THE NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
Volume 16, No. 1 (2018)
The Social Symbolism of Biafra Protest Songs in South-Eastern Nigeria
Scholastica Ngozi Atata1 & Ayokunle Olumuyiwa Omobowale2
1Department of Communication and General Studies Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria
2/sup>Department of Sociology University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
Protests are an essential element of democratisation process and a significant factor in the social struggle and commitment to a cause. Protests are staged in different forms, either, with placards or songs to portray socio-political grievance. This study explains the symbolism of Biafra protest songs in South-Eastern Nigeria. Protest songs are symbols that contextualise intent of a social struggle. The protest songs depict cultural and group ideology which fosters the Igbo identity cohesion in the Biafra struggle. These protest songs indicate shared patterns of behaviour and interaction, cognitive constructs and understanding that create unique symbolism of Biafra among the Igbo people in Nigeria. This paper argues that Biafra protest songs are a non-material culture that contextualises the meanings attached to Biafra in achieving identity capital, identity-cohesion, struggle sustenance and commitment during protests.
Keywords: Biafra, protest songs, the Igbo, identity capital, South-East Nigeria