Wole Soyinka couldn’t attend his father’s funeral for fear that he would be arrested:
I recorded a farewell message, including lines from Dylan Thomas’ poem to his dying father, and I ensured it was played at my father’s funeral. As I recalled in my latest memoirs, You Must Set Forth at Dawn, secret service agents swarmed the routes leading to the town, convinced that I would indeed attempt to sneak into the country. They converged on the church and, on hearing my voice over the loudspeakers, concluded that I had eluded their net and was delivering the funeral tribute in person.
Soon enough, they discovered the mechanical source of the voice and, once the service was over, swooped down on the church in an effort to seize the tape-but why? To reassure their bosses that I had not shown my face after all, that it was only disembodied voice that had evaded their roadblocks? Or to interrogate the tape and find out by what agency it had landed in the church?
Leave a Reply