Abstract: This research study set out to analyse the theme of disillusionment against colonialism and neo-colonialism in Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s The Trial of Dedan Kimathi and The Black Hermit. The study portrays that, Kenya over the years has suffered of colonial and neo-colonial exploitation, disillusionment, oppression, subjugation and suppression in the hands of the colonial masters. The ugly treatment the whites imposed on the blacks had made them go through pains as seen in The Trials of Dedan Kimathi. Kimathi for instance went through afflictions, pains, sufferings and oppressions because he failed to surrender. Findings in The Black Hermit also reveal that Ngugi portrays the conflicts between the native people of Kenya and the colonial masters using Remi who is influences by the whites by imposing conflicts on his family. Ngugi sees this as a product of the white man’s influence. The researcher therefore recommends that, discrimination and exploitation should be stopped. Novels and plays of Ngugi’s should be introduced in our educational system to enable students know and understand Ngugi’s writings.
1.1 Background to the study
The African literature speaks primarily about the people of its own country and expresses their aspirations and feelings of the past. This is why African writers like Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Ngugi Wa Thiongo, and Festus Iyayi address the basic African problems like colonialism, neo-colonialism and corruption practiced by the colonial masters in their writings and now by our political leaders.
According to Pandurang Mala, one of the most explicit examples is seen in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart which is dominated by an intense cultural nationalism(17). Furthermore, these writers were not only upset with the political leaders of post independent Africa but with “the hypocrisy of the religious leaders and with the ineffectuality and sheer apathy of the intellectuals “as well. These writers are able to capture the true African reality in social and political terms in their-fictional writings.
For instance, the Kenyan writer Ngugi Wa Thiongo argued in favour of literature as a means to convey the writer’s message to readers to make them aware of the socio-political scenario. He avers: In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Europe stole art treasures from Africa…the treasures of the mind to enrich their languages and cultures. Africa needs back its economy, its politics, its culture… its patriotic writers (45).
From the foregoing, African writers write basically about colonial interruption and the condemnation of traditional African societies and the pressure forces especially religion, culture and language. This is why revolutionary African critics such as Ngugi Wa Thiongo, peter Abraham, Chinua Achebe etc affirmed that literature remains the only weapon use in analysing and portraying the evils of the colonial masters.
The above points make the researcher to investigate the disillusionment against colonialism and neo-colonialism in Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s The Trial of Dedan Kimathi and The Black Hermit.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Ngugi Wa Thiango’s novels reflect the effects of disillusionment, exploitation, humiliation, suppression, colonialism and neo-colonialism in African societies as by former colonial masters and the footsteps of African leaders.
He presents the theme of Kenya’s disillusionment, exploitation suffering and neo-colonial elitism and its deceptiveness that refers to the colonial and postcolonial periods in all his literary works.
In the same vein, Ngugi believes that the suffering prevailing in his country was started by the colonisers from whom the neo-colonisers inherited it.
It is through this understanding that this study forms the problem of this research work with the aim of eradicating the injustices that the elites inflict on the masses in contemporary Kenya.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The purpose of his study is to portray the disillusionment against colonialism and neo-colonialism in Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s The Trial of Dedan Kimathi and The Black Hermit. The study will also highlight on the cause of disillusionment against colonialism and neo-colonialism in Kenyan society.
1.4 Significance of the study
This research project will be of significance to students of English and literature as well as researchers who would want to research more on exploitation and disillusionment tin African literature with reference to the two plays selected for this research.
1.5 Objectives of the study
The objectives of the study are:
- to examine the disillusionment against colonialism and neo-colonialism in Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s The Trial of Dedan Kimathi and The Black Hermit.
- to analyse the causes and effects of disillusionment against colonialism and neo-colonialism among the people of Kenya as portrayed in the two plays
- to proffer a reliable solution on this issue of disillusionment against colonialism and neo-colonialism and disillusionment in African and Kenya society.
1.6 Research Methodology
The researcher will make use of Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s The Trial of Dedan Kimathi and The Black Hermit as primarily source of information. The secondary method will focus on internet, library academic journals and other African writings.
DISILLUSIONMENT AGAINST COLONIALISM AND NEO-COLONIALISM IN NGUGI WA THIONGO’S THE TRIAL OF DEDAN KIMATHI AND THE BLACK HERMIT
Originally posted on April 25, 2021 @ 7:39 am