Spiritual Journey and Primordial Self: Requisite Actions for Individual and National Identity in Christopher Okigbo’s Poetry

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Abstract

European nations colonized most of the African societies and as a result had political and economic power and control over these nations. With the western domination, the colonists ruled the African nations and every other person was to obey their command. The colonizers introduced hegemonic educational system to Africans in which they were taught the European ethos without their studying African culture. Due to this hegemony, the European colonial masters imposed their culture on Africans and it succeeded in reshaping the cultural and political lives of Africans. Many Africans abandoned African customs and beliefs when they gained western education. Therefore due to this hegemony Africans lost their authentic/real selves and became adulterated. Their main concern becomes to create and recreate themselves through going back to their culture and origin. Through poststructuralist analysis of ‘Heavensgate’ and ‘Path Thunder’ in Labyrinths (1971), this paper explores how Christopher Okigbo, an African poet, embarked on a spiritual journey in quest of his primordial self and became an asserted poet. The paper aims at imploring Africans all over the world to follow the footprints of Okigbo in identifying their true selves for them to have meaningful lives.

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