Orphans of the world
Draw your fuel of pain
From Earth’s sated core.
(Flowers For My Land)
Early in 1983, I met Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe at Mainland Hotel, Oyingbo, Lagos for a meeting of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP), a leftist party then led by Mallam Aminu Kano. Both Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe therefore agreed on that one thing; political engagement for fatherland.
Wole Soyinka is one of the worlds deep, most engaging and dominant writers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. He has been established as our own WS. You know the other WS.
In his most successful novel “SEASON OF ANOMY”, he created the character called Ofeyi, a dentist who became part of the revolutionaries as a “selective assassin” against members of the “Cartel”, a group he describes as the union between “the purse and the gun”. In the revolutionary heat of the season, we witness the breakdown of law and order resulting in a national state of anomie and the dentists own engagement in taking out the members of the cartel.
In 1965, Wole Soyinka and his gang held up a radio station of the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) at Ibadan on gun point and broadcast what he and his gang believed was the correct result from a rigged election. That was intense political engagement that the youth of Nigeria cannot even contemplate today.
During the civil War, Yakubu Gowon, then Head of State, accused WS of working for Odumegwu Ojukwu to actualize the Republic of Biafra. It was established that WS sneaked into Biafra several times during the Civil War. Yakubu Gowon jailed him for two years in Kaduna without recourse to court trial. That was another intense political participation.
Wole Soyinka through his writings, stage plays and even his music has been a strong advocate of revolutionary change in Nigeria. You remember his published music “Etike Revolution”.
Wole Soyinka cannot now change his public image as demonstrated in his writings and public engagements.
So when Wole Soyinka rails against the Pyrates for engaging in a very public revelry against an unnamed politician, he did his history and public image no good. That statement was published yesterday.
At 88, we cannot begin to cultivate another image for our own WS. He is Kongi, the wild horseman who along with his six other friends founded The Pyrates Confraternity as a testament to a rambunctious youth. He cannot turn sissy now on his devotee seadogs and all of us who live in awe of his prodigious literary output.
His devotees called the Seadogs (AKA Pyrates Confraternity) were making revelry not of a man’s sickness but of a sick narcissist who claims entitlement to rule a nation of the largest aggregation of black people on earth. These youth are seeking political change from the worst examples of regimes Wole Soyinka has been against all his life.
Even in his evident and very public disabilities, the man insist it is his turn and entitlement to rule Nigeria. “Emi l’okan” is a bad case of narcissism and self entitlement that should be worthy of the bards engagement for a full night of entertainment.
I remember his well acclaimed essay: NARCISSUS AND OTHER PALL BEARERS: MORBIDITY AS IDEOLOGY. (The Lucas Annual Lecture 2015)
Soyinka has spent a lifetime excoriating sit-tight African leaders who go senile on the job and still insist on their right or privilege to rule.
Wole Soyinka did the same thing as the seadog revelers (his own protégés) in his play “Opera Wonyosi”, a parody on corrupt and sit-tight African leaders. Jean Bedel Bokassa was his favorite quarry.
Let it not be that Wole Soyinka is truly turning sissy on us because of his friendship with Bola Tinubu. Let him remember that “The man dies in him who keeps silent in the face of tyranny” and the youth of Nigeria will not go quietly into the long night anymore.
- Obi giving Tinubu treatment IBB gave Abiola
- Atiku, Obi, two others ask tribunal to nullify Tinubu’s victory
- Ogun ex-permanent secretary, wife found dead in Lagos home
- APC chief upbraids Amaechi for linking Tinubu to INEC boss appointment
- Blame politicians, INEC for vote-buying: EU observers
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