Archive for the ‘AFRICAN WRITERS’ Category

“FROM NOLLYWOOD TO NOLLYWEIGHT?OR REFLECTIONS ON THE POSSIBILITIES OF LITERATURE AND BURGEONING FILM INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA”BY PROF. FEMI OSOFISAN FROM AFRICULTURES.COM

May 19, 2008

from africultures.com

From Nollywood to Nollyweight ? or, Reflections on the Possibilities of Literature and the Burgeoning Film Industry in Nigeria
by Prof. Femi Osofisan
Femi Osofisan
publié le 18/07/2006

[Cet article est pour le moment disponible exclusivement en anglais] Being the text of keynote by Prof Femi Osofisan – dramatist, actor and director and lecturer at the University of Ibadan – to the 6th ITPAN FORUM, held July 6 to 8, 2006, at the Lagos Business School, Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.

Ladies and gentlemen,
1 The first appropriate gesture I must make, on this platform, is that of gratitude. With your kind permission, I want to use this opportunity to publicly express my gratitude to the entire artist community, my friends, and all well-wishers who have so warmly and so generously rejoiced with me on the occasion of my birthday. What a wonderful world – to paraphrase the great bard – that has such good and friendly people in it !
Next, please also allow me to thank the organizers of this Forum, for the honour of being asked to give this keynote address. I am not myself, as you all know, a film maker. I am just one of your customers.
I take it therefore that, if you have asked me to give the keynote address today, it is because you want some feed-back from your audience. That is something certainly that I can offer, and I hope I will not disappoint you. My business is literature, not film. I deal with words, with the texture and architecture of the written phrase ; you with pictures and frames, the tones of light and shadow, colour and chiaroscuro. As a dramatist, I tell stories, just as you also do ; but only for the stage, and not for the screen. However, already in that magical territory of fabulation, of story-telling and myth-making, you can see where we have a meeting place and share a common interest.
This means that we should be able to work together, we writers and film-makers, as indeed we have witnessed in other countries and in other film industries. But so far this kind of collaboration has been rare in the Nigerian film industry. And it is this lapse I intend to talk about today.
2 The enormous commercial success of the contemporary film in Nigeria – at least of the genre that has come to be known as “Nollywood” – is now a familiar, if astonishing, fact.
Everywhere you care to travel, both within the country and outside our borders, the Nollywood films, you will discover, would have preceded you with their ubiquitous presence. In most African homes on the continent or in the Diaspora, the films have established themselves conspicuously as the staple diet of domestic entertainment. And in places as far distant from one another as Nouakchott or Ndjamena, Banjul or Nairobi, even the minor stars are household names. Like the icons of the football field, they adorn the covers of glamorous magazines ; their lives provide the juicy menu of the gossip journals and newspapers ; some of them are better known than many heads of state.
Such has indeed been the scintillating tale of the Nollywood adventure that even the Federal government, not normally known to accord any importance to mere artists, however gifted, startled all of us recently by coming out openly to shower encomium on the industry and its practitioners. It even talks of collaborating with them for some future projects !
This is by any consideration a most phenomenal story, for a business that began almost by accident, was sustained by expediency, and has not benefited from the support of either the political Establishment or the orthodox financial institutions. A totally homegrown industry, all that has kept it afloat and buoyant has been the fabled ingenuity of the Nigerian entrepreneur !
It will never cease to be a marvel then, the fact that a group of half-literate dramatists of the popular travelling theatre tradition, seeing their trade tottering on the brink of extinction because of the harsh economic policies of the time, could, out of desperation and entirely on their own volition, seize a hitherto neglected and subsidiary technology, and, in alliance with spare parts traders and such small-scale businessmen, harness it with such inventiveness that they have turned it into a multi-million naira business, till their products have almost completely displaced the far more sophisticated, far more technically competent products of Hollywood and Bollywood.
Without any precedent example, without recourse to foreign assistance, without the benefit of hefty budgets or of any of the dazzling gadgetry of Hollywood, the Nigerian Nollywood outstripped all its former predecessors and competitors, within the first decade of its birth, and initiated a completely novel cinematic genre. It is worth a celebration.
3 So, in the wake of these sterling achievements that it has garnered, how does one dare voice any negative criticism of the industry – “that is, without the risk of subjecting oneself voluntarily to derision or abuse from its practitioners ? Especially if one has himself never produced a single film, how can one criticize without seeming to be asking to be fed with hemlock ?
But it is a gamble nevertheless that one has to take, if only because the industry is one that has enormous implications for our people’s development. The films have been proven to exercise a tremendous impact on our people’s minds, on their ways of thinking and their habits of perception, on their attitude to the world, to work, to family, to their neighbours. The films also have significant influence on the way that others see us, and hence on the way they relate to us. We cannot but be concerned therefore about what they are saying, what attitudes they are promoting, what image of us they are projecting.
Precisely because they have deservedly won ovation everywhere, the Nollywood films have come to assume an authority over our values and our lives, such that what people see in them comes to be taken not as just a fictional projection by one imaginative consciousness, but as the true, authentic mirror of what we really are, as a veritable marker of what our society represents, and much worse, of the ideal that we aspire, or must aspire, towards.
This is where the films present us with a great dilemma, and where, in spite of our pleasure, we must take a stand in the interest of our collective survival. For we cannot but remark that, however popular the films may be, and however much in demand, the picture that the majority of them present of our world is one that we must not only interrogate, but indeed reject very strongly, if what we seek is the transformation of our society into a modern, progressive state.
I will not, as you know, be the first to make this complaint. Even our friends outside have voiced the same unease about the ambiguity of Nollywood. The common question that people ask, as you know, is – “why this unceasing preoccupation with juju, this relentless celebration of dark rituals and diabolical cults ? Practically every Nollywood director seems to have been caught in the spell – “mix a diet of grotesque murders and cacophonous chants and bizarre incantations, and smile all the way to your bank !
Then, again, those who wish to be different from the rest, who want to demonstrate the ineffectual power of juju rituals, what do they do ? They show us scenarios where the brutish African cults and priests are overpowered and devastated by the agents of Christianity ! Thus one mythology replaces another – “this time the one imported from abroad simply replaces the barbaric local variant. Tarzan is reborn, only this time in black skin, and wearing a cassock ! And it is a sign of the deep damage done to our psyche and our consciousness by decades of European proselytizing that the filmmakers themselves are blissfully unaware of the racist and cultural implications of this fare they offer to the public !
4 What I am saying is that, with all their commercial success, our films parade a number of serious deficiencies, viewed from the cultural and ideological perspectives. These have been summarized before into four broad areas, and I will rapidly recall them here, as follows : – First, is their lack of thematic profundity, of subtlety and complexity in characterization, and the repetitiousness of the scenarios ; – Second, the lack of adventurousness in the area of filmography, or is it “videography” ; with the most basic rules in such matters as costuming, lighting make-up and so on, being regularly compromised ; – Third, the promotion of superstitious habits, of the belief in miracles and witchcraft rather than in concrete, empirical extrapolations and direct physical participation in social struggle. This, ironically in spite of the fact that all the special effects they employ to conjure up their magic are achieved only with the aid of technology, with scientifically-manufactured implements ; – And the fourth, the most serious of them all, is their open promotion of cultural alienation and inferiority complex among our people, even more brazenly than the colonialists and their films did.
It is not of course that the films deliberately set out to do these things. Rather, these perceived deficiencies are due, obviously, to what one may describe as the intellectual deficit of the people involved in the profession. [Now one has to be careful here, not to appear to be patronizing these practitioners or to be undervaluing their intelligence.]
What I mean, to be more precise, is that those who provide the financial means, as well as those who conceive the scenarios for Nollywood are, for the most part, only interested in film as a fast business, as a means merely of making quick money and raking a quick profit, (just like their imported spare second-hand goos), and so can not be bothered by the larger aesthetic or ontological dimensions of film production.
This is why indeed there is most often no script available at all for the actors on most locations ; what you will get is only a scenario, or a series of scenarios, which will be verbally announced by the director or producer as a general guide for improvisation, just as in the old days of the travelling theatres.
5 Given all these problematic areas, all these cultural and philosophical anxieties, the suggestion has been made that what we need for Nollywood is a stricter and more extensive form of censorship. Some have even called for an outright ban.
But censorship is never safe nor fool-proof, nor even predictable. It is not to be trusted ; it can be a dangerous tool in the hands of dictators. Especially with our experience so far of government as terrorism in Nigerian history, it will be most careless of us to assume that the ogre of dictatorship can never rise any more to haunt us. To approve of censorship in such circumstances is to deliberately shut our eyes to danger, and help prepare the way for our own eventual subjugation.
In any case, the effect of censorship is quite often to drive the forbidden good underground, and, like cocaine, make it even more attractive to the consumers. There is such a fervent demand by our people for films that whatever they find available will be gobbled up as soon as it comes out, whatever its quality, and however much they complain afterwards about it. This compulsive appetite of our people, this uncritical and almost insatiable demand for film products should, in my opinion, be a guide about what solutions to suggest.
I want to recommend therefore that, instead of wasting our time with censorship, the line that will be more productive for us to pursue, in order to displace the deficient films from the market, is simply to embark on the production of an alternative repertoire of films, and to making sure that they are abundantly available for consumers. Now, this is where I believe that we writers can come in, as it has been done in other places. An alliance between film makers and the producers of literature is what I believe is most urgent for the necessary recuperative work that Nollywood requires, and deserves.
Our writers are not only good story-tellers, but they have proved for the most part to be story-tellers concerned not primarily with material gratification, but rather, with the overall wellbeing of the community. They entertain, but also instruct and enlighten. They propagate our cultural heritage, but without necessarily glorifying superstition or on the other hand, deliberately demonizing our local religions and customs. They have, that is, the ingredients to enrich and radicalize Nollywood, even while boosting its revenue potential. A good number of books are there on the bookshelves that can be made into profit-yielding projects on film.
Only Tunde Kelani, (and the younger less well-known Demola Aremu), have tried so far, to my knowledge, to exploit the potentials of this fruitful collaboration, but it is no exaggeration to state the immense success that TK has reaped, and is still reaping, from the venture. Almost all his films, until recently, were film adaptations of the works of Professor Akinwunmi Isola, one of our most talented writers, and they helped catapult TK to his position of eminence among the film producers.
There are two possible ways of undertaking the kind of collaboration that I am calling for. The first is to select from a number of successful books already in print, and adapt them for the screen. Here, one can suggest a few titles, apart from the already much-recycled Things Fall Apart. There are also the same author”s Arrow of God, Man of the People, or Anthills of the Savannah. From Cyprian Ekwensi, there are Jagua Nana, the sequel, Jagua Nana”s daughter, The Passport of Mallam Illia, Iska, and so on ; Elechi Amadi”s The Great Ponds ; Onuora Nzekwu”s Danda, Chukwuemeka Ike”s Toads for Supper, Wole Soyinka”s Ake, Isara, and Season of Anomy ; Saro Wiwa”s Sozaboy ; and numerous recent works by Eddie Iroh, Ifeoma Okoye, Zaynab Alkali, Ogochukwu Promise, Akachi Ezeigbo, Maik Nwosu, Okey Ndibe, Helen Oyeyemi, Tony Marinho, Chimamamba Adichie, Sefi Atta, and others.
Apart from novels, there are also very dramatic plays which could yield exciting film scripts, such as the works of Sam Ukala, Olu Obafemi, Ahmed Yerimah, Akinwunmi Isola, Bayo Faleti, Emman Nwabueze – ¦ the list is long ! Nor does the choice have to be confined to only those books written by Nigerian authors. In both East and Southern Africa alone, there are thousands of books waiting for an adventurous film maker !
The second approach I can recommend is for you to liaise with some of the established writers mentioned above, and to commission them to produce original scripts. You will be amazed by what you would generate from them, and then from others who will be inspired by them. Certainly the current bogey of thin stories and trivial or merely sensational themes, of insipid dialogue and worn verbal and lexical garbage, of dull and uninspiring plots, and so on, will become a thing of the past, if the film-makers agree to exploit this idea of collaboration with our writers.
And instead of “Nollywood”, what we will be celebrating, come next season, will be the advent of “Nollyweight !”
I thank you for your attention,
Femi Osofisan

