n African Journal of Rhetoric - Rhetoric and Mondela's panegyric : extending dialogue on Africa's transition from pains of misrule to gains of transformative democracy

Volume 7 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1998-2054


This paper attempts to highlight some issues raised by Soyinka in an adulatory composition, public tribute (Mandela's Earth and Other Poems) to Nelson Mandela and the gains arising thereof for progressive leadership in Africa. The text is handled as a political poem, since it celebrates the anti-apartheid, and a psychic weapon for fostering 'African brotherhood.' Four Yoruba poetic forms (Owe, Alo Apamo, Oriki and Ofo) and their rhetorical strategies in creative translation are examined and adopted along with functional linguistic stylistic model as theoretical framework. Seventeen excerpts are then quoted in situ and analysed within the extra linguistic context of Vintage Mandela's death and continuing adulation. It concludes that Yoruba rhetoric adopted and integrated into EL2 expression are signals of an expressive compromise which by the poet's mature handling of cultural and linguistic translatability communicates only as effectively as possible while revealing the limits of translation. On misrule and transformative democracy in Africa, it advocates urgent election of able and sincere leaders to show how much of the Mandela-gain-from-pain lessons can help to liberate Africa from the ills of misrule: hunger, chronic poverty, disease, ignorance, avoidable wars, pseudo democracy, other forms of injustices and terrorism.

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