Cover Texts Bayreuth African Studies 71 - 80


Bayreuth African Studies 71

Akintune Akinyemi
Yoruba Royal Poetry - Yoruba Praise Poetry


Yoruba royal poetry constitutes a virtual social, political, and cultural charters, and embodies deep-rooted aspects of the people's cosmology and world-views.
This book gives a concise description of the general features of the genre before isolating yungba - a form of Yoruba court poetry peculiar to Oyo communities - for detailed analysis. Drawing on archival and other historical materials, as well as extensive oral interviews and text transcription, the book uncovers the link between yungba poetry and the royal history of Oyo since 1837.
The text presented in this book, which was recorded in the palace of the famous king of Oyo, is the first full literal translation of a performance of Yoruba royal poetry. The fully annotated translation is preceded by an introduction that provides a historical and contextual framework for understanding the recitation itself.

"The recording, transcription, and translation of the texts, and the meticulous explanation of names and historical allusions are models of scholarship. This work lives up to the high standards set by Adeboye Babalola in Awon Oriki Orile, which have rarely been matched since."
Karin Barber (Birmingham)






Bayreuth African Studies 72

Georgina Beier
They Keep Their Fires Burning


The Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe quotes this Igbo proverb: "Wealth is not what you own, but what you give away." This attitude is echoed in the narratives of the fourteen African men and women, whom Georgina Beier has interviewed in this diverse and engaging volume.

These accounts, coming from a wide variety of cultures, share many attitudes of generosity and hospitality. To be alone is an anathema. As Rowland Abiodun says: "People are my cloth. Without people I am naked." Godfrey Tangwa's experience in Germany is unimaginable in his native Cameroon: in one and a half years he received only five visitors; and two of these came to install cable television!

The sharing of food is fundamental throughout Africa. The Nuni people of Burkina Faso live so frugally, you could think they are poor; then they celebrate by cooking nearly everything they have and giving it away. Karim Traore points out, however, that the receiver will also one day give - but to someone else, perhaps to a complete stranger.

Forty-five years ago, Georgina was a stranger in Nigeria herself. She was fed, housed, protected and effectively enmeshed in this web of reciprocity. Her presentation of these texts can be viewed as part of this ongoing creative and generous spirit; and in times of globalisation we have much to learn from them and to enjoy.

Lorraine Towers




Bayreuth African Studies 73

Katrin Berndt
Female Identity In Contemporary Zimbabwean Fiction


Zimbabwean literature in English is a unique, hybrid development that comprises literary modes from both precolonial oral narratives and written Western tradition. In her study, Katrin Berndt discusses the novels of writers like Yvonne Vera, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Vivienne Ndlovu, and Chenjerai Hove, which narrate the growing up of girls in societies shaped by two patriarchal heritages, describe violence against women and children, celebrate female sexuality, and introduce new perspectives on historical developments.

These novels locate the contradictory processes, negotiations, and ambivalent successes of an increasingly postmodern Zimbabwean society in the identity formation of women. Women's identity - as represented in these novels - is composed of distinguished identity layers and appropriated subject positions. It reflects the changes and challenges of contemporary culture.

Katrin Berndt holds an MA from the University of Leipzig and won her PhD at the University of Bayreuth. At present, she teaches postcolonial English literatures and feminist studies at the University of Leipzig.






Bayreuth African Studies 74

Emelda Ngufor Samba
Women In Theatre For Development In Cameroon.
Participation, Contributions And Limitations


Women are particularly marginalised in Cameroon, but numerically the major force in the rural and peri-urban economy. Because of their importance for the economy and their potential for social and economic change women became the favoured target group in development policies. Contrary to the "Women and Development approach" (WAD) that concentrates on "women’s issues like child care, health care, household and home keeping issues", Emelda Ngufor Samba introduces the broader approach of Gender in Development (GAD). GAD does not look at issues from an isolated gendered perspective, but integrates them into the general social framework, emphasising the fundamental role of women in development.

