Sympathetic Stupid

Friday, November 11, 2005

Ken Saro-Wiwa

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa. He was an activist in Nigeria from an ethnic minority known as the Ogoni, whose traditional homelands are in the Niger Delta; an area rich in oil and long exploited for this fact. Saro-Wiwa led a nonviolent campaign against the environmental and social damage caused by this, especially the activities of those perennial villains, the multinational oil companies.

Saro-Wiwa seems to have been one in a million; successful in everything he tried, as an author, businessman, TV producer and even in bureaucracy and politics. His biggest task, however, was to lead the aforementioned campaign at the head of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), attacking the Nigerian Government and the multinational oil companies. The oil companies pulled out. The Government arrested and executed him.

Corruption, exploitation, degradation, racism, heroism - this story has many timeless aspects. Read more on Chippla's Weblog and on Black Looks.