The corruption quagmire in Armah’s ‘The beautiful ones are not yet born’


By John Chukwuma Ajakah

Renowned and prolific Ghanaian writer, Ayi Kwei Armah, in his famous novel, The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born, presents the corruption quagmire as the bane of a typical African society. In the novel published by Heinemann Educational Books Ltd (1968), Armah reveals moral depravity in every strata of the society, using vivid descriptive images suggestive of stench and repugnancy. The writer focuses on the politicians who usurp the power vested in them to pursue their pecuniary interests.


The novel exposes the antics of the political elites as they manoeuvre their ways into juicy public offices with promises of exterminating corruption and revamping the economy only to leave the treasury worse than it was before the change of guard. The writer bemoans the complicity of the public in the economic carnage and moral depravity as virtually everyone…

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