CHILDREN’S LITERATURE FOR CULTURAL INTEGRATION IN NIGERIA: AN APPRAISAL OF SOME SELECTED WORKS OF FATIMA AKILU

ABSTRACT

In the Nigerian state lies the problem of unity ever since its existence. Overtime, the literary artists alongside other sectors have joined their voices in the search for an answer. The NYSC Scheme, the Unity Schools, the Federal Character Principle and State Creations are examples of some policies intended to achieve national unity. In addition to these measures, the research proposed the option of Children‟s literature because of its inherent integrating potentials. To this extent, the research employed textual analysis to examine scholarly potentials on cultural integration and Children‟s literature. In the process it specifically focuses on four of Fatima Akilu’s Millennium Development Goals series: Timi’s Dream Comes True, Preye and the Sea of Plastics, The Red Transistor Radio and Aliyyah Learns a New Dance. The stories are fore grounded in Nigeria‟s vision 2020 project and help in advocating these governmental policies in a new aesthetic dimension through the child character. In addition, the books provide a lens through which ethnic and racial superiority can be interrogated thereby enhancing cultural integration in Nigeria which is the bedrock for unity. The research used the New Historicism theory in its analysis of the primary texts. New historicism investigates how social structures, in this case, political and cultural, are represented in literature. The theory also shows how the texts reflect the time and society within which they are produced by narrating the historical, socio-economic and other aspects of life within the society they emanate from and the multiple viewpoints embedded within the texts. However, some aspects of Reader Response criticism is deployed in the analysis to complement the short comings of the New Historicism theory. The research concludes that a major cure for ethnicity and tribalism in a heterogeneous society like Nigeria is a medication of cultural integration injected in Children‟s literature.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study 1
1.1.1 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 5
1.1.2 Biosketch of Fatima Akilu 7
1.1.3 Children‟s Literature:From Infancy to Maturation 9
1.1.4 Children‟s Literature in Nigeria 14
1.2 Statement of the Problem 17
1.3 Aim and Objectives 18
1.4 Justification of the Study 19
1.5 Significance of the Study 20
1.6 Delimitation of the Study 20
1.7 Research Methodology 21
1.8 Theoretical Framework 21
1.8.1 The Key Proponents of the New Historicism Theory 24
1.8.2 Basic Tenets of New Historicism 26
1.8.3 Reader Response Theory 27
1.9 Conclusion 28

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Introduction 29
2.2 Children‟s Literature 29
2.3 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 34
2.4 Cultural Integration 37

2.5 Conclusion 44

CHAPTER THREE: TEAM WORK AND CULTURAL INTEGRATION IN FATIMA AKILU’S WORKS.
3.1 Introduction 45
3.2 The Concept of Teamwork 45
3.2.1 Timi’s Dream Comes True 46
3.2.2 Preye and the Sea of Plastics 51
3.3 Conclusion 54

CHAPTER FOUR: GENDER AND CULTURAL INTEGRATION IN FATIMA AKILU’S WORKS

4.1 Introduction 55
4.2 The Concept of Gender 55
4.2.1 The Red Transistor Radio 57
4.2.2 Alliyah Learns a New Dance. 59
4.3 Conclusion 61

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION 63
BIBLIOGRAPHY 66

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Some rulers in Africa have built their nations, managed their economies and expanded their territories independent of the western world. Despite the aforementioned, when the western world came in contact with what is called „Africa‟ in trying to define the colour of the black man‟s skin , Europeans assumed superiority and view Africans as „primitive‟, „savage‟ and a „backward‟ race. Taiwo (1976)had traced African contact with the West towards the end of the 15th century when the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama called into a few harbours along the West African coast. However, it was the subsequent slave trade which started on a large scale about a century later that was the first great phenomenon which shook Africa out of centuries of quietude and isolation and began a period of many wars and conflicts. According to Barkindo, Omolewa, &Maduakor(1992), from the second half of the first century, Africans had been sold as slaves to work on large plantations in America and the West Indies. The trade brought fortune and wealth to many European buyers. Their African sellers were also beneficiaries who had acquired money, intoxicant drinks, clothing materials, guns and other worthless glittering gifts from the proceeds of the trade.

