This collection of poetry celebrates the writing style of the late Nigerian writer Amos Tutuola. I read Amos Tutuola’s novel Palm Wine Drinkard when I was in class 5. I not only enjoyed the story but I remember I could not keep the book down. I had my mom call me, with a request that I should sleep so that I am not late for school the following day. I obeyed and I switched off the kerosene lamp. But as I slept that night, I deeply yearned for the next day, so that I could continue reading the story.
I loved the power of simplicity and innocence with which the story is told. The genuine competence with which Tutuola captures the innocence of the characters as they narrate their life experiences. Which at the same time happen to be a reflection of their world view. The reading experience of my childhood came back to life years later when I was studying stylistics at the University. The shadow of innocence that characterize Tutuola’s style of writing can be sited as a subsumed voice that characterize aspects of everyone’s inner being. This innocence is lost buried and ignored the moment the ego and one’s self esteem, in addition to the desire to fit into the intellectual being becomes one’s inner craving.
I observe with keen interest how children acquire language and I am always amazed by the language children use when they express their thoughts and ideas, as they struggle to develop their language competence. The language for most children is limited in grammar and vocabulary, but interestingly, they still communicate. It is this CHILD’S language, grammar and linguistic competence of a child’s conscience that we need to celebrate because it forms a part of every human being on the one hand, and on the other hand because it is never devoid of good sense, humor and serious meaning.
Amos Tutuola : -Author- The Palm-wine Drinkard