n African Renaissance - Nigeria's candlelight globalism - : Nigeria

Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


Some years ago Wole Soyinka faced a dilemma he undoubtedly faces all the time given his numerous transnational engagements as a creative artist of global fame. He often has to talk about his country, Nigeria, in unflattering terms and this must indeed be a very difficult task. During the height of the late Sani Abacha's dictatorship, he had been invited to a conference in Ethiopia with the theme, "From Concord to Discord : The Horn of Africa" and this was just about the time the 1993 presidential elections (held on June 12, 1993) were to be annulled by the military. Naturally the expectations of the participants at the conference had been high. Nigeria, it was widely perceived, was finally on the way to moral and sociopolitical leadership and fulfillment. But before the commencement of the conference, the military struck once again and Soyinka was saddled with the distasteful task of explaining the failure. In that instance, he personified both the set-backs and the potential of the Nigerian nation. More important, he personified a terrifying question that had to be answered, and torn by these antagonistic sentiments, he had to recreate and convey an unpleasant reality.

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