Poetics of Disillusionment and Dialectical Temper in Post-Apartheid Poetry


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




Critical and scholarly engagements with the theme of disillusionment in post-independence African literature usually identify utopian dreams on the part of commoners and neo-colonial oppression instituted by emergent neo-colonial African leaders as the causes of this unfortunate reality. Such readings clearly fail to account for the role of leaders’ dreams and desires in this development. Drawing insight from the Marxist notion of historical materialism, the study critically analyze selected poems from two poetry anthologies: It All Begins and Letter to South Africa, and a poetry volume, Handsome Jita to rethink the foregoing popular position and reveal that the selfish dreams and desires of neo-colonial African leaders to perpetuate their privileged position actually leads to a deliberate abortion of people’s hopes and a calculated worsening of their condition in what is actually a class struggle.