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“THE WIZARD OF THE CROW”,NGUGI WA THIONGO’S LATEST NOVEL COMMENTS FROM HIS SITE

May 19, 2008

from nguguiwathiongo.com

Revolutionary Magic:
Selected Comments on the Wizard of the Crow

Kenyan novelist Ngugi wa Thiong’o “mounts a nuanced but caustic political and social satire of African corruption of African society with a touch of magical realism – or, perhaps, realistic magic, as the Wizard’s tricks hung on holding a not-so-enchanted mirror to his client’s hidden delusions. The result is a sometimes lurid, sometimes lyrical reflection on Africa’s dysfunctions – and its possibilities.” STARRED REVIEW Publishers Weekly, August, 2006.

“Magic realism drives this mammoth novel set in the imaginary African country of Aburiria, and exiled Kenyan writer wa Thiong’o roots the wild fantasy in the brutal horror of contemporary politics. His ridicule of the powerful knows no bounds as the novel chronicles greed and corruption in Aburiria and in the West, including the Global Bank’s funding of the Aburirian ruler’s Marching to Heaven Tower of Babel. But even more than the crazy plot of coup, countercoup, flattery, and betrayal, what holds the reader here is the intimate story of one couple. Quiet secretary Nyawira, secret leader of the people’s resistance movement, persuades her intellectual lover, Kamiti, to give up his search for himself in the wild, and they embark on a plan to change the world, with Kamiti disguised as a sorcerer. Set off by the global farce, this unforgettable love story reveals the magic power of the ordinary in people and in politics.” HAZEL ROCHMAN. Booklist.

“Ngugi has perfected in Wizard of the Crow an art of radical simplicity, of sharply defined conflicts that, paradoxically, is less reductive than ostensibly more nuanced accounts of Africa proffered by historians and political analysts. At once an epic burlesque of a sick lumbering state and a praise song to the manifold forms of African resistance, the phantasmagoric saga of Aburiria is as clear a view of Africa as we are likely to get for sometime.” JAMES GIBBONS, Bookforum, Summer 2006.

“I have every expectation that his new novel, Wizard of the Crow, will be seen in years to come as the equal of Midnight’s Children, The Tin Drum or One Hundred Years of Solitude; a magisterial magic realist account of 20th-century African history. It is unreservedly a masterpiece.” STUART KELLEY, Scotland on Sunday, August 13, 2006.

“In its best scatological moments, it echoes the great Latin American novels of dictatorship by Miguel Angel Asturias, Carlos Fuentes, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez…. It now stands as a vivid portrait of postcolonialism and the banality of evil.” SIMON GIKANDI, in a review of the Gikuyu original in Foreign Policy.

“Ngugi writes with bite on contemporary African themes like corruption and sexual discrimination, but he isn’t caustic or heavy handed. It’s magical realism meets Africa, and it hits the mark.” FLORENCE WILLIAMS, Outside, August, 2006.

“In his crowded career and eventful life, Ngugi has enacted, for all to see, the paradigmatic trials and quandaries of a contemporary African writer, caught in sometimes implacable political, social, racial, and linguistic currents …The tale is fantastic and didactic, told in broad strokes . . . its principal actors wear physical distortions like large, firelit masks.” JOHN UPDIKE, The New Yorker, July 31, 2006.

