By Tanure Ojaide
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Additional resources for Indigeneity, Globalization, and African Literature: Personally Speaking
Calixthe Beyala, a Cameroonian living in Paris, France, has novels that deal explicitly with sex. Other African writers in one way or another in their poetry, fiction, and plays deal with sex and issues of sexuality. Women writers are no longer inhibited in expressing themselves. Naana Banyinwa Horne in her poems in Sunkwa speaks without any cultural inhibition of the male and female private parts. Many female and male writers describe sex graphically. The writers are no longer shy to describe what everybody knows happens in society.
At this point there needs to be some demarcation of the term “contemporary” to refer to either works published since the 1980s or experiences of that particular period that have been dealt with in the literature. While this is an elastic, or rather arbitrary, definition of the word “contemporary,” the period coincides not only with the New World Order which later became globalization but also the African renaissance as proclaimed by Thabo Mbeki, who succeeded Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa in the 1990s.
The aforementioned virtues are aspects of an individual’s character that indicate the level of human development and can be attained through education. Coincidentally, the countries and regions of the world that have these qualities and values also rank the highest when it comes to issues of health, education, and living standards. It follows therefore that a country or region that is very corrupt and with a lot of undisciplined, self-centered, and ignorant folks and rife with injustice is very low in human development.