A Man And His Gods

For some unexplainable reason, Wole Soyinka has decided to paddle in the murky waters of social media controversies. In the last few weeks, he’s found himself in the crossfires of insults and counter-insults. Looks like he’s been hanging out with the folks at Sahara Reporters far too much for his own good. Lol. Of course I love the guys at Sahara. Not trying to knock their hustle.

But this photograph calls to my mind a different Soyinka. A vintage-looking Soyinka flanked on both sides by gods who seem more like his entourage than awe-inspiring patrons.  Striking image! The stuff of dreams, really.

This is the Soyinka I fell in love with long long before I became an Achebe-girl.

As I stare at this arresting image of the poet, I remember a chant from a poem he published in 2002, “Samarkand and Other Markets I Have Known.”

Go to the orisa and be wise. Ifa

Shuns the excluding tongue, unveils

Uncharted routes to knowledge, truth

And godhead. Man is restless seeker,

What follows six, says Ifa, transcends the bounds

Of seven — there are no final rites to numerology.

Let who can, count the motes in a sunbeam

Or weigh the span of grief from voice to voice

In the home of the immolated.

Go to the orisa. None but fools

Claim guardianship of the final gateway.

 

 

Tags: , , , , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

The Night My Dead Girlfriend Called | Episode 4: Confronting the ‘Devil’ | by Feyisayo Anjorin

tnmdgc-header

The only thing of iron, plastic, or leather-padding matter in the well-lit shrine of Pa Fakunle was the treadmill for […]

Apes and Satellites | by Mame Bougouma Diene | African Sci-fi

untitled-design29

The ChinaCorp mining-satellite shifted across the planetary terminator, separating from its twin in stationary orbit over the Eastern Chinese Republic’s […]

Is the Ake Festival a Bubble? | Okechukwu Ofili Calls for a Reality Check

untitled-design28

The Ake Arts and Book Festival is an amazing event. It assembles some of the best minds in literature and […]

Zadie Smith and Namwali Serpell on Femininity and Writing

zadie-3

Zadie Smith has an uncommon ability to tell stories that capture our hearts. But she’s also shown herself to be […]

My Feminism | Remembering to Scream | By Wana Udobang

untitled-design27

I don’t remember the first time my father hit my mother. But I often remember my brother’s hands muzzling my […]

Greg Ruth Does Something Amazing with Okorafor’s Female Characters

untitled-design-60

Nnedi Okorafor’s novels are universally loved. She builds her fictional worlds and fashions her characters from the most unusual elements. […]