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… – W B Yeats

I have always felt that William Yeats and Chinua Achebe were talking about the desecration of the truth by mankind 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 – ”a society is just as good as its collective approach to objective truth.” Continue reading

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; Blaming Chinua Achebe

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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 sporadically declare myself an Opintar yet with constant intent. Many think Opintar is a fun name. Or of vernacular because they cannot google it. Or the vanity of a man who has known serious illness more than once 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 and do live it. Opinterity is the closest I will ever know of being liberated and of happiness, yet it is not a great thing to be due to some ambiguous internal costs. I have joined some organisations and fraternities [1] that defiantly preach the message of ‘liberation of man and society’ but they are in truth cesspools of anti-liberation by means of polite evil, duplicity, and racketeering. Are such groups different from some families or nations? The un-liberated will rush to say yes, and will not be right. All life is not oppressive or evil but it is certainly constrained and requires many forms of liberation as criteria for survival and flourishing in our post-creation existence. Continue reading

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 co in varying degrees of application and contexts. Continue reading

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