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Love, Motherhood and the African Heritage

The Legacy of Flora Nwapa

by Femi Nzegwu

An in-depth historical analysis of the identity and role of the African woman: in relation to her husband, her family and society; and of the central importance of women to an inclusive and successful African renaissance. The author draws on the writings and wider work of Flora Nwapa, showing how she made an unprecedented contribution to African literature and thought; opened up a woman- centred front in African anti-colonial discourse; and laid foundations for African intellectual movements, such as the African Renaissance. She illustrates how Nwapa was pioneering in fighting Western intellectual imperialism in areas such as history, literature, anthropology and publishing; and in exposing how literary/academic postcolonial discourses have misrepresented gender with respect to Africa. She discusses Nwapa's literary fiction in some detail, including her Biafran war fiction, emphasising how Nwapa depicts the dual-gender complementarity amongst the Igbo of the pre- colonial period; and the role of the mother as a cornerstone of Africa's family, communal and political life. She uses this analysis to propses that historical bridging from pre- to post-colonial times through the medium of women and the institution of motherhood might help to discard the ever-present shackles of colonialism, and pave the way for a more coherent and consistent African-centred philosophy and an African-led development process.

ISBN 9781903625095 | 260 pages | 216 x 140 mm | 2001 | African Renaissance, Senegal | Paperback




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