Postcolonialism and the Politics of Resistance: Ngugi Wa Thiong'o's Wizard of the Crow

By Maxwell, Ugwanyi 'Dele | Journal of Pan African Studies, September 2011 | Go to article overview

Postcolonialism and the Politics of Resistance: Ngugi Wa Thiong'o's Wizard of the Crow


Maxwell, Ugwanyi 'Dele, Journal of Pan African Studies


They have equally used their writings to awaken the consciousness of the masses to the realities of their circumstances. Some of the writers do not only stop at this level of awakening but go further to recommend serious resistance measures against the enemies of the people. We therefore settled for Ngugi wa Thiong'o, who we consider the most appropriate as far as resistance literature in Africa is concerned.

The contemporary world is an epoch of national liberation revolutions. Masses of most Third World countries have risen to challenge their subjection to external domination or internal oppression and this has made them assert their right freely in order to determine their own destiny. Both the anti-colonial movement and the current struggle against neo colonialism in Africa are part of this historical trend. (Nzongola Ntalaja,: ix). This captures in clear term the real situation in Africa, which is most dismal. The continent has remained comparatively the least developed of all continents in terms of the production and sustenance of critically significant social--goods such as physical infrastructure, telecommunication facilities, food supply, electricity, medical and health services, shelter, employment and other vital materials for human, personal and social being.

The problems facing African societies are multi-dimensional and in phases. Slavery is the worst and darkest experience in the history of African people Colonialism immediately followed and now neo-colonialism through African dependent on the Western World for its economic and political stability. To sustain and promote their interests at the expense of Africa, the international hegemonic forces have ensured that their African collaborators remain in power to do their biddings. These agents consider and pursue policies that satisfy their interest and those of their imperialist masters even at the brink of economic collapse occasioned by the "fictitious debts" ostensibly owed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and other Western banks and financial institutions, like the London and Paris clubs.

Day in and day out, the African continent is racked by afflictions, disasters, macro economic crises and dysfunctions, debt over-hang, corruption, high level illiteracy, squalor, disease, hunger and other negative and destabilizing conditions thrown up by imperialism in cahoots with greedy and unpatriotic ruling class. According to Ali Mazrui:

... these problems are brought about as a result of Africa being at the bottom of the global heap, with the Western world at the top. Africa has the largest percentage of poor people, the largest number of low--income countries, the least developed economies, the lowest life expectancy, the most fragile political systems. Moreso, it is most vulnerable continent with high incident of HI V/AIDS (whatever relationship there might be between HIV and the collapse of immune systems in Africa). (3)

And the continent appears to be in limbo and suspended animation as the received development paradigm from the West has failed abysmally in addressing the ravaging socio-political and economic problems that have engulfed it. Kofi Anyidoho articulates this point in an article thus:

   Africa is a homeland that history has often denied and contemporary
   reality is constantly transforming into a quicksand; a land reputed
   to be among the best endowed in both human and material resources
   and yet much better known worldwide for its proverbial conditions
   of poverty, Africa the birth place of humanity and of human
   civilization now strangely transformed into expanding graveyards
   and battlefields for the enactment of some of the contemporary
   world's worst human tragedies. (76)

The Western world, on the other hand is triumphant at the top of the global caste system. What is more, the Western world created the international caste system which reduced Africans to the "untouchables' of global injustice. …

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Postcolonialism and the Politics of Resistance: Ngugi Wa Thiong'o's Wizard of the Crow
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