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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The part where his sister died on her first birthday was quite rough. Expectation demanded something special, something revelatory perhaps, from the formative years of a man who grew up to be one of the greatest writers of all time. Now Africa has produced one to stand up with the best of them.

Aké: The Years of Childhood – Wikipedia

He is the son of a very strict headmaster and Wole is expected to act appropriately at all times. As the story progresses you come to feel as if you know the narrator, his impudence, playfulness and resilience.

The questions he asked, his experiences at Abeokuta Grammar School got me rolling. 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.

Aké: The Years of Childhood Summary & Study Guide

This book was charming, but read more like a series of short stories than a real novel. Dec 22, Rhiannon Johnson rated it really liked it Shelves: Browse all BookRags Study Guides. Wole navigates this world with a mixture of child-like ignorance he once marches with a band to a distant town, getting completely lostmischief he cannot resist a taste of powdered milk, even at the promise of mother’s lashingsand maturity, crying when his baby sister dies on her birthday.


The events he witnessed, culture and society in which he was born into and how he perceived and tried to make sense of these with an inexperience and nascent mind is really fascinating.

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.

When he is old enough he is forced to move from his father’s room to the crowded communal mat where the rest of the children sleep, where a child’s random arm over his chest could translate to a nightmare in which Wole is attacked by a python.

If some of us cringed under the weight of any rebukes from adults, the young Wole weathered through with a pristine innocence that was yet stubborn.

Aké: The Years of Childhood Summary & Study Guide

Pages to import images to Wikidata. Lists with This Book. What’s not to love about that? It was a good read.

Anisfield-Wolf Book Award They want to stay still and watch the world go by. Being young and incredibly inquisitive and curious, Wole gets into lots of trouble, both physically and emotionally. What I think I remember is probably what my parents and relatives told me about myself as a kid.

Feb 19, Bob Newman rated it it was amazing. He heard of Hitler faintly and vaguely knew that he was an important figure. Jul 13, Aubrey rated it it was amazing Shelves: 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.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. This page was last edited on 15 Decemberat I have long been an admirer of Wole Soyinka’s poetry and plays, and his childhood memories fully explain how he developed the wit, intelligence and empathy to create them. Follow Us on Facebook. It is worth reading, ae it out. The evolution presented is one of feminist awakening. His relentless inquiry at such a young age causes concern fo Wole Soyinka gets rave reviews as a writer.


This surprisingly reasonable stance leads to eloquence regarding the matter of a stolen chicken being conducted along the lines of: Chapters 6 and 7.

Kuti against the taxation of women and the failure of the Alake and his follow traditional rulers to act in response to the women’s demand was observed through doyinka eyes of the young Soyinka who happened to be the courier for the Women’s movement is beautifully narrated in the book. Open Preview See a Problem? It’s actually an autobiographical account of the author’s childhood. The young narrator was endearing, though, and I especially loved his descriptions of his parents’ interactions–they sound like a pretty amazing family.

The Years of Childhood by Wole Soyinka. He chases things, explores, is naughty — sometimes very naughty! Wole keeps a aie watch on the goings-on in his town.

What a mistake to underestimate the rationality of children while overestimating that of grown-ups! He watches as his mom fights alongside other women in the village for the rights against unfair taxation. Aek 13, John David rated it really liked it Shelves: Wole Ae gets rave reviews as a writer. I love how like these books about boyhood, thou doesn’t t tell me anything in particular, yet thou tells me everything.

Individually, any experience is unique; it does not need to be dramatic, violent, broken or ecstatic to be special. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work that “in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence.

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