International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

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

Symbols of Spite in Hama Tuma’s Selected Short Stories
Odhiambo G. Otieno, Doctoral Candidate Edwin Mosoti, PhD

Despotic leadership has been met with a lot of criticism in Africa. Subsequently, the despots have hypocritically reengineered the art of dictatorship by incorporating ornaments of democracy in their leadership so as to project a democratic front purposed to hoodwink the masses. This paper, using the theory of hermeneutics of suspicion, argues that Tuma exposes this hypocrisy of the despots through spiteful symbols that invite the audience to laugh at the despots and their apologists. The paper derives its data from Hama Tuma’s five short stories purposively sampled from the thirty four short stories in his anthologies: The case of the socialist witchdoctor and other stories and The case of the criminal walk and other stories. This paper contends that Tuma disapproves of the hypocrisy of the despots and succinctly voices his standpoint by effectively deploying symbols of spite to express his contempt for despotism in Africa and particularly Ethiopia.

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