On the Brink of Collapse: Cogitating Nigeria’s State of Anomie in Soji Cole’s Embers

Solomon Adedokun Edebor


This paper discusses and contributes to the debates on the myriad of challenges that have put the Nigerian state on the threshold of collapse. The paper avows that lack of good governance and purposeful leadership remains the bane of the Nigerian nation, just as it identifies terrorism, insecurity, displacements of people, rape, corruption, joblessness, loss of faith and moral piety, crass materialism, and hopelessness as some of the indices of misadventures that have dotted the nation’s historical trajectory. These issues which have been variously discussed by scholars with an attempt to portray and expose them form the preoccupation of Soji Cole’s Embers, as a testament to the continued engagements of Nigerian playwrights with the country’s woes. The choice of Ember is informed by the fact that there is a dearth of scholarly research on the play. Using the sociological approach and adopting a content analysis method, this paper examines some of the critical governance challenges facing the Nigerian state and their implications. For this purpose, therefore, we have deliberately adopted Marxist Literary Criticism particularly as it aligns with the revolutionary temper Cole proposes. The paper concludes by interrogating Cole’s prescription that there will be no meaningful end to a cesspool of corruption and misgovernance until Nigerian masses embrace violent, social revolution to effect a social change, thereby freeing the country from further unwarranted exploitations by a few to the disadvantage of all.


terrorism, corruption, leadership, (mis)governance, revolution.

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