Image: logo


About Nduka Onwuegbute       My Writing       My Future Titles
Onwuegbute's  Writing
My First Book
Back cover: Druns That Dance In The Dark, Nduka Onwuegbute

Browse before you buy  {will open secure window}   

Book Description:

ISBN:0-595-44141-6   Buy the paperback
ISBN: 0-595-88465-2   Buy the Ebook
Publisher: iUniverse, Inc USA
Pages: 76
Size: 6 X 9

Availability: Paperback, book retailers, online,

Characters: Malleah, Utse, Gada, Uuni, Ndalo, Ndafa

Amazon Preview
Review by Vanessa Lee (Front Street Reviews)
Reveiw - Drums That Dance In The Dark
Wikipedia on Nduka Onwuegbute
Buy from my Amazon Store Front (Signed copy)
Authors Den - Nduka Onwuegbute - Nduka Onwuegbute

A Synopsis

A community is damned never to dance. Malleah and his family go on the warpath to challenge their status-quo, with dire consequences.
Utse has just realised her sonç—´ fate because he danced, (the third to meet such mysterious circumstances). History is about to repeat itself and the tragedy to come is all too familiar.

Her daughter, Gada, sets loose the emotions that come to the fore. But while Utse and her husband, Malleah, fight against the odds, the seeds of betrayal know no bound.
Utse and Malleah put the wheels in motion to reinforce the ban, but behind their every turn, sedition prevails.

Utse is the cry of war, war with the family she loves, war on the home front. And when all is done, the men walk free, leaving Utse to come to terms with her innocent daughter.

Interview With Nduka Onwuegbute

Nduka Onwuegbute is a brilliant playwright with potent provoking political ruminations who uses metaphor of daily common existence to highlight the perils of modern society. His new book, a play about dance (aparantly more to do with corrupt politicians) is out on sale from booksellers and on the internet, published by iUniverse.

