Modernity and imperialism in African writing and their implications on pedagogy
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This article explores the ideas of some key African writers and critics and how they impact on education and social development in general. Given the diversity of African writing, it is impossible to do justice to the various contributions that constitute African literature, some of which are written in various ethnic languages. The paper seeks to solve this problem by resorting to typical works, trend setting works and it also makes recourse to what can be referred to as literary movements. It is crucial from the outset to argue that what we seem to have could be a case of literature that has come to a standstill. Whereas the paper does not give definitive answers, it argues here that the combative and vociferous literary voices of the 1970s have now whittled out and in place we have new mixed views. For instance, among the notable traits of the mid 1980s into to the present era is the resurgence of a literature informed by the modernisation theory in the form of vicious Neo-liberalism. In any case, Neo liberalism brings the modernisation theory through the back door. Under Neo-liberalism, approval for developmental projects is often sought from outside where nationalism and national identity become problematic and the question of sovereignty is beside the point. The dominant groups are the donor organisations and not the people. On the other side, the African elite align themselves to work with the International organisations to get donor funds. The African elite keeps on maintaining curricula that is inimical to pan African identity, dignity and sense of belonging. There is a spirited attempt to legitimate inequalities of the colonial yesteryear through euphemistic terms to cover imperialism.