Didacticism and the Third Generation of African Writers: Chukwuma Ibezute's The Temporal Gods and Goddess in the Cathedral
Keywords:African literature, Generations, Chukwuma Ibezute, didacticism, oral storytelling
This article argues that African literature is a didactic literature. It points out that even though African literature has borrowed so much from European literary culture, especially in the areas of form and language; didacticism is not one of those concepts that African literature inherited from the European literary culture. By didacticism, it is implied that African literature is aimed at correcting, informing and educating its readers. These functions of didacticism are inherent in African oral traditional storytelling and are carried over to the written literature. It is further argued in the article that of the three generations that now make up African literature, the third generation of African writers are accused of not making their stories didactic and that only a selected few of them remain true to making their stories didactic. Among these few writers is Chukwuma Ibezute. Using Chukwuma Ibezute's two novels, The Temporal Gods (1998) and Goddess in the Cathedral (2003) the didactic nature of African literature as contained in the works of a writer of the third generation is demonstrated. In The Temporal Gods the reality of the consequences of greed and envy are revealed. It is further argued through the novel that the afflictions of evil spirits on their victims are temporal. In Goddess in the Cathedral we are presented with another educating story of the activities of evil spirits and their agents. Through the novel, we are warned against some pastors who are agents of evil spirits but who claim to be working for the almighty God. Using examples from the two novels, ways on how to know a pastor who is working for God and the one who is working for evil spirits are further revealed.
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