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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Why does a Swahili writer write? Euphoria, pain, and popular aspirations in Swahili literature
Author:Topan, FaroukISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:East Africa
Swahili language
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v037/37.3topan.pdf
Abstract:The paper surveys issues explored in some Swahili works written mainly in the colonial, independence, and postindependence periods. Central to these issues is the writers' perception of their position as citizens, and their relationship to those who govern them. The 'nationalist' agenda, commencing in the nineteenth century, manifests itself in different ways in the three periods. Authors express opposite attitudes during the colonial period: of gratitude for being freed (as slaves), and yet of wanting greater freedom through the practice of law. Independence brings euphoria, and with it, a 'looking back' in history, which sees unity transcending ethnic differences. Finally, the paper assesses the response given by authors to problems that arise in the postindependence period; in particular, it surveys Nyerere's vision of ujamaa as a policy for the betterment of Tanzania. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]