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Abstract

Terri Ochiagha, in her paper "African Literature and the Role of the Nigerian Government College Umuahia," discusses how the college contributed towards nurturing the talent of some of the most relevant authors in African literary history. With the help of the testimonies of these authors in interviews, correspondence, essays, autobiographies, and with the aid of literary critics and scholars who realized the role the Umuahia College played in creating a literary elite, Ochiagha analyses this literary phenomenon and takes us on a journey through the school's literary ambience: its library and the novels which were later to prompt the authors' writing back to the Empire, the school magazine that first provided the alumni with a space in which to develop their writing and editing skills, the rising nationalistic fight for the creation of a legitimate university in Nigeria, the suppression of African history from the school curricula, and the literary works written by these authors in which their experience at the college is reflected. It all goes to prove how a school founded on tenets of the British system of elite schools went on to be the seedbed of some of the icons of African literature in English.

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