International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Ghost Within: A Literary Study of East African Nationalist Leaders’ Writings
Stephen M. Mutie, Antony Somba Mang’oka, Bernard Chemwei, Florence Muthoni Mwithi, Loizer Mwakio

It is unanimously accepted that independence did not deliver the African masses from the burden of life-insuffering. It is thus necessary to persist in the attempts to elucidate those murky aspects of the colonial past and postcolonial present which may resolve the conundrum of failed independence. This paper intervenes in this undertaking by endeavouring to examine the mind-work of the leaders who steered the nationalist project and determined to a large extent its outcome. This mind-work, which crucially involves the nationalist leaders’ understanding and representation of their own selves, finds expression in their writings. This paper, therefore, concerns itself with the representation by East African nationalist leaders of their identities in their writings, selves that are at marked variance with their true inner core, the ghost within. In their writings, they focus their energy and attention on concealing their ambition-deformed personalities behind the masks of the positive selfidentities they construct. In the resultant hide-and-seek game with their peoples, the opportunity for selfless leadership and genuine service to nation-building is lost. Constructivist research methodology will be used in the study.

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