Sunday, 10 May 2015

greg mbajiorgu updated profile


GREG MBAJIORGU, exponent of solo and ecological theatre, is the First African to publish a monodrama and a seminal drama on climate change. His eco-drama Wake Up Everyone won the first prize for arts and humanities Research at the2012 National Universities Research and Development Fair (NURESDEF) organized by the National Universities Commission (NUC). From 1991 to 2000 during his self-sponsored historic national tour with his one-man show (The Prime Minister’s Son), Mbajiorgu recorded over six hundred successful performances in  universities, secondary schools, Army Barracks, Cultural centers and several other Educational institutions across Nigeria and beyond. As a Theatre Artist and professional interested in innovation and challenging assignments, Mbajiorgu has executed the following professional Theatre contracts/duties in the last two decades.
1. The Lion on Exit (1992), a send-off play commissioned by the Governing Council of the University of Nigeria as part of the activities marking the last days of Prof. Chimere Ikoku as vice Chancellor
2. The lion of Lions (1996) a solo documentary drama with background chorus- Based on the poems and the speeches of RT. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, First President of Nigeria and founder of the University of Nigeria.
3. Wota na Wota- a water conflict resolution drama (2003) commissioned by OEP/JDP Water programme, Enugu, with funding from MISEREO, Germany. Premiered in 2008 at the New Arts Theatre UNN during the National Universities Game (NUGA).
4. Trial of the Fitest (2007) written for the end of year retreat of the African Institute for Applied Economics (AIAE). Performed at the Bridge Water Hotel, Enugu.
5. Keep The Dream Alive (2008) written for AIAE 2008 retreat and Performed at the Bridge Water Hotel, Enugu.
6. Beyond The Golden Prize (Miniaturized Version) written for the 10th Anniversary of Seat of Wisdom Secondary School, Enugu.
7. Wake Up Everyone (brief version) 2009, commissioned by ATPS, Nairobi, Kenya, for their International Conference on Climate Change,which held at Nicon Luxury Hotel Abuja.
8. Toward a New Dawn (2010) Commissioned by Presidential Task Force on Power and Performed at the Presidential Banquet Hall, Aso Rock Villa Abuja for the 2010 Power Stake Holders Forum.
9. United against Climate Change (2011) Commissioned by the University of Nigeria’s African Climate Change Adaptation Initiative (ACCAI, UNN), Performed at Princess Alexandra Auditorium, UNN (2011).
10. Mbajiorgu was also appointed the Official Dramatis for the Innovation prize for Africa (IPA) by the African Innovation Foundation, Switzerland during which he wrote and produced Dancers from Africa with Benedict Bine Bai. The Pro-Innovation drama was performed during the Award Ceremony at Ibeto Hotels Abuja in May, 2014.
11. Appointed member of the Educational Advisory Council of UNNESCO Club for Global Education by the Board of Directors for UNNESCO Club for Global Education.
12. Wake Up Every one (2014 Edition) was staged on the 23rd January 2014 as special command performance for the 44th Convocation Ceremony of University of Nigeria Nsukka  and as reception drama for the visitor and the Minister for Education Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau.
13. Appointed Adjudicator 23rd and 24th Edition of National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST).

 Greg  Mbajiorgu who hails Ihiala in Anambra State, is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Film Studies UNN, He is the editor of four scholarly Books including a recent one on J.P Clark, co-edited with Sonny Ododo. (Song of Gold: fresh perspectives on Clark).
Mbajiorgu is married to Imelda Chineze Mbajiorgu (Nee Anakudo) and they are blessed with three children.

1.2005 most innovative creative artist award Department of English and Literally Studies, UNN.
2.2012 First position Individual Award in Arts and Humanities (Research) Awarded by the National Universities Commission (NUC). 
3. 2013 Anambra Literary Stars Award Awarded By Nigerian Book Foundation.
4.2013 Archivers Award. Awarded By the Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists.
5. 2009 Golden Pen Award. Awarded by Association of Nigerian Authors, Imo State Chapter.
6. Award of Excellence in Arts, and Distinction in Solo performance Art by The Nigerian Turkish Nile University, Abuja.
The Nigerian Turkish Nile University, Abuja in 2014 during Mbajiorgu’s sabbatical leave at the University, hosted a conference in honour of Mbajiorgu, celebrating 48 years of Solo performing Arts in Nigeria 

Published Plays by Greg Mbajiorgu
1. Hands of Fate Snaap press Ltd Enugu 2000
2. wota na wota Snaap press Ltd Enugu 20033. The Prime Minister’s Son (monodrama) second edition Kraft Books Ltd 2011
4. Beyond the Golden Prize (school drama) Kraft Books Ltd 2013
5. Wake up Everyone (latest edition) Palace press Ltd Abuja 2014
Unpublished Books
1. Towards a New Dawn
2. Who Bears the Blame?
3. Keep the Dream Alive
4. Trial of the Fittest
5. Dancers from Africa
6.The Blind Man and the Whirl wind






Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Prime Minister's son


The Prime Minister’s Son (20 Years Anniversary Edition) by Greg Mbajiorgu; Kraftgroits, Kraft Books Limited, Ibadan; 2011
The one-man theatre represents a revolution of sorts against the background of the emphasis on crowd scenes in African theatre. The solo performance is completely opposed to the work of, say, a stand-up comedian who just tells jokes for the heck of it. Greg Mbajiorgu has for the past 20 years championed the cause of the one-man theatre with The Prime Minister’s Son, a performance that is at once spectacular and very penetrating. First performed in 1991 at the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) Secretariat, Calabar, Cross River State by its creator Greg Mbajiorgu, The Prime Minister’s Son has ever since toured most of the states of Nigeria, North and South, without any sponsorship whatsoever. The 20th anniversary edition of the play is a grand testimony to belief.
As a mono-dramatist, Mbajiorgu stands likened to the exploits of the late Funsho Alabi and the living Tunji Sotimirin. The difference is that unlike Alabi and Sotimirin, Greg Mbajiorgu has a published text to show for his efforts. The play is remarkably dedicated “To Funsho Alabi, king of solo, whose indelible footprints have continued to guide me on this solitary journey.”
According to Professor Dapo Adelugba in his foreword to the play, “Greg Mbajiorgu’s The Prime Minister’s Son debunks the old myth that the dramatist, the performer and the director are three separate sub-worlds of the world of theatre. He has shown in his work, which he has created, directed and acted, that these three worlds can be collapsed into one, which is exactly what has happened.” Of course the play as it is presented now has been revised and re-revised from what it was in its first incarnation 20 years ago.
 The eponymous character is the rejected son of the Prime Minister who embodies 12 other characters in the play. Multiple role-playing is the essence of the drama as it unfolds from a cemetery beside a local church where the Prime Minister’s Son in a completely tattered outfit dirges as he advances towards his dead mother’s tombstone.
 It makes for captivating theatre that an ill-starred boy is misbegotten through the illicit liaison of a Prime Minister and his house-girl Ezinma. When the pregnancy manifests the Prime Minister deigns to foist responsibility upon his houseboy Emenike. Both house-helps are then banished from the household of the Prime Minister. The luckless Emenike and Ezinma must perforce find a way to survive in a very hostile landscape. They get married and then Ezinma delivers the Prime Minister’s unwanted son. It is a tough call bringing up the child after Emenike tragically dies. Ezinma then withdraws the boy from the boarding school he had been attending. Ezinma tries all her best to give the boy all she could afford until the State Task Force on Environmental Sanitation destroys her stall. She runs mad and then dies. After the death of his mother the orphan then learns the truth about his actual parentage as a prime minister’s son. His attempt to get through to his father, the Prime Minister, fails and he ends up lamenting as a homeless wanderer.
In all, the sole actor reprises 13 roles, from his pivotal role as the Prime Minister’s son to the 12 other characters of the play, notably Ezinma, Emenike, Blind Woman, Mr. Okafor, Adaku, Wife, Ozoemena, Our Master, Papa Adaeze, The Landlady and Enyinnia. The Prime Minister’s Son is so demanding on the actor such that only one with plenty reserves of protean resources can undertake a staging of the play. The actor is called upon to become a redoubtable ventriloquist. The alteration of voice is of great import. Music is an essential aspect of the play in the manner of the chorus of Ancient Greek drama. Greg Mbajiorgu deploys the flashback technique to flesh out the enactment of the story.
This 20th anniversary edition of The Prime Minister’s Son has an appendix entitled “The Prime Minister’s Son, Nineteen Years After: Reflections (A Prelude to the 2oth anniversary)” written by Greg Mbajiorgu and first published in 2010 by Unizik Journal of Arts and Humanities to mark the 19th anniversary of the play. The author there offers insights on his working methods and intellectual motifs.
Born on May 24, 1964, Greg Mbajiorgu who was educated at the University of Nigeria and the University of Ibadan had in the 1980s experimented with the improvisational theatre outfit known as Release Mandela Campaign Theatre, staging in 1986 the anti-apartheid play “The Freedom Charter”. It was in 1991 that he broke bold ground by venturing into mono-drama via The Prime Minister’s Son.
The play is fast moving and never boring as most plays with minimalist casting are wont to. Greg Mbajiorgu deserves celebration for taking The Prime Minister’s Son into progressive adulthood at 20.
The Prime Minister's son


