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OGIRISI: a New Journal of African Studies

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African unity, identity and development in some contemporary Igbo poems

NM Nnyigide, MC Egenti

Abstract


Poetry is a literary genre that gives poets the opportunity to mirror the society, addressing socio-economic, political, religious and security issues. Over the years, the issues of African unity, identity and development have been of great concern to Africans. This explains why the Organisation of African Unity (OAU); which later metamorphosed into African Union (AU) was formed. Obviously, some Igbo poets like other members of the African society equally express their interest in contemporary issues in Africa through their poetic works. Although, many literary scholars have been done some researches on the Igbo poetry, but it is observed that some of their works have not  addressed some contemporary issues in Africa extensively. It is against this backdrop that this study examines some contemporary Igbo poems that address contemporary issues bordering on African unity, identity and  development in general and Nigeria in particular, so as to determine the extent to which the poets have addressed them. The study adopts the Marxist literary theory. The theory is employed to enhance the analysis of the selected poems. From the study, it is observed that the selected poems really address contemporary issues in Africa such as unity, identity and development by satirizing, criticizing, correcting and admonishing Africans. Therefore, the paper recommends that the teaching and learning of literature especially African literature in African languages is indispensable and should be encouraged. This will no doubt, awaken the reading culture and interest in the society at large.



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