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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Amos Tutuola and the elusiveness of completeness
Author:Nyamnjoh, Francis B.ISNI
Periodical:Stichproben - Vienna Journal of African Studies (ISSN 1992-8610)
Geographic term:Nigeria
literary criticism
sociology of knowledge
About person:Amos Tutuola (1920-1997)ISNI
External link:https://stichproben.univie.ac.at/fileadmin/user_upload/p_stichproben/Artikel/Nummer29/Stichproben_29_01_Nyamnjoh.pdf
Abstract:This paper is a contribution to the unfinished business of transformation of colonial and apartheid ideologies on being human and being African that continue to shape how research is conceptualized, taught and practiced in universities across Africa. Endogenous epistemologies such as depicted by Amos Tutuola in his writings, despite their popularity with ordinary Africans and with elite Africans especially in settings away from the scrutinising prescriptive gaze of their western and westernised counterparts, are mainly dormant or invisible in scholarly circles where they are often ignored, caricatured or misrepresented through problematic categories that are actively and uncritically internalised and reproduced by a Eurocentric modern intellectual elite. Africans immersed in popular traditions of meaning - making are denied the right to think and represent their realities in accordance with the civilisations and universes they know best. Often, the ways of life they cherish are labelled and dismissed too eagerly as traditional knowledge by some of the very African intellectual elite they look up to for protection. The paper makes a case for space to be created for such sidestepped traditions of knowledge. It draws attention to Africa's possibilities, prospects and emergent capacities for being and becoming in tune with its creativity and imagination. It speaks to the 'frontier African' at the crossroads and junctions of encounters, facilitating creative conversations and challenging regressive logics of exclusionary identities. The paper uses Tutuola's stories to question dualistic assumptions about reality and scholarship, and to call for conviviality, interconnections and interdependence between competing knowledge traditions in Africa. Bibliogr., notes, ref. sum. [Journal abstract]