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

books

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

books

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

Guardian news (The State Of My Art)

 

Latest NEWS 

 

Dr. Tess Onwueme receives prestigious Fonlon-Nichols Award 2009

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 become staples of international college and university curricula in the 21st century (Dr. Sonja Darlington, 2004).

Africa’s best known female dramatist... Few artists match Dr. Onwueme's engaging presentation style in rhetoric, intellectual awareness, and social criticism
(Dr. S. Darlington, 2004).

 

[…Tess Onwueme…is an internationally acclaimed playwright, scholar and poet, who rose to prominence writing plays with themes of social justice, culture, and the environment. In 2010, she became the University Professor of Global Letters, following her exceptional service as Distinguished Professor of Cultural Diversity and English at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. She has won several international awards, including: the prestigious Fonlon-Nichols award (2009), the Phyllis Wheatley/Nwapa award for outstanding black writers (2008), the Martin Luther King, Jr./Caeser Chavez Distinguished Writers Award (1989/90), the Distinguished Authors Award (1988), and the Association of Nigerian Authors Drama Prize which she has won several times with plays like The Desert Encroaches (1985), Tell It To Women (1995), Shakara: Dance-Hall Queen (2001), Then She Said it (2003), among numerous honors and international productions of her drama.[1] Through her plays, she is able to use the theater as a medium to showcase historically silenced views such as African Women, and shedding more light on African life. She sustains her advocacy for the global poor and youth, along with the experiences and concerns of the (African) Diaspora in her creative work. In 2007, the US State Department appointed her to the Public Diplomacy Speaker Program for North, East, and West India. The 2009 Tess International Conference: Staging Women, Youth, Globalization, and Eco-Literature, which was exclusively devoted to the author's work was successfully held by international scholars in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, following the Fonlon-Nichols award to the dramatist. She is regarded as one of the band of more important African authors.[2] [ Excerpts from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia].

She was born in Ogwashi-Uku present day Delta State, Nigeria, and was educated at the Mary Mount Secondary School, Agbor. Onwueme attended the University of Ife (now OAU), Nigeria for her bachelors in education (1979) and Masters in literature (1982). She got her PhD at the University of Benin Nigeria, studying African Drama. The prolific author and riveting speaker of over twenty plays that are studied and produced worldwide has five children.  Her published plays include:  Riot In Heaven (2006), No Vacancy (2005), Legacies (1989), The Missing Face (2002), Broken Calabash 1984, The Reign of Wazobia (1988), Ban Empty Barn and other plays (1986), etc. (Excerpts from WIKIPEDIA notation on TESS ONWUEME, July 31, 2011)

Dr. Onwueme was born in Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State, Nigeria on September 8, 1955. She is married with five children. Kenolisa Onwueme, Ebele Onwueme, Kunume Onwueme, Bundo Onwueme, and Malije Onwueme.

Dr. Onwueme's dramatic presentation. WAZOBIA
Dr. Onwueme's dramatic presentation. WAZOBIA

THE BROKEN CALABASH
THE BROKEN CALABASH

THE BROKEN CALABASH
THE BROKEN CALABASH

Dr. Onwueme's dramatic presentation. THEN SHE SAID IT!
Dr. Onwueme's dramatic presentation. THEN SHE SAID IT!

 

Separator
What Mama SaidTell It to WomenThe Missing Face (3rd Ed)Shakara dance-hall queenWhy The Elephant has No ButtNo VacancyRiot in Heaven

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