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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Feb 04, James F rated it it was amazing Shelves: This page was last edited on 15 Decemberat One can infer that life as a boy in Ake shapes Wole’s being and essence before he leaves Ake to attend a government school run by white men.

Aké: The Years of Childhood by Wole Soyinka

Moreover, the contrast in the soyinkw of his parents I think paints a better picture of some of the factors which shaped the mind of th Wole Soyinka’s Ake: Are you pregnant like the organist?

For all the times the novel makes me crack up laughing, or even be nostalgic for a time I’ve never lived in in a country I never visited and a culture I was never part of, there’s always the sly adult Soyinka somewhere behind it, using his young self as an only mostly reliable narrator to describe how we come to understand ale and challenge – the world.

It’s simply a story of childhood, charting a child’s successes, triumphs and minor catastrophes. Through recollection, restoration and re-creation, he conveys a personal vision that was formed by the childhood world that he now returns to evoke and exalt in his autobiography.


Aké: The Years of Childhood (Wole Soyinka) – book review

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but often the writing felt wope dense for the light-hearted stories about Soyinka’s early years. The Years of Childhood is a memoir of stunning beauty, humor, and perception–a lyrical account of one boy’s attempt to grasp the often irrational and hypocritical world of adults that equally repels and seduces him.

If mother was quick to show her displeasure, father was accommodating, and indirect. He was the first African to receive such an honour. Goodreads akw you keep track of books you want to read. I kept laughing heartily at scenes i could not only relate too but remember as a part of my own childhood.

First off there’s the novelty, for how often do you read an autobiography set in a Yoruba village in western Nigeria? The dramatic scenes that really come alive with humor and truth.

I love how like these books about boyhood, thou doesn’t t eoyinka me anything in particular, yet thou tells me everything.

Aké: The Years of Childhood Summary & Study Guide

They want to stay still and watch the world go by. To many, the old ways still reign, with superstitions rampant, a world where gourds can be magical, amulets can make one invulnerable to harm, and forest creatures called ghommids live just beyond the nearby stream. As if I’ve been cheated somehow, having missed out on a classic addition osyinka African Literature, one that undoubtedly helped mold the form of creative nonfiction.

Chapters 10 and Strangely, their family too lives its life just like the others, with no apparent inkling of the greatness to come. He was curious and troublesome, and made me laugh on quite a few occasions. If that’s the case, I cannot think of a more perfect protagonist than little Wole. Views Read Edit View history. Seeing that I’ve just confessed that I soyin,a been there, how do I dare to say such a thing?


In this book he tells the story of his childhood. Individually, any experience is unique; it does not need to be dramatic, violent, akf or ecstatic to be special.

It was a real pleasure meeting Mrs Bere Ransome-Kuti in a setting different from the picture painted by the media. He watches as an unwed poor woman becomes pregnant and is driven soyin,a of town. But around this potentially unlocatable family, there exists an eclectic mixture of Yoruba tradition, imported educational values and imposed colonial rule.

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Although he naturally assumes much of Yoruba culture, the book is aake difficult in the way some of his plays based on Yoruba beliefs are. The author is a professor of comparative literature at the University of Ife, Nigeria, and holds an honorary doctorate from Yale. This progression is not wol because he is growing older, but because he has been given a political foundation from which to actively process and engage with his surroundings.

This is the ideal circle of autobiography at its best.

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