Narrating social decay: satire and ecology in Ayo Akinfe's Fuelling the Delta Fires

Opuamah, Abiye
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This research report conducts a critical examination of Ayo Akinfe’s Fuelling the Delta Fires by paying attention to the writer’s use of satire to highlight social problems such as corruption, deception and exploitation in Nigeria. The focus is on how Akinfe’s novel represents exploitation, waste, and excess that have become normative in a country on the brink of collapse. The work also seeks to identify and critique how Akinfe employs satire to interrogate the syndrome of the ‘big-man’ in Nigeria, showing how their actions contribute to social decay and violence. The research will also examine issues of ecology in the Niger Delta. Ecology has often been construed as a Western ideology that has little resonance within the framework of the African novel. However, this work, tries to show that as the scholarship on ecological humanities has evolved over the years, African alternatives which take account of the unique challenges of the continent have also being developed. Akinfe draws from these proposed models of ecology to focus attention on the ecological issues that are a direct outcome of the exploration of oil in the Niger Delta and by so doing, brings attention to the transgressions of government and multinational corporations who go to great lengths to extract oil in the region. Applying ecocritical examples suggested by scholars like Anthony Vital, Byron Caminero-Santangelo and others, the research report demonstrates how literature has been used as a medium to expose greed that facilitates ecological degradations and how the culture of consumerism affect the daily lives of the inhabitants of the Niger Delta.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts, 2017
Opuamah, Abiye (2017) Narrating social decay: satire and ecology in Ayo Akinfe's Fuelling the Delta Fires, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <>