of development issues, including but not limited to literacy, health, family planning, agriculture, sanitation, human rights, environmental education, and the establishment of self-help projects and co-operatives (Bakari, 1998; Laws, 1998). Two dominant ideological approaches exist regarding the use of theatre as a means of bringing about socio-economic advancement to those living in poverty. One perspective, adopted by the developmentalist school of institutional policymakers, sees TfD as simply another instrument for communicating and executing development strategies amongst impoverished and illiterate populations. The alternative approach, embraced by social activists, sees theatre incorporating participation as a means of empowering those living in poverty because it gives them the opportunity to critically analyse their own situation, and the self-awareness gained motivates them to take a proactive lead in the development process (Mlama, 1991; Dogbe, 2002). Using examples of TfD practice, this essay will look at how these effective these different approaches at functioning as a means of message delivery and as a means of empowerment.

There are a number of reasons why development theatre is an effective instrument for delivering new information. Until relatively recently the oral tradition dominated in Africa, information was carried in people’s consciousness and collective memory rather than in text, and recalled through...


Express your owns thoughts and ideas on this essay by writing a grade and/or critique.

  1. No comments