n English in Africa - Wole Soyinka's South Africa

Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



In 1967, soon after Nigeria's civil war and six years after independence, Wole Soyinka famously declared that a "phase of disillusionment" had arrived in which the attention of the African writer had to be drawn to problems at home. A new order of vision was needed, he said, if writers were to have any influence in postcolonial African societies, in which the state seemed to provide no recourse against corruption and escalating violence. As a way of defining this programme, Soyinka declared the problems of settler-colonialism in southern Africa to be temporarily off the table. South Africa, especially, was "simply out of this world" ("The Writer in an African State" 15).

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