Autocracy and Poetic Resistance in Tanure Ojaide’s The Fate of Vultures and Delta Blues and Home Songs

Ojo Olusegun Olorunleke


Contemporary African poets either consciously or unconsciously utilize their art in scrutinizing the consequences of the actions of state operators on their societies. This essay explores the imaginative configuration of the trauma, civil violations etcetera visited on citizens by corrupt politicians of Nigeria’s Second Republic and the succeeding autocratic military rulers. Tanure Ojaide’s The Fate of Vultures and Delta Blues and Home Songs are therefore scrutinized in their depictions of the chicanery of politicians and the tyranny of military rulers in a postcolonial African State. This study adopts a contextualist template that locates the poetic constructs within Nigeria’s recent experiences. It highlights the corruption, violations of human rights, and muffling of critical voices by the rulers.  It equally notes the poet’s celebration of the heroic acts of some citizens who defied the draconian rule. Also the study stresses the poet’s deployment of satirical devices in embellishing his art as he seeks to highlight the deleterious activities of both regimes. The essay concludes that the poet’s optimistic vision distinguishes his generation from the preceding one that had been less optimistic in its artistic works.



State; Autocracy; Satire; Optimistic vision

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