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I t’s Thursday! So I thought we could do a little TBT in honor of my much beloved literary crush of the moment, Wole Soyinka.

Truth be told, I’ve spent last week all loved up on two of his greatest poetry collections—Idanre and Samarkand and Other Markets I Have Known. Has something to do with the fact that a good bit of the 3rd chapter of my dissertation is about these two collections. Dissertation aside, though, I adore the man’s work. Okay, Ainehi. Enough sappy love declarations.

Yeah, the picture.

This is little Wole fitted with a complete magician’s get up–black cape, magic wand, hat, tights and all.

Even though he’s smaller than everyone, he’s just starred in The Magician, a humorous 19th century children’s operetta written by one Louis B. Tinsdale.

Soyinka is 9 years old here, and it’s 1945 at St. Peter’s School, (according to the website where I found this). He’s just sang his heart out in a celebrated operetta about two little boys who steal a magician’s hat and cloak, after which they attempt to impersonate him. See how composed and self-assured he looks.

An adorable little boy! Even though I can’t quite imagine him singing and trying to hit those notes.

Soyinka-throw-back3

 

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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