NIGERIAN PIDGIN POETRY AS PROTEST LITERATURE AGAINST DICTATORSHIP, CORRUPTION AND EXPLOITATION: AN INTERPRETATION OF EZENWA-OHAETO’S IF TO SAY I BI SOJA

Published: March, 2020

Author(s):

Abubakar Song,

Anzaku Joseph Yakubu

Adokwe Grace,

About Authors:

Department of Languages. Adamawa State University, Mubi

Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, North Central Zonal Headquarters, Lafia, Nasarawa State- Nigeria

Department of English, Faculty of Arts, Nasarawa State University, Keffi-Nigeria,

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Abstract

The main objective of all poets is to communicate a message. The emergence of Pidgin poetry in the Nigeria literary sphere, especially in the early ninety-eighties, introduces a new poetic revolution against conventionally Western influenced poetry championed by the first generation of Nigerian poets better known as ‘Euro-Modernist poets’. Their poetry is Western-oriented, whilst the second generation of Nigerian poetry, is geared towards a people oriented, because they want to effectively communicate Africa’s poetic vision and African realities, to a wider audience so that the necessary message of poetry could be decipher even by the common man. This paper is set against this background to explicate particularly Ezenwa-Ohaeto’s new kind of poetry written in Pidgin English, to protest against dictatorship, corruption, and exploitation, which has been militating against socio-political stability and economic posterity of Nigeria since independence. This paper further shows that Ohaeto Pidgin poems is to bridge orality so that the not-too-educated and downtrodden Nigerian masses can decipher and enjoy the art of poetry, thus awakening their consciousness on the socio-political realities, to enable them to identity and elect patriotic leaders who will bring the desired socio-political and economic change they have been yearning for since 1960 or so. This paper, therefore, concludes that the analysed Pidgin poems in If To Say I Bi Soja, identifies dictatorship, corruption, deceit, and exploitation as obstacle to good governance hence Ohaeto ultimate goal is to motivate mass revolt through his rhetoric and mob appeal for a better Nigeria.

Keywords: orality, poet, pidgin English, Nigeria.