LITERATURE’S CONTRIBUTION TO MODERN AFRICAN SOCIETY
The term literature refers to both written and spoken materials. Literature can refer to anything from creative writing to more technical or scientific works, but it is most commonly used to refer to works of the creative imagination, such as poetry, drama, fiction, prose, and non-fiction (Alfred David, 1997). African literature is a body of work written in a variety of languages and genres, ranging from oral literature to literature written in colonial languages (French, Portuguese, and English).
Stories, drama, riddles, histories, myths, songs, proverbs, and other expressions are frequently used to educate and entertain children. Oral histories, myths, and proverbs also serve to remind entire communities of their ancestors, heroic deeds, history, and the foundations of their customs and traditions. A concern for presentation and oratory is a concern for oral literature, folktale tellers use call and response techniques, and a griot (praise singer) will accompany a narrative with music.
The poignant slave narratives, such as “interesting narrative of the life and adventures of Olaudah Equiano, the African” (1979), which described vividly the horrors of slavery and the slave trade, were among the first African writings to gain attention in the west. As Africans became literate in their languages, they frequently used their writing to protest colonial repression.
Others looked for inspiration in their own past. In susuto, Thomas Mofolo wrote “Hake” (1931) about Zulu, a famous military leader. Literature in African contemporary is as old as mankind itself, as Africans have for centuries passed information from generation to generation through this vehicle of literature, most notably that involving the preservation of her cultures, traditions, religious and other spheres of life.
It is correct to say that African literature began when man became conscious of himself and nature as a whole, and this has made enormous contributions to African education both before and after embracing Western education. In response to colonial education, African literature has taken on new dimensions (Gabriel, E., 2010).
Western education has not only influenced African literature, but has also forced most Africans to adopt European ways of life. Following African independence, many African scholars, such as Wole Soyinka (the first African to win the Nobel Prize in Literature), have presented African literature to the world at large, noting that Africa had its literature before the arrival of the colonial masters.
THE STUDY’S BACKGROUND
Africans have presented their literature in a variety of ways, including:
Autobiography: A person’s life story written or told by that person. An autobiography by Bill Peet.
Biography: This is the story of someone’s life written by someone else. Babara Cooney’s Eleanor
A fable is a story that imparts a moral or a lesson. It frequently features animal characters.” The Hare and the Tortoise
Fantasy: Novels are frequently set in languages other than our own, and they frequently include magic, sorcery, and mythical creatures. “J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.”
Folktales are stories that have been passed down through a culture, usually orally. It could be superstitious and feature supernatural characters. Folktales include tall tales, tricksters, and other stories passed down through generations (Hansel, and Gretel).
Legend: a story passed down through generations that is believed to be based on history, though it usually combines facts and fiction. A human is usually the hero of a legend. “King Arthur’s Roundtable.”
Myth: A traditional story that a specific culture once accepted as sacred and true. It may center on a good or supernatural being and explain how something like lightning, music, or the world itself came to be.
Stories in science fiction investigate how science and technology affect the world. The book frequently includes fantasy that could become reality in the future.
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