Saturday, May 25, 2013

Soyinkan Skewering

There are put-downs and then there are Soyinkan skewerings:
The saddest part for me was that this work was bound to give joy to sterile literary aspirants like Adewale Maja-Pearce, whose self-published book – self-respecting publishers having rejected his trash – sought to create a “tragedy” out of the relationships among the earlier named “pioneer quartet” and, with meanness aforethought, rubbish them all – [Wole Soyinka] especially. Chinua [Achebe] got off the lightest. A compendium of outright impudent lies, fish market gossip, unanchored attributions, trendy drivel and name dropping, this is a ghetto tract that tries to pass itself up as a product of research, and has actually succeeded in fooling at least one respectable scholar. For this reason alone, there will be more said, in another place, on that hatchet mission of an inept hustler.
Leaving aside the accuracy or propriety (or otherwise) of Soyinka's comments, the words with which he makes them are undoubtedly entertaining. They also illustrate his uniquely dense, verbose, prolix -- and highly effective -- style. This is interesting because the general advice to avoid bombastic language is good advice. Soyinka is one of the very few writers who has somehow managed to make a virtue of verbosity.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Wal-Mart Way

Reading The Wal-Mart Way: The Inside Story of the Success of the World's Largest Company by Don Soderquist:

Friday, May 17, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How To Train Your Dragon

Reading (to the boys at bedtime):

Wonderful book. Beautifully written and quirkily illustrated by Cressida Cowell, the author. It's the first in the recorded adventures of one Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, an unlikely Viking hero. It routinely has the boys laughing out loud. And brings out a few smiles and chuckles in the reader too (me). The best thing I can say about it is: thank God there are eight more books in the series!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Thursday, May 09, 2013

True Freedom

We don't begin to know what [true] freedom is until we come to a place in our lives where we have no need to impress anybody. - Joyce Meyer

Investing in African Prosperity

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Best

There's a popular saying in the Bemba language: "Inshimbi ni nshimbi".

It defies adequate translation into English -- it literally means "metal is metal".

Its intended meaning, though, is that, sometimes, one must simply acknowledge the undeniable facts. Metal is metal, and nothing else.

It's painful to say this as an Arsenal fan, but not as an all-round football fan: it is an undeniable fact that Sir Alex Ferguson, who today stepped down as Manager of Manchester United, is quite simply the best football manager who has ever lived. His record at Manchester United alone speaks for itself: one Club World Cup title; two European Champions League titles; thirteen English Premier League titles; five English FA Cup titles. Not to mention many other less well known trophies. Indeed, Sir Alex Ferguson's greatness transcends even football itself. Judged on the basis of delivery of consistent results over time using finite resources, Sir Alex Ferguson is undoubtedly one of the greatest managers, of any kind, who has ever lived. Inshimbi ni nshimbi, Metal is metal.