Creating the Past, and Still Counting the Losses: Evaluating Narrative of the Nigerian Civil War in Buchi Emecheta’s DESTINATION BIAFRA

Niyi Akingbe


Buchi Emecheta's Destination Biafra chronicles happenings of the Nigerian civil war. The criticism in the novel is directed at the greed, corruption and sadism of many of the protagonists on all sides which suitably demonstrates the illogicality of seeking to explain the war. This paper articulates how Emecheta's Destination Biafra brings new perspectives to bear upon a significant aspect of Nigerian history that has been dominated by one segment of society. In this particular case, interpretations of the Nigerian civil war, hitherto controlled by men, are moderated by an essentially female account. The paper historicizes the trauma and scars borne  by women and children during the war, focusing mainly on how the war is stripped of the glamour which masculinist accounts often endow it with, and how this is seen in all its senselessness and brutality. Just as the belligerents fight over resources and territory, so are accounts of what took place during the conflict being fought over between those who prosecuted it and those who were its victims.    


creating the past; counting the losses; Nigerian civil war; evaluating; narrative

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