“The pull and promise of Wizard of the Crow … is evident in the labyrinthine wonders of its opening chapters, which involve the authors most raucus and ambitious combination to-date of satire, social realism and supernatural occurrence.” RANDY BOYAGANDA, Harper’s Magazine, September, 2006.

“The effort to throw off the[se] shadow chains of the [colonia] past while establishing an authentically African continuum has been at the thematic center of much African literature, but in Ngugi Wa Thiong’o’s epic novel, “Wizard of the Crow,” this theme may well have found its ultimate expression….[I]t is essential reading for a world that only seems now to be finally waking up to its own reality, bathed in a vision of ever potential hope.” DAVID HELLMAN, San Francisco Chronicle.

“For all the angry force of Mr. Ngugi’s storytelling, his tale ends on a note of hope and, indeed, happiness. “Wizard of the Crow” is not a nostalgic celebration of folk-wizardry, as if quaint belief will solve the troubles brought on by Africa’s encounter with the modern world. It is, though, a reminder that people can find within themselves redemptive resources.” ROGER KAPLAN, The Wall Street Journal.
“This delirious comedy feeds on itself… At its deepest level … the novel is really about re-centering the author’s discourse in Africa itself by a radical focus on multiple African voices. There are many tellers of tales in this saga, and each has an individual authenticity.” KEITH GAREBIAN, Globe and Mail, August 19, 2006.
“Aburiria is recognisable as Africa in all its splendour, squalor, economic malaise and venality, but it comes with more than a touch of magical realism. (…) Despite the book’s faults, it is hard not to be cheered by the spirit of gentle resistance that is at its core, in defiance of everyday greed.” The Economist.

“Wizard of the Crow is the most ambitious entry yet from a writer whose output feels essential for those hoping to understand contemporary Africa.” GREGORY MILLER, The San Diego-Union Tribune, August 6, 2006.
“The shades of humour range from the caustic when lampooning a corrupt politician to affectionate when exposing the frailty of ordinary struggling to survive … it is also a love story that leaves lingering tenderness.” RUTH WILDGUST, Post-IE, The Sunday Business Post.

“Wizard of the Crow … is an impish and hallucinatory satire on dictatorship — as though Saddam Hussein had won a coup d’état in Wonderland, then sent Alice and the rabbit to a Soviet labour camp.” Sunday Times (London), August 26, 2006.

“This novel is restless, epic, allusive. Ngugi wa Thiong’o gives himself scope to tackle big themes, to explore the nature of political oppression and corruption. His book attempts to explode assumptions about the essence of reality. It blurs and frequently juxtaposes visions of everyday consciousness and visionary truth… This is a book about choosing sides. A book above all about the individual’s responses to moral dilemmas… It’s a book of wonderful purple phases (the greatest lyrical description of making love I have ever read, a marvelous evocation of wilderness).” TOM ADAIR, The Scotsman, August 12, 2006.

“Why should a reader invest in Wizard of the Crow nearly 800-page bulk? Simply because this novel is a literary masterpiece, woven in the rich nuance of Africa’s oral tradition, as real as spilt blood, a mythical dance of great power.” SKYE K. MOODY, The Seattle Times, August 27, 2006.

“ …a compelling novel… a first class masterpiece.” Aesthetica, Issue 14, 2006
“A remarkable book, sure to be widely read.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review.
“One of the best reads of the year.” Essence, August 2006.
Links to Articles:

Wizard of the Crow
By Laura Mitchell
sALON.COM

Odyssey of an African Sorcerer
By Stuart Kelly
Follow link, click on “Article Index”
Scroll to “Review” section

Festival Books
Ngugi wa Thiong’o; Doris Lessing
By Rosemary Goring

Inconstancy of Rain, Homes and Politics
By Lesley McDowell

UC Irvine Professor Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
Publishes Long-Awaited Novel

Allegory of Post-colonial Africa Takes Flight
Reviewed by David Hellman

Playing the Role of a Voice for Freedom
By John Freeman

Parable Land
By Tom Adair

The Homecoming
By Cornel Bonca

Fictionalized Africa, Ills Intact
Wall Street Journal

Thiong’o is Back
By Davina Morris

Kenyan novelist, 68, refuses to be silenced
By John Freman

Wizard of the Crow:
Rooted in reality, steeped in the supernatural
By Skye K. Moody

Wizard Of The Crow

NGUGI WA THIONGO,THE GREAT AFRICAN WRITER FROM KENYA,FROM HIS SITE

May 19, 2008

from nguguiwathiongo.com

NGUGI WA THIONGO,THE GREAT AFRICAN WRITER FROM KENYA,FROM HIS WEBSITE
from ngugiwathiongo.com

Ngugi Wa Thiong’o: A Profile of a Literary and Social Activist.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o, currently Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of the International Center for Writing and Translation at the University of California, Irvine, was born in Kenya, in 1938 into a large peasant family. He was educated at Kamandura, Manguu and Kinyogori primary schools; Alliance High School, all in Kenya; Makerere University College (then a campus of London University), Kampala, Uganda; and the University of Leeds, Britain. He is recipient of seven Honorary Doctorates viz D Litt (Albright); PhD (Roskilde); D Litt (Leeds); D Litt &Ph D (Walter Sisulu University); PhD (Carlstate); D Litt (Dillard) and D Litt (Auckland University). He is also Honorary Member of American Academy of Letters. A many-sided intellectual, he is novelist, essayist, playwright, journalist, editor, academic and social activist.

The Kenya of his birth and youth was a British settler colony (1895-1963). As an adolescent, he lived through the Mau Mau War of Independence (1952-1962), the central historical episode in the making of modern Kenya and a major theme in his early works.

Ngugi burst onto the literary scene in East Africa with the performance of his first major play, The Black Hermit, at the National Theatre in Kampala, Uganda, in 1962, as part of the celebration of Uganda’s Independence. “Ngugi Speaks for the Continent,” headlined The Makererian, the Student newspaper, in a review of the performance by Trevor Whittock, one of the professors. In a highly productive literary period, Ngugi wrote additionally eight short stories, two one act plays, two novels, and a regular column for the Sunday Nation under the title, As I See It. One of the novels, Weep Not Child, was published to critical acclaim in 1964; followed by the second novel, The River Between (1965). His third, A Grain of Wheat (1967), was a turning point in the formal and ideological direction of his works. Multi-narrative lines and multi-viewpoints unfolding at different times and spaces replace the linear temporal unfolding of the plot from a single viewpoint. The collective replaces the individual as the center of history.

In 1967, Ngugi became lecturer in English Literature at the University of Nairobi. He taught there until 1977 while, in-between, also serving as Fellow in Creative writing at Makerere (1969-1970), and as Visiting Associate Professor of English and African Studies at Northwestern University (1970-1971). During his tenure at Nairobi, Ngugi was at the center of the politics of English departments in Africa, championing the change of name from English to simply Literature to reflect world literature with African and third world literatures at the center. He, with Taban Lo Liyong and Awuor Anyumba, authored the polemical declaration, On the Abolition of the English Department, setting in motion a continental and global debate and practices that later became the heart of postcolonial theories. “If there is need for a ’study of the historic continuity of a single culture’, why can’t this be African? Why can’t African literature be at the centre so that we can view other cultures in relationship to it?” they asked. The text is carried in his first volume of literary essays, Homecoming, which appeared in print in 1969. These were to be followed, in later years, by other volumes including Writers in Politics (1981 and 1997); Decolonising the Mind (1986); Moving the Center (1994); and Penpoints Gunpoints and Dreams (1998).

