Tuesday, 15 January 2008
In the Shadow of A Saint - Ken Wiwa
In this memoir, Ken Wiwa explores the legacy of his father, Ken Saro Wiwa, the environmental activist, most famous for his leadership of the Ogoni in Nigeria in their struggles against Shell which despoiled their land and is linked to violence against people and communities. Ken Saro Wiwa was executed in November 1995, which is what brought the struggles of the Ogoni into worldwide popular consciousness. Here, although Wiwa outlines his fathers' political battles, he talks more about what it is like to grow up in a political family and to feel your needs are subservient to your parent's political activism. He meets up with the families of Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela and with Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese activist, herself the daughter of a political activist. Its a fascinating book, giving insights into family relationships, political legacies and the large contradictory country that is Nigeria.