The Ideological Paradigms Of Ibrahim Tahir’s The Last Imam And Abubakar Gimba’s Sacred Apples

Project and Seminar Material for English Language

The Ideological Paradigms Of Ibrahim Tahir’s The Last Imam And Abubakar Gimba’s Sacred Apples


This study applies socialist realism as an analytical tool to analyse the deployment of ideology in Ibrahim Tahir‟s The Last Imam and Abubakar Gimba‟s Sacred Apples. The study argues that the religion and cultures of the people presented in the novel provide the aesthetic framework on which the ideological paradigm of the novels are based. In the light of this, the study discusses the application of ideology with the aim of demonstrating a shift in paradigm in contemporary literatures of northern Nigeria from the sole adherence to religious dictates to an exploration of secular and social issues.

This thesis therefore, applies the socialist realist theory to examine the social preoccupation of Tahir‟s and Gimba‟s writings. It argues that writing as socialist realists, these writers convey the picture of their society with historic correlations and then anchor their artistic expression on the theme of politics, child labour, religious bigotry, culture and family life, they strive to provoke an ideological reform and by educating the masses in the socialist spirit. This study further argues that as social realist works, the novels record the dreams and ideas, hopes, aspirations, failures and disappointments, motives and passions, and experiences of their society in an attempt to reveal the realities that surround the lives of the people.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

Nigeria as a multi-ethnic, cultural and linguistic nation is unified by the fact that it shares basic national, economic, political and social problems that undoubtedly affect its nation in the same manner without consideration for geo-political zone. Northern Nigerian literature like the literature of any part of the country or world reflects its society and the life of its people. However, there exists practical, religio-cultural issues that one could consider as forming the basis for difference amongst these diverse ethnic groups within the nation of Nigeria.

This study examines how through time and generations of writings, writers in Northern Nigeria have employed their religious ideology as the underlying paradigm for discussing other ideologies, depicting Northern Nigeria as a region whose ideology is massively influenced by the Islamic religion (which is the predominant religion of the region). Although Ibrahim Tahir and Abubakar Gimba explore a variety of socio-cultural, political and economic issues that permeate discourse nationwide as indicative of their affinity with other parts of the country, yet the impact of Islam on cultural diversity ignored by novels from other regions, is fully highlighted inThe Last Imam and Sacred Apples. This gives credence to Joseph Abel‟s (2006:240) assertion that‟

The Northern Nigerian novelist in English contends with a complex historical experience in his imaginative reconstruction of his reality, especially in its relationship to the larger Nigerian context. In essence; the novelist in the north is preoccupied with signifying an identity through a narrative form circumscribed by two opposing Hegemonies! The Arab Muslim and the euro-Christian.

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