Arts, Humanities and Social Science

African Literature (Drama) and the Language Issue
Adeseke, Adefolaju Eben (Ph.D)

The issue of language in the expression of African literature has been an age-long debate. It has attracted lots of arguments and counter-arguments and is yet to be laid to rest. Such controversies are expected given the nature, vivacity, and coverage of the phenomenon and the caliber of African writers in all genres of literature. This paper’s objective is to assess the views of different scholars on the issue of what language to use in writing African literature, by extension and more importantly, drama. It is a truism that the discussion of literature, to a large extent, is a discussion of its three genres. The importance of this discourse is subsumed in the fact that projecting the African philosophies, beliefs, and arts adequately and correctly demands the use of a language that will render such task less cumbersome and rich with much impact on the primary audience of such works of art. Therefore, this paper will provide a holistic overview of scholars’ contributions to the subject-matter, offer humble suggestions, and state where the author’s sympathy lies.

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