A Text on Greatness:

Reflections on Crucible of the Ages: Essays in Honour of Wole Soyinka at 80

By Toyin Falola*

We cannot heap enough words of praise on Ivor Agyeman-Duah and Ogochukwu Promise for initiating Essays in Honor of Wole Soyinka at 80, and also for bringing the project to a successful completion. At a time when Africans worship the wrong gods, with deluded and demented congregations, who praise those who are neither historical figures nor human beings, these two co-editors have done what is both essential and right by honoring the right person and worshiping the right god! For it must be said, that the gods that this new generation of Lilliputian Africans worship must be first and foremost, in human with profound capacity for callousness and emptiness; second, arrogant cannibals whose stomachs are never full yet forever constipated with greed and lucre; third, self-absorbed juveniles who validate the distasteful characterization of primitivism as depicted in Conrad's Heart of Darkness; and fourth, righteous Jezebels who give Satan (the devil himself) a good name in order to continue to idolize it. Shockingly, I have even come across praisefor terrorists, cold-blooded and ruthless murderers, comrades of deceit, wolves in sheep's clothing, infantile inventors of hoax literature, and intellectual lightweights and pirates who adorn their clumsy signatures with viperous abbreviated numerals and viperish alphabets. Another layer of generation that comes after us will as well see the imprint of these demonic hagiographers, yet we refrain from casting the first stones because we want to claim a higher moral ground.