By Igboeli Arinze
I’ve by no means met Professor Wole Soyinka, I used to be this near assembly him in my pupil days within the College of Benin, I grinned a lot with envy that fateful day when the likes of Alfred Ajagbe confirmed me their footage with Kongi, I believe he had come for a perform and made a short cease over near the college, I cursed my luck that day.
Oh sure, Soyinka is among the few Nigerians I might love to satisfy, maybe over lunch or dinner whereas I sit and attempt to bait his sharp thoughts with some questions. Ibrahim Badamosi Babaginda is in that class too, the a lot I’ve examine him is but to delivery germane solutions as to why he took sure actions in authorities. Then there’s the Otta farmer, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who I as soon as met at a discussion board and threw a query at him, to which he by no means readily answered, maybe would Baba spare this unflinching critic of his who but admires some issues about him an hour or two to rummage by way of his thoughts? There are a variety of notable Nigerians, youthful than the trio talked about above that I might additionally love to satisfy however then I’m nonetheless a younger man, maybe earlier than I flip 70, the Supreme Architect sparing me, I’m certain I might have met a variety of them.
My first data of Soyinka as a toddler was I believe within the information, his visage was fairly placing then. Sporting an afro and beard, he struck me as some type of fellow who took pleasure in trying misplaced compared with these round him however then there was one thing eerie about him, as a toddler I may solely peer on the Nobel laureate from our tv set however then I had a lot begun a life lengthy fixation on one who has lower the mustard of turning into one of many few voices of conscience in our nation.
Such fixation is but to finish and nonetheless I don’t see it ending even when he bids us farewell in his trans-earthly voyage.
How can I? Soyinka stays one of many many causes the Nigerian nation is essentially celebrated in different climes, that is regardless of the collection of negativities our nation sadly continues to emit regardless of the large abundance of human assets and wealth, bequeathed to us as a folks.
Florence Stratton in a journal article titled “ Wole Soyinka: A Author’s Social Imaginative and prescient” revealed by the African American Evaluation described Soyinka as one who has foremostly rejected literary ideology and but has precipitated disquietude with what she dubs as his social imaginative and prescient or his political orientation. In my little interpretation, I’m able to deduce that regardless that one can’t equate Soyinka with the Gramsci’s, Marti’s and Marxists not as a result of his writings aren’t as deft because the aforementioned however as a result of the latter hooked up ideology to their writings, nonetheless Soyinka evokes the identical if not a larger paranoia on the authorities as seen within the Nigerian elite cum management that has dominated this nation since its publish colonial period.
In espousing his social imaginative and prescient, Soyinka got here into having a number of brushes with the authorities which resulted in his been arrested and at a time limit pressured into exile the place he continued to taunt the Abacha authorities and all who supported it. Obasanjo didn’t himself discover it simple with the griot that at a degree in his management as a democratically elected president and even after, Soyinka has continued to throw barbs at one of many luckiest of Nigerians, describing Obasanjo at one time limit as a “degenerate in want of assist”.
On reflection, Soyinka has considerably perambulated between the roles of a literary icon, academician, social critic, activist and Pan Africanist. From his formation of the Pyrates Confraternity to his seizing of the Western Nigerian Broadcasting Service Studio in an try and drive the electoral authorities to cancel the closely rigged 1965 elections, an election the place loquacious chief of the then Nigerian Nationwide Democratic Get together NNDP, Samuel Ladoke Akintola was mentioned to have boasted to the citizens that he would win the election even when it was one vote that he received. Additionally, his eventual incarceration following his secret assembly with Emeka Ojukwu who at that time limit was been pushed to secede from Nigeria and later years of exile converse volumes of 1 not at residence with the supposedly false kindred spirits which have dogged the African mental from serving to to appropriate societal’s ills in addition to assist uplift the African continent.
By all of it, Soyinka’s best legacy won’t be his mental or tutorial achievements, nay, it’s in his bigger than life’s capacity to talk fact to energy! It’s in his capacity to attraction to us that past the clutches of ethnicity, tribalism and moribund conference, humanity’s best hour is but to come back.
Pleased birthday Kongi.