Women in Theatre for Development raises the sociolinguistic questions of communication accross class barriers between the educated facilitators or change agents and the illiterate women in the villages. And it raises the question of inter-ethnic communication between the Fulfulde speaking Mbororo and the sedentary population who speak various Adamawa languages. It advocates the use of Pidgin as a supra-ethnic and culturally neutral linguistic medium that cuts accross class and ethnic barriers.

The empirical part of the work describes a series of projects on gendered land use, land ownership, inheritance, widow rites and female circumcision/genital mutilation.

"... this work will constitute a reference point for researchers, TfD enthusiasts, and organisations working in the area of empowerment of women." - Bole Butake




Bayreuth African Studies 75

Afo Adegame & Cordula Weissköppel (eds.)
Religion In The Context Of African Migration


This volume resulted from an interdisciplinary, intellectual exchange on the significant role and place of religion in the context of African migration studies. Contributors from the fields of history of religion, sociology, anthropology, history, geography, missiology, migration and diaspora draw on fieldwork in Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway, the USA, Israel, and Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt) to show the interconnectedness of religion, migration and globalization. The contributors highlight often neglected developments of religion within recent migration trends and offer new insight into theoretical and methodological debates by contrasting case studies.

Afe Adogame is an historian of religion, and research/teaching fellow at the Institute of African Studies & Department for the Study of Religion, Bayreuth University, Germany. He is author of Celestial Church of Christ. The Politics of Cultural Identity in a West African Prophetic-Charismatic Movement and co-edited European Traditions in the Study of Religion in Africa.

Cordula Weisskoeppel is an anthropologist, and assistant professor at the Department of Cultural Studies, Bremen University, Germany. She is author of Ausländer und Kartoffeldeutsche. Identitätsperformanz im Alltag einer ethnisch gemischten Realschulklasse and co-edited Globalisierung im lokalen Kontext. Perspektiven und Konzepte von Handeln in Afrika.

Ambroise Kom




Bayreuth African Studies 76

John Tiku Takem
Theatre And Environmental Education In Cameroon


Rapacious exploitation of the rain forests around Mount Cameroon, environmental degradation with great losses in biodiversity, combined with an inconsiderate environmental policy at the expense of the environment and the rural forest population, are issues that plague both the economy and the society in Cameroon.

Tiku Takem’s Theatre and Environmental Education in Cameroon describes how Theatre for Development activists challenge the conventional concepts of conservation and environmental protection, inherited from the days of colonialism, and how Anglophone radical theatre reclaims the the political terrain that was lost in the escapist theatre of domestic farces after independence.

Tiku Takem argues convincingly that the "critical realism" of mainstream/art theatre is carried over into radical agitprop theatre,and finally to grass-roots theatre. This type of Theatre for Development practice aims at empowering target communities to regain control over the management of their immediate environment with its natural and economic resources.

"Tiku Takem’s work is the first in investigating the use of theatre for environmental education, evaluating their relative achievements and failures." - Bole Butake




Bayreuth African Studies 77

Susan Arndt & Marek Spitczok von Brisinski
Africa, Europe And Post-Colonialism.
Racism, Migration And Diaspora In African Literature


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Bayreuth African Studies 78

Sola Adeyemi (ed.)
Portraits For An Eagle - A Festschrift In Honour Of Femi Osofisan


To mark the 60th birthday of Femi Osofisan, this unique collection of essays by friends and critics pays tribute to his many achievements as a director, teacher, essayist, novelist, poet, critic and one of the foremost playwrights from Africa. The essays provide an important insight into the man,his work and his valuable contributions to theatre and literature in Africa.

Femi Osofisan has taught, directed and had his plays performed in several countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Jamaica, Lesotho, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom and the USA. Author of more than fifty plays, two books for junior readers, four works of fiction, four collections of poetry anf four volumes of essays, Osofisan also has popular columns in a number of Nigerian newspapers. Currently the President of the Nigerian Centre of International PEN and a Patron of the Pan-African Writers' Association, he has been the President of the Association of Nigerian Authors. Osofisan is currently a Professor of Drama at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Portraits For An Eagle is a definitive tribute to a man of the theatre. Contributors include fellow writers, distinguished academics and critics like Biodun Jeyifo, James Gibbs, Olu Obafemi, Barbara Goff and Martin Banham.

