Soyinka, as you know, stayed and tried to be pragmatic in his quest for democracy. What happened? His house, built with his priceless Nobel money, was vandalized. A helicopter hovered above his house twenty-four hours a day. (Soyinka told the military that he had the power to make the helicopter crash!!!) And just before Nemesis got rid of Abacha via viagra pills, Soyinka had to cross the border by night, ON FOOT, to escape into the West. He could have been dead by now. Does this scenario make sense to you? And Christopher Okigbo, what happened to him? And Ruganda in Uganda? Jack Mapanje in Malawi - for writing Of Gods and Chameleons. Ngugi WA Thiong'o? Why is he running from country to country? Nnorom:
My interest now is to tell the story of my people (people of the African Diaspora) and my generation in exile. That is what The Intellectual Terrorist, my forth-coming novel, is all about. The three plays that I am presenting in Moscow next year -2003- are also about: the bliss and the blisters of our exile.
We are like the Sower's seeds in the Bible.
After we were scattered into the air,
some fell on rocks, some on thorns,
many on shit. Infinite mounds of shit.
A few lucky ones, like Lucifer,
after he was driven out from heaven
fell into the arse of a penal colony
called the British Isles. "inglan is a bitch!"
There we are still wriggling and spawning
like wretched spermatozoa
in the fallopian tube of a barren prostitute.
What will be our fate? Only Amadioha can tell!
It seems to me that the fountain pen is no longer enough. Well this angle of thought is not new to you, Esiaba:
is it? Members of "the suicide squad" in your play "Hangmen Also Die" were the best brains and academic products of their time, but then they resorted to violence because they were not being given a chance to contribute their own quota. Achebe, Soyinka, Okigbo, Oguibe, Fatunde, yourself - have spoken so eloquently. You are writers. You have contributed your quota by writing so fearlessly, but the guns of tyrants have always seemed to rule. Perhaps, we, the younger generation must set the music of words aside and try the machine gun, will this make a difference? Or shall we always end up defecating down our pants dangling from the hangman's noose if our feet fail, with speed to hop into exile? Should this essentially be the lot of African writers?
What is needed is methodical and strategic insurrections. Insurrections aimed at change. Permanent change. What the Irgun Stern gang did in Israel to the British. What the Mau Mau did in Kenya. Kamikaze pilots. Suicide Bombers. Coups. Against Nigerian leaders. What Nzeogwu did. What Sankara did. What Jerry Rawlings did. For example, Obasanjo and all the ministers and senators and local government chairmen and cheerwomen should be shaved upstairs and downstairs and put into a leaking boat and pushed into the Atlantic Ocean. Or members of the top military brass should be invited to meal/feast and fed from a pot laced with generous quantities of cyanide.