Nigerian professor, scholar of puppetry, playwright, cultural and political leader. Iyorwuese Hagher attended the Christian William Bristow Secondary School in Gboko, Benue State, Nigeria; Kuru Government Secondary School (Higher School Certificate); and the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, earning a BA (English, 1974), MA and PhD (Drama, 1977 and 1981, respectively). He taught drama and conducted research in African indigenous theatres at Ahmadu Bello University and the University of Jos. He became Professor of Theatre and Drama for Development in 1990 and published significant work on Tiv puppetry, one of the forms he used in development efforts. His theatre work addresses corruption, governance, health and issues of a civil society.  The playwright, author, poet, and director helped found the Benue State Arts Council. He continued to work with Tiv peasants in Central Nigeria using Kwagh-hir puppetry theatre as a social change agent.

Iyorwuese Hagher was elected to the Nigerian Senate in 1983, where he served as Deputy Chief Whip. He was again elected as member of the constitutional conference of 1994-1995, and appointed a Minister of State, for Power and Steel and for Health in 1995. As Minister of Health, he used drama to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the model he established in the 1990s has continued. He has served as Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada, and Ambassador to Mexico. Iyorwuese Hagher is the recipient of numerous awards and a leader of political and civil society organizations.

(See Nigeria.)


  • Hagher, Iyorwuese. The Tiv “Kwagh-hir”. A Popular Nigerian Puppet Theatre. Lagos: Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization, National Theatre, 1990.