Who’s That Legend!

With the bloody warfare happening in Muqdisho and global economic collapse, lately I find myself fascinated by Nigeria. There is something always interesting about this country. Whether its bee-like movie production or scam artists, Nigeria, it seems, is an interesting place.

According to this story, Nigerians asked about who is their ‘greatest living legend’ chose an evangelical pastor by the name of Enoch Adeboye – not Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe

Soyinka

Soyinka

or Wole Soyinka. How in the world does this happen? Then it occurred to me that Achebe and Soyinka are international legends – not just Nigerian legends. But the fact that none of these accomplished authors come even close to the popularity of a pastor (I don’t have anything against Mr. Adeboye – although having his own private jet in one of the poorest country in Africa as a man-of-God does not impress me, nonetheless…) in Nigeria is perplexing to say the least. I mean, Achebe’s work is a standard read for every school child in North America, most of Europe, and other parts of the world. The same goes for Soyinka (at a higher education level).

So what has pastor Adeboye given Nigeria that makes him a Living Legend above Achebe and Soyinka (even above the great footballer Kanu that led Nigeria to an olympic gold and two World Cup appearances)? Religious sermons, of course! I guess my standard of what qualifies as a ‘legend’ is definitely not the same as those of Nigerian churchgoers.

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Categories: Africa Related, Funny/Odd | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Who’s That Legend!

  1. Hind

    This is an interesting article to read. I think Nigerian choose Enoch Adeboye because a pastor would have a direct and greater influence on people lives than writers or futbol players. People need comfort.

    In the article it says that “ today Christian miracle preaching is the shortest path to wealth in Nigeria.” I thought it sounds very familiar. People would pay anything for their peace of mind and soul especially in such hard days.

    Btw, you made my research easy by creating those links to the other famous or influential Nigerians. I hope to get to read some of their work, but I don’t think I will be interested in the futbol player.

  2. Om

    Hey, don’t dis the futbol player, lol!… he’s very popular over there:-) He was my homie in the 1998 World Cup!

    In terms of the pastor’s influence, you are right. This pastor preaches what is commonly referred to as ‘The Gospel of Prosperity’ in the US, which has been exported over there for the past ten years or so. It does give people comfort in the sense that this preaching style avoids all the heavy and scary stuff about religion; instead it focuses on “God wants you to be rich and if you do this (usually donate money to the pastor’s fundraising) you will get rich.” So people vote with their ‘heart’ and peace of mind…

    But still, I’m of the believe that there’s some rigging going on for this contest. Consider this: only 50% of Nigerians are Christians so that means the voting is not representative of the population at large. I think the article eludes to this point but doesn’t explore it at all.

    I’m glad the links are useful to you:-)

  3. cigaal

    I read Achebe a while ago when life was still innocent. Soyinka I have yet to read nor have I seen his plays – I remember when he was awarded the nobel prize for literatture. Ben Okri is another excellent nigerian writer. I think nigeria is capable of producing the best in any field – they do have some of the best footballers in the world. I know this girl who watches nigerian films, a somali girl, but I have never been a film person.

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