August 21, 2019 posted by

The eldest son of a primary-school headmaster and a devout Christian mother, Wole Soyinka lived a comfortable life in the Aké parsonage in Abeokuta. Ake: The Years of Childhood is author Wole Soyinka’s autobiographical account about events in his childhood between about and in the town of Ake. Wole Soyinka was a bright, curious child and his account of his early childhood in the town of Abeokuta in Western Nigeria is enchanting.

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Brit landlord in Ethiopia’s bookshelf. Chapters 10 and He was the first African to receive such an honour. View the Study Pack. A good read to relatively understand the lives of Africans who grew up on the 40s and 60s as well Soyinke shares with the world memories of his childhood in Ake and later going to school. His father was a teacher, his mother ran a shop and his extended family could be called middle class.

The Pillow Book Penguin Classics. Also, Achebe’s book deals with the time right before colonization really took hold, and “Ake” takes place during World War II; by then, many British customs were entrenched in the schools, government, etc. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

In Ake he has produced an account of his childhood as a Yoruba in western Nigeria that is destined to become a classic of African autobiography, indeed a classic of childhood memoirs wherever and whenever produced It’s all heat, colour and unfamiliar words and names.

The opening pages of Ake did not grip me. His very empowering story of the plight of poor women in Nigeria, and how women from all backgrounds and situations market traders, farmers, rich and poor women alike came together to support each other and help themselves and each other, was what really put this book over the top for me.


In addition, I had made some vague, intuitive connection between school and the piles of books with which my father appeared to commune so religiously in the front room, and which had constantly to be snatched from me as soon as my hands grew long enough to reach them on the table. I literally laughed out loud at several points throughout the story, but the overall story arc, and especially the ending of the book, was truly inspirational.

Ships from and sold by Amazon. His personal story includes imprisonment, a death sentence and a madcap escape on a motorbike. He has so beautifully conveyed what his life was like as a child, and very cleverly restricted his story to telling only what he knew as a child. It’s because I believe that the human experience has both particular and universal elements and Soyinka is at his best in describing his childhood days in such a way that both are clearly present.

Aké: The Years of Childhood

He listens to a leader of the women complain bitterly against the racist behavior of the whites using the “inhuman weapon” upon the Japanese when they should have bombed Germany instead. His account of woole as simultaneously an admirably curious boy and an annoyingly arrogant one deserves some credit–it truly feels as if he remembers the details and significance of his own behavior in these distinct and impactful times in his life.

I kept starting this book, and then putting it down to read other things, but I’m really glad I picked it back up and finished it! Near the end, he begins to understand more of the politics, and the last two chapters deal with a struggle against the local authorities by the women of the community.


Ake by Wole Soyinka | : Books

First off there’s the novelty, for how often do you read an autobiography set in a Yoruba village in western Nigeria? Hmm I love how Wole Soyinka told the story.

Finally he narrates his time helping the town’s women in their political activities, playing the part of teacher for some illiterate soynka and experiencing the riots and unrest in the town when the women march on the “king” and government demanding an end to unfair taxation of women.

Not less daring was his involvement with the women in their fight against unjust taxes and the despotic feudal lord, the Alake of Abeokuta. The Years of Childhood from Amazon. Strangely, their family too lives its life just like the others, with no apparent inkling of the greatness to come.

Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. You Must Set Forth at Dawn: Confessions Oxford World’s Classics.

He remembers so many of his childhood experiences. Rex CollingsRandom House. I had yet to see a more inviting playroom! The dramatic scenes that really come alive with humor and truth.

Add both to Cart Add both to List. The events he witnessed, culture and society in which he was born into and how he perceived and tried to make sense of these with an inexperience and nascent mind is really fascinating.

It is worth reading, check it out. Chapters 2 and 3. What had already been a joy now becomes thoroughly engaging as well.