The year 1977 forced dramatic turns in Ngugi’s life and career. His first novel in ten years, Petals of Blood, was published in July of that year. The novel painted a harsh and unsparing picture of life in neo-colonial Kenya. It was received with even more emphatic critical acclaim in Kenya and abroad. The Kenya Weekly Review described as “this bomb shell” and the Sunday Times of London as capturing every form and shape that power can take. The same year Ngugi’s controversial play, Ngaahika Ndeenda (I Will Marry When I Want), written with Ngugi wa Mirii, was performed at Kamirithu Educational and Cultural Center, Limuru, in an open air theatre, with actors from the workers and peasants of the village. Sharply critical of the inequalities and injustices of Kenyan society, publicly identified with unequivocally championing the cause of ordinary Kenyans, and committed to communicating with them in the languages of their daily lives, Ngugi was arrested and imprisoned without charge at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison at the end of the year, December 31, 1977. An account of those experiences is to be found in his memoir, Detained: A Writer’s Prison Diary (1982). It was at Kamiti Maximum Prison that Ngugi made the decision to abandon English as his primary language of creative writing and committed himself to writing in Gikuyu, his mother tongue. In prison, and following that decision, he wrote, on toilet paper, the novel, Caitani Mutharabaini (1981) translated into English as Devil on the Cross, (1982).

After Amnesty International named him a Prisoner of Conscience, an international campaign secured his release a year later, December 1978. However, the Moi Dictatorship barred him from jobs at colleges and university in the country. He resumed his writing and his activities in the theater and in so doing, continued to be an uncomfortable voice for the Moi dictatorship. While Ngugi was in Britain for the launch and promotion of Devil on the Cross, he learned about the Moi regime’s plot to eliminate him on his return, or as coded, give a red carpet welcome on arrival at Jomo Kenyatta Airport. This forced him into exile, first in Britain (1982 –1989), and then the U.S. after (1989-2002), during which time, the Moi dictatorship hounded him trying, unsuccessfully, to get him expelled from London and from other countries he visited. In 1986, at a conference in Harare, an assassination squad outside his hotel in Harare was thwarted by the Zimbwean security. His next Gikuyu novel, Matigari, was published in 1986. Thinking that the novel’s main character was a real living person, Dictator Moi issued an arrest warrant for his arrest but on learning that the character was fictional, he had the novel “arrested;” instead. Undercover police went to all the bookshops in the country and the Publishers warehouse and took the novel away. So, between 1986 and 1996, Matigari could not be sold in Kenyan bookshops. The dictatorship also had all Ngugi’s books removed from all educational institutions.

In exile, Ngugi worked with the London based Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners in Kenya, (1982-1998), which championed the cause of democratic and human rights in Kenya. In between, he was Visiting Professor at Byreuth University (1984); and Writer in Residence, for the Borough of Islington, London (1985) and took time to study film, at Dramatiska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. (1986). After 1988, Ngugi became Visiting Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Yale (1989-1992) in between holding The Five Colleges (Amherst, Mount Holyoke, New Hampshire, Smith, East Massachusetts) Visiting Distinguished Professor of English and African Literature (Fall 1991). He then became Professor of Comparative Literature and Performance Studies at New York University (1992 –2002) where he also held the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of languages, from where he moved to his present position at the University of California Irvine. He remained in exile for the duration of the Moi Dictatorship 1982-2002. When he and his wife, Njeeri, returned to Kenya in 2004 after twenty-two years in exile, they were attacked by four hired gunmen and narrowly escaped with their lives.

Ngugi has continued to write prolifically, publishing, in 2006, what some have described as his crowning achievement, Wizard of the Crow, an English translation of the Gikuyu language novel, Murogi wa Kagogo. Ngugi’s books have been translated into more than thirty languages and they continue to be the subject of books, critical monographs, and dissertations.

Paralleling his academic and literary life has been his role in the production of literature, providing, as an editor, a platform for other people’s voices. He has edited the following literary journals: Penpoint (1963-64); Zuka (1965 -1970); Ghala (guest editor for one issue, 1964?); and Mutiiri (1992-).

He has also continued to speak around the world at numerous universities and as a distinguished speaker. These appearances include: the 1984 Robb Lectures at Auckland University in New Zealand; the1996 Clarendon Lectures in English at Oxford University; the 1999 Ashby Lecture at Cambridge; and the 2006 MacMillan Stewart Lectures at Harvard.
He is recipient of many honors including the 2001 Nonino International Prize for Literature and seven honorary doctorates.

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REVIEW OF “THE NARROW PATH” AT JAMATI.COM

May 5, 2008

FROM jamati.com

Film
Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Narrow Path
Tunde Kelani’s film deals with an extremely touchy subject

Written by Laura Adibe Photography by NGEX website

What is admirable about Nollywood film is the ability by its filmmakers to put together films on moderate budgets with quick turnarounds. Kelani’s film, done on a moderate budget, pieces together a story with a very important message. The Narrow Path deals with such issues as rape, marriage, and innocence.

Tunde Kelani’s film in which he wrote, directed, produced and even partly shot has screened in numerous festivals such as the Women of Color Arts & Film Festival and the New York African Film Festival. The film, an adaptation of Bayo Adebowale’s novel, The Virgin and a sequel to The White Handkerchief follows protagonist, Awero (Sola Asedeko) , who must choose between three suitors who wish to have her hand in marriage. Her wedding night is transformed when she must cope with a shameful secret line that places her in an awkward position between shame and honor.

May 5, 2008

from naijarules.com
1st posted on PAGES

BAYO ADEBOWALE’S GREAT AFRICAN NOVEL “THE VIRGIN” HAS BEEN MADE INTO A FILM (FOR THE SECOND TIME) BY TUNDE KELANI
FROM naijarules.com

Who stole the ‘purity’ of this innocent girl?

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By Akeem Lasisi
Published: Friday, 4 Jan 2008
Tunde Kelani’s latest film, The Narrow Path, which he adapted from Bayo Adebowale’s novel, The Virgin, takes Nollywood closer to the ideal. One query that many Nigerian films have not been able to answer borders on how appropriately they have been able to represent or portray the realities of our society. But somehow, Tunde Kelani once again cleverly answers that in The Narrow Path, one of the films that kicked off the 2007 movie season in the country. Only that – well, if observing this matters at all – the 1: 38 minutes movie takes the viewer to some 100 years back in time.

Asedeko (Awero)

The Narrow Path is the story of Awero, a village belle, who, by the virtue of her unadulterated beauty, becomes the toast of several men who want her hand in marriage. At least, three men – hunter Odejinmi, moneybags Lapade and Dauda the sex monger – persistently express their desires accordingly.

Set in Orita Village, where the mud-house home of Awero’s father, Jibosa, (played by a veteran actor, Olu Okekanye) and his wife become a sort of Mecca where men pay homage to secure the heart of their daughter, actions move to Agbede and Aku, which are Odejinmi’s and Lapade’s villages respectively.

As each of Odejinmi and Lapade push their desires to have Awero, (Sola Asedeko) they clash openly occasionally. The two rivals adopt different approaches to achieve their desires: Odejinmi exercises restraint, preaching love to Awero, while Lapade is eager to flaunt his wealth. Yet, unknown to the two, there is Dauda, the Lagos boy, who is also surreptitiously enticing the lady with ‘city gifts’ such as Saturday Night Powder, Nku Cream and a big mirror. Along the line, Dauda – played by the leader of Crown Troupe of Africa, Dauda Adefila – forces Awero to an unholy and abominable bed where he rapes her and forcefully ‘disflowers’ her. Although he runs back to Lagos immediately afterwards, it is the abominable act that fast-tracks the conflict that pushes Orita and Agbede villages to the very narrow path of war.

