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Nairaland Forum / Entertainment / Literature / Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu (16406 Views)
|Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by VBCampaign: 4:04pm On Jun 26, 2019|
Soyinka's Plane Seat Brouhaha: A Final Word
When I embarked on the defense of Prof. Wole Soyinka’s honor in the unfortunate incidence on a plane, where a young man commandeered the Nigerian Noble Laureate to stand up from his allotted seat, I was totally unprepared for the reactions that would follow. The social media, which understandably is populated by young people, came agog with these folks defending what this young man did. In other words it is okay in modern Nigeria to come on a plane, find a man of honor on your seat and insist he must vacate that space, despite so many folks pleading that you allow the man be. This essay is my final word on the matter but lest you think I have changed my mind on it; I have not. That young man is untaught, uncouth, and disrespectful. If this country future would be bequeathed to the likes of those supporting this young man, we could as well kiss any hope of this country getting better good-bye.
The story hit the social media on Monday, 24th June. On Tuesday morning, the following day, a leading radio station in Ibadan had three people presenting an early morning program. Quite unexpectedly, the discussion was reduced to a matter of respecting or not respecting an elder. Immediately I sent a tweet to them and I told them not to misinform the public. The vibes I was getting from these people was that it was okay to tell off an older person in public. That this was the time of young person and that there is no such thing as honoring age anymore. We are now educated and the world belongs to us. What balderdash; what nonsense! What happened between Wole Soyinka and that young man was not a matter of respecting or disrespecting an elder; even though it eventually led to it. It is the fact that that young man lacked tact and sense.
Everyone on each side of the debate agree that Soyinka very likely sat on that young boy’s seat by mistake. Most people, including me, also agree that the seat by the window belonged to the boy. What I would never, for the life of me, understand is a young man, in Nigeria, coming on a plane, seeing an eighty year old man seated; a man who the whole world reveres; a man who had long been influencing nations before that boy’s father was born. You see such a man and you insist, in spite of pleas from people and airline hostess to let sleeping dog lie, that you would have your seat. That is indecorous. That is not lack of respect – even if it shows eventually that the boy does not possess home training.
So, some have been coming at me and telling me how disappointed they are with the position that I have taken on the matter. They say I am a reformer and should be siding with young people on this. Let me make clear the limits of my reformation in this article. My reformation concerns only doctrines in the Bible – doctrines that lead to salvation. I have no intention to reform culture or our age-old practices. On such, I remain a conservative. I am a leading critic of the teachings of David Oyedepo and E. A. Adeboye. But if I were to meet them on the plane, like that boy met Soyinka, I would never insist on having a seat they may be sitting on which is mine. The Christian reformation still remains within the boundaries of Christian charity and the Bible makes it clear that love is not rude. I meet many of the people whose doctrines I criticize in real life and I show them respect. That is how I was raised and there is no reformation that can take that away from me.
I had an indelible experience in church recently. I was in a Bible Study meeting and I got into a debate with the leader of the group. Actually, it had happened one or two times before this day. This man would be nearing his 80th year and he was visibly upset with me. He gave me a resounding tongue lashing in the presence of no less than forty persons. Till date, I believe I was right on the subject of debate but I was not taught to respond to an elder – especially when they are angry. I kept quiet and I received the rebuke of my adult life. It was life transforming because even though it appeared the man had his say, somehow I believe I had my way. Subsequent events in this group showed me that this man understood my position and indirectly accepted it. I believe I won that debate; but I won it through a loss. That young man, who refused to give up his seat to Soyinka, won the debate but lost a reputation.
What I grieve the most over is not him but the legion of young people who are defending him and saying they also would do the same if they were in his shoes. I pity this generation.
Some are saying that I have made Wole Soyinka a demi-god. This is wrong. Soyinka is far from being my role model in life. Soyinka is a humanist; I am a Christian – a minister of the gospel of Christ. Soyinka led the formation of the first confraternity in Nigeria, which led up to our having cults in our nation’s universities. I would never do that; I condemn all types of cults. But the contribution of Wole Soyinka to the Nigerian project is not something we can conclude enumerating. A young Wole Soyinka put his life at stake and invaded a radio station in 1964 insisting that the true results of the then Western Region elections be read to the people. In 1966, he took a dangerous trip to the then Biafra to try to convince Ojukwu not to go to war with Nigeria. For this he was slammed in prison by the military government of Yakubu Gowon for three years.