CHILDREN’S LITERATURE FOR CULTURAL INTEGRATION IN NIGERIA: AN APPRAISAL OF SOME SELECTED WORKS OF FATIMA AKILU

STAGE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN THE AKWA IBOM STATE COUNCIL FOR ARTS AND CULTURE

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.0   GENERAL INTRODUCTION

Stage management has been a long existing concept since the advent of theatre practice. It exists for the good of the product, the production or performance before an audience. It contributes in all its activities, decisions and procedures toward the artistic success of a theatrical production in the greatest possible manner.

As a branch of theatre practice, Nwamuo defines management as, “…the art and science of planning, staffing, organizing and motivating, directly and controlling human and material resources in the art of the theatre” (2), Fazio Posit that stage management is:

… the practice of organizing and co-ordinating a theatrical production. It encompasses a variety of activities, including organizing the production and coordinating communications between various personnel-between director and backstage crew, or actors and production management (5).

Thus, attacking the term “management”, an essential activity which involves the co-ordination of individual effort towards achieving group goals on the stage, stage management seeks to establish “an environment” in which the actors can achieve group goals.

Approaching this study from Umukoro analysis of Jerzy Grotowski’s notion of the poor theatre where he concludes that all we need to create theatre is the actor and the audience” (202) theatre, as a unique form of entertainment happens once there is an actor-audience relationship, a possible interaction between the actors and the audience. This is the whole essence of managing the stage-ensuring that the performance contract between the actors and the audience is not violated or broken.

Contextually, “stage” here doesn’t denote a raised platform-above the level of the auditorium floor as people conventionally conceive, but as a place where a performance takes place; a place suitable for locating the drama considering the relevance of a well managed stage to the success of production. It can be suggested that there is no compromise or short cut to a successful production other than ensuring a proper management of the stage.

There is, especially, in the contemporary theatre practice, an extraordinary interest in management and its consequent effect on the theatre practice. Based on this, Thomas posit that stage management is:

…responsible for every aspect of stage productions, including ensuring that everything, including props scenery, and furniture; and everyone, including actors and technical staff, is in the right place, at the right time(35).

As a matter of fact, stage management goes beyond mere “ordering” of the stage or actor’s world, but involves detailed duties and responsibilities in order to make a production become a success.

Stage management in our modern day is highly technical and advanced in nature. It stands in contrast to that of the Greek and the Elizabethan system or techniques of management with all levels of concern. Stage management must satisfy, encourage, motivate and also stand like a bride in the communication process between the actor’s world and the audiences’ world.

However, for this research, stages management shall be examined from its organizational perspective and also from the aspect of life performances through examining stage management practice in the Akwa Ibom State Council for Arts and Culture.

1.1   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The major challenge of a theatre organization in the course of putting up live performances is stage management. This is because the success of a performance depends on an effective management of the affairs of members of a cast in a production both on stage and back stage towards having a successful performance.

However, as an art of management, different ideologies are applied especially, in the 21st Century theatrical performances. This is a two-edged sword. Its successful application, enhances the stage performance while an unprofessional approach to the practice, can cause the “death” of the performance.

The purpose of this research is to correct the inabilities of the stage managers at (AKS) Council for Arts and Culture for a proper and effective management during performances.

1.2 Research objectives

1.To know the history of stage play in Akwaibom state

2. To study the growth pattern of arts and culture in akwaibom state

3. To understand how stage management has promoted arts and artites performance in akwaibom state.

1.3 Research questions

1. How does communication help in stage management

2. How does the training of stage managers prome arts in akwa ibom state

1.4 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY

Since stage management involves an effective and a proper co-ordination of the affairs of members of cast in a production both on stage and at back stage with a view of ensuring a successful performance, it uses different managerial skills to this effect. The nature of this work aims to analyze the approaches of stage management used in Akwa Ibom State Council for Arts and Culture which emphasis will be centered on the relationship between the stage manager and the cast and crew of each production. This work therefore proposes that art organizations should adopt the approach of management in this project.

