Superstitious Beliefs: The Russian and Benin Kingdoms in Perspective
Kessington Aigbovia and Harrison Okao
Succinctly put, every human community, be it the African, Caucasian, the Orientals or the Olives is nurtured by the principle of set beliefs or a belief system which emanate from the traditions, customs, norms and certain taboos of the people. It is primarily noteworthy to state that these things are sine qua non for both the physical and spiritual development of any human community whether in primordial times or in the jet age. This essay takes an analytical approach to superstitious beliefs and taboos of the Benin Kingdom of Nigeria and those of the Russian people and thus uses this methodology to juxtapose the two cultures together so as to be able to assess their similarities and dissimilarities. We submit that language is inseparable from the culture and tradition of any community or society and thus posit that, in terms of transference of knowledge, a putative attention ought to always be paid to the cultural aspects of the language since language itself is a carrier of culture and tradition. More so, it is a known fact that internalized traditions and cultures aid learners of the language to respond, as it were, to the norms, taboos, cultures and traditions of such a society.
Engendering the Genre: The Feminisation of the Lagos Novel
Culture-bound contingencies shape the perceptions of women in Africa and this often leads to totalised, uncritical and one-dimensional representations of women in literary texts that place them in the typical Manichean duality dialectics between good and evil. On the one hand, she is imagined as treacherous, cantankerous, noisy, troublesome, and therefore signification of the witch, termagant, virago, temptress, satanic, and dark. On the other hand, she is also construed as angelic, a mother figure, an enchantress, a nurturer, such that she becomes a trope for chastity, compassion, love, and affection. This paper explores the depiction of women as strong archetypes in six Nigerian novels that use Lagos as setting. Lagos is comparable to the woman in her basic form because the city is as glamorous as the female persona. The city is also populated by beautiful women, and the beauty of the women can be likened to the beauty of the city; but beyond physical beauty, Lagos is peopled by strong-willed women, women of substance and character. The paper presents how novelists signpost the growing visibility of the female face and help in re-thinking the notion of female weakness. The centrality of women in the Lagos novel is such that the Lagos novel now becomes ‘woman.’
Confronting Postcolonial Trauma for the Purpose of Creating Trauma-based Plays in Africa and the Diaspora
This paper explores issues raised in the first chapter of my doctoral Thesis (Agboaye, 2018), based on the exploration of Postcolonial Trauma in Nigeria as stimulus for creating new Plays. The study theorises that trauma-based notions gleaned from postcolonial terms may be useful for creating and reflecting on traumatic conditions in new trauma-based plays. This paper therefore argues that that exploration of terms and meanings associated with postcolonial trauma are capable of stimulating ideas for playwriting which may be useful for explaining and interpreting the effects of lingering traumatic experiences in my part of Africa, being Nigeria. It is also anticipated that the reader may understand the impact of postcolonial trauma from the lens of definitions that are linked to purported lingering traumatic conditions associated with colonialism, neo-colonialism, imperialism, dependency, centre-periphery concept, trauma memory and others. Thus, the exploration of such postcolonial terms within a playmaking context, reiterates Gray and Marlins’ (2016: 2) thoughts, that ‘We learn most effectively by doing – by active experience, and reflection on that experience,’ which explains the essence of applying trauma based notions inherent in postcolonial terms in the creation of trauma based plays.
An Intertextual Analysis of Inter-Party Debates in Nigeria (2011 and 2015) – A Critical Perspective
Samuel Olabode Ajibiye
This study investigates intertextuality as a discursive strategy employed presidential candidates in the projection of positive self-construal, as a vote-getting tactic during the televised inter-party presidential debates in Nigeria (2011-2015). Data were collected from the archives of TV stations in Nigeria, authorised to cover the inter-party presidential campaign debates. The recorded-video of the candidates’ spontaneous campaign speeches in 2011 and 2015 were transcribed verbatim, to ease data analysis. The study is underpinned by Fairclough’s concept of intertextuality (Chouliaraki and Fairclough 1999; Fairclough, 1993). This study reveals that presidential candidates – incumbent and challengers – engaged intertextuality of documented evidence, past shared experiences, (in)direct quotes and Self-quotations in an attempt to enhance the credibility of and assert authority to their debate discourse, so as to bolster self-image credibility ratings. Though the candidates creatively constructed and deployed these intertextual insertions differently, the invocation of intertextual properties as a discourse strategy served two similar purposes: to cause maximum damage to the public image of their opponents and to seek maximum public support for Self. Thus, this paper argues that intertextuality of positive self-attributions constitutes an integral part of TV inter-party presidential debate discourse in Nigeria.