Sola Adeyemi is based at the University of Leeds, England. He studied theatre arts at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and cultural and performance studies at the University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg), South Africa. He is currently working on identity and politics in the writing of Femi Osofisan.





Bayreuth African Studies 79

Manfred Loimeier
Die Macht Des Wortes.
Das Journalistische Interview Als Rezeptionsform Afrikanischer Literaturen


Zahlreiche Schriftstellerinnen und Schriftsteller aus Afrika wurden und werden den Leserinnen und Lesern der westlichen Welt in Interviews vorgestellt. Der Publizist Manfred Loimeier hat daher in der vorliegenden Studie beispielhafte Gespräche mit dem nigerianischen Literaturnobelpreisträger Wole Soyinka und dem senegalesischen Autor und Filmregisseur Ousmane Sembène unter die Lupe genommen und auf Stereotypen und Klischees in Fragen und Antworten hin untersucht. Als Wesensmerkmale der interkulturellen Kommunikation sowohl in der deutschsprachigen als auch in der frankophonen und anglophonen Presse Europas, Afrikas und Amerikas treten dabei Abhängigkeits- und Machtstrukturen zu Tage sowie Inszenierungen einer Kommunikation, die verdeutlichen, warum ein gleichwertiger interkultureller Dialog misslingt. Als Fazit erarbeitet Loimeier einen Regelkanon, der es erlauben soll, die Wesensmerkmale einer Herkunftskultur zu begreifen, ohne diese dem Diktat einer Zielkultur zu unterwerfen.

Überdies erhellen die erstmals so reichhaltig recherchierten Interviews sowohl die Persönlichkeit als auch das Schaffen Wole Soyinkas und Ousmane Sembènes, so dass diese Studie auf literaturwissenschaftliche Weise zeigt, wie sich Autoren definieren, entwickeln und um Aufmerksamkeit für ihre Sichtweisen und Anliegen kämpfen. "Die Macht des Wortes" dokumentiert den (unseligen) Einfluss von Wortführern, die (zweifelhafte) Bedeutung von Fürsprechern und die (beschämende) AUsgrenzung durch Totschweigen.





Bayreuth African Studies 80

Boulou Ebanda de B'béri
Mapping Alternative Expressions Of Blackness In Cinema


This book is an excellent examination of the role of cinema as a conduit of black expressions of identity. It illustrates that since its inception, films have played an important part in generating, on the one hand, imaginary significations about black people, and, on the other hand, imaginative signifying practices harmonized with black expressions of identity.
Indeed, Dr. de B'béri Boulou Ebanda's Mapping Alternative Expressions Of Blackness In Cinema takes the reader into an uncommon horizontal labyrinth, with one of the most important questions of present and past centuries: the fabrications and representations of identity. His book truly unpacks the categories of racial, cultural and political identity in order to discern the reenacted practices of blackness linking the socio-historical experience of black peoples to their trans-geographical expressions of Africanicity in film. He concludes that specific paradigms of communication, such as 'affecitivity' and 'resilience', determine the ways in which some blacks articulate their practices of identity through the medium of cinema. Examination of these paradigms as discursive practices of 'détournement' or 'marronage' allows us to understand the more complex effects of Africanicity or blackness as a necessary signifying practice of cultural and historical experiences of black people.

de B'béri Boulou Ebanda is a critically engaged filmmaker, a Professor of Film, Intercultural Communication, and Media Studies at the University of Ottawa. He is the Founder and Principal Investigator AMLC&S (Audiovisual Media Lab for the studies of Culture and Society), the winner of various prizes and scholarships, and author of numerous articles on African Cinemas and Cultural Studies, including his 2000 edited volume of CiNéMas, vol. 11-1 (2000).


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