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What Mama Said

An Epic Drama

Osonye Tess Onwueme

African American Studies, Art, Theater

African American Life Series

Paperback
Published: June 2003
ISBN: 9780814331415
Pages: 208 Size: 6x9
$24.99
Review

Osonye Tess Onwuene, a prolific and versatile dramatist has earned a place among the coterie of more important African authors.

— African American Review

Renowned playwright Osonye Tess Onwueme's powerful new drama illuminates the effect of national and global oil politics on the lives of impoverished rural Nigerians. What Mama Said is set in the metaphorical state of Sufferland, whose people are starving and routinely exploited and terrorized by corrupt government officials and multinational oil companies—that is, until a voice erupts and moves the wounded women and youths to rise up and demand justice.

Onwueme's powerful characters and vibrant, emotionally charged scenes bring to life a turbulent movement for change and challenge to tradition. Aggrieved youths and militant women—whose husbands and sons work in the refineries or have been slaughtered in the violent struggle—take center stage to "drum" their pain in this drama about revolution. Determined to finally confront the multinational forces that have long humiliated them, Sufferland villagers burn down pipelines and kidnap an oil company director. Tensions peak, and activist leaders are put on trial before a global jury that can no longer ignore the situation. What Mama Said is a moving portrayal of the battle for human rights, dignity, compensation, and the right of a nation's people to control the resources of their own land.

Osonye Tess Onwueme is Professor of English at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She is the author of many plays, including The Missing Face (African Heritage Press, 2002), Shakara: Dance-Hall Queen (African Heritage Press, 2000), Tell It To Women (Wayne State University Press, 1997), and Three Plays (Wayne State University Press, 1993).

Osonye Tess Onwuene, a prolific and versatile dramatist has earned a place among the coterie of more important African authors. Her dramatic voice, with command of social and political issues, prompts a global consciousness of marginalized women and their concerns. Her dramatic corpus demands attention and inspires action."

– African American Review