Colonialism In African Literature

1663 Words7 Pages
The advent of colonialism was a result of the aim to create the European Empire. The most dominant tools of colonialism were education, religion and colonial niceties. An often-ignored tool of colonialism was the depiction of Africa by Western literature. Previously, Eurocentric literature portrayed Africa as a barren place, one laden with bestiality and other inhumane traits. It sought to dehumanise the African people. Thus, the dawn of African Literature was in response to the denigrations, history and myths constructed about Africa in conjunction with the colonial enterprise by European authors. This essay is an evaluation of whether African literature has been successful in reclaiming the stories of Africa. It will assume the that stance through the reiteration of African experiences through African characters; African literature has indeed managed to reclaim its stories. To consolidate that stance, the essay will be based on the analysis of Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s A Private Experience and Njabulo S. Ndebele’s The Prophetess.
As aforementioned, Western literature sought to dehumanise the African people. It even went to the extent of reducing Africa to an abstraction which meant that Africa was not real and the inhabitants thereof. Eliminating the ‘realness” of a human entailed depriving that person of the recognition of the psychological effects and conflict that occur because of colonisation. In Nervous Conditions the

More about Colonialism In African Literature

Open Document