Historicity and Negrophilic Reminiscence in Tade Ipadeola’s The Sahara Testaments

Gideon Uzoma Umezurike, Moses Odibe Ogbaji

Abstract


This research is based on the exploration of Tade Ipadeola’s The Sahara Testaments using new historicism. Since new historicism, as a literary theory, views literature from a historical and cultural contexts, it is a viable tool that sheds light on The Sahara Testaments as a surge into the historical past of the world—a quest to retell the story of the black race, a race whose history the world seems eager to forget, has under-taught; and whose present status is, as a result, undervalued. This project, therefore, dwells on the economic and social importance of the black race in the long course of history, as revealed in the primary text under study. What Ipadeola does in The Sahara Testaments is more than a description of the flora and fauna of the Sahara. He uses the Sahara as a metonymy, or if you like a synecdoche, for the whole of Africa, as he delves into recreating and reposition the true image and history of Africa which Europe and the rest of the West has bastardized in their supremacist quest for power and economic wealth. Ipadeola’s a negrophilic invocation of history is clearly seen in poems such as “Our Hands,” “Sahara Sighs,” “A Great One,” and many others. In these poems, the persona expresses love for Africa as he recounts pre-colonial history, showing the relevance of the black race to the rest of the world.


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