MBT: So Nduka, welcome to, and thank you for fitting us into your busy schedule.
NDUKA: I am honoured to be here, thank you.
MBT: So first things first, "Drums That Dance in the Dark", what's that about?
NDUKA: Well, it is the story of a young girl, called Gada, who is given a school assignment. She knows her future depends on her doing well on this activity but does not have the stomach to ask her parents, instead she recruits the help of her elder brothers. They try to help, but that's when the tragedy begins to unfold.
MBT: Tragedy? It's an assignment, you sit down write your answers on a piece of paper and being that one plus one always equals two, surely that has to be the end to it.
NDUKA: In an ideal world, yes, but we all live in our own individual hell-caves, aptly called reality, where friends are not what they seem, families sell you up the creek, as they say.
MBT: OK, so we are living in hell, as you put it, and this girl, Gada, returns with trouble. That makes her the trouble-maker, right?
NDUKA: Well, I've never looked at her in that light. In my eyes, Gada is the innocent victim in the web of catastrophies of fate and abuse. Gada is trying to pick herself up from the muck and walk with her head up high. But she can't do that on her own. That is Gada's own hell. She needs the help of her unwilling siblings, and that in itself can be tideous.
MBT: Hmm, interesting, "Drums that Dance in the Dark", why that title?
NDUKA: Well originally the play was called "The Last Dancer's Will", and after a while, I got bored with calling it that. So it got re-christened "Dancing the Fool" and just when I was about to go to press, I kneaded the title once again and "Drums that Dance in the Dark" won the day.
MBT: Drums that Dance in the Dark", it sounds sinister, raunchy, punchy darK!. Do the drums actually go for a walk and communne in the middle of the night after developing arms and legs? It sounds to me like a carnival.
NDUKA: If only it was, I would be a very happy man, a very very happy man. But no, the drums dancing is the metaphor for political activity.
MBT: Comdey, I hear you like comedies.
NDUKA: Most definitely. Laughter is our escape form our individual hells. Imagine a world without comics, no Sienfeld, or Fraser. Imagine not having the opportunity to see the works of Chaplin, Bobe Hope or even Steve Martin. What would the world be without Whoopie Goldberg or Richard Prior, Jasper Carrot, Lee Evans or Rory Bremner.
MBT: So you love comedy, why forage into the world of tragedy in this play?
NDUKA: Well comics actually talk about tragic evnts, albeit in a funny sort of way. I think comedians are actually more serious than tragic or straight actors. My personal favourite was playing Say-Tokyo-Kid in Wole Soyinka's "The Road". I was an understudy and was lucky enough to play the part for 2 nights under the directorship of Femi Osofisan.
MBT: There is a story about you only having 20 minutes to prepare for that role.
NDUKA: Well, I had a couple of rehearsals.
MBT: Yes, but this is "The Road", a play which quite logically got the 1965 Grand Prix award in, I think Dakar, Senegal; a play, written by the first African writer to receive the nobel pirze for literature.
NDUKA: The very same.
MBT: And this is the tideous ramblings of far flung characters and a crazy self-professes professor who goes about machinating road accidents just so he could profiteer from their wrecks.
NDUKA: Interesting, don't you think?
MBT: Yes, but you need to be tuned in to get the story. Now "Drums That Dance in the Dark" is catching, it grips you and you stay on the edge wondering what's going to happen next. The characters are beleivable, it has a racy storyline. My only problem with the book is the so many young promising lives that are sacrificed.
NDUKA: Well that's the whole idea, its all about conflict. But I am happy you like it, thank you.
MBT: You are welcome, but I also have another big but with the book. What are you trying to say? I mean, Gada returns from school, gets one brother into trouble, kills the other second and next thing is the entire village is agog with excitement at the prospect of her finishing off their father as well. You might as well give her a bomb and send her to Iraq. What is your message? What are you trying to say, really?
NDUKA: Well, Gada does not actually get anyone in trouble. The ban on dance was already in place before she asks to be taught how to dance.Now you have to look at dance as a metaphor, dance represents the ultimate right to vote politicians in and out of office. But this right has been denied all and sundry becasue of its so-called taboo.
MBT: So what inspired you to write this?
NDUKA: Well, I wrote the first draft in Bida. It was originally a drama competition entry, but the bigger wigs from our regional headquarters had their favourite director who had their own play and dance. So they misinformed us, or at least kept us in the dark. These were the days before mobile phones and you needed to walk far and wait long for a pulse phone that connected at will, or not. Anyway, we heard of the betrayal, so to speak, and decided amongst ourselves to reward our efforts by achieving a production or two. Luckily, we did a tour of 6 schools which interestingly included Army Command School and Government College, Bida.
MBT: Is that not the same school the former Nigerian dictator, Ibrahim Babangida attended attended?
NDUKA: The very same.
MBT: So you drove the message home.
NDUKA: Notintentionaly, he had just left office and was living quietly on the hills of Minna.
MBT: Please, go on.
NDUKA: Another sentiment at the centre of this play was a wanting or longing to see the old school of politicians leave, and leave in a hurry actually. At some point, there was indeed a ban on first and second generation politicians in Nigeria.
MBT: And that's your message, Out with the old, in with the new!
NDUKA: In a way yes, but what "Drums That Dance in the Dark" is calling for is a marriage of the old and new, not necesarrily the people or politicians, but the policies and arms of government. As they say, old habits die hard and getting a corrupt government official to change his or her way is a very onerous task. Getting political forerunners not to silence the opposition or at lease, get the job done before lining their pockets with public funds is . Getting these political leaders used to and and blinded by their own self indulgence to see things ina different light so that sustainable democracy can be brought from the back burner.
MBT: That rings a bell right here. There is a leader in a very rich European country, she's been on the seat scores of years and refuses let go to younger blood. You might have heard of her, she's called Liz (Nduka chuckes) You know what, the Queen should go!
NDUKA: I don't see why not.
MBT: And if the Queen of England is going, others should follow suit.
NDUKA: Exactly.
MBT: People like Mugabe of Zimbabwe.
NDUKA: Classic case in point.
MBT: Castro of Cuba.
NDUKA: Fidel Castro and others like him are essentially saying is that there is no other person in thei country who has the intelegence to govern her citizenry. It's an insult to one's country. Dotted around the world he have had rulers and dictators refusing o pass on the mantle of leadership to others becasue they profess to know best.
MBT: So the Queen is gone, Castro is dead, Mugabe has shot himself in the foot, who else is on your list of political deviants?
NDUKA: Well, I would use those words exactly, but historically, we had Nyerere who was president for almost 19, if not 20 years; and there was Kereku who stayed on for another similar period of time in Benin.
MBT: Now I am looking at a list here, of past and presnet politicians, Kings and Military dictators who you say have held on to power for over 15 years, and you say these are the people you are calling to give pack up and go.
NDUKA: They need, or should have had the incline to rethink their role and position in the body politic of their individual countries.
MBT: Right, so we have Nyerere of Tanzania, Senghore and Dioufe of Senegal, Museveni of Uganda and Rawlings of Ghana, all of whom had twenty years or there abouts.
NDUKA: I am sure they all went into politics becasue they had lofty ideology on how they would transform their countries, but somehow their dreams morphed into monsters of self preservation.
MBT: Still on this list, you have the likes of Gadafi of Libya, 30 years; some from the al-Khalifah dynasty of Bahrain spent 20 and 27 years.
NDUKA: Correct.
MBT: Other big wigs in this list with over 40 years are Haille Selassie of Ethiopia, King Waddaula of Brunei, Queen Tupou the Third and King Tupou the Fourth of Polynesia, present day New Zealand. And you have also got people with over 50 years lilke our dear old Queen, God save her, and Louis the Forteenth of France. But you also have Thailand's Adulyadej with 61 years, Japan's Hirohito, 63 years and Johann the Second of Liechtenstein who was able to manage 70 years, wow!
NDUKA: These are historical facts. And new zealots are using them as yardstick to determine how long they want to be.
MBT: Interesting, but tell me, you also write for television, is that right?
NDUKA: Currently, no, but I had a stint or two writing for "Riddles & Hopes", then after I left Jos back to Lagos I was looking for a corporate sponsor for something I had written and ran into Tajudeen Adepetu, another Jos alumni. Taju was already in the advanced stages of getting a sponsor for something else but wanted a brand new concept. We had a drink, talked about it and they commissioned me to write a 13-episode comedy, and that was how his "Family Circle" got born. I wrote the first few episodes before returning to England.
MBT: You have come a long way, now you have "Drums...", what next, or are we going to wait another 10 years for the next installment?
NDUKA: After "Drums That Dance in the Dark" I have written a couple of things. The is "Red Flow" which I am re-working. Before that, there was "Images of War" and some others. But I am in the advanced stages of finishing of my very first novel, which I haven't completely christianed, but the word "Confluence" is bound to be in it.
MBT: Confluence?
NDUKA: Yes, it is set against the backdrop of 18th century Nigeria building up to the end of the trans-atlantic profiteers.
MBT: And how do you anticipate your readers will take this new play, "Drums That Dance in the Dark"?
NDUKA: I hope good. I am having it produced in four different countires, I am looking at getting the audiobook and translation into French, German and Spanish.
MBT: And you have sold a million copies so far?
NDUKA: I am hoping my publisher can confirm that.
MBT: I think it will, I think this book will go places and all of us here at MBT wish you the very best and hopefully you will be able to come back and share more stories of your success.
NDUKA: Most definitely.
MBT: So there you go, "Drums That Dance in the Dark", a play by Nduka Onwuegbute, a guaranteed bestseller. "Drums That Dance in the Dark" is out in bookshops, you can get it from publishers iuniverse or online. Once again, Nduka, from us at MBT, thank you very much.
NDUKA: Thank you.