1.5   SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This research shall focus on stage management as it applies to both the public and private theatre organizations generally, but, with specific emphasis on the Akwa Ibom State council for Arts and culture. The case study is identified due to its long standing theatre establishment with a management structure which limits the purpose of this research.

CHAPTER TWO

Review of Literature

The body of literature on the stage management in Akwa ibom  is quite limited. This comes as no shock, really. If a non-stage manager broaches the topic, it is usually only to offer basic definitions of the job in relation to other aspects of technical theatre or theatre administration. Often this will encompass a paragraph or two of a theatre book. These authors are generally quick to point out that the role of the stage manager is a very important one, but their job description is vague at best.

STAGE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN THE AKWA IBOM STATE COUNCIL FOR ARTS AND CULTURE

A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF PRETEXT, TEXT AND CONTEXT IN THE STAGE PRODUCTION OF DEATH AND THE KING’S HORSEMAN

Abstract

Wole Soyinka has come to symbolise authority in Africa and world drama. His treatises and proclamations have attained such iconic reverence that his drama is often understood “only” by the wholesome acceptance of his “esteemed” authorial voice. Death and the King’s Horseman has been considered a masterpiece; Soyinka‟s iconic play, and studies of the text have also revealed such heavy dependence on the author’s perceptive intentions of his own work in the search for meaning. Seen largely from the author’s perspective, the play is largely interpreted as Soyinka‟s mythopoeic dramatization of African drama. Hence, there exists a lack of sustained reading of the text outside its threnodic essence. This study adopts a new historicist approach to reading the text by exploring the indeterminacy of meaning, the textualisation of history and myth in interpreting pretext, text and context while seeking meaning differently from the author‟s intention. It also deploys the receptionist paradigm, also known as reader response theory, in the search of meaning by drawing the audience into the process of interpretation and production of meaning. This is made possible by producing the play-text on stage in order to showcase the leit motif of clash of cultures as the major causative of conflict in the play while providing room for other meanings to display themselves, and for the audience to view. By also triangulating both qualitative and quantitative methods of research in the process of interpretation, a combination which proves highly rewarding and essential in theatre studies, the study made very insightful discoveries. One of the findings of this research is that drama, like other genres of literature, is a super-text; a pantheon of varied meanings. It also found that the mere reading of a play text limits its own true potentials and relying on the author’s intention doubly chokes the already constraining form of the dramatic text in dispensing meaning. Play production is a viable means and process of interpretation and meaning making in theatre because it brings about the physicalisation of characters, dialogue, music and other elements of semiotic appeal. As part of its findings, the study also discovers that interpretation is more enriching when it is a collective activity in reception than in conception. The study, however, debunks the allusion that Death and the King’s Horseman is not about the clash of cultures, because the “silences” in the text emphasise cultural assertions and differences as a major theme in the dramatic text and in its stage production. It is thus expected that interpretations of texts should not serve as foreclosures of meaning but as emergent voices and opinions subject to contexts of reading and meaning making which are contingent and arbitrary in themselves.

CONTENTS

Cover Page – – – – – – – – – i
Title Page – – – – – – – – – ii
Declaration – – – – – – – – – iii
Certification – – – – – – – – – iv
Dedication – – – – – – – – – v
Acknowledgements – – – – – – – – vi
Contents – – – – – – – – – ix
Abstract – – – – – – – – – xiii

CHAPTER ONE: GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 1
1.1 Pretext and Context in Drama – – – – – 3
1.2 Playwright and Subtext – – – – – – 5
1.3 Text in Performance: The Director and His Art – – – 8
1.4 Background to the Study – – – – – – 13
1.5 Statement of the Research Problem – – – – – 18
1.6 Aim and Objectives of the Study – – – – – 20
1.7 Research Questions – – – – – – – 20
1.8 Justification for the Study – – – – – – 20
1.9 The Scope of the Study – – – – – – 22

