FROM reading my first African Literature piece to now, I have subconsciously developed the love for any writing that comes out of Africa, especially Nigeria.
Thinking about this, I have for some time now, devoted my free time to being a connoisseur of African Literature. African Stories, Poetry and Art move me. From the novel genre to short stories and flash fiction, I feel a part of me in every story.
So I have tried to collect the experiences and feelings that I have with reading these stories from back in time and reading them now. I have seen that at each point, a particular story speaks in essence of time and understanding to the reader.
What I read as meaning and contexts to Things Fall Apart, for example, when I was younger is not what I read as meaning to it now that I am older and more learned than I used to be. The reading experience gets better with time and understanding. So are the discourses that Things Fall Apart generates from 1958 till date, they have become more, and seen in new perspectives.
I want to believe that this particular experience is happening to writing in Africa. African Literature has grown from its early stage as it was to something more phenomenon. It has gone beyond stories, protests, definition and its struggles for recognition and documentation both in written and oral form to become a platform that takes these earlier stages of development as tools for projection, not as form, type or definition
African Literature is now a platform that is open to different voices, across genres. Africans alike, writers, artistes, painters, photographers, spoken word performers (in oral) have all taken to this platform to display, discourse, present and churn out issues, that as much as peculiar they are to Africa, have positioned Africa in a global discourse and recognition.
Not that African Literature is assuming a new role in this ‘platform’ nomenclature or form, it has only become grandiose. It is bigger. African Writers are now all over the place, Publishing African Writers now is big business, writing is more, readers are more, dissemination is more, so is the discourse, so is the aesthetics and literariness.
Beyond the traditional and formal single view or perspective of discourses in African Literature about the social commentaries, there is more attention to the level of aesthetics and the literary characteristics that African Literature now presents. African Literature is now finding inter-textual relations and cross continental juxtapositions both in style, structures and the level content development. Detailed attention is now being placed on canonizing African Literature not only in the social and political contexts but on style, structures, beauty and deployments as works of art.
So, African Literature has evolved, It is not just stories of cultural, political, anthropological documentation of Africa anymore, it has become more, defining its writers also, their styles, their experiences and their capabilities to deliver all these in beautiful stories that span time and holds relevance for discourses on equal grounds in global Literature discourse anywhere anytime. African Literature has come to stay.