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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Recollections become stronger, more deeply felt, more keenly described. I loved being in young Wole Soyinka’s head.

Aké: The Years of Childhood

The Years of Childhood is author Wole Soyinka’s autobiographical account about events in his childhood between about and in the town of Ake in present-day Nigeria.

Myth, Literature, and the African World. Through recollection, restoration and re-creation, he conveys a personal vision that was formed by the childhood world aake he now returns to evoke and exalt in his autobiography.

I kept laughing heartily at scenes i could not only relate too but remember as a part of my own childhood. Turns out, Soyinka only won the Nobel Prize in Literature in Moreover, the contrast in the beliefs of his parents I think paints a better picture of some of the factors which shaped the mind of th Wole Soyinka’s Ake: Oct 01, Philip rated it really liked it.

They want to stay still and watch the world go by.

In a rousing rally, the women storm the local governor’s mansion demanding action, eventually staging a sit-in until their demands are met. Everything is told from a child’s point of view, with no attempt to be prescient after the fact.

Like Wild Christian, Daodu prefers to teach with punishment, though he rules his school like a court of law, where evidence is presented and witnesses are questioned for every accused offense. 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. If mother was quick to show her displeasure, father was accommodating, and indirect.


The story of how he causally began school and his inquisitive spirit is just astonishing and amusing at the same time. It’s in the little details, glimpsed through a child’s eyes. Jul 06, Peter Eze rated it it was amazing.

Aké: The Years of Childhood Summary & Study Guide

Finally he narrates his time helping the town’s women in their political activities, playing the part of teacher for some illiterate girls 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.

The last 50 pages are Soyinka’s astonished witnessing of the Nigerian Women’s Movement in which a women’s group, originally formed by a few wealthy, educated women who wanted to school young wives in etiquette and cooking, turned into a powerhouse movement slyinka their pupils were prevented from coming to class which by then extended to literacy by British tax agents.

Now Africa has produced one to stand up with the best wwole them. It’s all heat, colour and unfamiliar words and names. ak

Ake by Wole Soyinka | : Books

The Years of Soyinnka is a memoir which tells an engaging story syoinka the early phase of his life as a child.

In contrast, yes there are mentions of colonialism, racism, sexism, and usual age old mix of -isms and co. Seen from a child’s perspective, none of this is the least bit didactic or laboured, but it makes for fascinating social history all the same. Although he naturally assumes much of Yoruba culture, the book is not difficult in the way some of his plays based on Yoruba beliefs are.

The narrative is episodic, following the patchiness of childhood memories. A good read to relatively understand the lives of Africans who grew up on the 40s and 60s as well as why Africa stands where it is now.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. You could almost picture or imagine yourself in there growing up with him. Loved seeing the narrator’s relationship with his godmother, with the bookseller, and with his mother.

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Jul 29, Tinea rated it liked it Recommended to Tinea by: View all 10 wple. As if I’ve been cheated somehow, having missed out on a classic addition to African Literature, one that undoubtedly helped mold the form of creative nonfiction.

This is the ideal circle of autobiography at its best. Jul 13, Anne Lutomia rated it really liked it Shelves: View all 8 comments. His earliest memory — as far as I could tell from the book — was from when he was two-and-a-half. If the defense meets Daodu’s, the esteemed Winston Churchillesque principal himself, standards, the accused goes free, the obviousness of their crime or the absurdity of their argument having little to no impact on the decision. The scene where a young Soyinka follows along behind a marching band and gets lost is delightful.

Everyone’s childhood is composed of just these things. This is the story of Wole’s childhood bt of the town and its people. Some of the interest comes from the exotic setting, the Yoruba idioms and songs and Egba food, customs and ritual, and from the intertwining of the traditional and the modern. Memoirs books Works by Wole Soyinka.

Aké: The Years of Childhood – Wikipedia

Soyinka spins this into an amazingly vivid tale, which doesn’t shy away from dark subjects but tackles it all with a great sense of humour and the wide eyes of a child who, at first, doesn’t understand half of what’s going on around him. He soylnka plenty of good food and, by no means uniquely, but certainly eloquently, describes the multicultural reality of colonial West Africa.

Sep 20, Marcy rated it really liked it.