Cultural and Linguistic Hybridity: A Bhabhasque’s Interpretation of Niyi Osundare’s Waiting Laughters

Ibrahim Nureni


The concept of hybridity unarguably stems from postcolonial theory, and it is championed by a postcolonial critic, Homi K. Bhabha, who considers the pieces of literature produced in third world countries as “in-between spaces” laced with a variety of linguistic and cultural codes of both the colonizer and the colonized. In Bhabha’s view, postcolonial literature is a reconfiguration of a large and heterogeneous collection of cultures, languages, identity, and beliefs; and it also creates a platform to discuss the effects of colonialism and how the colonized people experience cultural and identity crisis in their territory. In this scope, this paper is premised on the ideology that most literary works published in third world countries feature a variety of multicultural and bilingual approaches that align with Bhabha’s position of culture and identity in postcolonial discourse. Using Osundare’s Waiting Laughters as a case study, this paper seeks to evaluate the concept of hybridity with its exigencies – and how the literary text thrives within the context of heterogeneity, multiplicity and difference. The concluding remark of this paper is that Waiting Laughters is a poetic text of multiculturalism, pluralism, and bilingualism; and it emphasizes the perpetuation of lingua-cultural binaries and an intertextual dialogic of European and African aesthetics to create a new identity.

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