Soyinka’s quest for a better Nigeria is seen in his literary works, his campaign for democracy, his campaign for good governance, his numerous protestation for the good of society, and so on. In the 1980/90s, Wole Soyinka sold the idea of a road safety to the military government of Ibrahim Babangida. Today, as a result of that, we have the Federal Road Safety Corps. All of these added to his winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986 for his book “The Man Died” – which were his prison memoirs. Soyinka is a great Nigerian and ought to be accorded that respect. Those who are speaking against him in this matter of a plane seat surely do not know the history behind that man.
In 1998, General Abubakar Abdulsalami went to Soyinka in his London home, following the death of Abacha, and told him that the military government were ready to support his being elected as Nigeria’s President. He turned down the offer on the basis of principle. I believe he felt he could do better for Nigeria through his writing and speaking, than being a politician. Others took the offer he refused and are today owners of universities, private jets, libraries and homes all around the country. Wole Soyinka has chosen a life of simplicity and because he would not fly first class, he needs to be embarrassed by a boy who does not know his left from his right, and who is not likely to achieve a tenth of what Soyinka has achieved if he were to live for a thousand years.
Again, let me make it clear, my reformation does not include the tearing down of age old cultural practices that has done this nation a lot of good and that distinguishes our children in the committee of nations. EOD.
© Deji Yesufu
Deji Yesufu is the author of the books Victor Banjo and Half a Millennium. He can be reached on email@example.com
22 Likes 5 Shares
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by VBCampaign: 4:08pm On Jun 26, 2019|
Wole Soyinka response
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by VBCampaign: 4:09pm On Jun 26, 2019|
A young man crashes in the situation and takes advantage of it �
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by Officialgarri: 4:14pm On Jun 26, 2019|
This is too long a write up for a busy person.
As for me, each time I'm going on a journey, I sit by the window. If the journey requires booking a ticket, I never forget to specifically tell the attendant to give me a seat by the window.
Once, a man, far older —sat on my seat in a luxury bus, I told him that's my seat and I'd like to sit there. He complied although not without mumbling '' I no want wahala". Other men laughed, but that was it.
If I'm on a plane, and would like to enjoy the aerial view, I'd tell my role model, Prof., that I want that seat —but in the most polite way that no one would give a second thought.
23 Likes 4 Shares
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by MrPresident1: 5:09pm On Jun 26, 2019|
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by milkyworld(m): 5:09pm On Jun 26, 2019|
Ah dey tell you...
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by adoyi8: 5:09pm On Jun 26, 2019|
I totally agree with OP.
Soyinka is travelling with people like that rude boy because he refused to join politics and steal Nigeria's common wealth. He once described the system of government practiced in Nigeria as Kleptocracy.
Believe in Karma at your own peril. Soyinka that once put Nigeria on the literary world map is now being publicly insulted while thieving politicians are worshiped by Nigerian youths.
38 Likes 3 Shares
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by PhenomenalAustin: 5:10pm On Jun 26, 2019|
Here we go again!
2 Likes 1 Share
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by BabaIbo: 5:10pm On Jun 26, 2019|
E don do abeg, we get better issue for this country jare...
The whole thing fit be staged sef
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by Lovelyn451(f): 5:10pm On Jun 26, 2019|
Everybody will start writing history and politics on top this matter, even Gen.Abdulsalami Abubakar don enter the matter ...interesting
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by chibike69: 5:10pm On Jun 26, 2019|
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by PhenomenalAustin: 5:11pm On Jun 26, 2019|
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by bush112(m): 5:11pm On Jun 26, 2019|
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by MeshachMARTINS(m): 5:13pm On Jun 26, 2019|
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by MeshachMARTINS(m): 5:13pm On Jun 26, 2019|
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by Duggedised12(f): 5:14pm On Jun 26, 2019|
To avoid wahala can prof start sitting in his aloted seat henceforth? Last time I checked there are seat numbers,if you want window or alisle seat ,then book for one.
