One Little Girl's Dreams
By Femi Ojo-Ade
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Tiwani Toluwani is one little girl with dreams common to many of today's African children: to live happily in a family where both father and mother are present, to obtain a good, Western education, and travel abroad, as have done several members of the family and the community. This last dream is of particular importance because, unfortunately, the society is caught in the disgraceful web of corruption, irresponsibility, and general underdevelopment, and the subsequent depression and frustration make exile an attractive option. Societal disease are exemplified close to home, on One Little Girl's Dreams. In Twani's High School, the executive of the Parents-Teachers Association, rather than play the role of symbols of probity, and facilitators of progress, and good upbringing, act irresponsibility, in a manner similar to that of the leaders of the larger society. This novel, written for both the young and the young at heart, recounts the child's gradual and subtle loss of innocence which, however, does not lead to a disastrous adulthood. The evolution is deftly depicted in a first-preson narrative marked by satiric wit, a realistic approach, sensitivity to the child's responsiveness to parental responsibility, human, love, and an appreciation the problems prevalent in a society undergoing a socio-economic dilemma that encourages many citizens to dream of running away. The desire to leave home makes one wonder about the quality of such dreams. Ignorance of life at the other end, in exile, leaves evrything in a state of flux, thus underscoring the tragedy of life at home.
About the author: Formerly Professor and Head of Department of Foreign Languages at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, FEMI OJO-ADE is currently Professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland, USA, where he has been pioneer Coordinator of the African and African Diaspora Studies Program. An internationally recognized scholar of Black Literatures and Cultures, Ojo-Ade is also an award-winning creative writer.
In addition to many articles and essays, he has published eighteen books of criticism, fiction, and poetry. The long list includes:
- A. critical texts: ON BLACK CULTURE; BEING BLACK, BEING HUMAN; DEATH OF A MYTH: CRITICAL ESSAYS ON NIGERIA; KEN SARO-WIWA, A BIO-CRITICAL STUDY; LEON-GONTRAN DAMAS.
- B. fiction: HOME, SWEET, SWEET HOME (translated into Brazilian Portuguese as MAMA AFRICA); DEAD END; BLACK GODS; ONE LITTLE GIRL'S DREAMS.
- C. poetry: EXILE AT HOME.
- D. Ojo-Ade writes in several languages, including his native Yoruba, Englich, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. His first novel in French, LES PARADIS TERRESTRES, was recently co-published by African Heritage Press and Amoge Press.
More information on this writer may be obtaine at: http://www.smcm.edu
His creative works include:
- Dead End (2001)
- The Almond Tree (2000)
- Exile At Home (1998) (Honorable mention 1999 Association of Nigerian Authors/Cadbury prize for Poetry)
- Ken Saro-Wiwa: A Bio-Critical Study (1999)
- Black Gods (2002)
- One Little Girl’s Dream (wins Association of Nigerian Authors’ Prize for children’s Literature in 1999)
- Home Sweet Sweet Home (Translated into Portuguese)
- Death of a Myth: Critical Essays on Nigeria, Les Paradis Terrestres ( French 2003)
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