Google Doodle celebrates late Nigerian playwright and theatre director Ola Rotimi on his birthday, 13 April.
On 13 April 2022, Google Doodle featured a Black man holding an open book and wearing an opened collar blue shirt. Nigerians born before the 2000s only needed to see the octagon shaped glasses, receding hairlines and round-cropped beards to tell that it was Ola Rotimi that the search engine was idolising.
In the background of the doodle, three figures are in the spotlight of a stage performing a scene from one of his plays. I will go out on a limb and say that they are reenacting a scene of The Gods Are Not To Blame.
Even if I am wrong with the assessment above, it is still a good thing to be reminded of one of the legend’s of Nigerian theatre.
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Known for examining Nigeria’s history and traditions through his works, Rotimi wrote plays such as To Stir the God of Iron and Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again before he turned 30. He would later go on to write other poignant plays like Ovonramwen Nogbaisi, Holding Talks, If: A Tragedy of the Ruled, Hopes of the Living Dead, Everyone His/Her Own Problem, and more.
You can watch Ola Rotimi’s Hopes of the Living Dead, Directed by Ovunda Ihunwo here:
At the Amphi Africa Theatre, his dream of directing a play of 5000 cast members came to fruition as he was being put to rest. After his death, two of his plays —Man Talk, Woman Talk and Tororo, Tororo, Roro– were published under The Epilogue.
He was awarded two Fulbright Scholarships during his lifetime and a complete list of his works can be found here.
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