‘The Maggot Within’: The state security apparatus in Ng˜ug˜ı’ s Wizard of the Crow

  • Emmanuel Chibuzor Okereke University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


In contemporary African nations, the functions performed by the state security apparatus have continued to cause trouble and divisions in the society. The state security apparatus , which is obliged to be non-partisan while carrying out assignments, has been manipulated by those in authority for their own profit. This anomalous attitude of the state security apparatus has been highlighted in fictional works of most African writers, as exemplified by Ng˜ug˜ı wa Thiong’o. This paper therefore investigates the portrayal of the state security apparatus in Ng˜ug˜ı’ s Wizard of the Crow. The focus is how the agents of s tate security strive to uphold state power and, in doing so, deviate from their other constitutional role of protecting life and property. The paper further explores how the characters representing the state security apparatus in Wizard of the Crow promote shady business deals and as well systematize corruption. The overarching argument in this paper is that state security agents serve as instruments of misrule, oppression, deprivation and class control. Keywords: State security apparatus, corruption, sexploitation, abduction and oppression.

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