Department of English Publications

Human Conditions in Selected East African Poems

Sikiru Ogundokun


Injustice, hostility, inhuman treatment, corruption and greed, among other things are ugly indicators of most developing human societies. Committed writers; poets, playwrights, novelists and essayists, who have shown much social concern for the development of their societies write convincingly to engage some of the social vices, which hinder happy human existence. This article, therefore, investigates the social ills in East African countries as expressed in the selected poems of Okot p’Bitek, Richard Ntiru, Amin Kassam and Jared Angira. Through close reading technique and content analysis, the study reveals that the selected poets are committed writers and their poems centre on condemnation of sordid human conditions and social injustice in East African society, in particular and human society in general. The poems have universal appeals to both the colonial era and the post-colonial political experiences. The study concludes that for African countries, in particular and the whole world in general; to move forward, social vices and all practices adjudged anti-progress must be avoided at all costs.