NASIRU Isaac Akanji, Ph.D

NASIRU Isaac Akanji, Ph.D



NASIRU Isaac Akanji, Ph.D is a professor of Theater Arts, born on 20th June, 1948, Iwo, Nigeria. He attended Baptist Day School, Oke-Odo, Iwo, between 1954 – 1959, Baptist Secondary Modern School, Iwo, between 1960 – 1962, Government Teacher Training College, Ilesa, between 1962 – 1965 and University of Ibadan between 1969-1972 and  1973 – 1976, where he obtained B.A in English and Ph.D in Thearter Arts Programme.


Lecturer II, Department of English, ABU, Zaria,  1976 – 1978

Senior Cultural Officer, Oyo State Council for Arts and Culture,  1978 – 1979

Lecturer I, Department of English, University of Ilorin,  1979 – 1981

Senior Lecturer, Department of Performing Arts, University of                   

Ilorin (Rising by promotion to Professor in Performing Arts, 1993)  1981 –to date)

Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept of English, Columbia University, New York, USA, Spring, 1986

 Adjunct Associate Professor, City College, New York, USA, Spring, 1986   

Fulbright Senior Research Fellow, UMBC Department of Theatre, Baltimore, USA, 1992/93

Visiting Professor, Dept of Theatre Arts, Delta State University, Jan 05 – Jan 06

Visiting Professor, Dept of Fine, Industrial and Theatre Arts, Niger, Delta University, Bayelsa State,  Feb 06 to Dec 09

Visiting Professor, Dept of English and Literary Studies, Adekunle, University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Oct 11 – Sept 12

Current Employment (Contract)

Professor Theatre Programme, College of Liberal Studies, Bowen University, Iwo Osun, State, Oct 2013 to date


As a complement to my theatrical career, I have staged many plays commissioned for several important occasions within and outside the University. They include:

  • Our Survival by Akanji Nasiru, first performed at Africa Hall, University of Ilorin, November 1979; invited by the Oyo State Council for Arts and Culture as a major production for the Oyo State Festival of the Arts, Arts Theatre, December 1980.
  • The Marriage of Anansewa by Efua Sutherland, an adaptation staged as University of Ilorin Convocation Play, November 1980.
  • The Palmwine Drinkard by Kola Ogunmola, first production of English version of the stage adaptation of the novel by Amos Tutuola, staged as University of Ilorin Convocation Play, November 1981.
  • Basorun Gaa by Adebayo Faleti, translated by Akanji Nasiru, staged as University of Ilorin Convocation Play, November 1982; invited to Oduduwa Hall, Obafemi Awolowo as a major sponsored production February 1983.
  • Let’s Find an Answer by Akanji Nasiru, play commissioned for the Carnegie-sponsored Prevention of Maternal Mortality Project (PMMP), Kwara Hotel, November 1991.
  • 3 Yoruba Plays with English Translations (“Alatise”, “Ohun to wa lehin Ofa” and “Ajosee Wa Ni”); plays on safe motherhood, commissioned for the Prevention of Maternal Mortality Project (PMMP), staged infive market places in Oro area of Kwara State, April 1992.
  • The Rally by Akanji Nasiru, staged as University of Ilorin Convocation Play, November 1995.
  • Rise and Shine!by Akanji Nasiru, commissioned for the 40th Anniversary celebrations of Queen Elizabeth School, Ilorin, 1997.
  • The Dream, the Vision by Akanji Nasiru, commissioned for the 7th Anniversary celebrations of the Chapel of Redemption UMCA, Gaa Akanbi, August 2004.
  • Heirs of a Great Heritage by Akanji Nasiru, commissioned for the Centenary celebrations of the UMCA, 2005
  • Unto Greater Heights by Akanji Nasiru, commissioned for the 7th Anniversary celebrations of the Chapel of Redemption UMCA, Gaa Akanbi, August 2007.



 Music: I am an avid lover of music and make extensive use of it in my playwriting and directing. I play the tenor saxophone and have led musical groups at the University of Ilorin and Niger Delta University. I am also a member of the Choir and other singing groups of the Chapel of Redemption, Gaa Akanbi, Ilorin.