The forced exit of Awero’s innocence is the beginning of a suspense and dramatic irony on which the success of the film largely rests. After the Awero family has given Odejinmi a nod, the process leading to the marriage becomes swift. Odejinmi endlessly dreams about the first night – which every villager is also eager to celebrate, as is the custom – when he will go into Awero and turn her into a woman. In the months that precede the traditional wedding, however, misery, depression and nightmares have become the lot of Awero, who cannot imagine the shame that will befall her and her parents when everyone gets to know that she is ‘a broken pot’.

Although The Narrow Path centrally celebrates marital processes in the traditional Yoruba setting, Kelani configures the plot in such a manner that every aspect of it drips with a message. It is a film in which costuming and language tell a story, for instance. Awero and her friends – among whom is Kabirat Kafidipe, popularly called Arapa-re-Gagan, based on the role she played in Kelani’s Saworo Ide – tie only wrappers round their virgin bodies. They don’t wear bras, for example. Yet, the wrappers are tied so tight that the girls feel safe, thus reminding the viewer of the days of guarded innocence.

Kelani further scores a point in his casting. He parades the likes of Okekanye, Seyi Fasuyi, Eniola Olaniyan, Joke Muyiwa, Lere Paimo, Olofa Ina, Mama Rainbow and Ayo Badmus who are able to blend into the rural environment of the film. Where he needs a clownish sanitary inspector, he goes for Papa Ajasco. And where a city girl/education officials required, he goes for Bukky Wright.

It is a good thing that The Narrow Path is subtitled. But there seems to be a puzzle here. The film is rendered in English. Yet, it is sub-titled in English. It is true that Bayo Adebowale’s novel, The Virgin, which is the parent script, is in English. But even if The Narrow Path has to be in the same language, why not subtitle it in Yoruba or French?

Also, in the film, Dauda wears a dreadlock. Some may want to argue that dreadlocks were not a popular sight at the time the story is depicting.

Although The Narrow Path also scores a point in bringing out the versatility of the several ‘Yoruba’ actors and actresses who now act in the ‘English’ movie, an actor such as Badmus fails to totally escapes the cross of mannerism even in his deformed state in the movie. At some points, his gesticulations are too close to what one had seen from him in other films he had acted in.

Beyond such observations, however, The Narrow Path, despite its moderate budget and the simplicity in its setting, fulfils the ambition of any standard film in terms of the significance of its message and entertainment value.

Who stole the purity of this innocent girl?

posted by Uyiuyi, on April l,2008

LANGUAGES OF NIGERIA ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA.ORG

May 5, 2008

FROM wikipedia.org

Languages of Nigeria
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Linguistic map of Nigeria, Cameroon, and Benin.Nigeria

This article is part of the series:
Culture of Nigeria

Languages
Literature
List of Nigerian writers
List of Nigerian poets
Music of Nigeria

Other countries – Culture Portal

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The number of languages currently estimated and catalogued in Nigeria is 521. This number includes 510 living languages, two second languages without native speakers and 9 extinct languages. In some areas of Nigeria, ethnic groups speak more than one language. The official language of Nigeria, English, the former colonial language, was chosen to facilitate the cultural and linguistic unity of the country. The major languages spoken in Nigeria are Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Edo, Efik, Ibibio and Annang language, Adamawa Fulfulde, Idoma, and Central Kanuri. Even though most ethnic groups prefer to communicate in their own languages, English, being the official language, is widely used for education, business transactions and for official purposes. English, however, remains an exclusive preserve of a small minority of the country’s urban elite, and is not spoken in rural areas. With approximately 75% of Nigeria’s populace in the rural areas, the major languages of communication in the country remain tribal languages, with the most widely spoken being Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. Foreign minorities speak their own languages aside from English and/or major native languages as their second languages.

Nigeria’s linguistic diversity is a microcosm of Africa as a whole, encompassing three major African languages families: the Afro-Asiatic, Nilo-Saharan, and the Niger-Congo A branch of the Niger-Congo family. Nigeria also has one unclassifiable language, Cen Tuum, spoken by a few old people among the Cham in Gombe State. This may represent an intriguing relic of an even greater diversity prior to the spread of the current language families.

Contents [hide]
1 Niger-Congo languages
2 Afro-Asiatic languages
3 See also
4 Wikimedia
5 References
6 External links

[edit] Niger-Congo languages
Niger-Congo predominates in central and southern Nigeria; the main branches represented in Nigeria are Mande, Atlantic, Gur, Kwa, Benue-Congo and Adamawa-Ubangian. Mande is represented by the Busa cluster and Kyenga in the northwest. Fulfulde is the single Atlantic language, of Senegambian origin but now spoken by cattle pastoralists across the Sahel and largely in the North of Nigeria by the Fulani (sometimes Fulbe) diaspora. The Ijoid languages are spoken across the Niger Delta and include Ịjọ (=Ijaw), Kalabari and the intriguing remnant language, Defaka, while the Ibibio language is spoken across the coastal southeastern part of Nigeria and includes Efik, Annnang, oron, Eket, and Ikot Abasi. The single Gur language spoken is Baatọnun, in the Northwest. The Adamawa-Ubangian languages are spoken between central Nigeria and the Central African Republic. Their westernmost representatives in Nigeria are the Tula-Waja languages. The Kwa languages are represented by the Gun group in the extreme southwest, which is affiliated to the Gbe languages in Benin and Togo.

The classification of the remaining languages is controversial; Joseph Greenberg classified those without noun-classes, such as Yoruba, Igbo, and Ibibio, as ‘Eastern Kwa’ and those with classes as ‘Benue-Congo’. This was reversed in an influential 1989 publication and reflected on the 1992 map of languages, where all these were considered Benue-Congo. Recent opinion, however, has been to revert to Greenberg’s distinction. The literature must thus be read with care and due regard for the date. It should be noted that there are several small language groupings in the Niger Confluence area, notably Ukaan, Akpes, Ayere-Ahan and Ọkọ, whose inclusion in these groupings has never been satisfactorily argued.

Former Eastern Kwa, i.e. West Benue-Congo would then include Yoruboid, i.e. Yoruba, Itsekiri and Igala, Akokoid (eight small languages in Ondo, Edo and Kogi state), Edoid including Edo in Edo State, Igboid, Ibibio, Efik, Annnang, Idomoid (Idoma) and Nupoid (Nupe) and perhaps include the other languages mentioned above. East Benue-Congo includes Kainji, Plateau (46 languages, notably Eggon), Jukunoid, Dakoid and [[Cross River languages|Cross River]. Apart from these, there are numerous Bantoid languages, which are the languages immediately ancestral to Bantu. These include Mambiloid, Ekoid, Bendi, Beboid, Grassfields and Tivoid languages. The geographic distribution of Nigeria’s Niger-Congo languages is not limited to south-central Nigeria, as migration allows their spread to the linguistically Afro-Asiatic northern regions of Nigeria, as well as throughout West Africa and abroad. Yoruba is spoken as a ritual language in cults such as the Santeria in the Caribbean and South-Central America, and the Berbice Dutch language in Surinam is based on an Ijoid language.

Even the above listed linguistic diversity of the Niger-Congo in Nigeria is deceptively limiting, as these languages may further consist of regional dialects that may not be mutually intelligible. As such some languages, particularly those with a large number of speakers, have been standardized and received a romanized orthography. Nearly all languages appear in a Roman script when written, often with modifications allowing for a language’s particularities. The Yoruba and Igbo languages are notable examples of this process; Standard Yoruba came into being due to the work Samuel Crowther, the first African bishop of the Anglican Church and owes most of its lexicon to the dialects spoken in Ọyọ and Ibadan. Since Standard Yoruba’s constitution was determined by a single author rather than by a consensual linguistic policy by all speakers, the Standard has been attacked regarding for failing to include other dialects and spurred debate as to what demarcates “genuine Yoruba”. The more historically recent standardization and romanization of Igbo has provoked even more controversy due to its dialectical diversity, but the Central Igbo dialect has gained the widest acceptace as the standard-bearer; however many such as Chinua Achebe have dismissed standardization as colonial and conservative attempts to simplify a complex mosaic of languages. Such controversies typify inter- and intra-ethnic conflict endemic to post-colonial Nigeria.

