Friday, January 22, 2016
CITADEL OF LIFE LECTURE #By Kolawole Taiye Paul #Hosted by Sunsampaul
Literary study at Kogi state University Anyiagba, Kogi State. I'm also
the assistant co-ordinator of Ghetto City Of Poetry. Today I'll be
discussing the topic:
Reconstrustion of our minds for a liberating ART:The kind of writing
that facilitates 'change.'
For the sake of 'proper understanding,' the following 'key' terms are
defined by oxford advanced dictionary(8th edition)
The activity of building again something that has been damaged or
destroyed: the reconstruction of the of the sea walls
Your ability to think and reason;your intelligence;the particular way
that somebody thinks
To free somebody from something that restricts their enjoyment of
life: writing poetry librated her from the routine of everyday life.
However,it should be taken note of that we used the continuous form of
Visual art, music,theatre,literature,etc when you think of them you think of ART
To become different.
It should be strongly noted that the change being referred to is not
the 'Nigerian political change being clamoured.'It goes beyond that.
We meant 'different' in everything. Finally
,if you are very
observant,you should know that we have only used the definitions
that suit the purpose of this lecture.
Let's keep the ball rolling....Welcome everyone.
There is no doubt that African literature began with literature of
lamentations, at least written African literature. This was due to the
struggle of Africans during colonization and even apartheid in south
African. There was proliferation of Creative arts that was/is full of
lamentations for the sake of libration from the shackles of
This cuts through the three genres. Poetry, Prose, and drama. We do
not blame the writers of these kind of writings as at that time
because the occasion demands it. For example such works of
lamentations and protest includes the works of the great chinua
Achebe,Wole Soyinka,Athol fugard,okot p'bitek to mention a few.
There is no doubt that this kinds of literature provided the platform
for social criticism, as the author tries to portray the real society
in his/her works. Mind you,the work of a writer is not to be a social
critic. His/her job is first to write. Whatever genre suits his or her
ability. Having established this fact, Africa, although free from
colonialism still suffers from imperialism,modern slavery and
ultimately bad governance and poverty. The effect of bad governance is
evident almost in all the African states today. Thereby increasing the
numbers of social critics including we creative writers. Some African
writers seldom write anything without lamenting one plight or another
in Africa. The question is. Is this the primary job of a writer?
Yes there are theories that back this up, especially the fact that
writers are considered as prophets in the society. They make realities
come alive on papers. Now, must we continue to be prophets of doom
even though situation warrants it? In lamenting, contemporary writers
have continue to dance to the tune of early writers-lamentations. This
has in no way Change situations in Africa, they only make things
worse. Most writers just paint the fact that the uglies reside only in
Africa. Now there is a kind of art that should librate us at this
Writers in Africa have done less in projecting Africa as a great
continent,so are the theories they engage in writing their works. I
can boldly say that the theory that celebrate Africa and Africans is
the negritude theory. Other theories have been used only to relegate
Africa as a continent and the great black people in it. A kind of
writing should librate us, it was what i called a librating art. It
facilitates change. Especially change in the manner the international
community looks at Africa.
Africa is not the worst continent in the world, writers of whatever
kind should work in portraying the positivities in Africa.You may be
as hort story writer, a poet,a novelist, a dramatist, or even a visual
Your 'mode of representation' should favour Africa and portray it as
a blessed continent even in the midst of turmoil. For how long shall
we continue to lament? Do more works on the beauty of Africa as a
continent, there are only few who does this. There is a way it
liberates the people in the society, at least there minds.
A colleague in school had said that the African child is made to sing
always,'London bridge is falling down. 'There are so many bridges in
Lagos,it can fall down too. We need to produce more arts that
celebrates the values of Africa as a continent,if not our work of
lamentations will keep relegating and projecting Africa to the outside
world as a continent full of calamities. The northern region of my
country suffers from insurgency...It was okay for writers to write
about this,but many has turned it to a song they sing everyday with
their artworks. I am not against using that as a raw material...but
don't turn it to something else. Other countries in the world suffer
from insurgency too. All we have been praying for ,is that peace
should reign in Africa and that Africans live in peace. I am not
saying that African writers should not portray the situation as it
is,but we already have too much of such literatures.
Let's start writing more works that celebrate Africa. This may be
difficult because Africa still passes through a lot of social
problems, Terrorism, Bad governance, Nepotism, Tribalism, and more.
No doubt,but your works as well should uplift the image of Africa.
As we draw the curtain. I would like to first be an example
A 'preacher' lives by example...And that's why i love the fact that
someone called me a preacher earlier...
So I'll share one of my poems. It was written sometime this year
PLAY THE DRUM
Play the drum drummer
With arm, hand and stick
With stick,hand and arm play the drum.
The hide has been sunned for you
Straightened for those energetic hands
For with one you cuddle And with the other you hit
To produce heat-ehn ooo gbedu
You make sweat a thing so sweet Play the drum drummer
With arm,hand and stick
With stick,hand and arm play the drum
Our kembe await the vigour of the evening breeze
This abeti aja must fly its ears to your sounds
For you hit to produce sound so sweet And it is sweetness to hear this sound
Sailing across the sahara beneath our feet Play the drum drummer
With arm,hand and stick
With stick,hand and arm play the drum
For our breasts need to break the wind-
So silent to the cry of our ileke.
Let us lift our aso oke in array of colours To compliment the cry of the hide.
Let our waists bounce in response
To your play placating the peace
Of the evening breeze Play the drum
Hit the drum
Tighten your grip
Shake the drum
Roll the drum
Jerk it up And bring it down
Remove beneath your arm's care
To your thigh's care
Beat it with hand and stick Play the drum drummer
With stick,hand and arm
With arm,hand and stick play the drum
Turn round and round ayan...
Ayan..., round and round in turns. It pays to play the pain out
Exert pressure on the hide
Soften your grip
Drag the tip of that bent stick
On the field of that drum.
We see your sweat
Tracking ours on the wing of sound
Our feet paint the flour
But no more dust. Stop the drum drummer
Without hand and stick
But in your arm
The sound flees,
Our feet freeze
As we return to normal.
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