An Examination of Spirit Mediumship in African Drama and Theatre: A Study of J.P Clark’s Ozidi

  • Abel Idebe Gombe State University, Gombe State - Nigeria.


African drama and theatre in its content and context have been developed from the gamut of its social and
religious essentialities. Stories as capturing the socio-cultural experiences of indigenous African societies
have greatly informed the development of drama and theatre in Africa. It is on this basis, that it becomes
fundamental to protrude into sources which make for the depth of African Drama and Theatre, especially
as originating from its traditional roots. Therefore this paper examines the role of spirit mediumship in
African drama and theatre. Since the practice of spirit mediumship goes beyond the African terrain, this
paper as a way of providing a theoretical basis for analysis examines broadly and critically the concept of
spirit mediumship. The presence of spirit mediums as evident in traditional rituals, cult/séance ceremonies
and other similar events offers the paper the opportunity to examine the role of spirit mediumship within
cultures in the African terrain. Spirit mediumship examined in this paper has been essentially done with the
aim of critically providing insights into their nature and manifestations through drama and theatre in Africa.
Furthermore this paper having acknowledged the convoluted perceptions/realities of the study of spirit
mediumship expresses the need for more interrogation of the art of spirit mediumship in order to see to
what extent it really serves the contemporary African worldview. Ozidi written by John Pepper Clark will
be the text with which this paper shall further examine its thematic thrust.