CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background of the study

It is assumed that for Africa and indeed the world to be an egalitarian society; teachers must find innovative ways of using language to deconstruct sexist literature and helping readers, particularly students, to imagine a world in which there can be genuine equality.

As stated by Finnegan, Ruth (2011: 64), the artist undoubtedly remains a socio, political force in any social formation. Apart from playing the role of an entertainer, the artist uses his artistic creation to instill truth into people’s consciousness in any given age. It is also true that when anomalies and contradictions become too glaring in any society the literary artist feels called upon to rectify such anomalies found in the society using art as a weapon.The artist’s mode of assessing an existing sociopolitical system, the people’s attitude etc. in a society,is satire – a form of writing which makes fun of the evil or foolish behaviour of people, institutions or society in general. The literary artist is known to have used satire from the beginning of literary history (64).

Before Nigeria gained its independence, a lot of brilliant thoughts had been spurred by the political consciousness that had been unleashed on the African Negroes who had exploited the gift of literacy and intellectual enlightenment via the acquisition of formal education. Artists like Hubert Ogunde had already begun to criticise colonialism in their works and in the process opened the eyes of the masses to the reality of the country’s situation. According to Ebun Clark (1978: 23):

‘Ogunde’s Theatre participated in the cultural renaissance in the forties so did it in the nationalist movement…’

It was works like this along with other initiatives that spurred the struggle for self governance and before long, Nigeria gained its independence. However, self governance soon proved to be as vicious as colonialism (if not worse) as exemplified by corruption, inefficient leadership and greed, vices which came to be synonymous with Nigerian politicians. Again, the literary scholars took to their pens to criticise their wrong doings. Some wrote in newspapers, while others treated the issues on television and other mass media. On the other hand, some decided to employ the theatre.



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