This work looks into the themes and central ideas of emergent
tradition and the African poetry. It aims at examining the message of
Ojaide’s as on emergent writer and his opinion about political themes
and cultural themes in relation to literary tradition in African
poetry. Used in this research work is the writer’s realist ideas,
background, experience and the themes preoccupying the emergent
tradition and African poetry in relation to literary tradition as
represented in this work by Tanure Ojaide.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Purpose of study
Scope of the study
Justification of the study
Structure of Thesis
Emergent writers and social issues, examples from Ojaide’s
“The Fate of Vultures” and “The music of pain”
Emergent writers and the Question of tradition, A study of
“The Endless song” in Ojaide’s poetry
The word ‘emergent’, means something new and still developing, while
‘tradition’ is a belief custom or way of doing something that has been
in existence for a long time among a particular group of people.
Therefore, emergent tradition is a new development in literary works.
Also some certain writers have come up with new traditions and these
writers can be referred to as emergent writers in which the
havereinuented the aesthetics traditions they inherited from old writers
(dominant writers) and came out with some new forms of writings Oyeniyi
Okunoye (2004) said that “The term ‘emergent’ is very much
misunderstood. He said that we must not confuse what is historically
and materially emergent from the loose sense of emerging or the new”.
Therefore, an emergent aesthetic tradition is that which departs from
the old in terms of authorial ideology mode of literary ‘Production and
The writers in Africa are moved to write because they are constrained
to respond to the call of their inner selves to express their though
feelings and ideas about their environments, societies and cultures.
The African writers therefore, captures their existential experiences
through their literary creativities through their innermost feelings.
Emergent tradition and African poetry is therefore a product of the
modern poets and poetry as a tool for social change and it marks an
important development of political consciousness and also, there is a
ideology uniting poets like Niyi Osundare, Tanure Ojaide and Kofi
Anyidoho of Chana. All these poets share the idea that literature can
be employed to mediate in socio-political formation.
Apart from this they deploy literary language pattern that
communicates to an average reader because most of their works are not
entangled with the kind of syntactic obstacles and abstractors found in
the so called dominant poets or writer like Wole Soyinka and early
For instance some of these emergent poets even find popular language
variety like pidgin to be a useful means of aesthetic communication.
There is the light-hearted impact of Ojaide’s pidgin rendition of the
Image “Mami Wata” (sea goddess). The mere fact that foreign languages
are used could occasionally create disagreement, but modern African
poetry attempts to reflects indigenous rhythms. They believed that
black poetic imagination must be differentiated from the western
tradition of poetry as long as the artistic philosophy of African
writers is rooted in literary tradition. The artistic practices and
principles shared by various Black African Societies provide the common
bases for modern African poets in African descents.
Literary tradition and its legitimizing claims cultural or historical
affinities. They are at best efforts of black intellectuals committed
to making a claim to a unifying black literary heritage. Femi Ojo Ade’s
sustained scholarly preoccupation with constructing a black literary
tradition as evident in Colour and Culture in literature (1984).
Young black intellectuals followed these tradition and read the
principal works of their exponents which gave a powerful to criticise
western society and culture to reappraise political and social frame
work of the colonial relationship and the moral and spiritual value of
the culture of their colonial masters.
The efforts of the emergent tradition is remarkable in the sense that
it generated the enduring problematic in African critical practice, all
of which is associated with the task of clarifying the African literary
identity. Literary tradition in African writing was first empowered
by the anxiety of writers like Toban lo Liyong who detected
discrepancies in literary productivity in various parts of the continent
it was flowed by the arbitrariness of the criteria adopted. For
instance, West African poetic tradition, considering the diversity of
her people and the forms of colonialism experienced in the region. Each
of the two sub traditions in West African poetry, the Anglophone and
the Francophone is a product of a unique colonial experience. This is
largely responsible for reinforcing received assumptions with regard to
the Canon of African poetry, as representative poets are often
identified in each case, especially when such studies are incorporated
into comprehensive surveys of the literature of the region concerned
because such works are significant both for the writers they recognised
and that which is excluded because the pattern accounts for the
recognition of certain poets as representing the literary achievement
of a region.
This research work of emergent tradition and the African poetry, will
be represented by using Tanure Ojaide’s selected poems of “The Fate of Vultures” and “The endless song” and other poems” like “The music of pain” and “For my Love”.
