Identity Crisis: An Enigmatic Wrench of Fatherlessness in Igbo Cultural Cosmology in Chukwuemeka Ike’s Conspiracy of Silence

Alexander A. Onwumere *

University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo, Imo State, Nigeria.

Laurel C. Madumere

University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo, Imo State, Nigeria.

Ugochukwu Iwuji

University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo, Imo State, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


This article examined identity crisis as an enigmatic wrench of fatherlessness in Igbo cultural cosmology as explored in an African novel, Conspiracy of Silence. The research is predicated upon contemporary prevailing identity crisis being experienced by individuals even after such persons have gotten to the climax of their career achievements. Identity crisis is a global phenomenon that stems from fatherlessness but takes a worrisome dimension in Igbo land as Igbo cultural cosmology deconstructs fatherlessness and accommodates some traditional practices that enigmatize it. This study provided elucidation of the concepts of identity crisis and fatherlessness, investigated Igbo cosmological view of fatherlessness, factors responsible for identity crisis and effects of fatherlessness. This research employed Father Absence Theory and critical theory of Deconstruction. While father absence theory indicates a situation where a child has lived part or all his childhood in a house without a biological father, theory of deconstruction expounds the notion that “reality” is a deconstruction and that “truth” is an interpretation. It is discovered that identity crisis which stems from fatherlessness, as a universal phenomenon, and as serious as it appears, is viewed differently in Igbo cosmology as normal reality which does not worth any serious consideration and criticism. The researchers recommend, among others, a review of Igbo traditional practices such as concubinage practice and obnoxious practice of ‘woman taking a wife’ if the issue of identity crisis and fatherlessness must be addressed.

Keywords: Concubinage, cosmology, fatherlessness, identity crisis, Igbo culture

How to Cite

Onwumere, A. A., Madumere, L. C., & Iwuji , U. (2023). Identity Crisis: An Enigmatic Wrench of Fatherlessness in Igbo Cultural Cosmology in Chukwuemeka Ike’s Conspiracy of Silence. Asian Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 6(3), 156–169. Retrieved from


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