If you couldn't get one to book for then relay your issue to the hostess if they can help you out or wait till the plane is full and approach the owner of the seat for a swap. Not seating on a seat in the owners absence because you feel your white hair will bully them into submission,that is a first grade entitlement.
By the way I hope the Cole guy stood up and offered his seat instead because people that are quick to say "let him have it na" but will not offer theirs.
30 Likes 1 Share
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by adewest1999(m): 5:14pm On Jun 26, 2019|
I am cheerfully delighted and flabbergasted with enormous gratification and appreciation for dispensing such an awesome information..........this info has changed my perspective about life....
wole Soyinka thanks for sitting on the boy's sit
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by Ejiphill09(m): 5:14pm On Jun 26, 2019|
I HATE SANCTIMONIOUS AND PRETENTIOUS POSTS...
The young man paid for the seat and demanded to sit on it.... So? Mtcheeew!
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by gazilion: 5:15pm On Jun 26, 2019|
This Deji Yesufu...I am suspecting him to be a member of the Viking Cult!!
8 Likes 3 Shares
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by MANNABBQGRILLS: 5:15pm On Jun 26, 2019|
The nonentity is just one of the youths of the country supporting thieves and criminals.
We know their ilks!
SAY NO MORE!
11 Likes 5 Shares
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by West2019(m): 5:15pm On Jun 26, 2019|
Rubbish who's cares
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by PrecisionFx(m): 5:17pm On Jun 26, 2019|
Next time Wole Soyinka should sit on the seat he paid for.
14 Likes 1 Share
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by jashar(f): 5:18pm On Jun 26, 2019|
Prof that the thing even happened too is not even saying much sef...
Fine bobo that's the subject of so much controversy hasn't even said a word. Dude is probably somewhere dipping bread inside tea and enjoying himself...
Awon e warriors dey hawk the matter like agege bread
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by Fidelismaria: 5:19pm On Jun 26, 2019|
Much ADO about Mumu news
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by martowskin1(m): 5:19pm On Jun 26, 2019|
Did u even read the write up there.....
There is a lot of information there ..... But what do I know.... We are lazy readers
5 Likes 1 Share
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by Nobody: 5:20pm On Jun 26, 2019|
he paid for his seat let him have it. did the mumu tonye cole offer his own seat to soyinka
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by ReubenE(m): 5:21pm On Jun 26, 2019|
Even if na Buhari, I go tell am to stand up go find hin seat
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by magicminister: 5:25pm On Jun 26, 2019|
That young man paid for a window seat and might have paid extra for that particular seat. There’s absolutely no reason on earth for Soyinka or whoever’s seating there to feel insulted.
The reasonable action would’ve been for the flight host or hostess to offer him another window seat and throw some additional perk or two.
If I pay for an airline seat, I want that seat. I love window seats cos i enjoy looking down and seeing our beautiful world and no one is gonna rob me of that if I paid for it.
If you don’t wanna observe commercial airline norms, then fly private.
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by flexyrule(m): 5:26pm On Jun 26, 2019|
If my dad mistakenly sat on Prof. Wole Soyinka son's seat. Would he locate another seat and fix his a$$..? I seriously doubt that. He would rather use the narrative of being the son of a noble laureate and pin his a$$ down?
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by Ausrichie(m): 5:34pm On Jun 26, 2019|
In this world there are rules the so called white haired sage cannot try this outside of Nigeria even a five year old would tell you that it is his seat follow the rules simply I hate sycophants imagine such nonsense those people insulting the youth cannot come and say a single word about the reign of terror in this country all they can do is to sit at home and talk like foxes who are afraid of the wolves the boy who did it has not spoken since the guy is mature for that.
|Re: Soyinka: Much Ado About Plane Seats By Deji Yesufu by maxiuc(m): 5:42pm On Jun 26, 2019|
Which man of honour
Wole Soyinka who he help
Professor na for his household
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