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Volume 6, Issue 2, 2016
Author Solomon AwuzieSource: Imbizo : International Journal of African Literary and Comparative Studies 6, pp 1 –11 (2016)More Less
This article is a 'masculinist' reading of Chukwuma Ibezute's Victims of Betrayal, The Temporal Gods and Dance of Horror. The article contends that African literature has always focused on Africa's socio-political situation until a group of "activists in feminist movement" started agitating for a proper representation of women in literature. Unlike in Europe and America where the ideology is not challenged, in Africa it was challenged by a group of scholars who called themselves 'masculinists'. Using Ibezute's three novels, the 'masculinist' ideology is demonstrated. While in Ibezute's Victims of Betrayal it is revealed that men are play-things in the hands of their bad wives, in The Temporal Gods it is depicted that bad wives can go extra miles to impose their decisions on their husbands. In Dance of Horror, it is shown that the kind of woman that is married into a family determines the fate of that family. The article concludes that the implications of these situations as represented in the novels are that while the roles of some husbands in African homes are becoming more and more passive, the fate of some African homes and families are in the hands of wives.
'The historicity of texts and the textuality of history' : a note on why reading Zimbabwean autobiography should be historicisedAuthor Hazel Tafadzwa NgoshiSource: Imbizo : International Journal of African Literary and Comparative Studies 6, pp 12 –21 (2016)More Less
Historical consciousness has always been at the centre of autobiographical narration and, through historical consciousness; the public experiences of narrating a subject are brought into the private act of narrating the self. There is, therefore, a thin line dividing history and fiction in autobiography and this demonstrates how autobiography is situated in history. This article argues that the demarcation of history and fiction by traditional scholars has to be revised in the wake of the realisation that the historian also makes use of metaphor and point of view in writing what is supposedly an objective ordering of events. Given this argument, the article proposes that the reading of Zimbabwean autobiography should be a historicised undertaking since the location of the autobiographical subject in the historical and political spectrum of Zimbabwean national experiences is critical to our understanding of the relationship between narrative and the context of its production. It further argues that the telling of one's story in autobiography is a performance of historical identities, which makes the historicity of autobiographical texts central to our understanding of autobiographical subjects. It concludes that apprehending the historicity of a text and the textuality of history are necessary since autobiographical subjects congeal around history and the discursive background matters.
Mythologizing Yoruba Orature : Lobotomizing Swivelled Pulses of Laughter in Niyi Osundare's Waiting Laughters and Remi Raji's A Harvest of LaughtersAuthor Niyi AkingbeSource: Imbizo : International Journal of African Literary and Comparative Studies 6, pp 22 –42 (2016)More Less
Every literary work emerges from the particular alternatives of its time. This is ostensibly reflected in the attempted innovative renderings of these alternatives in the poetry of contemporary Nigerian poets of Yoruba extraction. Discernible in the poetry of Niyi Osundare and Remi Raji is the shaping and ordering of the linguistic appurtenances of the Yoruba Orature, which themselves are sublimely rooted in the proverbial, chants, anecdotes, songs and praises derived from the Yoruba oral poetry of Ijala, Orin Agbe, Ese Ifa, Rara, folklore as well as from other elements of oral performance. This engagement with the Yoruba oral tradition significantly permeates the poetics of Niyi Osundare's Waiting laughters and Remi Raji's A Harvest of Laughters. In these anthologies, both Osundare and Raji traverse the cliffs and valleys of the contemporary Nigerian milieu to distil the social changes rendered in the Yoruba proverbial, as well as its chants and verbal formulae, all of which mutate from momentary happiness into an enduring anomie grounded in seasonal variations in agricultural production, ruinous political turmoil, suspense and a harvest of unresolved, mysterious deaths. The article is primarily concerned with how the African oral tradition has been harnessed by Osundare and Raji to construct an avalanche of damning, peculiarly Nigerian, socio-political upheavals (which are essentially delineated by the signification of laughter/s) and display these in relation to the country's variegated ecology.
