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Expose Of Nigerian Literary Themes

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Nigerian literature covers a wide range of literary works written in Nigeria or written by a Nigerian in any language. For a work to be declared Nigerian literature it is expected to have certain features some of which include, being written by a Nigerian, must have its setting in Nigeria and should tell a Nigerian experience at its thematic preoccupation and should be centred in Nigerian lifestyle and day to day happenings in Nigeria.
Nigerian literary authors from the first generation set of writers to the present day attempt to imitate the Nigerian society with the consideration of the lives of Nigerians during that period. One key factor that has largely influenced the thematic focus of Nigerian literature is the common history shared by most Nigerians.
First generation writers took advantage of the various experiences that happened during the colonial era to put down their stories. While some wrote fictional events of the experience, some writers wrote a real recount of the period the events that happened between the precolonial and colonial era have been adapted by many writers in their works.
The precolonial era refers to events that happened during the period before the advent of colonialists in Nigeria, it deal with the history, lifestyle, culture and tradition of Nigerians in their ruled one another without influence of the British colonialists. Some writers adapted the events that happened during this period into their work.
An example of a precolonial text is Ola Rotimi’s ‘OvonrainwenNogbaisi’. It is a historical play as the characters and events portrayed in the play are actual happenings and have a link with the Benin history. The eponymous character ruled the Benin kingdom between 1888-1897 before he was dethroned and exiled to Calabar by the British colonialists.
Another work that was set during this period is AkachiEzeigbo’s “The last of the Strong Ones”. The novel depicts the centrality of women in the love of omega traditional existence before the coming of the White man.
The colonial era in Nigerian history deals with events that happened during the British rule on Nigerian soil. The events between the British entry and 1960 when Nigeria gained independence constitute the event of the colonial era. This period witnessed Nigeria’s indirect rule, external government and loss of identity, some of the works set in this period include Chinua Achebe’s “Arrow of God”,andWole Soyinka’s “ Death And The King’s Horseman”, though these works were not written by their writers within the colonial period, the works were set during this period, therefore recreating memories of what happened during this period.
Chinua Achebe tries to show how the British colonialists and missionaries destroyed the culture and belief of the natives. Through the character of Ezeulu, the priest of Uhu, Achebe shows how the priest becomes useless when the missionaries brought their religion and system of government. The novel was set in southern Nigeria with a predominantly Igbo population.
Wole Soyinka’s “Death And The King’s Horseman” shows the trial of the major character Eleshin, who as the custom permits, should sacrifice himself 30days after the death of the king. The Eleshin is hindered from performing his duty by the colonial powers.
The post colonial Era in Nigerian history started in 1960 after Nigeria gained independence from Great Britain. After a seemingly unending number of years, Nigeria’s dream of becoming free has come forth. Aspirations were high, the new government was expected to do a whole lot of things, happiness was on the air, the spirit of freedom grew tense amidst Nigerians, literary writers in this period captured the society and events that happened at post independence. The work, the pain and aftermath of colonialism and excesses of military government.        ChimamamandaAdichies’s “Half of A Yellow Sun” is a post colonial text that talks about the Nigerian civil war and how the Genesis can be traced back to colonization and military shortcomings. The play however, uses the immediate family as its case study. The concurrent repetition of colonisation in many Nigerian texts qualifies the theme to be one of the thematic focuses of Nigerian literature.
In Nigeria’s history, one of the key factors that shaped the lives of Nigerians is the Nigerian civil war of 1967-1970. Other clashes, battle and wars also played significant roles in the making of Nigeria. As expected, these events also influenced the writings of some Nigerian writers, thus was and conflict becomes a major theme in Nigeria literature.
