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)


Latest NEWS 


Writers & Scholars Comment on Onwueme’s Writing

Apart from numerous theses and dissertations on her works, renowned scholars, writers and teachers have continued to express Onwueme’s seminal contributions to the development of global knowledge on the experiences and conditions of black women and the poor working-class in contemporary postcolonial African/World Literature and Culture.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o, acclaimed Kenyan novelist, essayist, and playwright writes:

"In her work, Onwueme has shown daring in her exploration of ideas even if they lead to subjects and themes which may seem taboo. Onwueme is eminently a political dramatist, for power affects every aspect of society. She explores these themes with a dazzling array of images and proverbs. Her drama and theater are a feast of music, mime, proverbs and story-telling...[Thus] Onwueme consolidates her position among the leading dramatists from Africa."

Dr. K. Kendall, Theatre Chair, Smith College, Northampton, MA, USA.

"Onwueme's plays not only bring the range and beauty of Nigerian culture to an international audience, they create the artistic bridges crucial to the development of a multicultural educational environment. Her work speaks to studies of gender, race, class, and cultural difference."

"Tess is a rare jewel in this country..."

Poet-Laureate, Professor Eugene Redmond, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL, USA.

"Among her literary soul mates are Wole Soyinka, Ama Ata Aidoo, Samuel Beckett, Derek Walcott, John Pepper Clark, Albert Camus, Chinua Achebe, Toni Morrison, Anton Chekhov, Femi Osofisan, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, George Bernard Shaw, Athol Fugard, August Wilson, Amos Tutuola, Gloria Naylor, Buchi Emecheta, Dennis Brutus, Alex LaGuma, Mariama Ba, and Sembene Ousmane."

Woodie King, Jr., Producing Director at the New Federal Theatre in New York City.

"Tess Onwueme's What Mama Said is a spellbinding theatre work! It is written as if Dr. Onwueme is composing a symphonic work... Along with her other masterwork, The Missing Face [this drama] places Tess Onwueme in the ranks of Wole Soyinka, Athol Fugard, and Derek Walcott."

Professor Daniella Gioseffi, Winner, 1990 (American) National Book Award

"The protagonists of Dr. Onwueme’s plays tend to be women who revolt against their misuse by an outdated and inhumane system... In many ways, one might see Tess Onwueme as the Ibsen of her culture, the playwright who dares to raise new issues and write A Doll's House – so to speak – for her people. These sociological reasons allow us North Americans to identify strongly with the women in Tess Onwueme's plays. Her dramas are very much universal plays for an international audience as they speak to basic human rights of nationality, age, sex, or race."

Dr. Sonja Darlington, Beloit College, 2004.

"Internationally renowned for her award-winning plays, and novels, Dr. Tess Onwueme is the literary soul-mate of Chinua Achebe, Wole Solyinka, and Ngugi wa Thiong.o. She is the first African woman dramatist to break into their ranks, so that What Mama Said, Tell it to Women, Shakara: Dance-Hall Queen, The Missing Face and The Reign of Wazobia became staples of international college and university curricula in the 21st century."

Dr. Elizabeth Brown-Guillory, Univ. of Houston.

Tess Onwueme, award-winning playwright, recently served as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar/Artist at the University of Houston. Her presentation stimulated a tremendous amount of interest and enthusiasm...for which she received a standing ovation from The University of Houston campus administrators, faculty, staff, and students as well as its community supporters. Tess Onwueme is an intellectual of the first order; she is a dynamo; she exudes energy.

Dr. Ernest N. Emenyonu, Prof. & Chair Department of Africana Studies University of Michigan.

"Dr. Tess Onwueme by reputation is a powerfully engaging speaker of oratorical dimensions. The audience at the April 2002 African Literature Association (ALA) 28th Annual Conference at la Jolla, San Diego got no less when she addressed them in her Keynote Address... Ebullient, dramatic and of suffusing intensity, she spoke about African womanhood but her concerns were about universal womanhood and she held men and women of all nationalities spellbound with facts which enlightened but disturbed the mind. Tess Onwueme creates passion with her eloquence, enriching every verbal articulation with charisma and charm. She entertains even as she addresses issues of critical substance."

Powered by © AyacLab Web Development