Wednesday, April 15, 2009

RIP Peggy Harper

All the Africanists who felt and contributed to the vibe in 1960s Nigeria are dying. I just received a note from my friend Doig Simmonds:

"Peggy Harper died on Sunday 5th April after a long illness. Funeral today in Cambridge. Will try to get you an obit from Mark - her son. Peggy worked in Theatre Arts in Ibadan during the 60's and 70's. with Wole Soyinka and others. Peter Badejo was one of her best known proteg├ęs. This is a photo I took of her while working on JP Clarke's
film "Tides of the Delta" (1969 at Toluoruwa, Delta State)."


Doig Simmonds,  7:21 am  

Peggy was best known for her detailed studies of dance methods,techniques and symbolism from many areas in Nigeria. In conjunction with Frank Speed the film maker, much of her work was recorded on film. These are held at the British Library Archive and the Royal Institute of Anthropology in the UK.

Anonymous,  1:39 am  

Peggy Harper was my teacher, my grand mother, and a mentor while she was working in Zimbabwe. She identified me in Bulawayo and brought me to Harare, trained me choreograhy at Zimbabwe College of Music in 1989 annd 1990 when the Zimbabwe College of Music introduced the Ethnomusicology Programme through Professor Mitchel Strumph who is now based in Tanzania and ever since,I never left the dancing floor.Together we did a dance drama called "Alatangana and the Kingdom of Sa". She kept on saying to me you must meet Peter Barijo.I remember that one day, when we were doing the dance drama, she took me for some nice afternoon tea along fisrt street in Harare. We sat outside Wimpy. She called the waiter and asked what I wanted of which I answered - Milk shake. Wile waiting for the drinks to come, she then reached for some small plastic bag which was close to her bags and took out a male bikini used for dancing and stretched it right in front of my eyes and said " I brought you an underwear that you will use in the show and I think it will fit you. Dont you think so?" I swear, I wished the whole ground would just swallow me. This was 1989. I kept the bikini for sometime.I have beautiful memories of her. I will miss her.Clayton Ndlovu Zimbabwe College of Music.

dance teacher 11:02 am  

rip Peggy.. your work will never be forgotten

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