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L'analyse du thème la colonisation dans les œuvres littéraires Ngemena de Paul Lomami Tchibamba et La Malédiction de Pius Ngandu Nkashama.

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Critical analysis of the theme “Colonisation” in the literary works of Africa: case of Ngemena by Lomami Tchibamba and La Malédiction by Ngandu Nkashama is the title of this thesis. I intend to do a critical analysis of the “colonialism” in African literature with specific reference to Congo. Some African writers, such as Mongo Beti in Pauvre Christ de Bomba, Benjamin Matip in Afrique! Nous t’ignorons, Ferdinand Oyono in Une Vie de boy and so forth made interesting criticisms of colonisation in the continent. But for their part, in spite of the similarity with the other novels, Ngemena and La Malédiction are directly focused on central Africa especially on the country of Congo. The authors mentioned above describe in their novels the effects of colonisation on religious, political and social aspects; meanwhile, in Ngemena, Lomami Tchibamba speaks about the critical periods of his country, Congo: the occupation as well as its effects. This book covers almost the period from 1908 to 1960, which was a very troubled time. But in La Malédiction, Ngandu Nkashama speaks about the deep exploitation of indigenous population in the hard labour in mines. Normally, the two novels Ngemena and La Malédiction complete each other by their relation of facts. Nevertheless, we can say that colonization and negritude are themes well exploited by researchers and authors alike in the second part of the 20th century. In fact, many authors wrote about colonization and their criticisms were rich as well as strong. But sometimes, some of them expressed their opinion in an emotional way so that the content became far from the truth. It is why, Wilberforce Umezinwa in La religion dans la littérature africaine says, in order to render the history most interesting, the narrators are prone to exaggeration: The prose and poetry do not speak generally kindly about the relationship between Africans and Europeans; but these works are filled with a bad mood against Europe, the continent of the missionaries, slave drivers, and colonialists. The relationship Between Europe and Africa is a song of Blues, a song on human distresses (Umezinwa, 1975: 13) (Own translation). Then, the African writer has an essential role in the society: to tell the history with neither bad mood nor exaggeration but with humour, as indicated by Lilyan Kesteloot. In Négritude et situation coloniale, she underlines that African authors write very emotionally when they explain the notion of Colonisation and Négritude. Sartre quoted by the same Lilyan Kesteloot mentioned that this fact is “racism anti-racism” (Kesteloot, 1968: 35, 43). Especially in Ngemena, from time to time, the author goes over the top and makes an exaggeration. In its introduction, Ngemena takes the form of an admonitory part and is written with burning eloquence. It is likely that Lomami Tchibamba had serious hopes of persuading the readers, the Congolese people, of the multiple and hard realities during the colonization period, then implicitly he pushes people to a form of vengeance. But instead of this, the main goal remains: Lomami Tshibamba always keeps his principal theme and responds to many preoccupations such as : -Who is the colonizer? -Why did he come to the country? -How did he convince the indigenous people so that he got in? -What were the circumstances of his entering? By its part in La Malédiction, Ngandu Nkashama tells the atrocity committed by the colonisation in the remote province of Kasai (Bakwanga), particularly, in the diamond mines. The novels such as Citadelle d’espoir by Ngandu Nkashama, Bel Immonde by Valentin Yves Mudimbe, Cité 15 by Charles Djungu Simba, and some articles like “L’affaire Lumumba ou la palabre sur l’indépendance au Congo” of Jean Omasombo Tshonda in Congo Meuse are steeped in the colonial and postcolonial history of Congo and this study, of course, will emphasize many aspects of the colonisation: political, sociological, religious and psychological. To analyse the correlation between the two periods of crucial time in Congo will be the most interesting aspect of this work. Therefore, the novels: Le Vieux nègre et la médaille and Une Vie de Boy of Ferdinand Oyono, La Vie et demie of Sony Labou Tansi, La Ville cruelle of Mongo Beti will be helpful to this framework in illuminating the way of social and religious aspects. Thus, an analysis and interpretation of theses novels constitute a support of large dimension to my study. Furthermore, Ngemena is a book published in 1981 and La Malédiction in 1981 (the same year); the stories seem ancient but keep their originality because of the exploited theme. It is a true historical legacy. In this way, Ngemena and La Malédiction could be considered as “vademecum” and must be read by whoever wants to know and understand the entire topic of colonization in Congo. Their contents confer to them the value of “true teaching books” of the ancient colonial structures. In short, their stories enlighten the long past colonial history; they have a profound didactic value.


Thesis (Ph.D.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2009.


Colonization in literature--Africa., Congolese literature (French)--History and criticism., African literature (French)--History and criticism.