In Ojaide’s poetry is writings or works are based on his experience
during his period or his time, which is part of one of the importance of
emergent tradition and African poetry. It also implies that the poet
takes the responsibility of using his work to create awareness of socio
political crisis. It also goes beyond this to provide alternative
political practice that allows for equality, justice and protection for
all. In his poem The music of pain he talked about the military
class for its coercion, corruption, lawlessness, injustice and class
segregation. These key problems are revealed through his specific
poetic devices. Ojaide’s pattern of literary writings portrays him as
a poet of African poetry whose works are based on what is happening in
PURPOSE OF STUDY
The purpose of study of the research work is to take a closer look at
literary traditions of the emergent writers in the context of African
literature, recent creative works show evidence of innovation and
reinvention from the aesthetic traditions he inherited from the
aesthetic traditions he inherited from the dominant writers and also
partially from the residual writers. In this research work a close look
will be given to Tanure Ojaide’s work by believe looking at some of his poems like “The Fate of Vultures”, and “The music of pain”, The Endless song”, and For my Love”
These poems are due to the poet’s experience during his period or his
time which is one of the importance of literary tradition in African
poetry. It is believed that no writer writes in a vacuum but according
to the goings-on at a particular period.
This study will examine his selected poems will be used as some kinds
of record of the changes and the growth of emergent tradition in
African poetry as his works are used to expose or create awareness of
socio political crisis and the political instability in his country
(Nigeria) to be precise. For example in his poem “The music of pain”,
he talked about the military class segregation, these key problems are
revealed through specific poetic devices. These work centre mostly on
the clarion call for all, so that there will be equality and political
justice in the society or the country. This research work will show how
the poet has demonstrated himself as the mouth piece of the masses
through his works.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work will start by giving a general introduction of
what “emergent traditions and African poetry” is, and how they go along
together under the theory of literary tradition. Four of his poems will
be considered in this research work for us not to go outside the topic
or things that are not relevant in this research work. “The fate of vultures”, “The music of pain”, “The endless song” and “For my house” are the poems to be considered in this research study.
The chapter two centers on the literature review of emergent
tradition and African poetry. It will also centre on facts from works
already done in relation to this research topic after which there will
be a data analysis of the two selection of poems applied for this
research work which are, The fate of vulture and other poems and Endless song and other poems. These
analysis will be in chapter three and four under the topic emergent
writer and social issues and Emergent writers and the question of
JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
This study will examine the ideas and the themes in Ojaide’s poetry. What is African in
his poetry and look at literary tradition from his perspectives, his feelings and his experience
during his own period as it does not only touches him but other poets who believed in his
ideology that no literary work is written in vacuum and set for himself and writer who is
concerned about the political and social – ills in his environment.
The sociological approach will be adopted in the analysis of Ojaide’s
selected poems. The sociological of Ojaide’s selected poems. The
sociological theory is interested in understanding the social milieu and
the extent and manner in which artists responds to it. This theory is
also interested in understanding the cultural relationship of the
people. This theory believe that in any society we have two dominant
classes which are proletariat and the bourgeoisies that is, the upper
class and the middle class, it also preach about humanism with reference
to Maxwell Adereth (1960) who said that “Literature does more than
mirror of the world”. Since it actively intervenes in other to change
Ojaide’s poems talks about how literature is also recognised as a
weapon for social change and this is also the same idea of some emergent
writers like Niyi Osundare, Kofi Anyidoho of Ghana, Femi Osorisan and
Tanure Ojaide. All these poets believed that literature is a means of
how writer expressed their innermost feelings and mind.
STRUCTURE OF THESIS
This research work will have five chapters, chapter one, which is the
introduction, purpose of the study, scope of the study, justification,
methodology and structure of thesis.
Chapter two will be literature review, it will examine relevant works
on Tanure Ojaide’s selected poems that will be used in this research
study. Chapter three, with the title “Emergent tradition and African
poetry using Ojaide’s selected poems”, it will consist of textual
analysis under the topic The emergent writers and social issues in
chapter three examples from Ojaide’s poems which are “The Fate of Vultures and “The music of pain”.
The chapter four will centre on the analysis of the other two poems
under the topic Emergent writers and the question of tradition a study
of the “Endless Song” and “For my Love”. The chapter
Five will be The Conclusion, the research draws on the facts generated
from the analysis of the prominent themes of the project.
In my own opinion, I suggest that whenever creativity calls for smart
conniving, in order to service and avoid prosecution and yet be
transparent enough to register his message. Ojaide engages metaphors,
images, linguistic and semantic manipulative, and legends from folklores
and history to speak his thoughts, make his points and depict topical
conditions mostly human.