ABOUT THE BOOK
Dialogue With My Country was published from a compilation of articles written by Niyi Osundare in his column in Newswatch, a Nigerian magazine, within 24 years. Directed at both young and old, the text comments on numerous societal issues in Nigeria, aided by the writer’s sharp wit and prodigious imagery. The book is split into seven chapters, each addressing a particular subject: social and environmental issues; media; arts, culture and literature; education; tribute; politics and governance; and miscellaneous and international affairs.
The memoir is an exposition of Nigerian society from the eyes of the famed writer, Niyi Osundare. He discusses several issues, including media, arts & literature, the environment, and, of course, politics. Writing in his trademark poetic style, with vivid imagery and exciting wordplay, Osundare also lets his emotions flow into the text. His bitterness and anger are obvious, as is his continued disappointment and frustration with a country that promises so much but delivers so little.
There are so many reasons to read the memoir. Besides the refreshing digging up of largely forgotten knowledge and history, the text is as satirical, ironic and humorous as you would expect from a poet of Osundare’s calibre. Even the title itself is ironic – Osundare refers to 24 years of largely ignored social commentary as ‘dialogue’ with his country, emphasising starkly, perhaps, the difficulty in communicating to both the government and the Nigerian society itself.
“While this is a collection that contains both wit and wisdom, it is fundamentally an angry book. The quiet rage may be contained in a wrapper of humour and softened by the style and pedigree of his prose but Osundare is true to his belief that the basis of all art is justice.”
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