My Other Titles:

Back Room, The - a play (A churlish lady stuggles from self destruction). To be Published.
Images of War - A play - Two sibling row over their assumed inheritance.
- A collection of poems.
Family Circle Nigerian television drama.
Riddles & Hopes -  Nigerian TV soap opera.
November 13 - A poem dedicated to Ken Saro Wiwa.

Masters of the Confluence Have a snippet - expected 2008 (published Feb; 2010).

Onwuegbute's Photography

Back cover: Druns That Dance In The Dark, Nduka Onwuegbute

Photography by Nduka: Bandstand, London

Photography by Nduka: Wild Growth, Buckinghamshire

Bandstand", London Wild Growth", Buckinghamshire

Photography by Nduka: It's Just Wine

Picture: Nduka Onwuegbute (phtotography by Stuat photography)

It's Just Wine Onwuegbute, in the Open Air Theatre, Jos.

The table below lists people in political leadership, past & present who have stayed in possition of influence for a period of 15 years or more.

Country Leader Tenure
Bahrain Salman ibn Ahmad al-Khalifa 30
Bahrain Muhammad ibn Khalifa al-Khalifa 30
Bahrain Isa ibn Ali al-Khalifa 60
Bohemia Leader 60
Cameroun Paul Biya 25
Cuba Fidel Castro 55
Egypt Hosni Mubarak 26
Great Britain Queen Elizabeth II 55
Equatorial Guinea Obiang Mbasogo 30
Ethiopia Haille Sellasie 20
France King Louix XIV 70
Hungary Franz Josepf III 50
Iran Alli Khamenei 20
Japan Hirohito 60
Libya Mamar al-Gaddafi 30
Liechestein Johann II 70
Saudi-Arabia Fahd ibn Abdul Aziz al-Saud 25
Swaziland Mswati 20
Thailand Bhumibol Adulyade 60
Thonga King Topou IV 41
Thonga Taufaau Topou 40
TurkmenistAN Saparmurat Niyazov 15
Uganda Yoweri Museveni 20
Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe 20
Egypt & Syria Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayuub 24
Gabon Omar Bongo 40
Angola Jose Eduardo dos Santos 28

Have you been to My Blog?

About Nduka Onwuegbute
I was born in 1969, of Nigerian parentage. Though I was the fifth child, I was later to be blessed with some nine younger siblings.

I left Manchester at a very tendaer age for a short visit to Nigeria. That short visit turned out to be a twenty-one year escaped, where luckily for me, I met my wife, Chizor, while studying at the university of Jos.

In my childhood days, I dreamt of acting and directing for television.

So I consider myself lucky to have written a few episodes of the TV serial drama "Riddles & Hopes". I also wrote the first few episodes of "Family Circle" before returning to the UK in 1996.

My other passion is photography. As far as I can remember, I have always had a camera, even though it may not be in full operational mode.

I like the way photography catches the essence of light and grey. I love black and white photography
My books recommended from
Book cover: Fortunes of the Forgotten ForestFortunes of the Forgotten Forest (African Folklore)
Book cover: Masters of the Confluence Masters of the Confluence (Historical Fiction)
Book cover: MastersMasters
ratings: 3 (avg rating 5.00)

Book Cover: Drums That Dance In The Dark by Nduka OnwuegbuteDrums That Dance In The Dark (Political Satire)
ratings: 16 (avg rating 5.00)

Book cover: Rival Spring: A Collection of Short StoriesRival Spring: A Collection of Short Stories
ratings: 9 (avg rating 5.00)
Surviving the Confluence

* * * * * * * *