Engendering Change Through the Use of Participatory Drama: Ibidunni, a Safe Motherhood Project

By Olubunmi Julius-Adeoye.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Over two decades after the Safe Motherhood Initiative (SMI) was launched in Nairobi, Kenya, the lives of pregnant women especially in the developing world, is nothing near being safe. To serve as a sensitization avenue, a Choreo-Musical Drama titled IBIDUNNI devised and directed by this author, was staged at the Arts Theatre of the Redeemer’s University, Nigeria, on the 5th and 6th of June, 2007.
The performance through the media of music, dance and drama was able to tell the simple but profound truth that early attendance of ante-natal clinics is one of the vital ways of reducing the maternal mortality ratio which in Nigeria has been put at 1,500 deaths per every 100,000 live births. This paper is a procedural appraisal of the use of theatre as a tool for communication in the safe motherhood initiative as was carried out in the production IBIDUNNI. This would go from fact gathering to post production comments by both audience and participants/players. The project is premised on the fact that to achieve safe motherhood, it should be seen as a global imperative that requires the skills of all stakeholders, hence the use of theatre as an interventionist tool- if the United Nations Millennium Development Goal number five which is to reduce maternal mortality by 75% by the year 2015, is to be achieved.

Keywords: Theatre for Development

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp.99-104. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 528.320KB).

Olubunmi Julius-Adeoye

Lecturer, Department of Theater Arts, Redeemer’s University, Redemption Camp, Ogun, Nigeria

Olubunmi Julius-Adeoye (nee Obasa), holds a diploma in Mass Communication, a Bachelor and Masters’ degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where she is currently being supervised for a PhD in the area of using theater as an interventionist tool in the Safe Motherhood Initiative. She was the pioneer Acting Head of the Department of Theater Arts, Redeemer’s University, RCCG Camp, Nigeria. Bunmi is a Theatre for Development Practitioner, play director, playwright and a short story writer. To her credit, apart from online publications, is The Thorn, a play and Temisan, a collection of short stories.


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