I urge young writers to stop abusing older writers – Jeff Unaegbu

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I urge young writers to stop abusing older writers - Jeff Unaegbu

I urge young writers to stop abusing older writers – Jeff Unaegbu

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I urge young writers to stop abusing older writers – Jeff Unaegbu

I urge young writers to stop abusing older writers – Jeff Unaegbu

Ara is Igbo for madness, ingenuity or creativity. In the context which I will employ it, it is the constructive art which is often manifest in profound literary scribbles. But there is a variant of Ara which has gone abroad amongst younger writers, making them cackle and giggle and insult the classic works and achievements of established writers, without making clear points to back up the maddening criticisms, other than the entire corpus of these older authors are nothing to write home about.

They abuse Chinua Achebe to no ends. They insult Wole Soyinka to high heavens. They accuse Cyprian Ekwensi of literary failure.

And they do all these with the aid of the internet and other appurtenances that were not available in the days the works of these giants were written. Or they make their accusations based on underlying ethnic intentions or the use of today’s prism to judge works that were written at a different age and growth of the English language and literary stylistics. Then they expect posterity to remember their own works when they are gone.

They feel correct and good with themselves, shooting radical guns where conservative musings are required. They never stop to ask themselves why they do what they do. Fifty years from now, they expect posterity to look at what they do now and salute them.

And the elders might have cursed them inwardly or even openly, as the great Soyinka had done. And now, it appears Ara has overtaken many young writers. Now, they are fighting amongst themselves for relevance. There are marked ethnic divisions emerging, however coached in deadly humour.

Writing competitions are hurriedly created and won, but it appears not many minds are looking at the big picture. How would posterity remember my works? Will my works influence a positive change in the society for over two hundred years after I am gone? What are we doing?

I heard all this giggling and stood aside, disturbed. And it appears that Facebook is the big platform for demonstrations of this variant of Ara. I urge young writers to stop abusing older writers - Jeff Unaegbu

I urge young writers to stop giggling, stop writing venom, stop abusing older writers. And when they stop, I think the curse from the elders will wear away and the spell of sibling rivalry which is spreading will abate.

After stopping this noise, young writers should humbly go back and read the works of these people they make fun of, not with today’s prisms, but with yesterday’s contexts. Then they begin their writing anew with impressive maturity.

I do not know if I am a good writer. But the last thing I will do is to pluck out the eyes of people who went before me. If I see any weakness in their works, I will make my criticism with as much clarity and maturity with available facts that will yield results and provide an avenue for learning.

Have you observed that anyone can pick up any book written by anyone and call it bullshit? Only weak minds will follow that kind of critic. Sadly, many people do. I would rather that you follow a critic that calls a work bad and then goes ahead to show WHY it is so, clearly with quoted examples from the texts.

Because of this noisemaking from young writers, I am sceptical of awards these days. I have come to that feeling that makes deep writers shy away from awards giving by judges that are not so deep in judgement as they are in sentiments. It does not matter how prestigious such awards are.

I am giving this advice to Nigerian writers. Not many people are offering this advice. I do not know why.

Jeff Unaegbu, is a conscientious writer and a lover of films from Enugu state, Nigeria.

What’s your take on Jeff’s perspective? Have we gone too far?

I urge young writers to stop abusing older writers - Jeff Unaegbu

Dare Gbadebo

Author: Dare Gbadebo is the publisher with the trademark darebaba.net is a versatile writer who had his media training based on photography at PEFTI film institute and has written for many top media houses in Nigeria. Stay tuned for your favorite celebrity news political updates and paparazzi. Darebaba on social media Facebook | Instagram | Google+

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