Festus Iyayi


 Nigerian leftist writer, he wrote several radical, realist novels about Nigeria. In the 1980's he was active in a progressive academic staff union, eventually becoming its president. Detained several times for his activism during the military dictatorship of Ibrahim Babangida. Always deeply concerned about social justice and with no faith in the ruling class, Iyayi remained a committed and principled radical. Murdered by the same corrupt, comprador political class he regularly denounced in his novels and political activism. On 12 November 2013, on his way to a union meeting meant to deal with an ongoing strike, his car was hit by the reckless, criminal convoy of a ruling-party state governor.

Violence (1979): 310 pages

The Contract (1982): 218 pages. An interesting novel exploring corruption in Nigeria, but which will be familiar to anyone who honestly  understands the rampant corruption destroying their country and the world at large. It is also an important didactic novel to teach about the specifics/details of corruption under capitalism. Iyayi discuses how people in certain environments are corrupted: in wealthy families for instance an aversion to corruption is considered a grave danger; in public positions where corruption is rampant the honest person will be punished and penalized until they are corrupted or neutralized. Iyayi details the effects that wealth and corruption have on individuals' personality and behavior. He also makes the point that men with power and/or money use women like they use money or alcohol and have not the minimum respect for women and are mainly interested in controlling and exploiting women "proving" their superiority at least to themselves. The sole conclusion one can reach while reading this novel is that there is a deadly necessity for a social revolution to usher in a new world of justice and equality without exploitation of any form.