A Comparative Analysis Of Helon Habila’s Oil On Water And Femi Osofisan’s Women Of Owu
Women in the African past, contrary to being domesticated were not only achievers in their own right but also pillars of society. A voyage into African and especially Nigerian history gives a picture of outstanding women who contributed to trade and governance in their various communities and societies. Moremi in pre-colonial Ife kingdom, the Aba Women, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti and the Egba Women during the colonial era not to mention other outstanding women in Yoruba and Hausa kingdoms such as Queen Amina, Madam Tinubu and Efunsetan Aniwura (Iyalode Ibadan) demonstrated that women are not mere domestic servants who should be suppressed, subjugated and thrown about. They too have a place in the society. In modern times, women are still performing such leadership roles and are depicted in such roles by writers, like Femi Osofisan and Helon Habila, in their writings. In an interview session, Osofisan, a prolific, renowned and outstanding African writer, discusses his motives in creating the female characters in his works the way he does. He explains and analyses the roles he ascribes to women in his writings and how his female characters like Morountodun, Tegonni, Wura, Alhaja, the Women of Owu and others serve to project leadership roles, serve as innovators and societal consciences. He also comments on the impact and significance of these women characters in society and the conditions that would make it possible for women to achieve such outstanding roles in real life. This paper therefore, presents Osofisan’s women as conceived by the playwright himself.