Nationalism in Modern Arabic Poetry of Yoruba Authorship

By Kahar Wahab Sarumi.

Published by The International Journal of Literary Humanities

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 7, 2017 $US5.00

This article examines nationalism in Arabic poetry of three Yoruba writers, namely Isa Abu-Bakre, Abdul-Wahid Ariyibī, and Abdul-Rahman Az-Zakawī. It interrogates their nationalistic poems in order to show how the Yorubas have addressed the struggle for nationalism within and outside Yoruba land. It rereads the poems to deconstruct their essence and implications for the political landscape of Nigeria. Drawing its discussion from the works of Abū-Qāsim Shābī, Frantz Fanon, Fadwa Tūqān, Milton Easman, and Anthony Smith, among others, it argues that Yoruba poets not only patronize the theme of ethnic nationalism but often engage with Pan-Africanism and Arab nationalism. The article concludes that nationalism as approached by the triad is sufficiently potent to serve as an essential ingredient to reinforce unity and peace in Nigeria, in line with Abu-Bakre and Ariyibī, or as a catalyst for the factionalization and polarization of the nation, in line with Azakawī’s poetics. In both cases, however, the role of the female gender as an active partner in the nationalist enterprise has been, quite curiously, downplayed, thus putting her persona in obscurity and, in this regard, betraying her involvement.

Keywords: Yoruba, Modern Arabic Poetry, Nationalism, Pan-Africanism, Nigeria, Africa

The International Journal of Literary Humanities, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp.21-33. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 7, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 551.664KB)).

Dr. Kahar Wahab Sarumi

Senior Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies (Islamic Unit), Faculty of Arts, National Open University, Lagos, Nigeria