Professor Wole Soyinka, has said that he would not keep silent whenever injustice is done to any powerless or vulnerable Nigerian by the people at the helms of affairs of the country. In an interview with Premium Times, the Nobel Laurete said he feels himself reduced whenever some horrendous violation is being done to another human being, especially the downtrodden.
“If I step out of my house and there is some horrendous violation being done to another human being, I feel myself reduced, and for the rest of the day, maybe the rest of the week, I’m not really whole. It preys on my mind. In other words, there are other things that I would rather be doing than going out on a limb to bat.
“If you live in a society like this where you feel, sometimes, that you are completely alienated from the rest of society, where society itself doesn’t seem to share, in the main, same principles, where very often, in fact, you find the very people you’re trying to defend turning on you because they prefer to take the side of power. They feel more comfortable under tyrannical forces because they perhaps feel that, if they just endure such tyrannical forces, they might go away in the end.”
Speaking on the Nigerian youth, Soyinka frowned at the treachery of the so-called young generation saying many of them are only just waiting for their own slice of the national cake, stressing that they admit it, they co-opt others and even ridicule the progressive ones among them.
“The first thing is that I have never given a blanket endorsement of youth. I used to exchange friendly disagreements with Tai Solarin from time to time over this. I remember I took him on once when he said, I can die for the young generation, and I said, don’t say that. Don’t be so sweeping in your statement, some of this young generation is treacherous and many of them are only just waiting for their own slice of the national cake.
“But something has been happening to our youth. It’s probably the technological strides in communication and dissemination of information. Far too many of them, empty-headed, really think that they know. They are what I sometimes refer to as the generation of be–the- first- to- comment. It’s like they are sitting down there, they don’t understand the issue somebody has just posited, either as a blog or whatever you people call it, I don’t know– I don’t live in that virtual realm,” he added.
He said some Nigerian youth lack intelligent curiosity, adding that they want things quick and easy and that they ridicule those who take the trouble to set a standard.
“They strike me as capable of betraying a serious, genuine cause and endangering themselves–-which is okay–-but to endanger the overall movement is unacceptable. They want everything quick and easy, and they want knowledge as pre-digested mush.
“Anything that requires even figuratively chewing over an idea, a moment, an occurrence, they resent it, they ridicule those who take the trouble to set a standard-– it’s too much labour for them to aspire to a higher level. I become sickened, in the main, by this so-called new generation,” he said.