Dr. Osonye Tess Onwueme
Playwright   Novelist   Scholar   Cultural Activist   International Speaker   Performer


"Tess is a rare jewel in this country..." - Dr. K. Kendall, Smith College, MA.


Exalted New Post / Fonlon Nichols Prize / My Work Is Larger Than Any Female Ideology 

Guardian news (The State Of My Art)


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Education & Teaching Experience

Osonye Tess Onwueme earned her PhD. from the University of Benin, Nigeria (1987), an M.A. in Literature from the University of Ife (1982), following her Bachelors Degree from the university of Ife (1979). With an enriched international experience of teaching in several universities in Africa and the USA, in 1994 she was appointed Distinguished Professor of Cultural Diversity and Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, USA, where she still teaches.

Four times winner of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Drama Prize for the following plays, Then She Said it (2003), Shakara Dance-Hall Queen (2001), Tell It To Women (1995), and The Desert Encroaches (1985), Dr. Onwueme has also been honored with these prestigious international awards: the 1988 Distinguished Author’s Award for her overall contribution to African literature, the 1989/90 Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Writer’s Award, and in both 2000 and 2001, she was awarded major grants from the Ford Foundation for her creative writing and drama production, Who Can Silence the Drums? Delta Women Speak!

  In the fall of 2004 Onwueme's Shakara was internationally featured by the BBC World Drama Service as a major broadcast for the season. From April 27-May 28, 2001, The Missing Face was staged Off-Broadway by the Woodie King Jr’s. New Federal Theatre in New York City from April 27th - May 28th, 2001. In addition, one of her polemical feminist plays, The Reign of Wazobia was recently adapted into film/video that will soon be released to the general public.

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