Yoruba Playwrights and the Spirit of Omoluabi: Discourse in Archetypal Theory

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Journal of Yoruba Studies Association of Nigeria


The level of moral degeneration globally and among the Yoruba in particular, calls for concern. The emergence of colonialism, with its attendant civilization, brought numerous changes to Yoruba moral life. Efforts at rejuvenating the low moral standard of the Yoruba society should involve everybody and not religious leaders alone. This paper discusses the expectations of playwrights in helping to rejuvenate the dwindling moral standard of the Yoruba society. This paper discusses the spirit of omoluabi as portrayed in selected Yoruba written plays, namely: Adébayo Faleti’s Won ro pé wéré ni (1965), Olu Owolabi’s Agba ti n yo lé da (2005) and Akinwumi Isola’s Ayé ye won tan (2009). This is aimed at re-positioning the Yoruba society morally. The methodology is descriptive, using archetypal theory, as postulated by Carl Jung (1967), to see where they give ideas relating to the principles reflected in archetypal theory Which states that whatever behaviour one puts UP’ it is rooted from somewhere. lt is an archetype of somebody or something. This is justified by the fact that good character (Omoluabi) is an archetype because it is a phenomenon that has been in existence since creation. It is an age old Practice in every society. Our findings reveal that contrary to the belief in some quarters, the society is not folding its arms; rather, it is prepared to fight against anything contrary to the spirit of Omoluabi. The selected authors have demonstrated that the society sets and controls the peoples’ moral, unless this is strictly observed, the society cannot move forward. No matter the level of civilization, and political, economic and social situations, people who are morally blameworthy cannot survive the wrath of the society. The paper, therefore, recommends that African artists in general, and Yoruba artists, in particular, should no longer see myths and oral materials as inferior. There is the need to propagandize the publication and the use of didactic works of art and make them accessible to educational levels lower than the tertiary level.



Yoruba Playwrights, Spirit of Omoluabi, Archetypal Theory