Leading the lists of conflicts in the Nigerian which has been adopted as a muse for many writers some of whom wrote in support of Biafra, others against Biafra. Christopher Okigbo, a Nigerian poet was notable for fighting the course of Biafra. He wrote the poems “path of thunder” and “Last Testament” where he seemed to prophesies his own death.
Other works that discussed the Nigerian civil war include: Chinua Achebe’s “There Was A Country” and “Half of a yellow sun (2006)” by ChimamandaAdichie. She tries to show the effects of the war on the Nigerian society with emphasis on immediate family. IsidoreOpkewho in his poem “casualties” (1970) also described the effects of the civil war and those at the receiving end of the effects.
War and conflicts have thus become a major theme of Nigeria lias many other works have been published with war and conflict as major themes, some are fictional, while others are non fictional. Examples of non fictional are: IsidoreOpkewho “ The Last Deity” and Femi Osifisan’s “Women of Owu” and “Moroun Rodin” which adapted its storyline from the Agbekoya uprising of 1965.
Clash of culture is another major thematic forma of Nigerian literature, the inability of one culture to surrender to another or the inability of one culture to consent to the fact that another culture is superior to its own is major theme in many Nigerian texts.
Notable texts where this theme is present are Wole Soyinka’s “Death and the kings Horseman” (1975) Chinua Achebe’s “Arrow of God” (1964), Hope Egbagha’s “Death Not A Redeemer (1998) and Ahmed Yerima’s “ Abobuki (2015).
Arrow of God by Achebe treats the issue of clash of religion, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe also discussed clash of culture. “The Trail of Brother Hero by Wole Soyinka is a social satire which centred its scope on religion as a tool for exploitation. In this drama, Soyinka mocks Christianity and how some of the sacrosanct merely use religion to enrich themselves or to disguise.
Elnathan John’s “ Born on a Tuesday” (2016) discusses explicitly the idea of religious intolerance, sects and religious fanatic using Islam. The text set in Northern Nigeria portrayed how violence can be erupted within a particular religion.
Politics as a general term for anything that concerns government is also part of Nigeria that cannot be thrown out. As expected, writer have taken this opportunity to air their voices in Nigeria’s political makeup. While some writers emphasised on excesses of government and power tussle, others laid emphasis on those at the receiving end of government policies and Leeds.
Chinua Achebe in Anthills of the Savanna discussed the quest for power, military and dictatorship in Nigeria’s political system. Helen Habila in his novel “Oil in water” portrayed the flaws f government and how it affects the society and its people.
Niyi Osundare’s poem “My Lord Tell me Where to keep your Bible”? and  P.o.cUmeh’s “ Ambassadors of poverty” are satirical poems that discuss the excesses of government and government official. To lay emphasis on this satirical topic, ZickyKofomorola’s “Chambers of cockroaches” personified politicians and government office holders as cockroaches. This is to show what extent Nigerian politicians are  filthy and the end result of their greed.
In discussing Nigerian literature, the status quo of gender in the society is an inevitable subject of consideration. In the Nigerian society, sex and gender characterisation is very important, considering the patriarchal nature of people, the societal makeup, marriage,ratio of Boy Girl education and the status of feminism in Nigeria, how writers portray gender in their literary works thus becomes a dominant thematic preoccupation in Nigerian literature.
Nigerian writers have different opinions, views and ideologies about gender. A number of Nigerian writers have been characterized as been patriarchal in their characterisation. These set of male gender is dominant and superior in the social hierarchy and decision making process.
Examples of writers who share this philosophy include Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe. Critics believe that Chinua Achebe is charactrischaracterisationofchiclo as a goddess in Things Fall Apart is to the extent a way of balancing gender, but most of his works portray a typical African society where patriarchy remains the order of the day.
Contrarily, some other writers try to balance gender of portray the feminine gender as superior to the male gender as opposed to what we found in Achebe and Soyinka. Writes like BuchiEmecheta, ChimamandaAchichie, Zaynab Alkali and Sefi Attach tried to bridge the gender gap in the African societies in their works as they support the idea of frminiy, the struggle for recognition of women right and gender equality.Source:- SarayiJibree: Thematic focus of Nigerian literature.

