When My People Personalise the Truth

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Turning and turning in the widening gyre;
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. – WB Yeats
I always felt William Yeats and Chinua Achebe were talking about the desecration of the truth by humankind and its consequences in the writing and interpretation, respectively, of this opening of the poem Second Coming. I also think I know why Achebe adopted it. He had a message for his people – ” society is just as good as its collective approach to objective truth.”

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Fame and Prize Winners: Wole Soyinka and Nnimmo Bassey

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Wole Soyinka is famed for winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986 based on his significant contributions to poetry and drama. Though his award was highly controversial and the Nobel Committee’s ‘choice’ felbious, Soyinka won the prize anyway, deservedly. He was the first African to win the prize. There are very few urban Nigerians that do not know who Wole Soyinka is; he is a living legend. Continue reading

Origins of an Opintar

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“Bird’s got something to teach us all; About being free, yeah; Be no rain… Be no rain…” – Gil Scott-Heron, from the lyrics, I Think I’ll Call It Morning
I declare myself to be an Opintar sometimes, yet with constant acceptance. Many think Opintar is a fun name. Or of vernacular because they cannot google it. Or the vanity of a man who has experienced severe illness many times in his adult life. It is none of these. Being an Opintar is an apt description of my lot in life and how I should live it. Opinterity is the closest I will ever know of being liberated and of joy, yet it is not a glorious thing to be due to the ambiguous internal costs.

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Postponement of Elections and Chinua Achebe’s Spirit

Chinua Achebe was ostracised by the Western academy for his truthful but hard to swallow comments on two European intellectual sacred cows, Joseph Conrad and Albert Schweitzer in which he branded them as racists using the pretext of artistic expression. It is reputedly proposed by many around the world that his comments cost him the Nobel Prize. Continue reading

Sarcasm: Evidence of Genius

Sarcasm and ‘figures of speech’ are as old as language itself. From the Ivy League professor of literary criticism to the Oxbridge semantologist, from the illiterate farmer to the naked tribesman with a bone in his nose, no matter the language or the region of the world they all understand and use sarcasm and similar in varying degrees of application and contexts.
Most surprisingly, it appears that sarcasm and ‘figures of speech’ (the supposed stuff of literary genius) have been recreated as new 21st Century “cultural imports” into Nigeria from the West. The novelty of sarcasm and co as “imported” is something that causes present-day authors and the literati delight. Where two or more Nigerian literary types gather, and literature is under examination, the happiest moment of their conversation is when they agree “Nigerians do not get it” [i.e. sarcasmironysatirehumour]. I want to learn of any of the over 200 Nigerian languages that are devoid of sarcasm and co.

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