Indigenous systems in African literature and their relevance in the contemporary society

  • Megbowon Funmilola Kemi
  • Uwah Chijioke
Keywords: Indigenous System, Africa, Literature, Social sustainability, Contemporary


Every society has certain unique and long-standing structures and institutions which affect people’s ways of life consciously and unconsciously. Such is the case of indigenous African society, though considered primitive yet have guiding principles that promote a certain level of decency in the society. The era of modernization comes with several unprecedented societal menace and moral bankruptcy and have put up a challenge for social development and societal sustainability. Hence, in attempting to provide solutions to these contemporary social problems, this study reviewed indigenous African systems and their relevance in the present-day society using a textual analysis of Soyinka’s The Swamp Dwellers, and viewed from a postcolonial theoretical perspective. Among the several indicators found in the text, the ones that portray indigenous African system are relevant to the contemporary society include; hard work, family tie and loyalty, marriage and marital fidelity, use of proverbs and tolerance. This study concludes that continuous education and campaigning for these components of indigenous system through every means is imperative for social sustainability in the contemporary society.

Keywords: Indigenous System, Africa, Literature, Social sustainability, Contemporary


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9231