International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

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

Gender and the Politics of Power/ Powerlessness in John Nkemngong Nkengasong’s Ancestral Earth
Florence Mbobu Ngie

The Eurocentric historian, G.W. Hegel’s assertion that Africa has no history, is underdeveloped, still involved in the conditions of mere nature and presented only as the threshold of world history is quite biased and racist inclined. Africa has a well organized culture and history that existed long before the coming of the Europeans. It is now common knowledge and a historical fact that Africa is the cradle of humanity and civilization, so Africa’s history does not begin with her contact with the west as Hegel purports. Africa’s underdevelopment is rated using Eurocentric standards. Moreover, the west is still to blame for Africa’s under- development because they initiated corruption in Africa and has exploited Africa’s rich natural and human resources for their benefits. The chosen topic: “Gender and the politics of power/ powerlessness” or gender politics, which refers to the way men and women compete for power, can be duly investigated within the backdrop of African history. African women just like their male counterparts understand their natural roles and act accordingly as read in two plays by John Nkemngong Nkengasong namely, Ancestral Earth. Gender issues raised in these plays are part and parcel of African history so Hegel’s claim is either baseless or based on restrictive canonicity. Nkengasong’s, as well as his contemporaries’ works could be read as alternatives, critiquing or resistance to oppressive canons that lead to newfound tenable canons. The feminist theory will be the hub among others used to discuss the chosen topic and the selected play.

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