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Who is Tess Onwueme?

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brandih | eNotes Employee

Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:57 PM via web

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Who is Tess Onwueme?

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kipling2448 | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 3, 2013 at 8:08 PM (Answer #1)

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Osonye Tess Onwueme is a highly-celebrated Nigerian-born playwrite, poet and scholar whose work has focused on issues of social justice and the environment.  Currently, she is a professor of Letters at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.  Onwueme has produced a number of works, including the plays "Shakara: Dance-Hall Queen," "The Desert Encroaches," "The Missing Face," and "Then She Said It."  Her plays, as well as her poetry are heavily influenced by her West African heritage and the male-dominated culture in which she was raised.  Onwueme was born in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, where poverty is rampant despite its proximity to Nigeria's oil industry, a source of intense resentment among the people of the Delta.  Her emphasis on illuminating the plight of African women and the poor has endeared her to many Westerners, including in the United States, where she has been appointed by the U.S. Department of State to its Public Diplomacy Speaker Program.

Onwueme's impact and international renown has also resulted in her being honored at a major conference in the capital of Nigeria.

Dr. Onwueme maintains her own website, with linkages to more information on her heritage and her plays and other writings. It can be found at www.writertess.com/

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