Modern African Poetry and the Issues of Gender: The Nigerian Literary Scene

Bamgbose, Gabriel Sunday


The major engagement of this paper is to examine gender issues in modern African poetry with specific reference to the Nigerian literary scene. Critics have often paid attention to fictions and plays produced by women with very little attention paid to their poetic art. Obi Maduakor has studied the contributions of two Southern women, Catherine Acholonu and Omolara Ogundipe-Leslie, to the development of women poetry in Nigeria. Also, Aderemi Raji-Oyelade has provided an insight into the poetry of Northern Nigerian women. However, this study attempts to examine how women from these various regions have come together to form a whole Nigerian women poetic canon. This paper samples the representative poetic works of three Southern women poets, Catherine Acholonu, Ifi Amadiume, Omalara Ogundipe-Leslie, and three Northern women poets, Angela Miri, Binta Mohammad and Fatima Alkali. The study adopts the feminist theoretical perspective in its Afrocentric mode in view of its relevance to the analysis of gender topicalities in the poetic discourse examined. The study shows that women poets reveal a considerable level of concern for their fellow womenfolk and the socio-political and cultural state of their country in their poetic engagements. Thus, it is concluded that women poets have truly arrived on the Nigerian literary scene and have come to compete favourably with their male counterparts. Now, they have their own distinct voice in the Nigerian poetic canon.


Keywords: Gender, Modern African Poetry, Feminist, Nigerian Women Poetry.

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

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