Figuring the heroine in the ankara romance series against the archetype of Flora Nwapa’s efuru: marriage, procreation, love, sex, and work, master’s
MetadataShow full item record
Romantic love has been neglected in the study of African literature and culture. It has been misconstrued and overlooked in canonical African literature, and the scholarship of that literature. Only recently has some attention been directed to African popular romance writing. The main focus of African literature and its scholarship fell on questions of history, colonial resistance, and, later, in the work of women writers, on gender oppression. This neglect is gradually being addressed. Romantic love is slowly getting more recognition than before in the study of African literature, and as evidenced in popular culture by recent African imprints like the South African-based Sapphire imprint, and Nollybooks and Okada Books in Nigeria, among others. The Ankara popular romances under study in this thesis focus on the concerns of contemporary African women and suggest resolutions to their problems. Although they are in some ways similar to Anglo-American romance fiction like Mills and Boon and Harlequin, they present some concerns specific to their context. Among these are questions of childbearing, locally relevant questions related to work and career, and contextually shaped issues around desire and the erotic. The contemporary Ankara novellas have been read against the backdrop of Flora Nwapa’s novel Efuru, a first-generation African novel written by the first published African woman writer. We see that the dilemmas encountered by the Ankara heroines represent the concerns of Efuru, Nwapa’s heroine, with some variation in some cases. Of the Ankara novellas published to date, the following titles will be studied, namely, A Tailor-Made Romance by Oyindamola Affinih, Love Me Unconditionally by Ola Awonubi, A Taste of Love by Sifa Asani Gowon, The Elevator Kiss by Amina Thula, Finding Love Again by Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam and Love’s Persuasion also by Ola Awonubi. The thesis establishes that the resolution of the Ankara novellas is different from the ending of Efuru. Nwapa leaves Efuru’s dilemmas unresolved, whereas the Ankara novellas, because they are romances, present idealised resolutions in which model heroes, who manifest transformations coming to being in society more generally, constitute the wished-for happy-ever-after ending.