One Man, One Wife

Aluko’s One Man, One Wife (1959), a satirical novel about the conflict of Christian and Yoruba ethics, relates the disillusionment of a village community with the tenets of missionary Christianity. A second novel, One Man, One Matchet (1964), humorously presents the clash of an inexperienced district officer with an unscrupulous politician. Kinsman and Foreman (1966)

Wife

One Man, One Wife (1959), was equally shrewd in its depiction of village politics, pitting Christians against the authority of traditional chiefs. Other novels include Kinsman and Foreman (1966), about a civil servant’s struggles to resist the demands of his relations; Chief the Honourable Minister (1970), which deals with the problems of government at the top.

His Worshipped Majesty (1972), which focuses on the loss of political power by traditional chiefs; and Wrong Ones in the Dock (1982), which denounces certain aspects of the Nigerian legal system. Despite his exposure of political chicanery, Aluko, unlike many other prominent African novelists, such as Chinua Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong’o, appears to be a champion of the post-independence élites in government and civil service.

The Author

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T. M. Aluko, Nigerian novelist, is significantly undervalued in comparison to many of his contemporaries in the so-called ‘first generation’ of Nigerian writers. Although he is concerned with such commonly treated themes as the impact of Western modernity on traditional Nigerian culture and the social and political failings of the postcolonial era, Aluko has approached his subjects with a comic detachment that is largely at odds with the more serious mood of most West African fiction. As a result he has been neglected and even dismissed by many critics.

Timothy Mofolorunso Aluko, a member of the Yoruba tribe, was born on 14 June 1918 in Ilesha, western Nigeria. He received a colonial education, attending primary school in Ilesha, at Government College Ibadan and Yaba Higher College near Lagos. From 1942 to 1946 Aluko worked as a junior engineer in the Public Works departments of Lagos and Ilorin.

During this period he also began to earn recognition for his short stories, the first of which, ‘The New Engineer’, appeared in the anthology African New Writing (1947), edited by T. Cullen Young. Travelling to England in 1946, he resumed his studies at King’s College, London, where he graduated in civil engineering and town planning in 1950.

Alongside his academic work, Aluko also became a regular contributor to the Liverpool-based West African Review. It was in that journal that he published his prescient essay, ‘Case for Fiction’, in which he argues the need for literature that is written by Africans, about African subjects, and for an African readership; in it he also outlines the various dilemmas and impediments faced by African writers of that time.

In 1950 Aluko returned to Nigeria to become a senior public-works engineer, working in various different cities. Also that year he married Janet Adebisi Fajemisin, with whom he had six children.

http://www.amazon.com/One-Wife-African-Writers-Series/dp/0435900307

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decolonising The Mind

Decolonising the Mind: the Politics of Language in African Literature (Heinemann Educational, 1986), by Kenyan novelist and post-colonial theorist Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, is a collection of non-fiction essays about language and its constructive role in national culture, history, and identity, and it advocates for linguistic decolonization. The book is one of Ngũgĩ’s best-known and most-cited non-fiction publications, helping to cement him as a preeminent voice theorizing the “language debate” in post-colonial studies.[1]

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Ngũgĩ describes the book as “a summary of some of the issues in which I have been passionately involved for the last twenty years of my practice in fiction, theatre, criticism, and in teaching of literature…” Decolonising the Mind is split into four essays: “The Language of African Literature,” “The Language of African Theatre,” “The Language of African Fiction,” and “The Quest for Relevance.” Several of the book’s chapters originated as lectures, and apparently this format gave Ngũgĩ “the chance to pull together in a connected and coherent form the main issues on the language question in literature….”

The book offers a distinctlyanti-imperialist perspective on the “continuing debate…about the destiny of Africa” and language’s role in both combatting and perpetrating imperialism and the conditions of neocolonialism in African nations. The book is also Ngũgĩ’s “farewell to English,” and it addresses the “language problem” for African authors. Ngũgĩ focuses on questions about the African writer’s linguistic medium (should one write in one’s indigenous language, or a hegemonic language like French or English?), the writer’s intended audience, and the writer’s purpose in writing.[3]

Decolonising the Mind is a meld of autobiography, post-colonial theory, pedagogy, African history, and literary criticism. Ngũgĩ dedicated Decolonising the Mind “to all those who write in African languages, and to all those who over the years have maintained the dignity of the literature, culture, philosophy, and other treasures carried by African languages

The author

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One of Africa’s most accomplished writers, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o has taught at Nairobi, Northwestern and Yale Universities and at Amherst College. He is a distinguished professor of English and comparative literature at the University of California at Irvine and an honorary member of the American Academy of Letters.