Linguistically speaking, all demonstrate the varying phonological features of the Niger-Congo family to which they belong, these include the use of tone, nasality, and particular consonant and vowel systems; more information is available here.

[edit] Afro-Asiatic languages
The Afro-Asiatic languages of Nigeria divide into Chadic, Semitic and Berber. Of these, Chadic languages predominate, with 70+ languages. Semitic is represented by various dialects of Arabic spoken in the Northeast and Berber by the Tuareg-speaking communities in the extreme Northwest.

The Hausa language is the most well-known Chadic language in Nigeria; though there is a paucity of statistics on native speakers in Nigeria, the language is spoken by 24 million people in West Africa and is the second language of 15 million more. Hausa has therefore emerged as lingua franca throughout much of West Africa and the Sahel in particular. The language is spoken primarily amongst Muslims, and the language is often associated with Islamic culture in Nigeria and West Africa on the whole. Hausa is classified as a West Chadic language of the Chadic grouping, a major subfamily of Afro-Asiatic. Culturally, the Hausa people have become closely integrated with the Fulani following the jihadist establishment of the Sokoto Caliphate by the Fulani Uthman dan Fodio in the 19th century. Hausa is the official language of a number states in Northern Nigeria and the most important dialect is generally regarded as that spoken in Kano,an Eastern Hausa dialect, which is the standard variety used for official purposes. Eastern dialects also include some dialects spoken in Zaria, and Bauchi; Western Hausa dialects include Sakkwatanchi spoken in Sokoto, Katsinanchi in Katsina Arewanchi in both Gobir and Adar,Kebbi, and Zamfara. Katsina is transitional between Eastern and Western dialects. Northern Hausa dialects include Arewa and Arawa, while Zaria is a prominent Southern tongue version; Barikanchi is a pidgin formerly used in the military.

Hausa is a highly atypical Chadic language, with a reduced tonal system and a phonology influenced by Arabic. Other well-known Chadic languages include Ngas, Mwaghavul, Bole, Ngizim, Bade and Bacama. In the East of Nigeria and on into Cameroun are the Central Chadic languages, such as Bura, the Higi cluster and Marghi. These are highly diverse and remain very poorly described. Many Chadic languages are severely threatened; recent searches by Bernard Caron for Southern Bauchi languages show that even some of those recorded in the 1970s have disappeared. However, unknown Chadic languages are still being reported, witness the recent description of Dyarim.

Hausa, as well as other Afro-Asiatic languages like Bade (another West Chadic language spoken in Yobe State), have historically been written in a modified Arabic script known as ajami, however, the modern official orthography is now a romanization known as boko first introduced by the British regime in the 1930s.

[edit] See also
List of languages of Nigeria

[edit] Wikimedia
Systematic graphic of the Niger-Congo languages with numbers of speakers

[edit] References
Blench, Roger (2002) Research on Minority Languages in Nigeria in 2001. Ogmios.
Blench, Roger (1998) ‘The Status of the Languages of Central Nigeria’, in Brenzinger, M. (ed.) Endangered languages in Africa. Köln: Köppe Verlag, 187-206. online version
Crozier, David & Blench, Roger (1992) An Index of Nigerian Languages (2nd edition). Dallas: SIL.

[edit] External links
Ethnologue Listing of Nigerian Languages
Blench, Roger (n.d.) Atlas of Nigerian Languages, ed. III (revised and amended edition of Crozier & Blench 1992)
[hide]v • d • eLanguages of Africa

CULTURE IN NIGERIA ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA.ORG

May 5, 2008

from wikipedia.org

Culture of Nigeria
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Culture of Nigeria is shaped by Nigeria’s multiple ethnic groups. The country has over 250 different languages and cultures. The four largest are the Hausa-Fulani who are predominant in the north, the Igbo who are predominant in the southeast, the Yoruba who are predominant in the southwest and the Benin Tribes who are predominant in the west, 80 percent of the Benins tend to be Christian while the remaining 20 percent worship idols which is called Ogu. These are followed by the Ibibio/Annang/Efik Efik, Ibibio, Annang people of the coastal southeastern Nigeria and the Ijaw of the Nigerian Delta.

The rest of Nigeria’s ethnic groups (sometimes called “mini-minorities”) are found all over the country but especially in the densely populated south. The Hausa tend to be Muslim and the Igbo, Christian. Ibibio/Annang/Efik Efik, Ibibio, Annang people are mainly Christian as Christianity and Western system entered Nigeria through their capital city Calabar. The Practitioners of both Christianity and Islam are found among the Yoruba. Indigenous religious practices remain important, especially in the south, and are often blended with Christian beliefs.

Nigeria is famous for its English literature and its popular music. Since the 1990s the Nigerian movie industry, sometimes called “Nollywood” has emerged as a fast-growing cultural force all over the continent.

Traditional music often include musicians on Gongon drums.

Other traditional cultural expressions are found in the various masquerades of Nigeria, such as the Eyo masquerades, the Ekpe and Ekpo Masquerades of Ibibio/Annang/Efik Efik, Ibibio, Annang people Ekpe Society in Calabar, the inventor of Nsibidi script of Nigeria and the Northern Edo Masquerades. Yoruba wooden masks are used in the Gelede masquerades.

[edit] Nigerian artists and writers
Internationally-known artists and writers from Nigeria include writer Chinua Achebe, Odia Ofeimum, James Ene Henshaw, Ntienyong Udo Akpan, E. E. Nkanga, Sola Osofisan, Chidi Anthony Opara, Ogaga Ifowodo, Maik Nwosu, Obi Nwakanma. juju musician King Sunny Ade, Nigerian-born Grammy winning jazz singer Sade (Helen Folasade Adu), free-style jazz musician Fela Kuti, who uses traditional African call-and-response, writer Ben Okri, playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa, Nobel prize winning writer Wole Soyinka, and British/Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare.

[edit] External links
Things Come Together: A Journey through Literary Lagos
Overview of Nigeria’s Culture for business tourists
This page was last modified on 28 April 2008, at 15:36. All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.)
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LIST OF NIGERIAN POETS ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA.ORG

May 5, 2008

from wikipedia.org

List of Nigerian poets
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nigeria

Poets from Nigeria include: BAYO ADEBOWALE (1944-)

Toyin Adewale-Gabriel
Gbola Adiamoh
Dr. Jerry Agada
Richard Ugbede Ali
Chidi Amaechi
Ngozi Obasi Awa
Ibukun Babarinde
Tubal Rabbi Cain
John Pepper Clark
Etebom Ekpo
Tade Ipadeola
Okinba Launko Aka Femi Osofisan
Ahmed Maiwada
Ayodele Morocco-Clarke
Uche Nduka
Austyn Njoku
Onyeka Nwelue
Kenneth Nwobosi
Emeka Chike Nwogu
Maik Nwosu
Enenche F. Ogiri
Seni Ogunkola
Tolu Ogunlesi
Chris Ogunlowo
Obododimma Oha
Ezenwa Ohaeto
Francis Ohanyido
Paula Iriowen Ohanyido
Dr. Tanure Ojaide
Gabriel Okara
Promise Okekwe
Diego Odoh Okenyodo
Niran Okewole
Christopher Okigbo
Ike Okonta
Olatubosun Oladapo
Prince Joshua Olawuyi
Emmanuel Onwi
Chidi Anthony Opara
Dennis Osadebay
Dare Oshinuga
Sola Osofisan
Niyi Osundare
Naan Pocen
Remi Raji
Ken Saro-Wiwa
Wole Soyinka
Mazui Tonganawa
Chime Hilary Uchenna
Ugonna Wachuku

