Cultural nationalism in Mashingaidze Gomo’s A Fine Madness
For many years, African countries have struggled to develop an ideological framework that suits the dynamics of the African context. From the writings of literary artists to those of political figures such as Kwame Nkrumah, the call has remained consistent: Africa needs to formulate its own path of development and disentangle from the tentacles of colonialism and neocolonialism. While négritude, as a cultural movement, was a direct response to the impact of Western civilisation on Africans in the aftermath of colonization, Gomo’s A Fine Madness may be read as a response to the West’s dominance in the neoliberal global order. It interrogates the relationship between Europe and Africa in light of persistent war and instability in Africa, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Like négritude, Gomo’s work advocates the promotion of African ways of doing things politically, economically and culturally and shuns neocolonial relationships of exploitation. Adopting an anti-imperialist position, A Fine Madness holds the West responsible for fuelling conflict in some African countries for commercial gain. The article interrogates the concept of cultural nationalism as it has been appropriated in Gomo’s work. Focusing on selected poems, the article argues that A Fine Madness is a militant intervention in African politics, and a voice of resistance to the obtaining neoliberal global order.
Keywords: anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, cultural nationalism, neocolonialism, resistance.