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 24
2.1 Towards an African Dramaturgy: the Soyinka Archetype – – 25
2.2 Praxis and Interpretation on Death and the King’s Horseman – 38
2.3 Historicity, Creativity and the Cultural leit motif – – – 43
2.4 Yoruba Tragedy; the Metaphor of Will and Desire – – – 49
2.5 Culture and Women in Death and the King’s Horseman – – 53
2.5.1 Iyaloja – – – – – – – – – 56
2.5.2 Jane Pilkings – – – – – – – – 61
2.5.3 The Girls and the Bride – – – – – – 62
2.6 Performance Text Reviews of Death and the King’s Horseman – 65
2.7 Conclusion – – – – – – – – 72

CHAPTER THREE: THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

3.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 74
3.1 New Historicism – – – – – – – – 77
3.2 Reader-Response Theory – – – – – – – 84
3.3 Conclusion – – – – – – – – 86

CHAPTER FOUR: METHODOLOGY

4.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 87
4.1 Research Design – – – – – – 87
4.2 Study Population – – – – – – – 92
4.3 Sampling Technique and Sample Size – – – – 94
4.4 Research Instruments – – – – – – – 96
4.4.1 Documentary Observation Method – – – – – 96
4.4.2 Stage Production Process Instrumentation – – – – 96
4.4.3 Post Production Enquiry Method – – – – – 98
4.5 Sources of Data – – – – – – – 101
4.6 Method of Analysis – – – – – – – 102
4.7 Conclusion – – – – – – – – 109

CHAPTER FIVE: PLAY AND PRODUCTION ANALYSIS

5.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 110
5.1 Dramatic Text Analysis – – – – – – 112
5.2 Rite of Passage: From Page to Stage – – – – – 123
5.3 Performance, Semiotics and Meaning – – – – 129
5.4 Viewer-Response Analysis, Discussion and Implications of Findings- 135
5.5 Conclusion – – – – – – – – 152

CHAPTER SIX: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

6.0 Summary – – – – – – – – 154
6.1 Key Findings – – – – – – – – 156
6.2 Contributions to Knowledge – – – – – – 157
6.3 Conclusion – – – – – – – – 158

REFERENCES – – – – – – – 160

Appendix A – – – – – – – – – 170
Appendix B – – – – – – – – 175
Appendix C – – – – – – – – – 176
Appendix D – – – – – – – – – 192
Appendix E – – – – – – – – – 214
Appendix F – – – – – – – – – 215
Appendix G – – – – – – – – – 216
Appendix H – – – – – – – – – 217
Appendix I – – – – – – – – – 221
Appendix J – – – – – – – – – 224
Appendix K – – – – – – – – – 231

CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.0 Introduction

Nevertheless it is still true that the vast majority of play productions begin with the text. It is also true that after the performance is over, all that is left is the text (Leach 2008:18).

This study examines the interrelationship between pretext, text and context in the generation of meaning in drama, both in its literariness and in its stage production. This is of particular importance because dramatic writing and staging is largely an interplay of pretexts, texts and contexts. Pretexts and texts usually serve as sources for the drama while contexts implicate processes of interpretation.This intricate relationship points to the fact that drama draws from texts, is a text on its own and leads to a proliferation of other texts. Studying the dynamics of this interplay showcases how meaning is conceived, articulated and perceived in the ever shifting frames of reference abundant in the appreciation of a work of drama.

Whatever presents itself to be read assumes the status of a text. A text is anything that invites itself to be read. This could be a painting, a book, a song or even music. This view certainly tampers with the conventional notion of text as being characteristically written (Schechner 1973), especially in words. A text is not restricted to a written material, it refers to whatever human endeavor that is subject to interpretation, to a reading. Barker (2000:11) notes:

References

Abrams, M.H (1999). A Glossary of Literary Terms. Massachusetts: Heinle and Heinle. 7th Edition.

Adeniran, T. (1994). The Politics of Wole Soyinka. Ibadan: Fountain Publications.

Anderson, M.L and H.E. Taylor (2006). Sociology: Understanding a Diverse Society. Belmont: Thomson Wardsworth Inc.

A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF PRETEXT, TEXT AND CONTEXT IN THE STAGE PRODUCTION OF DEATH AND THE KING’S HORSEMAN