Afrizealotism as a Postmodern Reaction

Emeka George Ekwuru


This article tries to highlight the way in which Afrizealotism as a philosophy of African emancipation and empowerment, could be considered as a postmodern reaction. As a philosophy of the so-called postcolonial era, Afrizealotism shares the dominant characteristics of African studies within this period of time. Obviously, the emergence and spreading of postmodernist thinking from the late 1970s to the early mid-1980s spurred immensely the efflorescence of African reactionary studies as partly postmodern reactions. It is important to note that postmodernism, while remaining a distinct part of Western historical dialectics (of thesis and anti-thesis), played an important role in the African intellectual liberation struggles. Indeed, the project of postmodern thinkers to deconstruct the foundations of the modern imperialistic philosophy of subjugation and domination, was something that appealed and inspired the African philosophic mind. Consequently, this became an area of common interest, where postmodernist vision and aspirations were shared by most African scholars and the philosophy of Afrizealotism. But it is important to note, as this article sets out to demonstrate, that while Afrizealotism accepts such projects of deconstructing the imperialistic mentality of modernity, it is absolutely against the postmodern idea of being anti-foundational or anti-system and against grand narratives. This is where Afrizealotism as a philosophy of African collective engagement, in its reactionary character, parts company with the mainstream model of postmodernist ideology. For, while Afrizealotism condemns totalising narratives for racial discrimination and supremacist ideology, it considers as necessary the use of grand narratives for largescale emancipatory projects. The employment of such narratives, in the main, constitutes the dialectical framework of Afrizealotism. Therefore, for Africans to succeed as a people, it is the studied view of this paper that there is need for grand narratives of collective engagements for progress and self-empowerment – the philosophy of Afrizealotism.

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