May 29, 2024

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Poetry Evolution in Nigeria

Overview

Nigeria, the most populated country in Africa, is a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual Nation. It is made up of ethnic nationalities like: Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba, Igbo, Ijaw, Efik, Ibibio, Bini, Nupe, Igala, Urhobo, Itsekiri, to mention a handful of, each with its unique language. The country’s multi-ethnic and multi-lingual mother nature engenders an similarly multi-cultural location. Nigeria’s cultural range find expressions in the literary and inventive endeavours of her peoples, specifically: poetry, prose, painting, music, sculpture, drama, dance, and so on.

Pre-Colonial Poetry

Poetry as an artwork sort has been through evolution from pre-colonial to colonial and then to submit-colonial and modern day eras in Nigeria. Poetry in the pre-colonial era was unwritten. There existed a thin line in between poets and musicians, who composed and rendered poetry in musical variety. Poets then like Mazi Oparan’aku Onyeukwu(author’s grandfather), of Umude Avuvu in the existing day Ikeduru area Govt Place of Imo State Nigeria, whose nocturnal poetry renditions earned him the nickname “Obe na abali” meaning “the nocturnal voice”, published their operates in sort of renditions at funerals, relationship ceremonies, and so on. Poets then were also distinguished in boosting the morale of tribal warriors, as well as composing verses for use by diviners like the Ifa priests of the Yoruba race. Their presence in palaces were being also deemed as a paraphernalia of royalty. Poetry themes then consisted in praising virtues and condemning vices in the then compressed modern society. A single feature of pre-colonial Nigerian poetry that is missing in other eras is its spiritual leaning. Poets in that era experienced affinities with deities worshipped in their cultures. In most pre-colonial Nigerian cultures, poets ended up regarded as anointed mouthpieces of deities and are accorded recognition as quasi-clergymen. Impressive also is the resilience of the (oral) poetry of this era which still find expressions in the operates of contemporary working day Nigerian scholars of oral literature like Professor Wande Abimbola.

Colonial Poetry

The introduction of western design education and learning in Nigeria by the colonial missionaries, radically altered the form of poetry, this era of Nigerian poets, like Wole Soyinka, John Pepper-Clark, Christopher Okigbo, Gabriel Okara, et al, obtaining acquired western education, printed their poems in e-book type and rendered them in radio and television stations and on the phases of semi- modern-day theatres. The themes nevertheless, centered largely on battling colonialism, which was regarded as a vice. Poetry themes in the course of the colonial era tended in the direction of educational, ensuing into a tendency to weave the poetry of that period to appeal principally to customers of the academia. The polarization of intercontinental political economy into capitalism and socialism also influenced the themes of colonial period Nigerian poets, most of whom have been educated in Europe and The us. The effect of this polarization will greater be appreciated when the functions of Nigerian poets of this era are assessed.

Post-Colonial Poetry

By the finish of colonialism, poets in post-colonial Nigeria, now uncovered to technological instruction, dramatically transformed the fashion and themes of poetry crafting and rendition. Compressing Nigerian poetry themes in the post-colonial period into certain moulds is by some means tricky. This is for the reason that of the emergence of several socio-economic, political and cultural tendencies which poets of this period ought to enchantment to. Even in the midst of this difficulty, submit-colonial period Nigerian poets like Niyi Osundare, Onwuchekwa Jemie, Chari Ada Onwu, et al, managed to concentration on socially, politically and culturally appropriate themes.

Modern day Poetry

Modern Nigerian poets like: Obi Nwakanma, Odia Ofeimun, Chidi Anthony Opara, Ogaga Ifowodo, Maik Nwosu, Sola Osofisan, et al, publish primarily on the World wide web and render their poems with refined audio-visual devices via similarly sophisticated audio-visible broadcast channels and on levels of extremely-fashionable theatres. Just one of the important difficulties confronted by Nigerian poets of this era is the lack of ability and/or reluctance on the sections of literary critics, who ought to ordinarily be the fulcrum of qualitative literary craftmanship to update their personal capabilities to meet up with the troubles of literary productions in an World wide web age. A further major issue is the faulty belief in modern Nigeria that Poetry is only an intellectual physical exercise, whose amusement written content should really not be emphasized. When contemporary Poets in other pieces of the earth are exploiting this leisure aspect to enhance them selves and their societies, skillfully, economically, politically, socially and culturally, present-day Nigerian Poets even now see their craft from an faulty prism of poetry becoming only an intellectual workout, with its attendant experienced, financial, political, social and cultural penalties. World-wide-web poetry publishing has however, contributed mostly to the collapse of poetry hegemonies formed along Ibadan-Ife-Lagos and Nsukka-Enugu-Owerri literary axis respectively, promptly following the Nigerian civil war.