On Nigerian Intellectuals as Votives of Chaos


Why is it that some of the most intelligent Nigerians out there speak as if they are ignorant how important the framing of stories is, how crucial and misleading adjectives can be, easily are?

What did you get, I ask, from your reading of Achebe, from the pause in your heart you feel at border control in any country you present a Nigerian passport? Because, increasingly, I question these lovers of adjectives who have knocked their own brains up so properly that they act as if adjectives are nouns.

An adjective is a political construct, a noun is closer to the truth it describes.

Then again, it just might be a death wish, intellectuals becoming votives of Chaos. What then would be the point of all your learning and exposure?

– Ra.


2 thoughts on “On Nigerian Intellectuals as Votives of Chaos”

    1. I’m afraid I do not think anything distinguishes the Nigerian context for defining an intellectual. Here is the definition I go by:

      “Let me put this in personal terms: as an intellectual I present my concerns before an audience or constituency, but this is not j us t a matter of how I articulate them, but also of what I myself, as someone who is trying to advance the cause of freedom and justice, also represent. I say or write these things because after much reflection they are what I believe ; and I also want to persuade others of this
      view. There is therefore this quite complicated mix between the private and the public worlds, my own history, values , writings and positions as they derive from my experiences, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, how these enter into the social world where people debate and make decision s about war and freedom and justice.”

      – Edward Sa’id.

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