Author Aleck MapindaniSource: Imbizo : International Journal of African Literary and Comparative Studies 6, pp 43 –48 (2016)More Less
The tragic trail that both Shakespeare and Sophocles take as fictional playwrights marks a remarkable approach to dramatic writing that leaves no shade of doubt upon their proficiency in this particular field. The Shakespearian option follows a discernible literary trajectory reflective of military nobility juxtaposed with a myopic and gullible stature of simplicity. This, however, projects an extremised Moorish level of racial vulnerability and criticism that yields to manoeuvred deception through diplomatic machinations by the jealous Venetian lot. Sophoclean drama is, in this case, an embodiment of the harsh spells of predestiny taking their toll behind an unconscious conceited politician - from before his birth right up to maturity and his climactic royal demise. In both plays, the dramatic interplay of thematic motivations seem to signal a back-and-forth war between humanity (that is, a human struggle for survival fought against personal flaws) and the phenomenally devastating forces of fate and nature that direct their feet towards heroic ruin. The article takes an interrogative stance, calculating the cause of the interwoven mysteries embedded in both human carnality and celestial forms that advise the heart-rending literary movements adopted by the twin plays as they march inexorably towards the downfall of their respective heroic figures.
Author Phomolo MositoSource: Imbizo : International Journal of African Literary and Comparative Studies 6, pp 49 –56 (2016)More Less
Lewis Nkosi's novel, Mating birds (1986) offers a significant intervention in a history as dispersed and fragmented as South Africa's, by focusing on those specific and critical episodes of South Africa's past. This much-colonised country has had an extended history of perennial violence under colonialism and apartheid. Some fiction by Black writers on this phenomenon may be seen to be reactive, what Njabulo Ndebele (South African writer) terms 'Protest Literature'-and seeks to show black people as victims (Ndebele 1994). Nkosi's novels, Mating birds (1986) in particular reverse this order through the narratives of different characters,illustrating that black people were not the passive victims of apartheid but played an active role towards its opposition and eradication. This is achieved through a complex portrayal of the first-person narrative technique and interstices of memory and recall. This article explores how identity as a porous and fluid, and fragmented and fractured concept that could be used to describe the individual or communal traits of some characters, and space (prison) are portrayed in Lewis Nkosi's Mating birds (1986).
Anne Tanyi-Tang and Bole Butake : two Anglophone Cameroonian playwrights with constrasting visions of womenAuthor Naomi NkealahSource: Imbizo : International Journal of African Literary and Comparative Studies 6, pp 57 –53 (2016)More Less
Anne Tanyi-Tang and Bole Butake are two literary giants whose works have contributed immensely to the development of Anglophone Cameroonian drama. This article examines their plays from a feminist perspective, comparing their creative visions in terms of how they locate women in relation to survival politics and marriage. The article argues that, while Butake's plays project a vision of women that is both sexist and romanticised, Tanyi-Tang's plays offer a more nuance dvision of women as assertive, rebellious and intelligent human beings who stage a successful resistance to patriarchy.
Author Anna ChitandoSource: Imbizo : International Journal of African Literary and Comparative Studies 6, pp 74 –85 (2016)More Less
Postcolonial African identities are as complex as they are contested. On their part, creative writers have offered some of the most powerful descriptions of the quest for postcolonial African identities. They have painted some of the most lasting images of the struggles faced by Africans in response to colonialism and its attendant issues such as Christianity, and the demonising of African cultural belief systems. In this article, I examine Shimmer Chinodya's portrayal of the challenges of postcolonial Zimbabwean identities. Whereas some writers have made politics and economics the key dimensions to the construction of postcolonial Zimbabwean identities, Chinodya has largely confined himself to the cultural dimension. Where other authors focus on the nation, he concentrates on the family. I, therefore, argue that the decision to concentrate on the family has enabled Chinodya to describe the complexities of postcolonial Zimbabwean identities in more vivid ways. I conclude that Chinodya's attempt at resolving the puzzle is problematic, although he outlines the challenges in an informative way.