Aesthetic Construction of Desirable Personality Traits and Biodiversity Conservation – A Study of Gusii Children’S Song Texts

Nyambane Fredrick Monanti, Nelly Masayi, Minyikha Lilian Musotsi


Happenings of juvenile delinquency are dreadfully high. Secularization; a process by which religious ideas, institutions and interpretations have lost their social significance has taken centre stage in human interactions. The horrendous result is that shame and decorum have been jettisoned from the conscience of our youthful generations. Consequently, statistics of children in juvenile prisons and rehabilitation centres round the globe are appallingly high. These incidents of delinquency among the youths have impacted negatively in the provision of education and related opportunities in many parts of the globe. Efforts through programmes such as guidance and counseling and sporting have been put in place to try and ameliorate this situation but with little success. At the same time, losses of biodiversity are undeniably occurring in many parts of the globe, often at a rapid pace. The losses occur through extinctions caused by the fragmentation and destruction of natural habitat, pollution, over-exploitation, introduction of exotic species and monocultural activities. Saving the remaining world’s biodiversity has become an important public policy issue in the international, regional, and national levels. It is widely recognized that if the remaining biodiversity is allowed to disappear, man’s future will be at stake (Alcamo et al., 2003). This is because biodiversity, especially biological resources form a basis for global as well as national economic and ecological security. The intent of this study was therefore to explore the possibility of the contribution of children’s oral poetry in moulding acceptable personality traits in children in terms enhancing human relations and conservation of biodiversity. The study limited its scope to analyzing four children’s oral texts purposively sampled from the Gusii community in Kenya. Deconstruction theory was used in determining the meanings constructed and conveyed by the oral texts and the contribution of the adduced discourses towards enriching lives and biodiversity. Given that art is a discourse and a form of ideological state apparatuses which “hails” its subjects towards subscribing to a specific worldview, deconstruction theory was thus augmented by Louis Althusser’s ISA strand of Marxist literary theory to demonstrate that discourses in children’s oral texts can construct for children personality traits that are largely acceptable and beneficial to their societies and the globe as a unit. At the conclusion, a psychoanalysis strand is used to tie up the discussion. The study thus demonstrates that oral poetry is an effective vehicle in personality formation among children. The significance of this study is that its findings contribute to the already existing efforts of training children to be better people in future as well as reawaken efforts of related studies aimed at reducing the numbers of children with mangled personalities.

Key words: Aesthetic, Children’s oral poetry, Acceptable Personality, construction, Juvenile delinquency, and Deconstruction


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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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