Leadership, Culture and Structural Violence: Lessons From Tunde Kelani's Saworo Ide and Sembene Ousmane's Xala

Olubunmi O Ashaolu



This article argues for a deeper examination of how, in Saworo Ide, (1999) and Xala (1974), the rejection of African culture leading to poor leadership in Africa becomes translated into violence (against commoners) that causes dwindled infrastructures, muffling of masses' voice, leaders' insensitivity to the improved life styles of the ruled etc. In Okurounmu's (2010) view about just leaders in Africa "[tjhat breed of men of "unquestionable integrity" is becoming a fast disappearing one" (p. 15). This observation indicates a trend that makes injustice thrive, for in most cases neither the leaders nor the led care about integrity any more. The lapse in forthright leadership constitutes what scholars often debate as a form of violence. More often than not, leadership qualities in Africa attract the attention of critics only when the leaders at the top demonstrate wanton tyranny and excesses. Few critics place their debate of failure in leadership as that which encompasses the ultimate leader and/or their cabinets, who due to self serving needs jeopardise the masses' interest. Through a detailed study of the above films, this work proposes an all-round perspective on the problematic of leadership in Anglophone and Francophone Africa. Specifically, the essay focuses on representation of leadership and violence related to cultural, political and economic aspects of African leadership.

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