Edith A. Awogu-Maduagwu, Edwin Onwuka


This study is an analysis of ‘The Trial of Dedan Kimathi’, a play co-authored by Ngugi wa ‘thiongo and Micere Mugo. The analysis focuses on the use of theatrical devices, especially dance and gesture as message media in the play. The theme of the play is the resilience of the human spirit in the face of oppression and injustice. As a fictional dramatization of the struggle of Kenyans under colonial rule, it carries a prophetic and triumphant message, especially in view of the recent admission by the British government of culpability in the horrific torture and murder of indigenous Kenyans during the insurgency of the fifties, known as the Mau-Mau. Existing analyses of the play have examined the use of language and thematic directions, but none of these documents the semiotic use of dance and speech as parallel message media. The research employs internet, library and archival search as well as the main text as sources of data. Viewed from the technical angle, the work validates the universality of the use of dance as the bedrock of African drama. 

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