CRITIQUE AND CHALLENGES IN TRANSLATING BUCHI EMECHETA FOR THE FRANCOPHONES AND CROSS-CULTURAL APPRECIATION
Victor C. Ariole
Buchi Emecheta was a renowned author. On Google doodle, her 75th birthday was celebrated, though she transited on 25th January, 2017 in London. She wrote many novels with a major theme that relates to the survival of the human race from the African perspective. The African perspective could not be said to be one-sided or partial as communal concern pervades in most African ways of life; hence both genders in a conjugal relationship seem to obey larger communal dictates for a better human survival. The patriarchal dominance seems to be what is in contest in most parts of the world. Some oppositions to that dominance, however, seem to be the driver of most feminist movements. In Emecheta’s works, the female gender seems to bear the worst of the human emotional burden laced in seeing the female as the ‘make or mar’ of any communal survival; and the community expects a greater discipline from that gender. Emecheta’s female characters, who express this burden, mostly end up uncelebrated with all the sacrifices they seem to have made to see that the society relearn the ever changing circumstances of life that call for the cooperation of the genders without which self- destruction sets in. In this paper, Emecheta is compared with other female writers in the Francophone world so as to highlight her own distinct approach on how women are seen and what it translates to, in both divides – Anglophone, Francophone. The approach adopted is basically, testing some socio-critique tendencies in both the Anglo and Franco divides, and to agree or disagree with such theoretical or critique postulations, for a better understanding of Emecheta’s works. In effect, it is also to guard against a mistranslation of any of her works, as this paper identifies items that could lead to mistranslation; for, most colonial translations tended that way. The findings are that Emecheta’s works are not quite in agreement with her counterparts in the Francophone world; though she shares with them the same trait of quasi altruism posturing of most womenfolk that relates to motherhood. However, she does not share the quasi-hedonistic posturing of most Francophone women writers in the West, compared with her in this paper. Finally, this paper highlights the need for a format of translation of cultural issues that must be placed in proper localisation portfolios for proper comparative prospects that would not lead to “non-sens” or “contre-sens”, in other languages; and also, to serve for better appreciation of Emecheta’s views of how women could be treated for a better and sustainable human society. A clear finding of this paper is that factors that unite or intersect to give meaning to concepts like love, desire, marriage, sacrifice, pleasure, and courage respectively, lack consensus in Emecheta’s works and those compared with hers.
Key words: translation, mistranslation, Anglophone, Francophone, cultural issues.
POSTCOLONIAL ECOCRITICISM AND THE POLITICS OF THE BODY IN NGUGI WA THIONG’O’S PETALS OF BLOOD
Isiguzo, Destiny Chikwurah
There is a growing scholarly attention on the intersection between environmental degradation and the exploitation of women as well as postcolonial environmental studies and gender studies in Africa. Previous writings on environmental exploitation in Africa often occlude how women are connected to and affected by the environment. Thus, this study explores the feminisation of nature in Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s Petals of Blood and interrogates the patriarchal notions that genders nature in order to foreground its exploitation the same way women are exploited. The intersection of postcolonial ecocriticism and gender studies is explored and serves as the theoretical framework of this study. The theory is used to show the interconnection between the exploitation of women and the environment. Through critical analysis of the female characters and nonhuman nature, the paper explores the connection between the exploitation of the bodies of African women and nature in Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s Petals of Blood. It argues that in the Petals of Blood, Ngugi recognises the impact of environmental exploitation on African women, the similarity in the patterns of environmental and women exploitations; and the colonial, patriarchal and capitalist notions that foreground them. Ngugi thus imagines a form of environmental consciousness and activism that is championed by ‘gendered-people’ who are averse to all forms of exploitation and hegemony. The study establishes a nexus between environmental justice and gender equity; and suggests that in Petals of Blood, the exploitations of women and the environment are foregrounded in the notion that women and nature are material objects and thus exploitable.
Keywords: Africa, Postcolonial, Environment, Intersection, Women, Exploitation.
DISSIDENTS AND CONFORMISTS OF CAMPUS LAWS INEGHOSA IMASUEN’S FINE BOYS
Gabriel Kosiso Okonkwo
The campus as a youthful space is ideationally tied to learning and social harmony. Most of the existing studies on campus narratives in African milieu have so far amplified morality, activism, social accord, and academic excellence as auspicious and utilitarian agents of socio-political growth. This study examines the less focused lawlessness on most African campuses often made manifest in the forms of cultism, verbal violations, and sexual predation. Jean Francois Lyotard’s approach to Postmodernism and Charles Sanders Peirce’s Triadic Semiotics were adopted as frameworks. While Lyotard’s Postmodernism is used in this study to justify characters’ scepticism towards the metanarratives of traditional order, Peirce’s Triadic Semiotics accounts for their representamina which violate the law. Most of the characters create their own order that reeks of subversion. While Ewaen, Osaze, Odegua, Brenda, Eniye, and Ejiro are symbolic of the often silenced acquiescent microcosms of most campuses, Wilhelm, Tambo, TJ, Tommy, and Dr. Spirit are disingenuously precocious. The former group is determined to oppose every expression of victimhood and contravention. On the contrary, the latter get easily disillusioned and lost in the swing of their existential pendulum. As tension heightens as a result of inordinate delinquencies, Ewaen and his cohort opt for academic translocation. Imasuen foregrounds the complexities of the campus as a learning space and satirises defiant actions of characters so as to enthrone the rule of law.
