Famous Playwrights from Nigeria

List of notable or famous playwrights from Nigeria, with bios and photos, including the top playwrights born in Nigeria and even some popular playwrights who immigrated to Nigeria. If you're trying to find out the names of famous Nigerian playwrights then this list is the perfect resource for you. These playwrights are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known playwright from Nigeria is included when available.

List contains people like Wole Soyinka, Hubert Ogunde.

This historic playwrights from Nigeria list can help answer the questions "Who are some Nigerian playwrights of note?" and "Who are the most famous playwrights from Nigeria?" These prominent playwrights of Nigeria may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected Nigerian playwrights.

Use this list of renowned Nigerian playwrights to discover some new playwrights that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}

  • Biyi Bandele (born Biyi Bandele-Thomas; 13 October 1967) is a Nigerian novelist, playwright and filmmaker. Bandele is a UK-based Nigerian writer for fiction, theatre, journalism, television, film and radio. He moved to London in 1990.
    • Age: 55
    • Birthplace: Kafanchan, Nigeria
  • Bolaji Odofin
    Photo: user uploaded image
    Bolaji Odofin is a prize-winning Nigerian playwright. A journalist and former magazine publisher, Odofin currently works in the not-for-profit sector.
  • Chief Hubert Adedeji Ogunde, D.Lit. (10 July 1916 – 4 April 1990) was a Nigerian actor, playwright, theatre manager, and musician who founded the first contemporary professional theatrical company in Nigeria, the African Music Research Party, in 1945. He changed the name to Ogunde Theater Party in 1947 and Ogunde Concert Party in 1950. Finally, in 1960, he changed it to Ogunde Theater, a name which remained until his death in 1990. He has been described as "the father of Nigerian theatre, or the father of contemporary Yoruba theatre".In his career on stage, he wrote more than 50 plays, most of which incorporate dramatic action, dance and music, with a story reflecting the political and social realities of the period. His first production was a church-financed play called The Garden of Eden. It premiered at Glover Memorial Hall, Lagos, in 1944. Its success encouraged Ogunde to produce more plays, and he soon left his job with the police force for a career in the theatre. In the 1940s, he released some plays with political commentaries: The Tiger's Empire, Strike and Hunger and Bread and Bullet. During the 1950s, he toured various Nigerian cities with his travelling troupe. In 1964, he released Yoruba Ronu, a play that generated controversy and earned him the wrath of Chief Akintola, premier of the Western Region. The Ogunde Theater was banned in the Western Region of Nigeria for two years as a result. This ban was only revoked by the new military government of Lt. Col. F. A. Fajuyi on the 4th of February, 1966. In the late 1970s, Ogunde was spurred by the success of Ija Ominira and Ajani Ogun, two pioneering Yoruba feature-length films, to co-produce his first celluloid film, Aiye, in 1979. He released Jaiyesimi, Aropin N'tenia and Ayanmo, feature-length films influenced by Yoruba mysticism, thereafter. Ogunde starred in Mister Johnson, the 1990 motion picture that also featured Pierce Brosnan. The movie was shot on location in Toro, near Bauchi, Nigeria.
    • Age: Dec. at 73 (1916-1990)
    • Birthplace: Nigeria
  • Jimi Solanke is a Nigerian playwright, poet, folk singer and artist.
  • Keziah Jones (born Olufemi Sanyaolu on 10 January 1968) is a Nigerian singer-songwriter and guitarist. He describes his musical style as "Blufunk", which is a fusion between raw blues elements and hard, edgy funk rhythms. Also his Nigerian roots in Yoruba music and soul music can be considered a major influence on his sound. He is known for his distinctive style of guitar playing, including his percussive right-hand technique which is similar to a bass guitarist's slapping technique.
    • Age: 55
    • Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria
  • Nduka Onwuegbute
    Photo: user uploaded image

    Nduka Onwuegbute

    Nduka Onwuegbute (born 1969) is a Nigerian British playwright, currently living in the United Kingdom. He was educated at the University of Ibadan and the University of Jos, both in Nigeria.
    • Age: 54