Individualism and the Erosion of African Communality: Exploring Drama for Societal Change in Femi Osofisan’s Plays
Keywords:African communality, drama, criticism, society, Femi Osofisan
Cultural purists are convinced that African values are being eroded by intrusive and hegemonic Western structures. The conviction is validated by the increasingly individualistic set-ups that threaten longstanding African communality. Hinged on two central assumptions—that literary texts are cultural artefacts and exist as documentations on the happenings and changes in the society within which they are produced—we examine the framing of individualism and communality in Major Plays 2 by foremost Nigerian dramatist, Femi Osofisan. The study identifies the representations and domains of individualism and submits that it is often presented as detrimental to the established and normative ethos of the African communal spirit. The domains explored range from politics and social relations to the intertwined concepts of choice and compulsion. Reliant on the ethos of religious and ritualistic practices, Osofisan asserts his social advocacy through a recommendation of the eschewal of individualistic tendencies and appeals for communal considerations in African social actions. The article concludes that despite the perceived influence of globalisation through the influx of individualistic tendencies, the traditional society sustains itself through entrenched values and rules.
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