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            This study has been able to show how Wole Soyinka and Ola Rotimi have treated politics artistically in their various texts. This study aims at examining the adventure of the military into politics and the playwrights have shown how unaccomplished the military has been in their governance. In the study, we have seen that art and politics go hand in hand and the two are inseparable. At the end of this study it has been deduced that military intrusion into the politics of a state especially Africa countries is negative.


1.1             INTRODUCTION

                  Wole Soyinka hails from the Yoruba land in the Southern part of Nigeria. He is a nobel laureate and has written in all genres of literature(prose, poetry, and drama).

                  He uses his works as an instrument for social mobilization and change.

Wole Soyinka as a democrat believes in an egalitarian society that is a society where everybody should be answerable to the law and justice is met out without considering the class of the individual. In fact, he believes in a society where there should be no class at all. Everybody should have equal rights in all ramifications.

                  Although, Soyinka is not much of a politician but those years in his country when absolute power was in the hands of the military he was not at ease because his dream society was not guaranteed under such leadership.

                  Soyinka abhors the intrusion of military into politics of a country. He finds military in politics contrary to the constitutional duty and argues that the provision of security for the nation as a whole is their duty. He sees the military as leaders without a mandate and as a threat to personal essence and his dream society. He wants changes during the reign of the military and employs his writing toward this end. Soyinka uses satire to bring out the ills of the society and his ideas to bring a desired change.

                  Ola rotimi hails from the Yoruba land in the Southern part of Nigeria. He has written a great deal of work whose thematic preoccupations are of tremendous literary social significance. He has contributed immensely to the development of African literature especially in the areas of African drama and theatre and a lot of critical attention has been paid to his works by both African and European critics. Ola Rotimi’s mode of assessing a socio-political system,the people’s attitude e.t.c. in a society is satire- a form of writing which makes fun of the evil or foolish behaviour of people, institutions or society in general. The Nigerian society for him is obviously a chaotic one where dreams and aspirations of people remain unrealized. He has seen with shock and disbelief the endemic corruption, moral decay and political morass that have become part and parcel of the society.

                  Ola Rotimi,Wole Soyinka and other artists are committed as writers to restore order in the society through their various works respectively.

1.2                   PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

                  This research work will aim at examining the adventure of the military into the politics of a country and how Wole Soyinka and Ola Rotimi have presented this artfully intheir works respectively.

This study focuses on the artistic presentation of the military in politics and it examines Soyinka’s The Beatification of Area Boy and Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again respectively.


This study focuses on the artistic presentation of the military in politics and it examines Soyinka’s The Beatification of Area Boy and Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Againrespectively.


                  This research work is done to advance scholarship on art and politics. It enables one in understanding the relationship between the two variables.


                  The approach to the research work is descriptive.The Beatification of Area Boy and Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again will be the primary texts while works on the internet and related books will be consulted.The primary texts are described in the light of their preoccupation with politics.


                  “Art” and “Politics” are the two main terms in this research work and have to be defined to give the study a perspective.

According to Zulu Sofola:

Art can be defined as an artistic realization or manifestation of powerful stirring in the divine essence within the artist in reaction to the disequilibrum created in the universal order of the negative force in the cosmos which threatens existence, particularly human existence.1

She also defines art as:

A creative experience, which is nearest to God because it is in that experience that man shares very clearly in the most enduring and significant attribute of the supreme Deity, God as a creator, the Supreme Artist.2

The above definitions show that there is a divine attribute in the artist, which places him in a position related to that of the supreme creator “God”. In this position, the artist sometimes reacts to the negative and positive forces within his environment and comes up with something which hitherto never existed that is a discourse of both literary and aesthetic interest .To most artists, the direction of their creativity is determined by the manner or way in which orderliness is elevated, their thematic preoccupation is to praise and consolidate the status quo, but orderliness is threatened, they step in for its restoration.

According to the Encyclopedia Americana:

art comes from a latin word “Ars” meaning skill.3

This original meaning is still relevant as we have such saying as art of coming or art of dancing. But in the general sense, art embraces all the creative disciplines such as literature, poetry, drama, music and visual arts. In this study, art will be examined as the “creative skill”

According to Zulu Sofola earlier quoted:

This creative skill is not only used to heal and restore the lives of the sick and battered humanity, it is also used to create new vision for growth renewal generation and edification of man for a wholesome life and better community.4

In doing all these works, the artist therefore acts as a seer, a visionary, a thinker, a creator, a prophet and above all, the conscience of the people.

Politics according to The Dictionary of American Politics:

Is the art and science of organizing the state and managing its affairs both internal and external. It is also the act of controlling, protecting, assisting and governing individuals and groups in a society.5

This simply means that politics is the day to day running of the government of a country by the politicians for the betterment of the citizenry. It is normally done by the civilians through systems of government such as democracy, monarchy, socialization, etc. Politics is definitely not a familiar terrain for the military but they sometimes get involved in it.

            Military has to do with soldiers, armies or warfare. It is the part of government invested with the responsibility of territorial security of a nation. Under normal circumstances, they are not allowed to seize or form the government of a country. However, if ever they should do that, it should be over a conquered territory.

The Dictionary of American Politics defines military government as:

A temporary government maintained by the military forces over a conquered or occupied territory, under which regulations of the military commander supersedes the civil law.6

The performance of the military when they get involved in government is the focus of this study.

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