Vanguard -Viewpoint : OPINION: Toni Kan and the pigmy critics
WHEN Jack Kerouac wrote the “bible” of the beat generation “On the Road”, a young upcoming literary critic of his era who detested his guts and lifestyle in 1957 described it as “…a literary cul-de sac and nightmare”. This literary semi-autobiography was to sell over a million expresso coffee machines and a trillion Levis, according to William Buroughs a writer on the Beat movement. Of course the critic probably ate his pen later. He was what the writer Paul Mungo will describe as a literary pygmy because he let his emotions go to work, whatever the flaws of the book were - he lost objectivity. Quite under-standably literary pygmies wherever they are, want to be some place or somebody else, so they drip venom from cobra-headed nibs.
To all literary watchers a spoil for war was signalled when soft-sell romance writer turned critic took it upon himself to do an Al –Qaeda styled 9-11 hatchet job. It was full of insults and innuendos unbecoming of a young puppy wet between the ears. The Young Turk was Toni Kan Onwardi while his target was politician and maverick philosopher-poet Francis Ohanyido who founded the Afrisecal movement, a new pan-African renaissance group. The “Faltering Rhythms” article published recently in a national daily was spawned by sheer malice. Onwardi freely bandied around words like “self-styled” and “egomaniac” in his rather unwholesome lackluster review in a manner capable of sparking off a war in the Nigerian literary circle