LIST OF NIGERIAN WRITERS ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA.ORG

May 5, 2008

from wikipedia.org

List of Nigerian writers
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nigeria

A
Adam Abdulahi
Yusufu Adamu
Chris Abani
Andy Abulu
Chinua Achebe (1930– )
Wale AdebanwiBAYO ADEBOWALE (1944-)
Remi Adedeji (1937– )
Abiola Adegboyega
Dapo Adeniyi
Mobolaji Adenubi
Kole Ade-Odutola
Kayode Aderinokun
Pius Adesanmi
Akin Adesokan
Sean Adetula
Toyin Abiodun
Toyin Adewale-Gabriel
Sola Adeyemi (1965– )
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (1977– )
Emeka Agbayi
Rita Aghadiuno[1]
Tolu Ajayi (1946– )
Segun Akinlolu
Segun Akinyode
Akilu Aliyu
Odinaka Anudu
Isiaka Aliagan
Olufunmi Aluko
T.M. Aluko (1918– )
Elechi Amadi (1934– )
Ifi Amadiume
Peter Anny-Nzekwue
Ike Anya
G. O. Apata
Sefi Atta (1964– )
Babatunde Awoyele
Anne Axis
Unoma Nguemo Azuah
Nnorom Azuonye
Tunde Akinloye

[edit] B-E
Babafemi Badejo
Francoise Balogun
Biyi Bandele
A. Igoni Barrett (1979– )
Charles Bodunde
Qasim Bolaji-Ashogbon
Tubal Rabbi Cain (1964–)
Chidi Anthony Opara
Chin Ce (1966– )
John Pepper Clark (1935– )
Samuel Ajayi Crowther (1809–1891)
Olumbe Bassir
Folasayo Dele-Ogunrinde
Umaru Dembo
David Diai
Jude Dibia (1975– )
Ebereonwu
Philip Efiong[[2]]
Philip Effiong jr.[3]
Etebom Ekpo
Michael Echeruo (1937– )
Amatoritsero (Godwin) Ede
Eyitemi Egwuenu
Victor Ehikhamenor
Cyprian Ekwensi (1921– )
Buchi Emecheta (1944– )
E. Nolue Emenanjo
Perpetual Emenekwum-Eziefule
Olaudah Equiano (c. 1745–97)
Rosemary Esehagu (1981– )
Femi Euba
Chielozona Eze
Vera Ezimora
Abitogun Oladipo Ojo
Itunu-Abitogun Oyinlade Oladipo
Akinbami Oluseyi Macaulay
Aderinola Richardson (nee Aderemi)

[edit] F-K
Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa
Adebayo Faleti
Dan Fulani
Harry Oludare Garuba (1958– )
Jumoke Giwa
Healson Adedayo Farore, Sr.
Helon Habila
Ogaga Ifowodo
Anita Omoiataman Ihaza
Rita Ihekwaba[4]
Senator Ihenyen
Ikhide R. Ikheloa (Nnamdi)
Esiaba Irobi
Akinwunmi Isola
Uzodinma Iweala
Obi “Obiwu” Iwuayanwu
Festus Iyayi
Abubakar Imam
Femi Jeboda
Prince Joshua Olawuyi
Biodun Jeyifo (1946– )
Mike Jimoh
Samuel Johnson
Kokalu O. Kalu
Uduma Kalu
Hamzat Kassim
Sulaiman Ibrahim Katsina
Olubukola Kwegan

[edit] L-N
Abimbola Lagunju
Obakanse S. Lakanse
Akeem Lasisi
Amina Mama
Oliver Mbamara
Ayodele Morocco-Clarke (1973–)
John Munonye
Uche Nduka
Austyn Njoku
Obi Nwakanma
Martina Awele Nwakoby (1937– )
Nkem Nwankwo (1936–2001)
Flora Nwapa (1931–1993)
Njideka Nwapa-Ibuaka
Chuma Nwokolo
Angela Nwosu
Maik Nwosu
Nkechi Nwosu-Igbo
Azuka Nzegwu
Onuora Nzekwu

[edit] O
Olu Obafemi
Iheoma Obibi
Obinna Charles Okwelume
Hyacinth Obunseh
Sunny E. Ododo
Pastor Taiwo Odubiyi
Odia Ofeimun
Chike Ofili
Sarah O’Gorman
Olu Oguibe
Ike Oguine
Molara Ogundipe
Samuel Olagunju Ogundipe
Tolulope Ogunlesi
Denrele Ogunwa
Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi
Yemi D. Ogunyemi
Ijeoma Ogwuegbu
Francis Ohanyido (1970– )
Tanure Ojaide
Bamiji Ojo
Akinloye Ojo
Olatubosun Oladapo
Gabriel Okara (1921– )
Oladejo Okedeji
Wale Okediran
Chika Okeke
Remi Okere
Niran Okewole
Christopher Okigbo (1932–1967)
Onookome Okome
Ike Okonta
Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
Dike Okoro
Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo
Wole Oguntokun
Osita Okoroafor
Ben Okri (1959– )
Afolabi Olabimtan
Simbo Olorunfemi
Esho Oluborode
Alade E. Oluwadamilola
Kole Omotosho (1943– )
Nduka Onwuegbute (1969– )
Osonye Tess Onwueme (1955– )
Dillibe Onyeama
Frank Onyebu
Nwando Onyeabo
Alexander Orok
Nnaemeka Oruh
Dennis Osadebay
Femi Osofisan
Chinye Phiona Osai
Sanya Osha
Sola Osofisan
E.C. Osondu
Niyi Osundare (1947– )
Tony Nduka Otiono
Helen Ovbiagele (1944– )
Jamin Owhovoriole
Bunmi Oyinsan
Dupe Olorunjo
Naan Pocen
Seni Ogunkola

[edit] R-T
Remi Raji
Aderemi Raji-Oyelade
Ken Saro-Wiwa (1941–95)
Lola Shoneyin
Mudi Sipikin
Ladipo Soetan
Zulu Sofola (1935–95)
Bode Sowande (1948–)
J. Sobowole Sowande
Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye
Wole Soyinka (1934– ), awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature
Loud Speaker
Emmanuel Sule
Mohammed Sule
Muritala Sule
Kola Tubosun
Adebisi Thompson
Amos Tutuola (1920-97)
Morenike Taire

[edit] U-Z
Uche Nworah
Ebele Uche-Nwakile
Françoise Ugochukwu, born in France
Clarius Ugwuoha
Gracy Ukala (formerly Osifo)
Adaora Lily Ulasi (1932– )
Sumaila Isah Umaisha
Karo Umukoro
Chika Unigwe
Emman Usman Shehu
Ronnie Uzoigwe
Jumoke Verissimo
Ugonna Wachuku (1971– ), lives in Geneva, Switzerland
Segun Williams
Ken Wiwa (1968– ), now resides in Canada
Kenneth Nwobosi(www.kenobosi.tk)
Molara Wood
Oladipo Yemitan
Sa’adu Zungur

This page was last modified on 25 April 2008, at 14:44. All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.)
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AFRICAN LITERATURE FROM WIKIPEIDA.ORG

May 5, 2008

from en.wikipedia.org

African literature
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
African literature refers to the literature of and for the African peoples. As George Joseph notes on the first page of his chapter on African literature in Understanding Contemporary Africa, while the European perception of literature generally refers to written letters, the African concept includes oral literature. [1]

As George Joseph continues, while European views of literature often stressed a separation of art and content, African awareness is inclusive:

“Literature” can also imply an artistic use of words for the sake of art alone. Without denying the important role of aesthetics in Africa, we should keep in mind that, traditionally, Africans do not radically separate art from teaching. Rather than write or sing for beauty in itself, African writers, taking their cue from oral literature, use beauty to help communicate important truths and information to society. Indeed, an object is considered beautiful because of the truths it reveals and the communities it helps to build. [2]
Contents [hide]
1 Early written literatures
2 Oral literature
3 Precolonial literature
4 Colonial African literature
5 Postcolonial African literature
6 Noma Award
7 Major African novels
8 Major African poets
9 Secondary literature
10 See also
11 References
12 External links

[edit] Early written literatures
North Africa had an early literate indigenous civilization (Ancient Egypt) some of whose hieroglyphic writings survive. North Africans also contributed to writing in Phoenician, Greek and Latin. Phoenician material, from Carthage and other colonies on the continent, has been very largely lost. Encouraged by the royal patronage of the Ptolemaic rulers, scholars in Alexandria assembled the famous Library of Alexandria and Alexandrian writers contributed not insignificantly to the material housed in this institution. North Africans writing in Latin include Apuleius and Saint Augustine.

