CSPAN2′s Book TV has released a video of the speech that Nobel Prize-winning author Wole Soyinka recently gave on his book Of Africa at the Free Library of Philadelphia. In the video, he talks about the deities of his people in Nigeria, the Yoruba, and their encounters with what he terms “Christian storm-troopers – the missionaries”.
Soyinka speaks about the messenger Eshu, who in the Yoruba pantheon of gods was not considered evil – yet the Christian missionaries related to him as the representation of the devil. In Of Africa he examines, among other issues, how the perceptions of Africa via a Western lens continue to shape the continent, and how his own countrymen and women now perceive their traditional deities in light of Christianity’s hold. Racial attitudes, inter-ethnic and religious violence, identity and other challenges facing Africa are all explored in the book.
- Not playing? Watch on YouTube