Nigeria, probably the most populated nation in Africa, is a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual Nation. It’s made up of ethnic nationalities like: Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba, Igbo, Ijaw, Efik, Ibibio, Bini, Nupe, Igala, Urhobo, Itsekiri, to say a couple of, every with its distinct language. The nation’s multi-ethnic and multi-lingual nature engenders an equally multi-cultural setting. Nigeria’s cultural range discover expressions within the literary and creative endeavours of her peoples, specifically: poetry, prose, portray, music, sculpture, drama, dance, and so on.
Poetry as an artwork type has undergone evolution from pre-colonial to colonial after which to post-colonial and up to date eras in Nigeria. Poetry within the pre-colonial period was unwritten. There existed a skinny line between poets and musicians, who composed and rendered poetry in musical type. Poets then like Mazi Oparan’aku Onyeukwu(creator’s grandfather), of Umude Avuvu within the current day Ikeduru native Authorities Space of Imo State Nigeria, whose nocturnal poetry renditions earned him the nickname “Obe na abali” which means “the nocturnal voice”, printed their works in type of renditions at funerals, marriage ceremonies, and so on. Poets then have been additionally distinguished in boosting the morale of tribal warriors, in addition to composing verses to be used by diviners just like the Ifa clergymen of the Yoruba race. Their presence in palaces have been additionally thought-about as a paraphernalia of royalty. Poetry themes then consisted in praising virtues and condemning vices within the then compressed society. One characteristic of pre-colonial Nigerian poetry that’s missing in different eras is its non secular leaning. Poets in that period had affinities with deities worshipped of their cultures. In most pre-colonial Nigerian cultures, poets have been thought to be anointed mouthpieces of deities and are accorded recognition as quasi-priests. Outstanding is also the resilience of the (oral) poetry of this period which nonetheless discover expressions within the works of contemporary day Nigerian students of oral literature like Professor Wande Abimbola.
The introduction of western model schooling in Nigeria by the colonial missionaries, radically modified the form of poetry, this era of Nigerian poets, like; Wole Soyinka, John Pepper-Clark, Christopher Okigbo, Gabriel Okara, et al, having acquired western schooling, printed their poems in e-book type and rendered them in radio and tv stations and on the phases of semi- fashionable theatres. The themes nevertheless, centered primarily on preventing colonialism, which was thought to be a vice. Poetry themes throughout the colonial period tended in direction of tutorial, ensuing into an inclination to weave the poetry of that period to enchantment principally to members of the academia. The polarization of worldwide political financial system into capitalism and socialism additionally affected the themes of colonial period Nigerian poets, most of whom have been educated in Europe and America. The impact of this polarization will higher be appreciated when the works of Nigerian poets of this period are assessed.
By the tip of colonialism, poets in post-colonial Nigeria, now uncovered to technological schooling, drastically modified the model and themes of poetry writing and rendition. Compressing Nigerian poetry themes within the post-colonial period into specific moulds is someway tough. That is due to the emergence of varied socio-economic, political and cultural tendencies which poets of this period should enchantment to. Even within the midst of this problem, post-colonial period Nigerian poets like Niyi Osundare, Onwuchekwa Jemie, Chari Ada Onwu, et al, managed to deal with socially, politically and culturally related themes.
Up to date Poetry
Up to date Nigerian poets like: Obi Nwakanma, Odia Ofeimun, Chidi Anthony Opara, Ogaga Ifowodo, Maik Nwosu, Sola Osofisan, et al, publish primarily on the Web and render their poems with refined audio-visual devices through equally refined audio-visual broadcast channels and on phases of ultra-modern theatres. One of many main challenges confronted by Nigerian poets of this period is the shortcoming and/or reluctance on the elements of literary critics, who ought to usually be the fulcrum of qualitative literary craftmanship to improve their very own expertise to satisfy the challenges of literary productions in an Web age. One other main drawback is the faulty perception in up to date Nigeria that Poetry is simply an mental train, whose leisure content material shouldn’t be emphasised. Whereas up to date Poets in different elements of the world are exploiting this leisure side to boost themselves and their societies, professionally, economically, politically, socially and culturally, up to date Nigerian Poets nonetheless view their craft from an faulty prism of poetry being solely an mental train, with its attendant skilled, financial, political, social and cultural penalties. Web poetry publishing has nevertheless, contributed largely to the collapse of poetry hegemonies shaped alongside Ibadan-Ife-Lagos and Nsukka-Enugu-Owerri literary axis respectively, instantly after the Nigerian civil battle.