In Islamic times, North Africans, such as ibn Khaldun attained great distinction within Arabic literature.

[edit] Oral literature
Oral literature (or orature) may be in prose or verse. The prose is often mythological or historical and can include tales of the trickster character. Storytellers in Africa sometimes use call-and-response techniques to tell their stories. Poetry, often sung, includes: narrative epic, occupational verse, ritual verse, praise poems to rulers and other prominent people. Praise singers, bards sometimes known as “griots”, tell their stories with music. [3] Also recited, often sung, are: love songs, work songs, children’s songs, along with epigrams, proverbs and riddles.[4]

[edit] Precolonial literature
Examples of pre-colonial African literature include the Epic of Sundiata composed in medieval Mali, The older Epic of Dinga from the old Ghana Empire, and the Kebra Negast or book of kings from Ethiopia. One popular form of traditional African folktale is the “trickster” story, where a small animal uses its wits to survive encounters with larger creatures. Examples of animal tricksters include Anansi, a spider in the folklore of the Ashanti people of Ghana; Ijàpá, a tortoise in Yoruba folklore of Nigeria; and Sungura, a hare found in central and East African folklore. [5]

[edit] Colonial African literature
The African works best known in the West from the period of colonization and the slave trade are primarily slave narratives, such as Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789).

In the colonial period, Africans exposed to Western languages began to write in those tongues. In 1911, Joseph Ephraim Casely-Hayford (also known as Ekra-Agiman) of the Gold Coast (now Ghana) published what is probably the first African novel written in English, Ethiopia Unbound: Studies in Race Emancipation [6] Although the work moves between fiction and political advocacy, its publication and positive reviews in the Western press mark a watershed moment in African literature.

During this period, African plays began to emerge. Herbert Isaac Ernest Dhlomo of South Africa published the first English-language African play , The Girl Who Killed to Save: Nongqawuse the Liberator in 1935. In 1962, Ngugi wa Thiong’o of Kenya wrote the first East African drama, The Black Hermit, a cautionary tale about “tribalism” (racism between African tribes).

African literature in the late colonial period (between the end of World War I and independence) increasingly showed themes of liberation, independence, and (among Africans in French-controlled territories) négritude. One of the leaders of the négritude movement, the poet and eventual President of Senegal, Léopold Sédar Senghor, published the first anthology of French-language poetry written by Africans in 1948, Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie nègre et malgache de langue française (Anthology of the New Black and Malagasy Poetry in the French Language), featuring a preface by the French existentialist writer Jean-Paul Sartre. [7]

[edit] Postcolonial African literature
With liberation and increased literacy since most African nations gained their independence in the 1950s and 1960s, African literature has grown dramatically in quantity and in recognition, with numerous African works appearing in Western academic curricula and on “best of” lists compiled at the end of the 20th century. African writers in this period wrote both in Western languages (notably English, French, and Portuguese) and in traditional African languages.

Ali A. Mazrui and others mention seven conflicts as themes: the clash between Africa’s past and present, between tradition and modernity, between indigenous and foreign, between individualism and community, between socialism and capitalism, between development and self-reliance and between Africanity and humanity. [8] Other themes in this period include social problems such as corruption, the economic disparities in newly independent countries, and the rights and roles of women. Female writers are today far better represented in published African literature than they were prior to independence.

In 1986, Wole Soyinka became the first post-independence African writer to win the Nobel Prize in literature. Algerian-born Albert Camus had been awarded the 1957 prize.

[edit] Noma Award
The Noma Award, begun in 1980, is presented for the outstanding work of the year in African literature.

[edit] Major African novels
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (Nigeria)
Alan Paton, Cry, The Beloved Country (South Africa)
Gracy Ukala, Dizzy Angel (Nigeria)
Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa, Ogboju odẹ ninu igbo irunmalẹ (The Forest of a Thousand Demons) (Nigeria)
Mariama Bâ, Une si longue lettre (So Long a Letter) (Senegal)
Ousmane Sembène, Xala (Senegal)
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, A Grain of Wheat (Kenya)
Benjamin Sehene, Le Feu sous la Soutane (Fire under the Cassock) (Rwanda)
Thomas Mofolo, Chaka (South Africa/Lesotho)
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (Zimbabwe)
Dambudzo Marechera, The House of Hunger (Zimbabwe/Rhodesia)
Yvonne Vera, Butterfly Burning (Zimbabwe)
Mia Couto, Terra Sonâmbula (A Sleepwalking Land) (Mozambique)
Ayi Kwei Armah, The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born (Ghana)
Ben Okri, The Famished Road (Nigeria)
J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace (South Africa)
BAYO ADEBOWALE’S NOVELS:”THE VIRGIN”,”OUT OF HIS MIND” AND “LONELY DAYS”(NIGERIA)
[edit] Major African poets
Chinua Achebe (Nigeria)
Gracy Ukala (Nigeria)
Wole Soyinka (Nigeria)
Christopher Okigbo (Nigeria)
Lenrie Peters (Gambia)
Kofi Anyidoho (Ghana)
Dennis Brutus (South Africa)
Kofi Awoonor (Ghana)
Chidi Anthony Opara(Nigeria)
BAYO ADEBOWALE(NIGERIA)
[edit] Secondary literature
Encyclopedia of African Literature, ed Simon Gikandi, London: Routledge, 2003.
The Cambridge History of African and Caribbean Literature, ed Abiola Irele and Simon Gikandi, 2 vls, Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Table of contents
Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Words and Writing by Women of African Descent”, ed Margaret Busby (Random House, 1992).
General History of Africa vol. VIII, ed. Ali A. Mazrui, UNESCO, 1993, ch. 19 “The development of modern literature since 1935,” Ali A. Mazrui et al.
Understanding Contemporary Africa, ed. April A. Gordon and Donald L. Gordon, Lynne Rienner, London, 1996, ch. 12 “African Literature”, George Joseph
“Great Poets From Around The World (Nigeria)”,World Poets Society Official Website,www.world-poets.blogspot.com

[edit] See also
List of African writers
African cinema
Nigerian literature

[edit] References
^ George, Joseph, “African Literature” ch. 12 of Understanding Contemporary Africa p. 303
^ ibid p. 304
^ http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/ent/A0802673.html
^ George Joseph, op. cit. pp. 306-310
^ African Literature – MSN Encarta
^ [1].
^ Leopold Senghor – MSN Encarta
^ Ali A. Mazrui et al. “The development of modern literature since 1935″ as ch. 19 of UNESCO’s General History of Africa vol. VIII p. 564f Collaborating with Ali A. Mazrui on this chapter were Mario Pinto de Andrade, M’hamed Alaoui Abdalaoui, Daniel P. Kunene and Jan Vansina.

[edit] External links
African Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
African Literature Association
The 100 best African books of the 20th century
Research in African literature and Culture
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