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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If a child is telling you a story, wouldn’t you say that it’s best they be both precocious and all too young, offering up dole of strange exploits combined with the most precious of thoughts? Cover of first edition. Of course, that previous reference doesn’t persuade as well as I used to think, so there must be more. This book has many memorable incidents, and soyink writing is wonderful — although events are seen from a child’s perspective the language is in no way simplistic.

Aké: The Years of Childhood – Wikipedia

How do I love thee? Apr 13, John David rated it really liked it Shelves: Let me count the ways. Feb 04, James F rated it it was amazing Shelves: The Biography of a Place. But around this potentially unlocatable family, there exists an aoyinka mixture of Yoruba tradition, imported educational values and imposed colonial rule.

In Ake, I was treated to a childhood delicacy of inviting sumptuousness which I attacked with great relish and washed down with smile and laughter, enjoying the peppery sensation down my throat. Individually, any experience is unique; it does not need to be dramatic, violent, broken or ecstatic to be special.


The Years of Childhood by Wole Soyinka. A relentlessly curious child who loved books and getting soyknka trouble, Soyinka grew up on a parsonage A dazzling memoir of an African childhood from Nobel Prize-winning Nigerian novelist, playwright, and poet Wole Soyinka.

I suppose the book it reminded me the most of was Martin Wickremasinghe’s Madol Doova – it had that same playfulness and innocence which has made the author so beloved. He also endures a tribal rite of passage, held down while an elder slices his wrists and ankles with intricate symbols. This book felt so honest, like the author caught all the feelings he felt. Soyinke shares with the world memories of his childhood in Ake and later going to school.

This page was last edited on 15 Decemberat I kept laughing heartily at scenes i could not only relate too but remember as a part of wloe own childhood. The sheer variety of cultural and natural influences wple a brilliant manifesto for human crosscultural learning and understanding. The part where his sister died on her first birthday was quite rough. Mar 03, Christopher Okolo rated it it was amazing.

Ake by Wole Soyinka | : Books

The narrative is episodic, following the patchiness of childhood memories. The dramatic scenes that really come alive with humor and truth.

What I think I remember is probably what my parents and relatives told me about myself as a kid. He was the first African to receive such an honour. Chapters 6 and 7. The Years of Childhood. Thanks for telling us about the problem. View all 8 comments.


Aké: The Years of Childhood Summary & Study Guide

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 when their pupils were prevented from coming to class which by then extended to literacy by British tax agents. The second half of the book is a little clearer, written as a young man going through the rights of growing up, a disturbing night with the priest during which his ankles and hands are ceromoniously bled, and his time at school including his experiences of coporal punishment.

Jul 29, Tinea rated it liked it Recommended to Tinea by: 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 the young Soyinka.

Also, Achebe’s book deals wwole the time right before colonization really took hold, and “Ake” takes place during World War II; by then Ske almost finished teaching “Things Fall Apart” with this year’s 10th graders, so that story was still fresh in my mind while I read this memoir by another Nigerian writer.