"Like the Sonorous Proverb of the Agidigbo Drum: Proverbiality, Folktale and Political "Sittightism" in Osofisan's Yungba Yungba and the Dance Contest"

Bosede Funke Afolayan


In the world, particularly the African continent, a plethora of economic and political malaise characterise social life. Political change is often bedevilled by unrest, internecine wars, rape, displacement and arson. "Sit-tightism", a situation where a political leader remains in power for more than three or four decades without calling for an election has been the trade of our political leaders. From Mobutu Sese Seko of Congo to Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Lauren Gbagbo of Cote d'lvoire and now Maumar Gaddaji of Libya, the story has been the same. This paper negotiates proverbiality and Folktales in Osojisan's Yungba Yungba and the Dance Contest and situates them within the matrices of African people's philosophy of culture and Knowledge. It believes that Proverbs and folktales are effective and act as warnings against such aberrations as "Sit-tightism". In essence, these oral aesthetics are not only linguistic sophistications but also functional. Where diplomatic moves and military tactics may have failed, literature may yet have its place as a valid instrument for conscientisation. Proverbs and Folktales, in this play, defamiliarise the issue of political change and draws attention back to it.

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