Ahmed Yerima

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Ahmed Yerima is a Nigerian award winning playwright, theatre director and scholar. He is known for heading the Nigerian National Troupe and serving as director of the National Theatre.

Yerima has published about 6 books and 27 plays including one about the late Atta of Igala, Umaru Oboni. As a writer, he has written beyond his immediate ethnic group and brought to light the role of culture in the lives of women and men in various Nigerian societies. Some of his plays includes, Yemoja and Oba Ovonramwen. In 2001, he published a play, Dry Leaves On Ukan Trees which was set in an Ewohimi community in Edo state. (3)


Yerima was born in Lagos to Saidatu and Musa Yerima. His father was a police officer and originally intended Yerima to study law. He had his education at the Baptist Academy, Obanikoro, Lagos where in was involved in a theatre group made up of students. He enrolled at the Obafemi Awolowo University where he earned his degree in Theatre Arts.

In 1991, he got into the administrative division of Nigeria's cultural edifice as a deputy artistic director of the national troupe. In 2000, he was made director. Apart from his duties with the troupe, he teaches courses at the University of Lagos. (1) In 2006, Yerima was appointed as the chief executive officer of the National Theatre, formerly Nigeria's premier event center. The theatre had gradually been chipping away its former glory since a young Yerima visited it in 1977. (1)

Yerima's play, "Hard Ground", won the drama category of the 2007 Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas literary prize. The play later went on a country-wide tour.


  • (1)'Mary Ekah. ACCOLADES FOR YERIMA @ 50', Thisday, May 20, 2007
  • (2)Benjamin Njoku. 'THE GOSPEL OF CHANGE ACCORDING TO YERIMAH' Vanguard, April 13, 2006
  • (3)"AHMED YERIMA: DRY LEAVES ON UKAN TREES" P.M. News, January 16, 2002.