The Pitfalls of National Consciousness as Depicted in Matigari by Ngugi wa Thiongo

Logamurthie Athiemoolam


The paper provides insights into how national consciousness is eroded in post-colonial Africa with reference to Matigari by Ngugi wa Thiongo and the impact of this erosion on the marginalized, largely impoverished masses, who continue to live on the periphery of society. The African elite (bourgeoisie), who are the new rulers after colonialism, become so obsessed with their own material enrichment and their new found power, that the imagined state, for which so many had fought and sacrificed their lives, becomes a mere pipe dream. It is with this background in mind that the paper intends to examine how the pitfalls of national consciousness highlighted by Fanon in his text The Wretched of the Earth find resonance in Ngugis non-fiction work Matigari and the crucial issues that the text raises in terms of how the new rulers abuse their power and the mechanisms that they implement to entrench their authority. Through Ngugis use of the fictional protagonist Matigari, we are taken on a journey that unearths the rampant corruption and brute force of the regime as they strive to annihilate any opposition that dare question their abuse of power.

Keywords: Post-colonialism, National consciousness, Othering, Oppressive regime


Post-colonialism; National consciousness; Othering; Oppressive regime

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Addei, Cecilia, Cynthia Osei, and Felicia Annin, 2013. Ngugi and Post Colonial Africa: History, Politics and Morality in Petals of Blood and Matigari. International Journal of Scientific Technology, 2, 9 (2013): 164-171.

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Ngugi wa Thiongo. Matigari. Translated from Gikuyu by Wangui wa Goro. Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers, 1987.

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