Interrogating African feminism and female reconstruction in selected northern Nigerian fiction
Aisha Umar, M. (Federal University Birnin Kebbi)
Joyce Agofure (Ahmadu Bello University)
Zulfa'a Yusha'u (Ahmadu Bello University)
Paper short abstract:
This paper studies the variants of African Feminisms as they accommodate the peculiar social realities facing women in Africa, through the study of the novels, Amina, A Question of Marriage and The Travails of a First Wife. These novels peculiarly examine the female image in Northern Nigeria.
Paper long abstract:
The peculiarity of the oppressive social conditions of women in Africa gave birth to the various strands of African feminism. This paper examines the different strands of African Feminisms Each of these '…isms'; African Womanism, Stiwanism, Motherism, Femalism, Nego-Feminism, Snail-Sense Feminism, etc., all respectively present their view points from the angle or cultural context of the people oriented theory, and attempt a detachment from Western Feminism. In the selected novels, Mohammed Umar's Amina, Auwalu Yusufu Hamza's A Question of Marriage and Razinat T. Mohammed's The Travails of a First Wife, it is established that the authors' major pre-occupation (themes) are women-centered and are voices in search of a comfort zone for women in the patriarchal Northern Nigerian society. This, the authors achieve through the enactment of formidable female characters, especially the protagonists, adequately equipped to tackle emergent challenges and negotiate their survival. This is in contrast to the docile/passive female characters created by early male writers and the sympathetic characters created by early female writers. This new female construct is suggestive of the fact that, the Northern Nigerian woman stands the chance of self-actualization and being socially relevant, if availed certain social privileges like the male, through education and career fulfillment. The paper therefore concludes that Afrocentric understanding of female issues gave birth to the various faces of African Feminism, as viable tools for tackling the challenges confronting women in Africa, Nigeria and Norther Nigeria specifically.
African feminisms today: connections and disruptions