1st Edition

A Comparative Reading of Pan-Africanism and Afropolitanism Come Back Babar

By Andrew Nyongesa, John Mugubi Copyright 2025
    190 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book is response to the recent surge of formidable voices that consistently demean and attempt to reverse the gains of pan-Africanism. Besides questioning its relevance, these voices supplant essential tenets of pan-Africanism—Blackness, the narrative of Return, sanctity of the ancestral homeland, exposition of evils of colonialism and African Literature—with new postulations. These new suppositions deny race, accentuate onward migration, and diminish the ancestral homeland to any ordinary city to globetrot. These voices liken any reminiscence of colonial evils to Afro-pessimism, pronounce African Literature dead on arrival and proceed to ‘substitute’ pan-Africanism through studies , which neglect pioneer and  contemporary literary  works, cultural productions, folklore,  conversations on social media (blogs, Facebook, Whatapp) and questionnaires to gauge their influence among  Black people themselves. This study adopts a design that interrogates literary works, data from questionnaires and social media to determine the relevance and influence of pan-Africanism and the new paradigm.


     1 Relevance of primordial Identities: Pan-Africanism in the face of Globalisation

    1.1  Background

    1.2  Review of Related Literature

    1.3  Review of diasporic and Global Literatures on Pan Africanism and Afropolitanism

    1.4  Review of scholarship from Africa

    1.5  Statement of the Problem

    1.6  Objectives of the Study

    1.7  Procedure and Methodology

    1.8  Data Analysis and Interpretation

    1.9  Pan-Africanist and Afropoliltanist readings of artifacts and cultural productions: Justification of the Study

    1.10    Outline of Book Chapters


    2      Come Back Babar: The Place of Pan-Africanism in Black Literatures

    2.1  introduction

    2.2  The Beauty of Mother Africa: postcolonial poetry, songs and attendant values

    2.3  The Untold Stories: African Prose and the Reality of Racism

    2.4  Life Writing and Blackness: Racism and African Culture in Selected Autobiographies

    2.5  Black, Beauty and African Diaspora: Revitalisation of Black Values and Harlem Renaissance

    2.6  Blackness and Folklore: Pan Africanist Voice in Selected Folklore and quotes

    2.7  Influence of pan-Africanism from Surveys and Social Media: Discussion and Results


    List of figures


    3      Frivolity of Race: Afropolitanism and Validity of Class in Contemporary Literature and Folklore

    3.1  introduction

    3.2  “Black or White—One and Same”: Michael Jackson and Afropolitanist Context

    3.3  The Place of Race in Contemporary Africa: Views from Selected Social Media Posts

    3.4  The Influence of Afropolitanism: Exegesis of Selected Blogs on Social Media Space

    3.5  Race and Biracial Characters: Contest between Afropolitanism and Pan-Africanism in Contemporary Migration Literatures

    3.6  Migration and Afropolitanism: Relevance of hybridity and Afropolitanism in Contemporary Migration Literatures

    3.7  Influence of Afropolitanism from Surveys on Social Media: Discussion and Results


    List of figures



    4      Explicating Ideological Constructs Within Cinematic Critique Paradigm: A Nexus to Afropolitanism and Pan-African Perspectives


    4.1  Introduction

    4.2  Cinematic expressions, Societal Narratives and Ideological Constructs: An Afrpolitan and Pan- African Discourse

    4.3  Cinematic Exegesis on Identity and Diasporic Narratives: An Analytical Discourse on “Judas the Black Messiah”, “Sarafina”, “Moonlight” and “Black Panther” with Afropolitan and Pan-African Context

    4.4  Characterisation as a Prism for Exploring Afropolitanist Black Identities: The Confluence of Afropolitanism and Pan-Africanism Modern Black Film Narratives

    4.5  Cinamatic Resonances  and Reverberations : Interweaving Afropolitanism and Pan-Africanism through Visual and Auditory Narratives in Contemporary Film

    4.6  Elucidating Racial Discourses wth Cinematic Narratives: A Critical Examination of Afropolitan and Pan-African Paradigms



    5      Conclusions, Summaries and Research Findings

    5.1  introduction

    5.2  Limitations of the study

    5.3  Is Pan-Africanism Relevant to Black people today? Summary of Findings in the Study

    5.4  The Anti-Race Positionality: Summary of Findings on Afropolitanism

    5.5  Suggested Areas for Further Research and Policy Implications




    Andrew Nyongesa is a lecturer and a writer of fiction. Some of his published works are The Endless Battle (2016), The Water Cycle (2018), Many in One and Other Stories (2019) and The Armageddon and Other Stories (2020), Say my Name and Other Stories from Home and Away all of which are based on postcolonialism and eco-criticism. His scholarly works include Cultural Fixity and Hybridity: Strategies of Resistance in Safi Abdi’s Fiction, “Conversation with the “other”: style and Pathology in Selected African Novels,” by Journal of African Languages and Literary Studies and “Humanity and Mother Nature: Ecological Reading of Ole Kulet’s Blossoms of the Savannah” by Kenya Studies Review. Among his most recent works are “The centre and pathology: Postmodernist reading of madness in the oppressor in contemporary fiction” and Postmodern Reading of Contemporary East African Fiction: Modernist Dream and the Demise of Culture by Routledge. His research interests are postcolonialism, psychological criticism, Black Aesthetics and Eco-criticism. He currently teaches literature at Murang’a University of Technology, Murang’a Kenya.


    John Mugubi is a Professor of Film and Theatre Arts at Kenyatta University. He has more  than twenty years teaching experience in the areas of Film, Drama, Literature and Japanese  language and Culture.  Prof. Mugubi holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of  Nairobi and a PhD from Kenyatta University. Currently, he is the Dean, School of Creative  and Performing Arts, Film and Media Studies at Kenyatta University. He has published  extensively in Film, Dramatic Arts and Literature. He has more than Forty (50) publications on Film. He focuses on Screenwriting, Playwriting, Film Genres, Film Theory and Criticism, Stylistics and Research Methods in the Visual and performing Arts. Prof. Mugubi is the current Chairman, Film Lecturers and Trainers Association – Kenya (FleTA-K). Prof. Mugubi also chairs the Kenya International Theatre Festival Board  of Trustees.