June 19, 2020 0 Comments

houseboy Ferdinand Oyono begins his haunting tragedy at the end of a Cameroonian houseboy’s life. “Brother, what are we,” Toundi Onduo. Ferdinand Oyono has really done a great work with this fictional work. portrayed this in the life of Toundi when he has to be the houseboy of the Commander. Ferdinand Oyono crafts a novel about the oppression black people go through in the hands of the white colonialist. In West Africa specifically.

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Ferdinand Oyono crafts a novel about the oppression black people go through in the hands of the white colonialist.

The author uses a West African boy to expose the white administration practices that were crude and evil to the Africans. The African boy Toundi, he keeps a diary and events that had occurred in his life efrdinand what the author calls an exercise book. Who was better to read the events first hand except the Europeans themselves? The French man discovers a diary which the Frenchman reads.

The theme of colonialism in reference to houseboy, novel by Ferdinand Oyono

The berlin conference of was the machinery behind the African continent division. What followed was a series of exploitations across Africa from east Africa and along the Nile we had the British, to the French West Africa.

All Africans were forced into labor land taken away from them as the Europeans took out was economically valuable in Africa.

The author exposes a foreign religion that enticed people especially children into joining Christianity using sugar. Toundi describe himself as a decadent of cannibals which is very inhuman however this is situational irony since the French are the once who show inhuman traits by treating Africans inhumanly. He is brainwashed off his culture by the excuse that his father was abusive ,however he lands in the hands of the colonial masters who pretend to be good Samaritans and Christians, whose main agenda was to cut the tires between Toundi, his tradition, his bloodline and his African culture.


This is evident in the events that occur immediately after father gilbert. In addition fr gilbert shows him off to other white men about his abilities as if showing of something bought and expensive such as a watch, car or even a pet. The clear picture comes out when Toundi is just delivered to a new master after the death of the old master father gilbert; he was just a slave to work for the whites without pay.

In addition the death of father gilbert is described as a martyr; Toundi supposes that because he died in Africa. His fear and respect for the commandant somehow reduces after he discovered that the French colonial agent was not circumcised. The commandant leaves for a tour, soon Madame engages in an affair with the prison director Mr.

On the return of the commandant Madame has become a very hostile and ruthless woman especially toward Toundi. The initial image that Toundi had of a beautiful French Christian woman is deleted by her actions with the prison warden.

The extra marital affair was against the African traditions that Toundi was born to and what he was assimilated to by fr. When Madame discovers that Toundi knew about the affair and housbeoy it she becomes much more hostile against him. However Toundi continues to disagree with the oppression of the white man and the hypocrisy of Christianity.

Houseboy – Ferdinand Oyono – Google Books

Hypocrisy shows itself when Toundi is warned by the engineer never to have a relationship with her. Sophie escape with some of engineers money that was intended to pay his workers to Spanish Guineain shame the engineer accuses Toundi of the action and is sent to prison. In prison Toundi is touchered into accepting the crime that he never did. He is celled in a hut neighboring the police headquarters; however Toundi has a friend who works in the police station.


His name is mendim, who in the description of other prisoners as the very masculine. Moreau orders that Toundi be beaten, not because he had sinned but because he knew of his affair with Madame. However mendim pours blood on Toundi to simulate injury and spend the lest of the time playing cards. He is diagnosed of a blocked rib, which he oyino incurred from a beating he received in the hands of the white man fwrdinand prison.

Moreau brings a white doctor and orders him to punish Toundi some more. The inhumane nature of the French colonial master toward its subject is revealed once again. When Toundi heard this he also escapes to Spanish Guinea. Its because of colonialism that he fereinand not safe in his home anymore.

Houseboy (novel) – Wikipedia

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