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In the radiance of the sage: The life and times of HID Awolowo By Dr Wale Adebanwi

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The outstanding biography of HID Awolowo as presented by Dr. Wale Adebanwi follows reality as it shapes a narrative in the meaning of a constructive life. Though Ikenne is home and in its soil is where the placenta of Miss Hannah Idowu Dideolu was buried and to that city her life, times, and eventual demise revolves; places like Ibadan, Ikeja, and Apapa also feature in this story of many hills.

The book of nine chapters (excluding the epilogue and prologue) opens when the subject is a grown woman and the following chapter presents her as a woman growing up in different cities.  As you well know, most cities are confluences of history, politics, commerce, religion and other concerns of life that help (re)shape the lives of natives and residents who call the place home.  To really know a person or a collective, a researcher must open the innards of the various spaces and places that gave birth to, and nurtured the person and the group she identifies with. This preposition is not too far from DmitiriKalugin’s injunction that “[a] particular challenge for the poetics of biography is the peculiar character of the constitution of the biographical subject. It evolves through the interaction between textual strategies and the realm of social facts such as the workings of institutions, models of behavior, notions of success and recognition, etc.” None of these elements as enunciated by Kalugin is absent in In the Radiance of the Sage.

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