Theatre & Drama, Abuja.
Africa Ukoh, a young writer, actor, stage director, and a dreamer. Born and raised in the city of Jos, Plateau state, Nigeria, he studied Theatre Arts at the University of Abuja. A lover of all things artistic and thus of life.
He has performed in various theatrical shows, notably the 2009 Nigerian Democracy Day celebrations in Nassarawa state and the 2011 Democracy Day celebrations in Abuja.
He got his first break as a writer in 2009 when his first play Sleep sef na Wahala was shortlisted for the Abuja Writer's Forum competition.
In 2011 he emerged as the first runner-up in the BBC African Performance competition with the playSilhouettes (a radio version of the stage play he is working on for the Stratford project.).
In January of 2012 his play The Stain was broadcast on Voice of Nigeria (VON) and in August of 2012 the same play was published in issue #11 of the Sentinel Nigeria Magazine. Another play of his titled God for Sale is forthcoming in the Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology (SALA) 2012, slated for release in December of 2012.
Africa Ukoh, together with a few colleagues, recently set up a company called African Renaissance Theatre and Entertainment (A.R.T) as another step forward in the pursuit to breathe being-ness into the dream of creative excellence.
Africa Ukoh was the artistic director for Benue state's dance drama entry in the National Arts Festival (NAFEST) in October 2012.
The theatrical production of the full length play titled 54 Silhouettes written by Africa Ukoh.
The play 54 Silhouettes deals with the portrayal and perception of Africans. In today's image inundated world what we are shown, not shown, what we choose to or not to see, creates marked impressions which define our interactions with one another.
Africa is often depicted but how much of the African story is really told?
The play centres on Victor Chimezie, a Nigerian actor trying to make it in Hollywood whose big chance comes when he lands a role in an upcoming blockbuster.
However he soon learns that the movie, set in his home country, paints a negative, stereotypical portrait of his nation.
Victor rebels against the film, erupting conflicts that question and challenge the power of an image; and none are spared as the image, the image makers and those captured in the image all come under the scrutiny of the theatrical microscope.
The play seeks to present a collage of expressions, highlighting our nature to either look deep or seek no further than the surface.
Its message is not restricted to Africa because anyone denied his or her fullness, regardless of nationality or race, is befallen by the same fate - a human reduced to a shadow.
Listen to an abridged version of the play here.