Sports and Games:  I played active soccer, being the goalkeeper for Iwo town team from 1966 to 1970. I represented my college and university in many games, including table tennis, lawn tennis, volleyball and athletics. I won a silver medal in high jump as a member of the University of Ibadan athletics team at the 1976 Nigerian University Games. I also play draughts and ayo.

Computer: I have keen interest in the computer and enjoy organizing computer literacy programmes for people of various ages.

Publishing:  I own and run a publishing outfit that has the objective of encouraging reading and general learning through publishing quality books at affordable prices. It has served as an outlet for the publication of creative as well as academic works by up-and-coming authors.

Community Development: I have organized many programmes intended to develop youths in my community and encourage senior and retired citizens to live an active and fulfilling life.



  • Ph.D., Theatre Arts, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, October 1978
  • B. A. (Hons) English, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, June 1972
  • Teachers Grade II Certificate, Government Teacher Training College, Ilesa, Osun State, Nigeria, Dec 1966


  • Nasiru A. (1978). "Folklore in Nigerian Drama" in THE LITERARY HALF-YEARLY, Dept of Postgraduate Studies in Literature, University of Mysore, India, Vol XIX, No. l
  • Nasiru A. (1979). "Ola Rotimi's Search for a Technique" in New West African Literature (ed. Kola Ogungbesan), Heinemann, London, pp. 21-30.
  • Nasiru A. (1982). Review of Michael Etherton'sThe Development of African Drama in AFRICA NOW, London, No. 22, p. 53
  • Nasiru A. (1984). "Towards a Functional Approach to Aesthetics: an examination of the storytelling technique in the works of three West African playwrights", Centrepoint, University of Ilorin, Vol. 2, No. 1980. pp 109-18.
  • Nasiru A. (1987). "Takai Dance of Borgu, Kwara State" in NIGERIA MAGAZINE, Vol. 55, No.3, July-Sept 1987, pp. 69-72.
  • Nasiru, A. (1987). "That Animal Jabber: An Appraisal of the Use of Pidgin in Nigerian Drama", in Images of the Voiceless (ed. A.E. Odumuh), ABU, Zaria, pp. 6-10.
  • Nasiru, A (1987). "Satire's Inherent Contradictions: an examination of Soyinka's satire since the seventies" in Work in Progress No 6, Deptof English, ABU, Zaria, pp. 23-35.
  • Nasiru, A. (1990)."The Nigerian Drama and Community Development: Myth, Reality or Wishful Thinking?” in The Practice of Community Theatre in Nigeria (ed. I. H. Hagher), Lobi Consortium Ltd., Lagos, pp. 47-53.
  • Nasiru, A. (1992). "Ode with a Difference," in The Nigerian Stage, a journal of current trends in the performing arts, TSG, University of Ilorin, pp. 10-15.
  • Nasiru, A. (1994). "Making Political Statements through Theatre: the example of AjoseeWa Ni / Through our Joint Effort” in JideMalomo& Saint Gbileeka (ed.) Theatre and Politics in Nigeria, Caltop Publications, Ibadan.
  • Nasiru, A. (1987). "Beyond Jargons and Cliches: a re-appraisal of committed Nigerian drama", Alore, the Ilorin Journal of the Humanities, Vol. III, Dec. 1987.
  • Nasiru, A. (1988). "What Purpose Satire?: a review of Soyinka's A Play of Giants” in Kiabara, a Journal of the Humanities, University of Port Harcourt, Vol. 8, No 2, 1988.
  • Nasiru, A. (1988). "Ideology in Search of Dramaturgy: the dramatic efforts of TundeFatunde" in Ibadan Journal of African Theatre Arts, University of Ibadan, No. 3.
  • Nasiru, A. (1989). "D.O. Fagunwa: Raconteur with a Sense of the Dramatic" in Review of English and Literary Studies, University of Ibadan, Vol. 2, No. 2, 1989.
  • Nasiru, A (1990). "The Political Imperative in Nigerian Drama: Some Erroneous Assumptions" in Saiwa, ABU, Zaria.
