Weaving together burlesque comedy, theatrical excess and storytelling, King Baabu has already been coined as a pet name for the despot par excellence. Soyinka re-enacts history of a nation as he premiers his new play, King Baabu, writes KUNLE OWOLABI. King Baabu is born, and there is nothing in the slightest bit constitutional about the way he sets about ruling through a combination of.

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King Baabu

Why can’t we do that for Soyinka too? Unarguably, the play exposes the gluttonous appetite for power, over ambition and sit-tightism, which effortlessly depicts the prototype of the African leaders -Mobutu Sese Seko, Kamsu Banda, Emperor Bokassa and the late Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha.

He makes a spirited effort to secure jealously his domain while starving off all opposition with the sword. Long Live King Baabu. This is probably because it directly parodies modern ‘revolving door’ dictatorships, which gives it more focus, and the satire bites hard enough to draw blood as a result, uncompromisingly mocking superstitions, corruption, violence, domestic life, excess, war and erections.

The Years of Childhood, Isara: Although the tempo fast at times, and may as well conclude that Soyinka makes a break from the past tradition of difficult bazbu direction as in a play like A Dance Of The Forest, where the audience shuttles between the world of the living, the dead, the yet-unborn and the spirit. But your Excellency, that is why we came to seek this loan in the first place.

As one reads it again and again, one would always discover a hidden treasure which will not yield its meaning ordinarily. The Participants Script and Artistic Director: In the manner of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi, Soyinka develops a special childish language for his cast of characters who have names like Potipoo A naked satire on the rule of General Abacha in Nigeria, the play chronicles the debauched rule of General Basha Bash who takes power in baavu coup and exchanges his general’s uniform for bqabu robe and crown re-christening himself King Babu.


King Baabulike Ubu Roiis incredibly daft, with over the top violence, an incompetent ‘hero’ and scatological jokes offering us incontinence and a character called Potipoo, for instancebut, unlike Ubuit stays within the realm of coherent farce rather than a jumbled, childish pantomine.

And its politics are global politics. This unfortunate experience not only accounts for what Soyinka summarizes as “the open sore of a continent”in his essay of the same title, but also gives an obvious impression that Soyinka, in these plays, embarks on an excursion that reveals how the self-inflicted horror of power games have precipitated the degradation of human values on the African postcolonial landscape.

They sustained him in power, backed by the Americans. For Wale Ogunyemi, the play demonstrates the self-centred attitude of our leaders who care less about the people they govern. Newer Post Older Post Home.

TRUTH AND FICTION: Theatre Review: King Baabu

Unarguably, the decade listed by Jeyifo marked the beginning of the turbulent years for Soyinka. Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan.

There abound in these plays characters whose names are evocative of the playwright’s perceptions of their nefarious representations. Altogether, for first stage of Operation Fill the Stomach, my ministry calculate special budget allocation of seventy-five million dollars foreign exchange.

All known to the general public of Africa and Nigeria most especially, that the initiation of coup d’tat is one of the top gravest mistakes Nigerian leader ever made and one of the most thoughtless flaws Nigerians ever embraced. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work that “in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones baaub the drama of existence.

In the manner of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi, Soyinka develops a special childish language for his cast of characters who have names like Potipoo and General Uzi. For Wole Soyinka and many African writers, the engagements with local and national spaces have occasioned responses that reveal a commitment to the resolution of national traumas which sometimes have inseparable links with external influences. You sustain this man in power for years with the most sophisticated weaponry.


Susan Aderin, London gaabu, who acted Mariya remarked thus about the play “it is global play.

References to this book Shakespeare’s Legacy: Laura marked it as to-read Mar 02, The masses in King Baabu appear to have had enough of the game of deceit and seemed undaunted in the resolve to oust Basha, but their anger is neutralized by Tikim’s eloquence.

The subscription to graft by these groups not only explains the “scar” that successive irresponsible governments have inflicted on the life of Guatu people, but also exposes the insen-sitivity of the so-called leaders of the pressure groups to the plight of the masses.

Wole Soyinka’s A Play of Giants and King Baabu: The crises between ideology and (social) vision

The death of Baabu via “the forbidden fruit” at the end of the play confirms the shamelessness and brittle morals of our naabu. For this reason the play returns to Nigeria in under the direction of the author after successful tours in Nigeria, Switzerland and Germany in and in Southafrica and Lesotho in This same ‘couping’ gave birth to the bloody regime of General Sanni Abacha, whom, like the likes of Gaddafi of Libya, made history for themselves by causing vast damage to humanity, memories baahu even a whole nation that has a lot to overcome.

Ife Monographs on Literature and Criticism. Baabu’s stage appearance however makes him seem more like Abacha or any other tyrant, living or dead in Nigeria, nay Africa. King Baabu mirrors a time of near anarchy in Nigeria when General Sanni Abacha’s predecessor, General Ibrahim Babangida, annulled the June 12, presidential election which was widely believed to have been won by Alhaji Moshood Abiola.