Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

13 June 2012

Cameroon: PhD Thesis Analyses Anglophone Poetry

Norbert Kikefomo Mbulai scored an A plus in his PhD defence on Friday in the University of Yaounde I.

Cameroonian Anglophone writers have since independence moved from emulative to adaptative, experimental and affirmative phases in the production of poetry. This assertion was made by a Doctor of Philosophy, PhD student, Norbert Kikefomo Mbulai who was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in African Literature after scoring an A plus grade in a defence that held at the University of Yaounde I on Friday June 8, 2012.

In his research work titled "The Art of the First and Second Generation Anglophone Cameroon Poets", Norbert Kikefomo Mbulai demonstrated to the five-member jury headed by Emeritus Professor Kashim Ibrahim Tala, the evolution of poetic craftsmanship in two generations. The works of first generation poets like Bernard Fonlon, Sankie Maimo, Mbella Sone Dipoko, Bongasu Tanla Kishani and Buma Kor moved away from imitating colonial masters to experimenting and affirming in diverse ways their African cultural background.

According to the researcher, the works of second generation poets such as Bate Besong, Nol Alembong, Gahlia Gwangwa'a and Ebini Atem, were largely influenced by Cameroon's socio-political evolution of the nineties. He blamed some of the lapses observed in language and poetic diction on the zeal towards commitment to protest.

"This is a very interesting and refreshing thesis for it has tackled the technicalities of poetic composition," said Associate Professor Shadrach Ambanasom who also praised the candidate for his objectivity in analysis. Prof. Kashim Ibrahim Tala described the work was one of the best theses he had ever read on poetry; an area where many fear to tread.

Dr. Norbert Kikefomo Mbulai, is a teacher with Government Bilingual High School, Molyko-Buea in the South West Region. He is also a part-time lecturer with the University of Buea.

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