During my pry school days in the late 50’s we had an appealing song; ” kayọde kayọde, sare wa wo ọkọ ofurufu, wa wo bo ti nfo lofurufu, odun wo bo se nfo lọ_.” Meaning; Kayode, Kayode, come to view the aeroplane, come to see how it flies, it’s pleasant to view it flying.
Before I invite ‘Kayọde’ sakes online to come to view Idan Toyin or for clarity, Toyin Falola, let me dig into the past, precisely two demographic generations ago – ie. in the 70’s and recollect the satirical finesse of Gbolabo Ogunsanwo, an exemplar newspaper columnist of a popular Nigerian newspaper – Daily Times. A demographic generation being 25 calendar years, so said Professor P. O. Olusanya of the Sociology Dept, University of Lagos, Nigeria.
Gbolabo Ogunsanwo calmly used satirical writings to direct the minds of Nigerian intellectuals, middle class and homes to the evils in the ills of the nation of the time. The great impact that his writing had was evident in the rising sales of the tabloid on the days his columns were published.
He used satire to tame the war-time powers of the military Government of General Gowon. This was the time when Supreme Court ruled in favour of the citizen to defend the citizen’s right on particular property, i.e. Lakanmi vs the Nigeria State, but the the defacto power of military which flowed from the barrel of the gun moved against citizen’s right to overrule the dejur power of the Supreme Court. The interpretational authority which the Supreme Court derived from the Constitution was rubbished. It was during the years when might was right that the satire of the pen of the meek and defenceless Gbolabo Ogunsawo charted paths and influenced events in the Nigerian society. The writings analysed and reconstructed understanding for citizens who were spectators of governance and he helped to tame the absolute powers of the Nigerian State – the Decrees of the 70’s and the early 80’s.
It’s now past five decades, two generations or half a century and Toyin Falola, from academic community is safely up on wings that could be found available worldwide online.
From his Idan satire through Emi Oga to Were, I am excited to invite the kayọdes, such as in my early years song expressed above, to come to watch, track and read another trailblazer, an idan who on his wings is ‘flying’ seamlessly on the internet; a stronger communication platform than the tabloid that reigned in the horizon half a century ago.
Fálọlá is pleasant to read as you follow him. In Yoruba, this is translated and sung as; ” Falola dun ka bi o ba n tele ”
The question that may arise is that; would Idan be able to use his streaming satires to analyse the problems bedeviling our nation; to identify critical issues needing corrections; and to re-construct concrete ideas for sequential pathways that the nation should follow? In addition, can idan build and sustain such satirical writings to persuade positive focuses that are imperative for the minds of Nigerian citizens and their leaders; can his streaming writings generate interest and stimulate the will and capacity of our thinking people as to significantly change their pervading defective social philosophy code named “opposite people” in one of Fela’s musics and excite such turn around that could impact speedy development for our nation?
To fellow kayọdes (ie. readers) online, I ask; Toyin, Toyin, Toyin, how many times have I called him? The answer is not locked in my readers but in idan himself.
Let our Idan Toyin Falola ride on please.
Saadu Kayọde Adebayò is a retired Permanent Secretary, Oyo State.