Re-asserting Cultural Perspectives: Old People and New Ideas in Bole Butake’s Lake God and The Survivors and Sankie Maimo’s Succession in Sarkov | Chapter 10 | Perspectives of Arts and Social Studies Vol. 2

African cultures have undergone transformations from the colonial period to the present, often to the detriment of its cultural evolution and within the larger global community. As it were, colonial education subordinated African communalism and created in its place an anti-African spirit evident in the assimilation of western values. This did not only end up in a kind of cultural betrayal, but also posed as a serious threat to the dignity and identity of the people. Those who fall prey to this kind of cultural imperialism are the young people who are often irrationally carried away by western fashion and modes that they tend to neglect and/or forget their cultural ways of life as they join the race of “progress.” This situation has given rise to a conscious effort by creative writers to re-assert and protect African values while at the same time liberating themselves from the longstanding western effort at suppressing, controlling and dominating their thoughts particularly through neo-colonialism. These writers focus on the need for Africans to rediscover who they are, especially in relation to their cultural values. It is not just rediscovering themselves, but it is also using this rediscovery to reconstruct that unique part of their culture that has almost been annihilated through external influence. The old people who have not yet acquired western/colonial education and who still stand firm on the practices that hold their communities together are the major medium through which the above mentioned writers envisage an emergence of a new vision of Africa. They act as conscientising forces to the younger generation who are intent on obliterating their values and giving up their identities. It is at the backdrop of this that I seek, in this paper, to show how the old are represented as custodians of African cultural wisdom in Bole Butake’s Lake God (1999), and The Survivors (1999) and Sankie Maimo’s Succession in Sarkov (1986). In this role, the power of the myths of old re-emerges and is handed down to ensure social and political stability of the land. Hence it is believed that Africa can plan its future through its indigenous cultural traditions at least in the aspects that are compatible with the newly acquired western perspectives.

Author(s) Details

Eleanor Anneh Dasi
Higher Teacher Training College, University of Yaounde I, Cameroon.

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