Nnimmo Bassey: The Activist and His Poetry of Environmental Activism

Nnimmo Bassey: The Activist and His Poetry of Environmental Activism
CLAREP Journal of English and Linguistics (C-JEL)

Author: David Ekanem Udoinwang & Kufre Aniefiok Akpan
Institution: Akwa Ibom State University
Email: davidudoinwang@su.edu.ng; kufisco@yahoo.com


Nnimmo Bassey’s poetic oeuvre projects environmental concerns, as presently occupying prominent place in Nigerian literary sphere, thus, twining this literary voice with the momentum of the ongoing global ‘greening’ campaigns. However, in the Nigerian situation, a sustained undertone of anger, protestation and ethno-political activism remains pronounced in the contemporary context of environmental literature. After the brutal execution of the prominent Ogoni-born ethnic nationality rights activist, environmentalist and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa, by the Sani Abacha military dictatorship in 1995, Nnimmo Bassey’s environmental watch persists and vehemently echoes in his poetry. His voice has come to serve as a veritable instrument that re-echoes the passionate outcry and activism of Ken Saro-Wiwa. This poetic voice thus reverberates most vociferously in the Nigerian literary firmament and in global environmental action project. This paper, therefore, examines the social import of the convergence of artistic endowment and ecological consciousness in Bassey’s poetry, using ecological postcolonialism as analytical tool. Thus, the conclusion of this work is that artistic talent could be harnessed to advance the cause of socio-political re-engineering of society.


Environmental poetics, Niger Delta, Nnimmo Bassey, ecological postcolonialism

Pages: 105-121
ISSN: 2698-654-X
ISBN: 978-3-96203-146-6 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-96203-245-6 (PDF)
DOI: https://doi.org/10.56907/gc6kd172