  1. JOAN June 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm - Reply
    waow i would really love to see this book it looks interesting

  2. edet June 18, 2013 at 2:01 pm - Reply
    hmmmn, a ministers son making impact…rare

  3. ifeoma June 18, 2013 at 2:09 pm - Reply
    this looks intresting…how can i get this book please

  4. kunle adebayo June 19, 2013 at 3:39 pm - Reply
    Very Interesting. I hope these home video goons will not bastardise it.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Thespian journey around climatic change

Phrases like climate change, global warming, carbon emission and greenhouse gases have become part of our everyday vocabulary, yet, so many people do not honestly know what they are all about. These days, we hear of earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, floods, typhoons, droughts, erosion, crop failure, intense heat/cold etc.
Some people have attributed this to the end-times, saying that the end of the world as we know it, is here. On the other hand, scientists believe that these changes occur as a result of the daily activities of man which affect the environment negatively.
To help bring home the message of climate change, its effects and how to mitigate them, a performer and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Film Studies,   University of Nigeria Nsukka, Mr. Greg Mbajiorgu, uses the medium of theatre because he believes that “more than any other medium of artistic expression, drama and theatre provide society access to a truthful recreation of both the adverse effects of climate change and its consequences on human lives and even on our

A Review of Mbajiorgu's Wake Up Everyone

Nigerian theatre mixes oil and climate, on the ground

Wallace Heim writes: 
“The Nigerian playwright and academic Greg Mbajiorgu got in touch with us after reading Robert Butler’s blogs on Ashdenizen on the difficulties of writing plays about climate change. Greg sent us his play, Wake Up Everyone, which has a preface quoting from this blog.
Wake Up Everyone began as a commission by the African Technology Policy Studies Network, Nairobi, Kenya for their international conference on climate change in Nigeria in 2009.
That policy world is represented in the main character, Maukwe Aladinma, a retired professor of agriculture, now attempting to get the local government in the rural Ndoli area to build flood defences and advising communal farmers on using organic waste and planting stronger, non-GMO seeds. The professor, too, is a dramatist. In a play-within-a-play, the actors of his theatre company rehearse scenes describing the effects of climate change, those happening now and those anticipated: rivers


Greg Mbajiorgu Clenches First Position Overall in the Arts/ Humanities (Research Category) Of the 5th Nigerian Universities Research and Development Fair (NURESDEF)

The University of Nigeria has taken the 2nd position in overall performance at the NUC-organized Nigerian Universities Research and Development Fair (NURESDEF) held at the University Gymnasium hall of the Federal University of Technology, Gidan Kwano Campus, Minna, Niger State from October 8th to 12th, 2012.  The competitive fair meant for all universities in Nigeria was attended by mostly federal universities (including three from the Southeast zone which are Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike; The University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt). The host University, FUT, Minna, took first position in overall performance, while five universities took the third position in overall performance. They include Federal University, Lafia; University of Benin, Benin; University of Ilorin, Ilorin; University of Port Harcourt, and, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
In his keynote address during the occasion, the Director General, National Office for Technology

My experiment with solo and ecological theatre – Mbajiorgu

Greg Mbajiorgu

Twenty one years ago when Greg Mbajiorgu staged his solo drama, Prime Minister’s Son, little did he know that his modest adventure into that theatrical path inaugurated in the Nigeria by late Funsho Alabi and Tunji Sotimirini would eventually stand him out as an important playwright to watch.
Today, Mbajorgu, Senior lecturer in the School of Film and Dramatic Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka remains the only standing Nigerian playwright that has consistently staged and published a reference text in the dramatic genre of solo dramaturgy. Besides his interest in solo drama and performance, Mbajiorgu, who also writes poetry has again, trailed another important path by directing his creative imagination to the writing and staging of an ecological drama.

Thursday, 4 October 2012


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As a University teacher, writer, director and actor, Greg Mbajiorgu's career centres virtually on all areas of creative arts. His choice of Theatre as a profession was made out of passion and conviction that he can only thrive best as a dramatist. He eventually came to limelight as a solo performer, an art, which only a few Nigerians have dabbled into.

After the late Funso Alabi and popular actor, Tunji Sotimirin, Mbajiorgu is the third known artiste in the solo performance genre. According to him, stage acting could be so tedious but solo acting is even more challenging. But the fast rising star said he is willing to be.

Mbajiorgu who lectures in the Department of Theatre and Film Studies at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka recently directed Son of a Chief, a play written by Chris Nyimoga for his department. He