Keywords: campus narratives, verbal violations, rule of law, contravention, delinquencie
Modern (Wo)Man and the Narrative Grammar of Tony Nwaka’s Shadows and Nothings
Solomon Omatsola Azumurana and Samuel Ifeoluwa Oluwadare
This paper has been informed fundamentally by the criticisms against Structuralism as a tool of critical exegesis. Despite such criticisms, the paper argues for its relevance by using it in the reading of Tony Nwaka’s novel, Shadows and Nothings (2019). The paper first clears some erroneous misconception about the theory of Structuralism before deploying its two basic concepts – the concept of signification and of binary opposition – for its analysis. Drawing on the concept of signification (the arbitrary relations between the signifier and the signified), it makes use of Tzvetan Todorov’s schema of narrative grammar that stresses that every narrative follows the seek-and-find formula. Yet, by deploying the three properties of signification – wholeness, transformation, and self-regulation – the paper demonstrates that Todorov’s traditional “seek-and-find” formula undergoes some transformation in Nwaka’s novel – so that, instead of the “seek-and-find” pattern, there is on one hand the “seek-find-and-lose again” and on the other, the “seek-find-lose-and-find-again” structure. However, the narrative is still self-regulated because, despite its transformation, it again reinforces the redemptive underpinning that characterizes classical fictions – that of the hero(ines) always questing for one thing or another that they feel in some way would transform them. Going further, by employing the concept of binary opposition, the paper contends that there are two pairs of oppositional characters in Nwaka’s Shadows and Nothings – those who “seek-find-and-lose” and those who “seek-find-lose-and-find” again. The paper then concludes that by broadening or overturning the scope of the traditional “seek-and-find” structure, Nwaka successfully lines himself up in the queue of modernist writers who see the life of modern (wo)man as being more complicated, and who would, therefore, completely avoid a dogmatic adherence to the sentimentality of traditional/classical narratives.
Key words: Structuralism, narrative grammar, Nwaka, Shadows and Nothings.
A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF MUHAMMADU BUHARI AND ALEXANDER BORIS JOHNSON’S APPRECIATION AND SENSITISATION SPEECHES ON CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
This paper examines the discourse of coronavirus pandemic by appraising the appreciation and sensitisation speeches of the British Prime Minister and the president of Nigeria. The outbreak of coronavirus pandemic triggered the production of different types of texts as discourses from different parts of the world. The majority of these discourses seek to proffer solution to the global pandemic. The appreciation and sensitisation speeches of Alexander Boris Johnson and that of Muhammadu Buhari are no exception. The two speeches were divided into eight texts and analysed using a Functional-Semiotic Discourse Analysis as applied by Daramola (2008) and Appraisal Theory as theoretical underpinning. After the analysis of semiotic and appraisal resources in the two speeches using the two linguistic theories, it was concluded that different linguistic resources drawn from different sources by different speakers could be deployed to perform different communicative functions in order to achieve the same communicative ends.
Keywords: Coronavirus, discourses, semiotics, pandemic, appraisal, registers, digitalisation, contextualising, Nigeria, Britain.
GEO-ETHNIC VARIATIONS IN NIGRIAN ENGLISH WORD STRESS
This paper is a report on the pilot study investigating the geographical/ethnic dimension to the variable word stress patterns of Nigerian English. Fifty polysyllabic English words were read by fifty Nigerian undergraduates of the University of Lagos of varied socio-economic, educational and ethno-linguistic backgrounds. Each half of this sample was made up of L1 speakers of Igbo and L1 speakers of Yoruba respectively, whose productions were analysed statistically and metrically. The data were analysed by converting the tokens of occurrence to percentages, the higher percentages being taken as the norm in each accent. The perceived norms were further captured using the arboreal and SWS notations of Metrical Phonology. In spite of earlier declarations that Nigerian English (NE hereafter) is a homogenous variety in terms of stress assignment, the results of the study highlight the differences in the stress patterns of Igbo English (IE hereafter) and Yoruba English (YE hereafter) – both regional accents of NE; leaving us with the puzzle of deciding between such variable stress patterns as PROtein~proTEIN, UMbrella~umBRELla, CEremony~ceREmony and EARring~earRING which should be adopted as the NE stress patterns of these words. The study, while emphasizing the need for the exploration of the geo-ethnic approach to the definition of NE, establishes that the differences in the phonologies of regional accents of NE exist not only at the segmental level but also at the supra-segmental level of stress.
Keywords: Keywords: Stress, Metrical Phonology, Igbo English, Yoruba English, Standardisation