Inverted Disillusionment in Postcolonial African Literature


  • Oyewumi Olatoye Agunbiade Walter Sisulu University



inverted disillusionment, postcolonial theory , post-independence disillusionment , ordinary people , followers’ complicity in disillusionment, African literature


This study introduces the concept of inverted disillusionment as a new conceptual framework for reading African literature of the postcolonial era. It is conceived to philosophically account for the collective complicity of the people in their predicament in postcolonial Africa. It thus re-examines the concept of post-independence disillusionment of postcolonial theory, which blames postcolonial-era realities of disillusionment on African leaders and, consequently, places disillusionment and indifference to development in a broader context of human features everywhere. Achille Mbembe’s version of postcolonial theory and Derrida’s deconstructive operation are adopted as a framework, while textual evidence is drawn from selected literature to authenticate the ideological standpoints conceived as indices of the study. Theoretically and philosophically conceived, inverted disillusionment is foregrounded as an alternative engagement paradigm in reading African literature of the postcolonial era. It sits at the crossroads of postcolonial African literature and criticism as it advocates the extension of the frontiers of disillusionment in African Literature.


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How to Cite

Agunbiade, Oyewumi Olatoye. 2023. “Inverted Disillusionment in Postcolonial African Literature”. Imbizo 14 (1):19 pages .



Received 2022-06-02
Accepted 2022-12-11
Published 2023-08-11