Yoruba Boy Running
Yoruba Boy Running charts Samuel Ajayi Crowther’s miraculous journey from slave to liberator, boy to man, running to resisting
‘Run, Ajayi, run!’
The day the Malian slave traders invaded the Nigerian town of Osogun, thirteen-year-old Ajayi’s life was split in two.
Before, there was his childhood, surrounded by friends and family, watched over by the ancient Yoruba gods of forest and water, earth and sky. After: capture, slavery – and release, into the service of a new god, his own culture left far behind. So Ajayi becomes Samuel Crowther – missionary, linguist, minister – and abolitionist: driven to negotiate against his own people to end the miserable trade in human beings which destroyed his family.
Drawing on the prolific writings of Samuel Ajayi Crowther, Biyi Bandele has created a many-voiced, kaleidoscopic portrait of an extraordinary man. From the heart-stopping drama of Ajayi’s last day of freedom to the farcical intrigue of the Osogun court; from a meeting with Queen Victoria; to his consecration as the first African Bishop of the Anglican Church, his journey, like all great odysseys, circles back to where he began. By turns witty, moving and quietly political, Biyi Bandele’s reimagining of Crowther’s life is a brilliant tour de force.
‘A true artist. A brilliant writer. An original thinker’ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Biyi was a unique, all-responsive talent . . . The more he achieved, the further he aimed -- Wole Soyinka I always had huge respect for [Biyi's] prolific, super-talented and fearless creativity -- Bernardine Evaristo [Biyi Bandele's novels] are rewarding reading, capable of wild surrealism and wit, as well as political engagement, as is all his writing * Independent * Biyi Bandele was a titan, who did the heavy lifting and laid the foundations many British Nigerian writers & theatre makers walk on -- Inua Ellams Bandele, who is without doubt one of Africa's finest creative minds, built an extensive career across various creative spaces, achieving success in literature and film * Brittle Paper *
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