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Stop Comparing Soyinka and Achebe! - Salad Orijeminiyi

 

My late dad was very in love with Literature and literary works. He majored in Literature in tertiary school and kept a large collection of books, especially African novels and poems. While I was in secondary school, daddy would give me different books to read and summarize for him at his leisure time.

On different occasions, he gave me “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe and “The Man Died” written by Wole Soyinka. Maybe because I was young. The texts by Soyinka appeared too verbose. I couldn’t really understand. I found more pleasure in the Achebe’s book and got captivated by his manner of presentation of African stories. Thus, I told my dad I would never take to Soyinka’s works again while I proceeded to read more of Achebe’s books like the Arrow of God, A Man of the People, No Longer at Ease, Chike and the River, etc.

 

Till date, I have not read any other work of Soyinka again. But it doesn’t mean that the Nobel Laureate is in any way not appreciated. I see the two literary icons as different institutions that specialize in different studies. And their teaching methods, styles, approaches and curriculums do not seem to be the same. However, they are best at what they teach. Just like Harvard University ranks amongst the Ivy Leagues in the United States and Oxford University is part of the Golden Triangle of the United Kingdom universities.

 

Anyone comparing Soyinka and Achebe in a bid to downplay one for another isn’t intelligent. Variety they say, is the spice of life. And the conferment of the award of Nobel Laureate on Prof. Soyinka should not be rubbished by the Gen Zs. It reeks of peurility to do so, just as it makes no sense to deny Prof. Achebe the honour of his outstanding achievements in the world of Literature.

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Emeh James Anyalekwa, is a Seasoned Journalist, scriptwriter, Movie producer/Director and Showbiz consultant. He is the founder and CEO of the multi Media conglomerate, CANDY VILLE, specializing in Entertainment, Events, Prints and Productions. He is currently a Special Assistant (Media) to the Former Governor of Abia State and Chairman Slok Group, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu. Anyalekwa is also the National President, Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OMPAN) https://web.facebook.com/emehjames

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