  • Nasiru, A. (1991). "Remedying the lack of Drama in Nigerian Secondary Secondary Schools: the challenge to University Theatre Arts Departments" in Institute Journal of Studies in Education, University of Ilorin.
  • Nasiru, A. (1992). "Strategies for Rural Education: Using the Theatre Method for Preventing the Tragedy of Material Deaths", in KunleAkinyemi (Ed), Developing the Nigerian Woman: Education Technology Perspectives.
  • Nasiru, A. (1993) "Trends in the Use of Folklore in Nigerian Drama" commissioned by the Dept of Folklore and the African Studies Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, to be included in a book comprising special lectures delivered at the Institute.
  • Nasiru, A. (1993). "A Re-assessment of Ola Rotimi's Language" commissioned as a chapter in a book on Ola Rotimi titled Beyond Kurunmi(ed. S. Ogah and T. Lakoju) National Teachers Institute, Kaduna.
  • Nasiru, A. (2003) “Placing the Common Man Centre Stage,” a contribution to a book honouring Prof. OyinOgunba)
  • Nasiru, A. (2005) “The Academic And University Culture,” Paper delivered at the University of Ado-Ekiti, Ado-Ekiti, 2nd – 3rd June 2005 and published in Proceedings of the Workshop on Restoring Excellence in the Faculty of Arts.
  • Nasiru, A. (2011) “The Language of Research”, paper presented at the Ilorin International Conference on Academic Writing and Publishing, April 2011 “The Future Has Long Arrived”, Inaugural Lecture, University of Ilorin, June 2013
  • Nasiru, A. (1985). Our Survival Macmillan, UK, 1985. 39 pp.
  • Nasiru, A. (1987). Come Let Us Reason Together, (a play on student crises in Nigeria), Shebiotimo Publications, Ijebu-Ode, 1987. 54 pp.
  • Nasiru, A. (1987). The Bold Choice (a sociopolitical play), Shebiotimo Publications, Ijebu-Ode, and Heinemann, Ibadan.
  • Nasiru, A. (1991). Love and Strife, an adaptation of Adebayo Faleti'sBasorunGaa, Heinemann, Ibadan.
  • Nasiru, A. (2005) TheIrepodun Plays (Our Survival, The Bold Choice, The Rally) NewArt Publishers
  • Nasiru A. (2006) Let’s Find an Answer and Other Plays(including also Citizen Andrew’s Dilemma and Man in a Well) NewArt Publishers
  • Nasiru, A. (2015) Growing Up Long Ago, “Faction” based on childhood experiences, NewArt Publishers
  • Nasiru, A. (2018) The Rally, Kraft Books Ltd., Ibadan
  • Nasiru, A. (1992). Alatise .../ Who Feels It Know Best
  • Nasiru, A. (1992). Ohunt'oWaL'ehinEfa .../ What Lies Beyond Six ...
  • Nasiru, A. (1992). AjoseeWa Ni / Through Our Joint Effort
  • Nasiru, A. (2008). Getting the Most out of University Education, NewArt Publishers
  • Nasiru, A. (Founder and Editor). Christian Info-Link (a magazine of spiritual and general information, begun in 2002 as a monthly journal, becoming a quarterly from January 2008; over 70 editions and still going)
  • Nasiru, A. (1982). “OgunIlemoFestival Songs at ObboAiyegunle, Kwara State” (Occasional publication arising from research into traditional festivals in Yoruba-speaking parts of Kwara State)
  • Nasiru, A. (1990). “The Music and Message of Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson” (Occasional publication arising from research into popular performance modes, published in The Guardian Literary Series
  • Nasiru, A. (1998) “Rise and Shine”, Play commissioned for the 40th Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth School, Ilorin.
  • Nasiru, A. (2004). “The Dream, the Vision” Play commissioned to mark the 7thAnniversary of the Chapel of Redemption UMCA, Ilorin.
  • Nasiru, A. (2005). “Heirs of a Great Heritage” Play commissioned to mark the Centenaryof the UMCA in Nigeria.
  • Nasiru, A. (2007). “Unto Higher Grounds” Play commissioned to mark the 10th anniversary of the Chapel of Redemption UMCA, Ilorin.
  • Nasiru, A. (2012). “Arise and Shine”, Video drama commissioned to mark the 15th anniversary of the Chapel of Redemption UMCA, Ilorin.