"Gun running" and "holding up radio stations": The art and social criticism of Chinua Achebe and Fela Anikulapo-Kuti

Christopher Phillip Gibson, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

The tradition of the artist as social critic is found throughout West African and Nigerian traditions, particularly the griot, mbari artists of the Igbo, and the oriki of the Yoruba. Chinua Achebe's novels A Man of the People and Anthills of the Savannah depict Nigeria's struggles for a stable and prosperous country in the mid-1960s and mid-1980s; in addition, these novels are demonstrations of resistance literature. Fela Anikulapo-Kuti's lyrics, which discuss the various problems in Nigerian politics and society, are also representations of resistance literature. Fela's Sorrow, Tears, and Blood; Authority Stealing; and Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense describe the political and societal issues in Nigeria from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. Although Achebe and Fela utilize different media to express their social criticism, both artists shared the common expression of the need for resistance and desire for change. ^

Subject Area

Literature, African

Recommended Citation

Gibson, Christopher Phillip, ""Gun running" and "holding up radio stations": The art and social criticism of Chinua Achebe and Fela Anikulapo-Kuti" (2004). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1423710.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI1423710

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