Professor Wole Soyinka has reacted to the unusual encounter between him and a plane passenger that led to national debate in the last 24-hours.
Recall that mixed reactions have trailed the conversation about the incident where a young Nigerian man ‘ordered’ Wole Soyinka, out of his seat onboard a flight over the weekend and Mo Abudu’s initial reaction to the story also made her a target online.
Media mogul, Mo Abudu has shared Wole Soyinka’s own side of the story.
Abudu while reacting had said:
‘I will not comment further on this, however as you all know I LOVE and RESPECT Professor Wole Soyinka dearly. Based on this incident, I did receive an email from Professor Wole Soyinka this morning’.
Below is Professor Wole Soyinka’s reaction to the whole saga as shared by Mo Abudu:
Someone sent me Patrick Tonye’s comment on the plane incident, and I saw your brief comment. It was a very minor thing and I’d forgotten all about it. However, after reading the boy’s response, I became curious.
First, I never exchanged a word with him throughout beyond inviting him to take his allotted seat. Never spoke a word to him after that. Certainly never exchanged contact. So of course, I wonder if it’s the very individual who’s posted this or a total fake.
The phenomenon of stolen identities takes very strange dimensions and has become a source of worry. I wonder if this is one such. Any way of your finding out. I don’t operate in the social media as you probably recall.
A TV presenter by name Tosin Odunfa had left a message claiming he was the “Bobo Fine” that asked “a whole” Wole Soyinka to stand up from his (Odunfa’s) seat on a plane, Nigerians lashed out at him, thinking they had finally got hold of the person with the effrontery to order the foremost playwright out of a seat.
Odunfa might have been mobbed if he was caught physically. Little did many know that Odunfa only deployed the services of a literary device called SATIRE.
Odunfa jumped on the comment section of Tonye’s post and told the story; painting a scenario of what could have possibly played out between the young man and Soyinka—putting himself in the shoes of the former.
“I am the young guy! Yes the one in question with a baseball cap and t-shirt. I am unashamed to be at the prime of my youth infact I blushed a little bit after reading your decription of my chest and muscles. Is thanks to strong discipline that I live a fit life and I am able to go to the gym on my tight schedule,” Odunfa wrote.
“Prof didn’t mind getting up and infact he confided in me as we chatted later on the flight that he would have done the same and that he was more embarrassed by the undue attention. Prof and I actually have a few things in common, we are both in academia, I have a PhD in electrical engineering and teach nano electromagnetic theory at the University of Mannittawiw. He said to me that he thinks that Nigerian youth need to stand up more for themselves than we do and he spoke to me about the ideals they tried to promote when he cofounded a secret society in his youth . I have read up on him now and know for sure that Wole Soyinka is a great man but I sadly was not taught about him in school.
“We exchanged contact information and I will certainly stay in touch. Please note that I am on the Autism spectrum and need the view from the window to keep me from getting sick on the plane hence my insisting on taking the window seat. Finally, Brother Tonye the words on your lap are very inspiring “Everything you want is on the other side of not giving up.”
THE SATIRE TIPS IN THE TWEET
University of Mannittawiw? No, there is no known institution with that name on earth.
And if indeed, Odunfa is really who he claimed to be in the post, how would a person with his educational background not know Soyinka, the only Nigerian to have won the Nobel laureate prize?
Odunfa subsequently explained that he was only trying to defend the young man’s action.
“Youth are often viewed with disdain even when they are highly skilled and experienced, Ageism is a real threat to a vibrant future because the best may be excluded from leadership if they happen to be young,” he said.
“The real #bobofine’s character was assassinated without trial. He needed a fall guy and I volunteered through #Satire and I created a #PlausibleScenario todrive home my point.
“We are all #bobofine! The story creates a plausible scenario of defence for young people who are often judged too quickly.
“An even deeper take away is the point that youth have to rise up and realize that there is a clear and present threat to the quality of their future.
“This threat is embodied by a dysfunctional society that favours ageing-patriarchy (old men) who are not aware of the damage they are doing to our potential. Women are at risk too.”
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