The [African] Novelist and the Nation: A Postcolonial Reading of Chukwuemeka Ike’s Our Children Are Coming
Even though the nation is an accepted “imagined community”, the process of nation formation and nation becoming in Africa has not guaranteed rights of its citizens. It is this failure to guarantee rights of citizens irrespective of age, gender, class, race, religion and ethnicity that incites the creative imagination of African novelists. This study is an examination of how Chukwuemeka Vincent Ike has appropriated the form of the novel in order to interrogate the abuse of the rights of the child and youth in his Nigerian nation. This is illuminated under postcolonial theoretical paradigm, as well as the qualitative research methodology. This study has investigated the relationship between form and content in Ike’s Our Children Are Coming. We have established that through the elements of narrative fiction, the novelist has not only created the space of the nation as an imagined community, but has equally represented the unfortunate bleak future of his Nigerian nation occasioned by the continued neglect of the average Nigerian child and youth. He has in addition, dramatized through his characters’ voices, and actions, the failure of the adult society, the disappointment of self-rule and its resultant disillusionment on the part of the youth…. the leaders of his nation’s hazy future.
Keywords: The Novel, Novelist, Nation, Postcolonial, Ike, children, youth, adult society, self-rule, and elements of narrative fiction
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