Osundare at 70: I am humbled by my achievements

Professor Niyi Osundare, a world acclaimed poet and teacher, who clocks 70 today said he is humbled by what he has been able to achieve in life.

Osundare who reminisced on his life, works and the Nigerian situation in an online interview with TheGuardian said he has been extremely lucky with life.

When asked how significant the day is to him, the Septuagenarian enthusiastically spoke with the sense of fulfilment.

“I have been exceedingly lucky, with regards to the kind of good health I have had, and the fact that I survived two traumatic events: the attack by the yet unknown, yet un-apprehended hoodlums, who axed my head in January 1987 and very narrowly missed my brain. Then there was Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, which came so close to sweeping away my wife and I in New Orleans.”

Niyi Osundare Credit: pulse.ng

Osundare while talking of his achievements in life as a teacher and writer said, “I am humbled by what this farmer’s son from Ikere Ekiti has been able to achieve, and grateful to those who have helped me along the way, especially my parents, my own family, my teachers (yes, my teachers!), my colleagues, my publishers, my students, and many other benefactors in the different parts of the world my professional career has taken me to. To be soberly frank, life hasn’t been a bed of roses, but neither has it been a Golgotha of thorns.”

As expected, Osundare commented on the political situation in the country, saying just little has changed in terms of corruption. He said the restructuring of the country being clamoured for by most sections of the nation should be devoid of political permutations.

“Yes, I am all for that. ‘Fiscal federalism,’ that one also sounds good, politically correct. But I am for other kinds of restructuring. The restructuring of the present criminally iniquitous system that concentrates so much of our national wealth and power in the hands of a greedy and heartless few. The restructuring of a national value system, which places cash over character, power over propriety. The restructuring of a political arrangement in which ‘elected’ officials loot the national treasury through undeclared emoluments and countless constituency allowances…We must stretch the word ‘restructure’ beyond the pranks of political hawks intent on carving out juicier political fiefdoms for themselves. We must restructure the political semantics of the word ‘restructure’ itself.”

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