Soyinka: Elechi Amadi, a tribute

Jul 4 2016 - 8:47am
Elechi Amadi

Elechi Amadi

By Wole Soyinka

Adieu, Elechi Amadi, soldier and poet, captive of conscience, human solidarity and justice. Elechi is gone, but creativity remains as consolation, honouring its faithful servitors and filling us with gratitude for their passage.

I recall those enraged, agonizing hours when the peace and sanctuary of his home were violated by kidnappers, mulled over the treasured moments I spent with him in the intimacy of his living room. It seemed unconscionable that, having survived a Civil War, he should now be subjected to the sadism, disrespect and greed of a handful – and of course, of the failure of overall society that he took to arms to rectify.

Far from his home, I quietly celebrated his triumphal return. Now there are only memories of those sparse but quietly congenial interactions to celebrate. I remain appreciative for the instinctive rapport that marked our encounters, public or private.

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