Nigerian Play, ‘Hear Word!’ Makes International Debut At Harvard


When Ifeoma Fafunwa returned to her native Nigeria, she noticed that women weren’t afraid to talk about life’s challenges. (Courtesy Hear Word!)

Wednesday night, CNN obtained a “proof of life” video that shows 15 girls alive — they’re some of the 276 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped two years ago by the Islamist group Boko Haram in Chibok, Nigeria.

Distraught parents marched in Abuja Thursday, angry that the Nigerian government hasn’t done more to rescue the girls.

There are so many forces at work in this awful story: political, social, religious, certainly misogyny. But Nigerian playwright Ifeoma Fafunwa says that if the world is to make an honest reckoning of how and why women are oppressed, women must ask themselves, “What’s my responsibility? What did I do to create this world?”

Bold questions that Fafunwa dares to ask in her play, “Hear Word! Naija Woman Talk True.”

“Hear Word!” makes its international debut at Harvard in Cambridge Friday.


Ifeoma Fafunwa, director and producer of “Hear Word!” which tweets @hearwordnaija.


Harvard Gazette: Real Talk: Telling Nigerian Women’s Stories

“With Nigeria generating world-infamous cases of cruelty to women, such as the kidnapping of schoolgirls by the terrorist group Boko Haram, Fafunwa said she began to think, ‘Wow, sometimes Africa just serves to make other places look good.’”
The Boston Globe: Through Theater, Nigerian Women ‘Talk True’ To Men

“Producer, director, performer, writer, architect. Over the past two decades, Ifeoma Fafunwa has worn many hats searching for the ideal vehicle with which to marry her art with her deep concerns for the world. Two years ago, she found it with the ambitious, critically acclaimed Nigerian production “Hear Word! Naija Woman Talk True,” which she and a cast of 10 women are bringing to the Harvard Dance Center April 15-17 for its US premiere.”
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