 

By: Jacob Obinna

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Dean Tasks New Law Students Exco On Service

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The Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Rivers State University, Prof. Ovunda Vincent Okene, has urged the new executive members of the Law Students Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN), RSU Chapter, to live up to expectation and give academic and social welfare of members top priority, as well as discharge their duties with a sense of responsibility, to justify their choice.
Okene, who gave the charge during the inauguration ceremony of the new executive at the university campus in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, said the faculty has existed for over 40 years, describing it as the pride of the university and even one of the best in West Africa, having the best learning facility, and challenged the new executive to add value to the faculty.
The university teacher also stressed the need for the law students to imbibe the spirit of cleanliness and dress code compliance, for which the faculty is known, contending that it is incumbent upon them to comport themselves on campus in such a way that portrays the Law profession as a noble profession.
In his response, the new President of the Law Students Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN), Rivers State University Chapter, Mr Ken-Saro Chukwu assured that the new executive would put the association first in all it does, saying, the new normal has begun.
While thanking God, the Dean, the Eleco and the members for the opportunity to serve and for ensuring a hitch-free election, Chukwu said the members of the association should “expect value and utility in everything we do”.
Other members of the executive include Victoria Isikinma, Vice President; Juliet Francis, Financial Secretary; Nimi Amachree, Secretary General; Kendrick Iyalla, Director of Socials; and Princess Amadi, Auditor General.
Others are Treasure Sam-George, Treasurer; Eze Chinedu, Public Relations Officer; Nsinem Bob Essiet, Assistant Secretary General; and Henry Howells, Provost.
The occasion was also graced by the Associate Dean, Faculty of Law/Head of Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, Prof. C.C. Wigwe, Head of Department, Business Law, Dr. Nwuzi, Head of Department, Private and Property Law, Dr. Felix Amadi, and Prof. S.I. Orji, among other dignitaries.

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Don’t Say Something You Regret Out Of Anger

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There once was a little boy who had a very bad temper. His father decided to hand him a bag of nails and said that every time the boy lost his temper, he had to hammer a nail into the fence.
On the first day, the boy hammered 37 nails into that fence.
The boy gradually began to control his temper over the next few weeks, and the number of nails he was hammering into the fence slowly decreased. He discovered it was easier to control his temper than to hammer those nails into the fence.
Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father the news and the father suggested that the boy should now pull out a nail every day he kept his temper under control.
The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.
‘You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.’”
Culledfrom thoughtcatalogue.com

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Celebrating Day Of The African Child

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On June 16th, 1976, thousands of black students from Soweto, South Africa, took to the streets to protest the disparity in the education system that preferred quality education for the whites over the black population in Africa. Today, millions of children in Africa do not receive proper education and the onus just doesn’t fall on the world leaders but on every privileged member of the society to acknowledge that they deserve quality education to eradicate poverty in the country.
In commemoration of the Day of the African Child  (DAC) 2021, the AUC Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security and Save the Children International, join Africans throughout the continent in celebrating this special day.
 This presents a unique opportunity to reflect on the advances made towards realizing children rights as well as remaining challenges.
Today, under the theme: “30 years after the adoption of the Charter: Accelerate implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children”, we recommit to scale up the promotion of the rights and welfare of children of Africa.
Despite important strides made by AU Member States in realizing children rights, grave violations continue to be committed against children in conflict settings. A study conducted by Save the Children in 2020 revealed that the number of children living in conflict zones is highest in Africa.
Among the six major violations committed against children is the attack on education, which continue to have devastating impact on students and teachers, with particularly debilitating long-term consequences for girls and women. In addition, female students and educators suffer horrific acts of violence within their schools and universities.
To remedy attacks on education, the Safe Schools Declaration is a key policy tool towards ensuring safe education for All. The COVID-19 pandemic and the consistent attacks on schools have had terrible impact on children across Africa, but it’s been worse for girls whose risk for gender-based violence or child marriage has been exacerbated. Hence, it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to ensure access to education and all children continue to learn while schools are closed through inclusive distance learning, that every child is supported to return to school when it’s safe to do so, and no child is left behind.
Governments and partners should also invest more in education to build back better education systems for all children.
The AUC Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security will continue to offer commendable support for the safe school’s agenda as evidenced by AU Organs’ commitment to implement the Safe Schools Guidelines.
In addition, the AUC PAPS Department will soon launch the Africa Platform for Children Affected by Armed Conflict (AP-CAAC) to drive action within at all levels.
The advocacy efforts made towards the implementation of the Safe Schools Declaration and Guidelines at the national level has created the momentum. The upcoming Fourth International Conference on Safe Schools to be held in Abuja on October 25-27, 2021, with the AU as a co-host with Norway, Argentina, Spain, and Global Coalition for Protection of Education from Attack, is another opportunity to concretize action in support of safeguarding the future of African Children.
International Day of the African Child was set aside to raise awareness of the importance of education for children in Africa. The day not only honours the participants of the Soweto Uprising in 1976 but also raises awareness of the imperative need for improvement of the education of African children. International Day of the African Child is celebrated on the 16th of June every year to highlight the economic strifes suffered by these children and the adverse effects it has on their right to good education in the country.

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