The Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka

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The Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka

The Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka (born 1935) was one of the few African writers to denounce the slogan of Negritude as a tool of autocracy. He also was the first black African to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Wole Soyinka was born July 13, 1934 in Abeokuta a village on the banks of the River Ogun in the western area of Nigeria. His mother was a Christian convert so devout that he nicknamed her "Wild Christian" and he father was the scholarly headmaster of a Christian primary school whom he nicknamed "Essay"--a play on his occupation and his initials S.A. Soyinka was educated through the secondary level in Ibadan and later attended University College, Ibadan, and the University
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Instead, General Ibrahim Babangida, who had ruled the nation for eight years, prohibited the publication of the voting results and installed his deputy, General Sani Abacha, as head of the Nigerian state. Soyinka, along with other pro-democracy activists, was charged with treason for his criticism of the military regime. Faced with a death sentence, Soyinka went into exile in 1994, during which time he traveled and lectured in Europe and the United States. Following the death of Abacha, who held control for five years, the new government, led by General Abdulsalem Abubakar, released numerous political prisoners and promised to hold civilian elections. Soyinka's return to his homeland renewed hope for a democratic Nigerian state.

Prejudice in Telephone Conversation and Dinner Guest-Me:

In ‘Telephone Conversation’ and ‘Dinner Guest-Me’ each poet uses their poetry as a means of confronting and challenging prejudice. In ‘Telephone Conversation’ by Wole Soyinka, a phone conversation takes place between an African man and a very artificial lady about renting out a room. When the lady finds out he is African she becomes very prejudiced and racist towards him. Similarly ‘Dinner Guest-Me’ by Langston Hughes is about a black man going to a dinner party where he is the only coloured person there, like he is the ‘token black.’

Anger and a sense of humour are shown in both the poems. In ‘Telephone
Conversation’, the
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