THE CONTRIBUTION OF LITERATURE IN MODERN AFRICAN SOCIETY
The contribution of literature in modern African society is very enormous and imperative in view to contemporary African society. With liberation and increase in literacy, since most African nations gained their independence in the recent time, Africa literature has grown drastically in quantity and in recognition, with numerous African works appearing in western academic curricular and on best of its list compiled at the end of the 20th century. Literature has significant roles in civilization of Africans from the renaissance period to this modern African society. Its imperative roles, is encroached to all spheres of life such as culture, music, theatre, traditions and above all, the evolution of present day western education. the modernity of African society is the uniqueness and organization of its literature from days of oral traditions to recent time of reading and writing. In other Africa will have no place in the modern world without its literature, therefore literature has contributed enormously in our present day society.
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The term literature is used to describe written, spoken materials. Broadly speaking, literature is used to describe anything from creative writing to more technical or scientific works, but the term is most commonly used to refer to works of the creative imaginations, including works of poetry, drama, fiction, prose and non-fiction (Alfred David, 1997). African literature consists of body of work in different languages and various genres, ranging from oral literature to literature written in colonial languages (French, Portuguese, and English). Oral literatures including stories, drama, riddles, histories, myths, songs, proverbs and other expressions is frequently employed to educate and entertain children. Oral histories, myths and proverbs additionally serve to remind whole communities of their ancestors, heroic deeds, their past and the precedents for their customs and traditions. Essentials to oral literature is a concern for presentation and oratory, folktales tellers use calls response techniques a griot (praise singer) will accompany a narrative with music.
Some of the first African writings to gain attention in the west were the poignant slaves narrative, such as the “interesting narrative of the life and adventures of Olaudah Equiano, the African” (1979) which described vividly the horrors of slavery and the slave trade. As Africans became literate in their languages, they often reacted against colonial repression in their writings. Others looked to their own past for subjects. Thomas Mofolo, for example wrote “Hake” (1931) about Zulu who was a famous military leader, in susuto. Literature in African contemporary is as old as mankind itself since Africans have for ages through this vehicle of literature passed information’s from generation to generation most especially that, involving the preservation of her cultures, tradition, religious and other spheres of life. One will be very right to say that literature in African began as man became conscious of himself and the nature has whole and this has been of enormous contributions to Africans education before and after embracing western education.