My Notes / Picks of the Month (November)

This month’s pick has got an interesting story to it. And I’m sure you might find it so. Before I go further, I'll like to let you in on what's up with me, personally. It's been several weeks since I wrote anything. The turn of events particularly in the aftermath of the #ENDSARS protest took a huge toll on me, psychologically. I can't recall any other time that I've experienced anything similar in recent times. It's not unlikely that these developments, further worsened by other struggles in the country, would have had a severer impact on many more people.

These are, no doubts, trying times. And I hope you're keeping well. In the aftermath of the protest, I tried to stay away from social media to keep my sanity. My first post, in as long as I can remember, was put up yesterday on my Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

As I've found the strength to write again, I thought to share my picks of the month, although it's coming later than usual.

1. ‘Becoming Nigerian’ - Elnathan John

2. ‘The Man Lives: - Okey Ndibe

3. ‘The Man Died’ - Wole Soyinka

My attention to 'Becoming Nigerian' was first drawn by a friend of mine some months ago. In his view, it's a book he's sure I'd find interesting. The idea of satire was also strong enough to move me to get a copy. I got the sense that I'd like the book. And would try, sometime soon, to write a review.

Surprisingly, 'The Man Dies' is the first book by Professor Soyinka I'll ever own, and read. I got the book earlier this year but had not found the urge to open it until I watched an episode of Channels Book Club where Dr. Okey Ndibe had a relaxed garden chat with Professor Soyinka in his home. 'The Man Lives' is a fruit of that meeting. I was so moved by the chat that I ecstatically tweeted shortly after: "That point when Prof. Ndibe said: "The man speaks, and in speaking, he lives". Oh my! That was something."

I find the titles very instructive. This is more so in the context of Professor Soyinka declaration that "The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny" and Dr. Ndibe's strong response that "the man speaks, and in speaking, he lives."

Our country, and indeed the world, is in dire need of people who would never keep silent in the face of tyranny.

I posted a picture of the two books yesterday and wrote: "The man died but now, the man lives." I tagged Dr. Ndibe in the post, and this afternoon, he tweeted in response: "A story that must be told never forgives silence."

It's about two days to the end of the month. I remain optimistic about the days ahead. We will overcome.


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© 2020 Samuel Akinnuga.