An author of the essay "Modern Africa: Perspectives to be Understood Through Literature" outlines that for the world outside it is by and large a happy face to see with probably changing economic figures, good ratios of GDPs and balance of payments…
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However, the reality is one hundred eighty degrees opposite for a common individual. Like many of developed nations African countries are torn between the welfare of the society and people and progress of the nation as a whole. This is a phase where a common man can get extremely disillusioned about the idea of freedom and that is because the dream of independence is always having a utopian aura to it. The actual life is completely different. The society is suddenly thrown on its own and development kick starts in various directions. This becomes all too technical for a commoner and his questions are reduced to his survival and existence. When we read the works of Petina Gappah, Alain Mabanckou and Binyavanga Wainaina, we see through the smoke screen. Each of these writers writes on ‘take it or leave it’ philosophy. The effect is we cannot leave it. The picture created stays in our minds and we keep going back to it. Each of these writers is noted and recipient of numerous awards. The styles they have adopted range from stark darkness to humor but they convey the point across. We are going to understand various aspects and perspectives of modern African society through the works of these writers, namely Petina Gappah, Alain Mabanckou and Binyavanga Wainaina. ... What actually entrances the reader is the simplicity with which these stories are told. The language is fluid, which keeps the stories going at their own pace. Irrespective of the excellent linguistic skills the message is unmistakable. The garb of humor can’t hide the dark reality about the person whose story she is sharing with the reader. In the story ‘The Mupandawana dancing competition’ M’dhara Vitalis has spent all his years working in a factory for earning the livelihood. When his factory shuts down the organization gives him three pairs of shoes as a reward for his skill and work he has done in the factory for many years. He is an excellent dancer and wins the local dancing competition only to get a few drinks free in the place which organized the dancing competition event. His death is described in the simplest yet powerful language by Gappah. We crowded around him, relishing this new dance that we had not seen before. He switched to the right, and to the left. The music was loud as we egged him on. He convulsed in response to our cheering. His face shone, and he looked to us as if to say, ‘Clap harder.’ And we did. It was only when the song ended and we gave him a rousing ovation and still, he did not get up that we realized that he would never get up and that he had not been dancing, but dying. (The Mupandawana dancing competition, An Elegy of Easterly) After Madara Vitalis has been told to quit the job, he turns to coffin making to earn his bread and butter. His death is not a significant loss to the people around as he is already too old for the world. The last line of the paragraph says it all that he died in the euphoria.
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