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Monday, April 22, 2024

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    The Wole Soyinka Gaffe

    The Wole Soyinka gaffe. No amount of grammar or truculence will fix it.

    If those who live by public adulation do not know how to respect that trust, they will turn it into a rag.

    There is the concept of accountability to deal with, even for the worst of Megalomaniacs anywhere. If it’s public, it’s public. There are parameters for dealing with such discourses.

    One, ANY celebrity or public figure of any kind is put there by public acceptance of their talent and skills.

    If the same public, which had adored Wole Soyinka in the past, conferred on him an aura of intelligence akin to gods, bought his books, heeded his calls as to which side they should be on a public issue, are asking of him to live up to his word, they have every right.

    Sango, Obatala, Oshun, Ogun in spite of being gods, are always told ‘Se mi bi o ti ba mi, ti or ba Le gbe mi’ when their putative prowess does not match up with their rhetoric.

    People stop worshipping them and nothing happens.

    No one forced or asked the Professor to say he was going to tear up his green card if Trump won. It was a self willed exercise. It is natural people were going to take him up for that considering the tone was a tard arrogant.

    Another Ivy League school Professor who promised to eat a bug if his analysis of Clinton win does not come to pass promptly did that on TV to a global audience.


    Because in his society, the people at the top do not consider everyone below them idiots. They understand that life is unpredictable and fraught with uncertainties.

    Acknowledging that fact is a sign of higher intelligence.

    But Professor Wole Soyinka decided to mount a high horse and dress up ego as a sovereign. He assumed the persona that could never go wrong. Bashorun Ga would have been envious of such imperial self aggrandizement.

    And this is exactly how trust is eroded between the intelligentsia and the other stakeholders in the society.

    This is a case an humble man would have managed quite affably.

    I am sorry I do not personally buy such bullshit. I have read his plays, told my kid about WS. Have the imprint of the cool and colourful Dashiki he wore when he accepted the Nobel Laureate award in 1986 embossed on my mind, proud to have him come from the same locality as my family, revered him as an academic and a man.

    But putting up a misdemeanour and failing to question that is not my cup of tea.

    What he did is in the realm of ‘Fa mi l’ ete ntuto’ indiscretion attributable to a few Oyo kings with wanton disregard for the people they claim to derive their existence from.

    You are an icon baba. But omo ita or ipata moves is not going to help you.

    Two bobs. Jessy Bay

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