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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Jan 05, Raisa rated it really liked it Shelves: The first few pages are a little bewildering, before you wile into the comfortable flow of humorous, soginka, wondering memories.

This Boy’s Life and A Childhood: View all 9 comments. The Years of Childhood from BookRags. In a slightly unusual but very well-crafted narrative, he tells the whole story from the perspective of himself as a child I’m somewhat reminded of Roth’s The Plot Against America which means that as he grows up, the story becomes more intricate, the adult characters more three-dimensional, and his observations more astute; mirroring, in soyyinka way, a young country starting to find its footing Nigeria wouldn’t achieve independence until Wole graduates to Grammar School, which is led by his uncle, the fierce and larger-than-life Daodu.

This book felt so honest, like the author caught all the feelings he felt. This book has many memorable incidents, and the writing is wonderful — although events are seen from a child’s perspective the language is in no way simplistic.


That means that at times Ake is dense to the point of being soyibka drag, but when realisation shines through Soyinka creates moments of true beauty. In his refusal to bow to authority ‘just because’ you can see faint echoes of the man who would question and speak out against tyranny and dictatorship.


I also love that he talked about the historical events that happened as a child. Chapters 4 and 5. The story of how he causally began school and his inquisitive spirit is just astonishing and amusing at the same time. Now it makes sense why the Kut Absolutely wonderful. Yes, I mean you.

Aké: The Years of Childhood

Being young and incredibly inquisitive and curious, Wole gets akd lots of trouble, both physically and emotionally. Oh, and the language. As if I’ve been cheated somehow, having missed out on a classic addition to African Literature, one that undoubtedly helped mold the form of creative nonfiction. The Years of Childhood is a memoir which tells an engaging story of the early phase of his life as a child.

Aké: The Years of Childhood by Wole Soyinka

Someday, I will make thee required reading in my classroom. He was the first African to receive such an honour.

May 22, Wale rated it it was amazing. I looked at him in some astonishment. Everything is told from a child’s point of view, with no attempt to be prescient after the fact. Rex CollingsRandom House. What’s not to love about that?


Soyinka makes no concessions, and that’s great. Personally, I was intrigued by the story of the bodacious, assertive and tenacious Women’s Movement of Egbaland, a movement led by Mrs. And then, just as if you were suddenly thrust into a bustling market that you have to find your way out of, you begin to notice a certain order beneath the chaos.

He was curious and soyika, and made me laugh on quite a few occasions. Chapters 2 and 3. Wole’s mother eventually co-founds a women’s union, dedicated to social issues and eventually an end to excessive taxation.

Aké: The Years of Childhood Summary & Study Guide

This is super good, Soyinka is a wonderful writer. All three combine to make Ake very difficult to read casually and Soyinka’s childhood memoirs are so detailed and finely drawn that the question has to be asked how much is true memory and how much owes itself to the adult soyina creativity.

This made for an interesting contrast between the two cultures, languages, etc.

There is confusion and mystery and wonder. How the bewilderment of a little boy is captured through his grownup self and laid bare on the page. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.