What is the significance of the visit of the taxi drivers in chapter 10 of "Anthills of the Savannah"? How does it contribute to the novel?

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The conflict of this story is a social one - how does a colonized country that has been infiltrated and influenced by a completely new culture reclaim itself?  How does it find a way to exist again as a sovereign place, and how does it deal with the changes to thought and behavior that occurred during colonization?

The leaders - Ikem, Chris, and Sam - are too corrupted by European society to even understand this question.  In trying to reestablish a new government and society, they use what they learned at Oxford, not what they know from their own people.  They are out of touch with the common African, who has not been as influenced by the outside world as they have.

The taxi drivers represent those common people.  They visit Ikem and praise him for his work, but Ikem struggles with the visit.  He doesn't feel that they understand what he is trying to achieve and it bothers him.  This serves to illustrate the disparity between the plans of the leaders and the perception of the people.