Remediation in the Filmic Adaptations of Uzodinma Iweala’s BEAST OF NO NATION
Nurayn Fola Alimi and Samuel Oladimeji Kuye
This study examines the deployment of elements of transparent immediacy and hypermediacy in the filmic adaptations of Uzodinma Iweala’s novel, Beast of No Nation. The study explicates the audio-visual elements in the film text in relation to fidelity to the precursor text, the novel. Audio visual elements are techniques of remediation which are not possible in the written texts but which are possible in motion pictures. Specifically, this paper identifies aspects of diegetic and extra-diegetic music as these are used in the film text to mediate and consolidate the relationship between creativity in movie production and audience acceptance of reality. Furthermore, the paper analyses these elements with the aim to also relate them to the themes in the novel text. During the process of remediation, diegetic and non-diegetic sound tracks function in the film text as part of the transparent immediacy. This essentially makes the film audience to feel reality as authentic as they forget or ignore creativity in the narrative culture for ‘actuality-like’ effect in the film.
Africa’s Flora and Fauna in Hemingway’s Stories on Africa: An Exploration
Kayode G. Kofoworola
Ernest Hemingway is much more famously known for his novel, Farewell to Arms, which coincidentally has been a set-book for studies in literature in many schools across the world, West Africa inclusive. However, very little attention has been paid until recently to his stories written about or on Africa which were a product of his first African safari. Kelli Larson in fact asserts that: “Although the African works in general have not garnered the critical attention of such mainstays as The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms, they continue to hold their own in the critical stakes, and their underexposure to various theoretical lenses promises exciting new developments for future studies”(2011: 323). Without doubt Hemingway was so enthralled by Africa; that he wrote in “True at First Light”; “I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.” The product of this enthrallment is the production of two short stories and a novel: The Snows of Kilimanjaro and The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber and his 1935 novel “The Green Hills of Africa.”
Nollywood Proverbs as Sociolinguistic Expressions
Proverbs are globally recognized as potent expressions of a people’s culture; they are effective instruments for the varied articulations of a people’s world view and norms of existence. The Nollywood entertainment industry is widely acclaimed for the colorful propagation of Nigeria’s (and indeed Africa’s) varied cultural heritage. But a crucial component of this cultural extravaganza lies in the verbal expressions which vividly illuminate the traditional moral and ethical norms of the people. A significant aspect of this cultural expression is easily discerned in the prevalence of proverbs or wise sayings in contemporary Nollywood productions. From the serious, thought-provoking renditions of wise sayings to the didactic and the hilarious, Nollywood proverbs provide a dramatic illumination to the thematic and aesthetic components of the narrative. This study explores the sociolinguistic dimension to the presentation of traditional proverbs in Nollywood Yoruba movies by focusing on the ways these traditional proverbs are being creatively utilized in the filmic representation of social practices and social processes and their cultural implications. It is observed that traditional proverbs are usually short, pithy expressions which offer advice or present a moral (Simpson, 1992). But the creative adaptation of these proverbs in contemporary Yoruba movies usually involves dramatic elements which project their sociolinguistic import. Consequently, traditional proverbs are made more appealing to movie audiences who latch on to the dramatic properties to seek better appreciation of traditional practices. Using a number of purposively-selected Nollywood proverbs from different Yoruba movies, the study explores the sociolinguistic orientation in examining those elements which contribute to the explication of proverbs as the ethnography of a society.