This research investigates and analyzes the political poetry of Ex-Stuffy ( Fater, Kaha aka Awambe a Tiv) whose poetic talent seems to have eluded the attention of other literary scholars. The work is carried out with specific objectives which are to draw attention to the songs of Ex-Stuffy (Awambe a Tiv), to preserve the poet’s work for posterity, to highlight the moral value of the songs as well as to encourage interested scholars to give attention to other Tiv poets especially political singers that have never received attention so as to promote and preserve the Tiv culture. It looks at the thematic preoccupations of the poet, the recurrent motifs and the dexterity with which he uses figures of speech and other poetic devices to pass his message to the audience. In the course of this investigation, the researcher collected ten of the poet’s songs on tape and these songs were transcribed and translated into English language. This formed the data that was analyzed in this work. From the analysis, the study discovered the poet’s consistent commentary on the corrupt acts of the political leaders or those in authority in the society generally. The issues addressed by the poet include corruption, ridicule, eulogism and a host of others as exhibited in the work. The research also revealed a copious use of poetic devices by the poet to enrich his subject matter. One can consider or study the literary qualities of these songs for they show no sign of dying out or fading away especially in the Tiv, Nigerian and the African politics entirely.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Literature is a field of study that has to do with the study of spoken and written materials. Broadly speaking, literature is used to describe anything from creative writing to more technical or scientific works. But the term is most commonly used to refer to works of the creative imagination including works of poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction.
According to BBC English Dictionary, Literature is referred to as “Novels, Plays and Poetry, especially when they are considered to have artistic qualities”. This definition means the creative works being composed and especially performed. These compositions could be written or oral documented or kept in the memories of the composers and performers.
Literature represents a language or a people, culture and tradition. But literature is more than just a historical or cultural artifact. It introduces us to new world of experience. We learn about books and enjoy the comedies and the tragedies of poems, stories and plays and even grow. Literature has two main branches which are ‘Oral’ and ‘Written’ literatures.
Oral literature is said to be the source of written form of African literature. It is older than the written form of literature, which gets its raw materials mostly from oral literature. While the written form refered to the documented materials which are sometimes printed.
The African’s amiable living is the aggregate of oral literature since most activities in their various homes are accompanied with oral performances. Emmanuel in his words has it that “songs, music and poems are also used effectively to create the desired atmosphere and evoke the appropriate emotion on the other solemn, happy or sorrowful occasions” (26). He further stresses that, the foregoing instances portray that poetry and music form a part of almost every ceremony or activity in Africa. This proves oral poetry as the mechanism that enhances the Africans’ emotional wellbeing.
Oral literature as earlier mentioned enables one to know the culture of a people out of several cultures prevalent in the society. It helps one to know about the experiences in the society. It also helps one to know about the way of life of his or her ancestors. Oral literature is further divided into; oral narrative, oral drama and oral poetry. Oral narrative is a type of literature that is composed without the aid of writing and is presented orally. It is often considered as a live performed aspect of literature. The Preservation of oral form is important since it is transmitted orally from one person to the other, from one generation to another and has unpredictable loss or damage. Oral drama refers to the oral performances that last in the memories of composers and performers.
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