King Baabu

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Methuen, 2002 - Coups d'état - 107 pages
The keenly awaited new play from the Nobel prize-winner

A naked satire on the rule of General Abacha in Nigeria, the play chronicles the debauched rule of General Basha Bash who takes power in a coup and exchanges his general's uniform for a robe and crown re-christening himself King Baabu. In the manner of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi, Soyinka develops a special childish language for his cast of characters who have names like Potipoo and General Uzi. Weaving together burlesque comedy, theatrical excess and storytelling, King Baabu has already been coined as a pet name for the despot par excellence. "We turn Guatu into kingdom, ruled by kings. Nobody complain any more. General Basha Bash is dead. Long Live King Baabu."

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Filled with truth and criticism, the sense of humanity and charisma. The book is built under a close consciousness of the repressed and it clearly revealed the manifestation of a profound and rear courage to rebuke and refuse oppression and humanity devaluation in the face of death and demerits, thereafter, it pricks the conscience of the oppressors.
All known to the general public of Africa and Nigeria most especially, that the initiation of coup d'tat is one of the top gravest mistakes Nigerian leader ever made and one of the most thoughtless flaws Nigerians ever embraced. This same 'couping' gave birth to the bloody regime of General Sanni Abacha, whom, like the likes of Gaddafi of Libya, made history for themselves by causing vast damage to humanity, memories and even a whole nation that has a lot to overcome. Currently, Nigeria hasn't serve the implications of this man's extortionate foolishness, severe hostilities, myopic and selfish ambitions and vain and devilish conceit.
Yet, Sanni Abacha has made his own impact on Nigeria, which to some extent cannot be forgotten, it is left for the active generation to embrace or refrain for his sense of leadership. God bless Wole Soyinka, God bless all writers and God bless Nigeria.

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About the author (2002)

Wole Soyinka was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State of Nigeria on July 13, 1934. He attended Government College and University College in Ibadan before receiving a degree in English from the University of Leeds in England in 1958. He has held research and teaching appointments at several universities including the University of Ibadan, the University of Ife, Cornell University, Emory University, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Loyola Marymount. He is a distinguished playwright, poet, novelist, essayist, social critic, political activist, and literary scholar. His plays include The Swamp Dwellers, The Lion and the Jewel, A Dance of the Forests, The Bacchae of Euripides, A Play for Giants, Death and the King's Horsemen, From Zia with Love, The Beatification of Area Boy, and King Baabu. His collections of poetry include Idanre and Other Poems, A Shuttle in the Crypt, and Mandela's Earth and Other Poems. His novels include The Interpreters, which won the 1968 Jock Campbell Literary Award, and Season of Anomy. His autobiographical works include Ake: The Years of Childhood, Isara: A Voyage Around Essay, The Open Sore of a Continent: A Personal Memoir of the Nigerian Crisis, and You Must Set Forth at Dawn. His literary essays collections include Myth, Literature and the African World and Art, Dialogue and Outrage. During the civil war in Nigeria, he appealed for cease-fire in an article. Accused of treason, he was held in solitary confinement for 22 months. Two of his works, The Man Died: Prison Notes of Wole Soyinka and Poems from Prison, were secretly written on toilet paper and smuggled out of prison. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986.

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