African Prose Fiction and the Depiction of Corruption in Islamic Society and Religion: A Critical Study of Abubakar Gimba’s Witnesses to Tears and Sacred Apples

Oluchi Chris Okeugo, - Obioha, Jane Onyinye


African prose fictions have written on a whole number of ideas and perception, but have conspicuously paid little or no attention to what is predominant in the Islamic society and religious world. For Gimba, the intrigues and contestation over power, especially within the civil service, assume a metaphoric significance in unraveling social contradictions in society. Gimba thus, evaluates the various dimensions of power and how it is used to subjugate or oppress people. In most of his works, Gimba pillories the repressive nature of power and the conflicts it engenders are graphically illustrated. In his articulation of this disabling environment, Gimba evokes a consciousness, concerned with Manichaeism and alienation. Gimba is sensitive to his characters as they adjust to the uncertainties of a postcolonial society with all the indices of underdevelopment, greed, corruption, bureaucratic tardiness, indiscipline, political instability etc. These characteristics of modern Nigeria form the background from which Gimba’s characters are drawn. However, drawing from their Islamic background, the characters in Gimba’s works express their morality, conviction and thought through the ideals of the religion. This leads to a remarkable blending of social and moral concerns with the supervening influence of Islam without sermonization. The outcome of this fusion is a balance between aesthetics and spiritual interests in a way that captures the essence of Northern Nigeria with vividness and freshness. Gimba, like Tahir, therefore relates the traditional and cultural values of the people to their response to the dilemma of new experiences and their interpretations of them. Gimba draws his sources from The Holy Qur’an in the delineation of setting, action and character. As a liberal feminist, he chooses urban heroines through whom he restructures our visions. This article attempts to investigate Gimba’s works using Neo-humanistic theory in evaluating his inclusion of religion and the techniques used conspicuously in the novels, Witnesses to Tears and Sacred Apples. This scholarly work equally argues that the writer’s creativity in religion can best be appreciated through an analytical study of the novel.


Islamic Society and Religion, Neo-Humanist Theory, African Literature, Manichaeism, Alienation, Holy Qur’an, Post-colonial, Gimba

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