Can the Literatures of Dystopia Convey Messages of Conscience?

Can the Literatures of Dystopia Convey Messages of Conscience?

The book is Meritropolis, written by Joel Ohman, targeting the teenage reading audience. It was self-published in 2014 on CreateSpace. It has two hundred and twenty six pages. Its theme oscillates between utopia and cacotopia, in the style of Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide by Robert Louis Stevenson; hence it’s a genre […]

Not All Writers Can Be Good and Popular

Not All Writers Can Be Good and Popular

Let me start by appreciating Professor Austen Bukenya’s stand on the challenges that boggle young African writers’ minds, as recently published in the literature pages of the Saturday Nation. In the piece, he argued that before one can be declared a bad writer, one’s writings must be seen first. Good. I agree with Professor Bukenya. […]

That Chinua Achebe May Not Go On Trial…

That Chinua Achebe May Not Go On Trial…

Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka are surrogate fathers that many of us in the literary world are proud to have. Before most of us were born, they had already established their places in their chosen genres of literature. When President Leopold Sedar Senghor, together with Aimee Caesar and Leon Dumas, was in Dakar talking about […]

In Pictures: The 78th PEN Congress

The occasion was the 78th PEN Congress held in Gyeongju, South Korea. JRS is John Ralston Saul, President of PEN International and Gil-Won Lee is President of PEN Korea, the hosts. Both Le Clezio and Wole Soyinka were keynote speakers. Soyinka’s speech was titled The Magic Lantern while Le Clezio’s was titled Communication is Life. […]

What Chinua Achebe told me about the Biafran war…Ulli Beier

Once in every while, you come across people that force you to interrogate yourself, to question long held notions and re-arm you with a better compass to observe the world. Such people compel us to re-examine our received wisdoms, our interpretation of reality, our overarching sensitivity about the world and its many imbalances. Ulli Beier, […]

For John Pepper Clark-Bekederemo: Triumphing Over an Imaginary Tragedy

I revere Buchi Emecheta, Ola Rotimi, Flora Nwapa, Elechi Amadi, Cyprian Ekwensi, Gabriel Okara, Chinua Achebe, John Pepper Clark-Bekederemo, Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike, Wole Soyinka, and TM Aluko. Together, they raised and nurtured those of my generation who loved the world of ideas and we devoured their works like starved children. We owe much of what […]

The Quintessence of Soyinkaism – By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

The Quintessence of Soyinkaism – By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

The presentation of the book Journeys around and with Kongi: Half a Century on the Road with Wole Soyinka written by the ebullient German journalist, translator and cultural activist Gerd Meuer elicited in me memories of my own encounter with the Nobel Laureate as a humanist and a writer. I had personally chosen Soyinka as […]

Wole Soyinka, Igbo Cyber-Discourse, and the Myth of the Good Yoruba

In the postcolonial and cultural theory part of my work, I teach something called the production of otherness at the graduate level. It has to do with how people, voices, or forces who perceive themselves as normative at certain points in history have represented those who do not look like them as anomalous, primitive, and […]

The Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature and the Nigerian Love of Exclusion

The Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, awarded biennially, is, to many, the most prestigious prize of the fiction genre in Africa. Touted as “Africa’s NOBEL prize,” it is supposed to earn the recipient the much treasured recognition among his/her peers globally. The activities constructed around the prize giving ceremony make it an envy […]

The West is the Giver and Taker of Literary Life – Chinedu Ogoke

[In 2002, Chinedu Ogoke, a Nigerian writer resident in Germany published his first novel, Under Fire. His second novel is being awaited. In this interview with UGOCHUKWU EJINKEONYE, Mr. Ogoke speaks on his work and the state of African Literature in relation to the still thorny issue of audience definition]                               ————————————————————— When we talked […]

In Defense of Simplicity of Language in Nigerian Narratives

  Contemporary Nigerian narratives have awakened some renewed international interests in the past few years after the hiatus that followed Ben Okri’s Booker Prize winning novel, The Famished Road. Part of these renewed interests, I think, began with Helon Habila winning the Caine Prize for African Literature, which, from all indications, enhanced the publication of […]

Lagos and a Life of the Poets

The writer is a product of his own society; and the story of all great writers from ages to ages has revolved around the very environment in which they grew up. In this fascinating essay, told in an undeniable powerful prose, Nwakanma, himself, a poet, explores the arresting power of metropolitan Lagos on him and […]