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Visions of the Future in East African Fiction: A Comparative Exploration of Selected Works in Kiswahili and English
In his essay entitled: “The Social Responsibility of the East African Writer”, Peter Nazareth argues that a writer has to respond to life around him/her. This means that a writer has to talk about the problems afflicting the people and how to cope with them. It is with this understanding that we talk about vision in this paper. A writer who is committed to serving the society by helping it to deal with its problems often provides the hope of a better tomorrow. Such a writer depicts the problems afflicting the people and then foretells of a future in which such problems are overcome. This is what a writer’s vision is about. It is like a prophecy of a better society. Vision, therefore, in a literary context like this one, may be defined as the ability to foresee future developments and to communicate the same in literary works. Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Katama Mkangi are important Kenyan writers whose visions of a new Kenya come out clearly in their novels. Comparison of their works gives us a clear view of their visions.