History, a meta-narrative, has always demonstrated regenerative capacity in the consumption and reproduction of other texts and this has made a plurality of meanings possible within the ideological orientation of writers, readers, and critics. Yorùbá people of Western Nigeria have some historical events that have been adapted by playwrights and among these is the history of Àfònjá. Toyin Abiodun’s The Trials of Àfònjá is a play that has re-presented Àfònjá’s history with deconstructive fervor. With a qualitative approach to textual reading and analysis, deconstruction is used to unearth the playwright’s creative impulse in the utilization of oral tradition for the making of the play. With the deployment of the tenets of deconstruction, the playwright suggests a filial/paternal link between the Àfònjá dynasty and the Álímì dynasty in the history of Ilorin. The playwright’s representation of history in the play, therefore, reveals that history is susceptible to multiple interpretations depending on the interpretive models adopted.
Keywords: Toyin Abiodun’s The Trials of Afonja, Yoruba War History, Old Oyo Empire, Historical Dramaturgy, Oyo–Ilorin Relationship
How to Cite: Sesan, Azeez Akinwumi. "Deconstructing Historical Knoweldge in Toyin Abidun's The Trials of Afonja." the Black Theatre Review 2 no. 1 (2023): 56-73.