A Critical Survey of Selected Texts on the Growth of Feminism in Nigeria
AbstractAfrica has her own peculiar beliefs, norms and traditions which are entirely different from western culture. This is reflected in the brand of feminism practised in Nigeria. The Feminist Movement started subtly and unconsciously in Nigeria in 1929 during the Aba women’s riot. Over the years, remarkable growth has been recorded which is evident in the noticeable presence of women in all spheres of life in Nigeria. This paper looks at some of these challenges and remarkable successes right from 1960 to the present day society as encapsulated in fictional works. The peculiar aspects of African feminism that make it entirely different from what is practised in the western world are analysed. Feminists in Africa recognise the fact that there are core values and beliefs that cannot be adulterated by westernisation. Women in Nigeria practise a brand of feminism that regards the men folk as complementary partners in progress, and not competitors. Indeed, the communalistic nature of African societies may frown at certain aspects of western individualism that permit radical feminism; for this may spell societal disintegration. Selected texts of Flora Nwapa, Zaynab Alkali and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s works are used as case studies. These writers represent three phases of the growth of feminism in Nigeria in the given chronological order. The literary contributions of other female writers within the three given phases of this study are equally noted.
LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 8(3), 50-60, 2011