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|Lest We Forget by Orikinla(m): 3:06pm On Jul 28, 2007|
Lest We Forget
Saturday July 28, 2007.
The ascendancy of intellectual ignorance and decadence in Nigeria is heartbreaking.
The appalling low level of intellectual knowledge and comprehension can also be noticed in Nigerian communities online. I have been embarrassed when I read many ignorant Nigerians mistaking the history of Nollywood for the history of the Nigerian cinema. And those who forget that the history of Nigerian literature includes creative works in audio and video and not only in books.
After the second Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977, we experienced a Nigerian Golden Age when the celebration of the beautiful and wonderful works of Nigerian culture flourished.
Ben Okri was a precocious teenage novelist and Longman published his debut novel Flowers and Shadows in 1980. I was interviewed by Ben Okri’s friend, the surrealistic novelist Henry Atenaga for the Times International news magazine for my debut as a precocious stage director with my play, The Prodigal at the National Museum in Onikan, Lagos.
J.P Clark was directing plays weekly at the Pec Repertory Theatre in the J.K. Randle Hall across the street in Onikan and the gifted Africa-American Chuck Mike was also using the same venue to stage some fantastic plays.
Art exhibitions were regular events at the National Museum and private galleries.
Samuel Akpabot, Lazarus Ekwueme, and Adam Fiberesima were having performances of their classic symphonies and operatic works. And we were all having a great time until the evil genius came and pulled the red carpet from under our feet and the cookie crumbled before our very eyes.
The evil genius in green khaki and jackboots bastardized our human values and virtues.
He came with his cankerworms of corruption to devour our motherland. Nigeria was now like a sick woman in hyteria with only lucid intervals.
The exodus of Nigerian intellectuals started in 1984. And our intelligentsia fell into the hands of pseudo-intellectuals and fake elites posing and posturing as the new ruling class. Our mothers, daughters, sisters and girlfriends of easy virtues abandoned our sacred ordinances as they fell for the temptations of the Prince of the Niger and his foxes and wolves and vultures. Even our exalted churches and mosques became the meeting places of the crooks, rogues and vampires. The celebration of fallacy and hypocrisy became our national religion and national culture. And Nigeria was going from bad to worse. But the worst was yet to come.
I have to produce the great compositions of Samuel Akpabot, Lazarus Ekwueme, and Adam Fiberesima to remind the ignorant millions of these genius of Nigerian music, lest they would be lost in the conrete jungle of their pseudo-weatern Hip-hop culture.
I have to build a John Monuonye Library in his hometown to rekindle mur memories of the author of The Only Son and other novels.
What of Amos Tutuola, the great story teller of our folktales and fables and the original first writer of genius in Africa.
I am going to build a Cyprian Ekwensi Library in Ojuelegba for the only Nigerian writer who has chronicled the rural and urban social cuture in prose.
Please, remind me of the others, lest we forget,
|Re: Lest We Forget by Khaleefa(m): 5:45pm On Aug 05, 2007|
You should get this published in The Guardian, Millions of Nigerians and friends of Nigeria would benefit immensely from it. I know I did.
|Re: Lest We Forget by laudate: 6:52pm On Aug 17, 2007|
You forgot to add Chris Ifekandu Okigbo to your list. His works Labyrinths etc. need to be celebrated and brought to the fore again, for posterity. Am so interested in this writer, and personal information about his life is so scanty. A friend of mine is trying to do a series of articles about him and the women in his life. Its' been 40 years since he passed away in the civil war, fighting on the side of Biafra.
But like I said, very little is known about his personal life and times. Can anyone shed more light on this?
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