1st Edition

The Literature and Arts of the Niger Delta

Edited By Tanure Ojaide, Enajite Eseoghene Ojaruega Copyright 2021
    294 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    294 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the depiction of the Delta region of Nigeria through literature and other cultural art forms.

    The Niger Delta has been thrust into the global limelight due to resource extraction and conflict, but it is also a region with a rich culture, environment, and heritage. The creative imagination of the area’s artists has been fuelled by the area’s pressing concerns of indigenous peoples, minority discourse, environmental degradation, climate change, multinational corporations' greed, dictatorship, and people’s struggle for control of their resources. Taking a holistic approach to the Niger Delta experience, this book showcases artistic responses from literature, visual arts, and performances (such as masquerades, dances, and festivals). Chapters cover authors, artists, and performers such as Ben Okri, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Isidore Okpewho, J.P. Clark, and Bruce Onobrakpeya, as well as topics like the famous Benin bronze figures and Urhobo Udje dance.

    Affirming the wealth and diversity of the region which continues to inspire creative artistic productions, The Literature and Arts of the Niger Delta will be of interest to researchers of African literature, arts, and other cultural productions.

    The Background

    1. Introduction
    Tanure Ojaide and Enajite Eseoghene Ojaruega

    2. Towards a Bioregional, Politico-Historical, and Sociocultural Identity of the Niger Delta
    Tanure Ojaide

    Oratures and Traditional Festivals

    3. Form and Content of Ibibio Traditional Festivals: Ekpo, Ekpe and Mbopo
    Effiok Bassey Uwatt

    4. Traditional Ijo Poetry
    Imomotimi Armstrong

    5. The Cultural Aesthetics of Benin Traditional Festival Performances
    Josephine Ebiuwa Abbe

    6. Urhobo Udje: An Indigenous Satiric Genre
    Tanure Ojaide

    Visual Arts

    7. Benin Art: Changes Through Time and Space
    Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba

    8. Urhobo Culture and Modernism: Configuring Mutual Reinforcements in the Art of Bruce Onobrakpeya
    dele jegede

    9. Art for Land and Water: Notes on Urhobo and Their Neighbors

    Perkins Foss

    Popular Culture

    10. Cosmopolitans at One with Homeland: Niger Delta Popular Musicians from Rex Lawson and Victor Uwaifo to Omawumi and Burna Boy
    Senayon Olaoluwa

    11. Explorations in Pidgin Poetry from the Niger Delta
    Sunny Awhefeada

    12. "Warri No Dey Carry Last": The Niger Delta in Nigeria’s Stand-Up Comedy Imaginary
    James Tar Tsaaior


    13. Environmentalism in Modern Poetry of the Niger Delta
    Onyemaechi Udumukwu

    14. Nature’s Animism and its Appropriation in Niger Delta Poetry
    Reuben Kehinde Akano

    15. Narrative Constructions of Eco-disharmony in Selected Niger Delta Novels
    Saeedat Bolajoko Aliyu

    Conflict Literature

    16. "The perfection of chaos": Heeding the nostalgic imperative in selected works by Ben Okri
    Rosemary Gray

    17. From the Niger Delta’s Viewpoint: The Nigerian Civil War Literature
    Enajite Eseoghene Ojaruega

    18. Bearing Witness: A Taxonomy of Dissent in J.P. Clark-Bekederemo’s Plays
    Mabel I. E. Evwierhoma

    19. Exploitation, Corruption and Agency in Three Niger Delta Movies
    Gloria Chimeziem Ernest-Samuel

    Of Writers and Personages

    20. Literature, Eco-activism and the Saro-Wiwa Imaginary
    Sule Emmanuel Egya

    21. The Poetics of Place and the Niger Delta Minority Discourse in Festus Iyayi’s Fiction
    Mathias Iroro Orhero

    22. Passivity and Agency: The Dilemma of Female Characters in Works of Zulu Sofola, Buchi Emecheta, and Tess Onwueme
    Asabe Usman Kabir


    Tanure Ojaide is the Frank Porter Graham Professor of Africana Studies at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA.

    Enajite Eseoghene Ojaruega is an Associate Professor of African Literature and Chair of the Department of English and Literary Studies at Delta State University, Nigeria.