The Gods are not to Blame by Ola Rotimi

The Gods are not to Blame by Ola Rotimi

The Gods are not to Blame
Ola Rotimi
My Best Nigerian book is Ola Rotimi’s The Gods are not to Blame . It’s a classic that most literature student can not escape. The play strongly drives African belief in destiny and human attempt to turn it around. Gbonka, the king’s ward tried to re-write the destiny of King Adetugba’s new born baby, who should have being killed at birth to avert … the future of killing his father and marrying his mother by abandoning him in the bush for someone to pick up.

Though a couple who had been looking for a child found him and picked him up, he still found his way back to where his destiny lied. If only, Gbonka had killed him, the story would have been different. His disobedience attracted plague in the land that resulted in the death of many innocent villagers.

African beliefs, customs and tradition are highlighed in the play. Kabiyesi is an authocrat whose decision can not be questioned( Hence, K-a-b-i-o-o-s-i) Mode of communication – White cloth with okro symbolises war. Lessons learnt are obedience, patience, and openness.  It documents African folklores, myths, idiomatic expressions, symbolic communication and communal living. Tribute to Ola Rotimi!

Toyin TitiLoye


23 thoughts on “The Gods are not to Blame by Ola Rotimi” by Toyin Titiloye (@tititoyin4u)

  1. Tribute indeed and well done too.
    About time. I must say. Was wondering if nobody else read this book or even ‘African Child’

  2. Yeah, thanks. Can you please vote for me?

    1. I’m a biased old woman. lol Its a tough one though; if Admin would allow me vote for all of you; it’ll be my pleasure.

  3. Now, I think this website should be friendlier. I shared this link with my friends on facebook and they are finding it difficult to vote for me. We can’t find the vote button except for “post a comment” that even requires the respondent to register before posting a comment. If you ask me the process is toooo long. I’m turned off at the moment. The less the process the better the response. Just had to say this.

    1. Admin! Hope you’ve seen this and paying attention to it?

      1. Toyin, voted for you oh. Tell your friends too. I believe your complaints have been addressed.

    2. Toyin, the stars are located below each contribution; you can select from one to ten stars to vote, and you should not need to log in or register. I have updated the post here to make this clearer.

  4. Meena-Adekoya (@Olajumoke-Adekoya)

    African Child was not written by a Nigerian oh…that book haunts me, my copy is so dog eared…lol
    the Gods are not to blame on the other hand,( no offence intended i state before hand) as a child i read a lot of Greek mythology for some weird reason, when i came across the gods are not to blame, i knew i had read it somewhere, i was horribly disappointed when i realized he just transplanted the Greek myth of Oedipus…its a very clever story thou…

    1. Camara Laye shey; wonder why the book popped in my mind. Thanks.

  5. Thank Meena. Sure, Ola Rotimi adapted Oedipus Rex to suit the African setting, but think about it…How easy is that? He obviously carried out some research to fit into the Nigerian setting. This is evident in the places mentioned in the book and the imagery used. He didnt just dub like some home videos. I think he deserves to be appreciated.Which ever ways, I like people who are well read and willling to do constructive criticism. Kudos to you!

  6. Thanks Abby for voting for me and following up on my page.

    1. You are welcome dear.
      I agree that Ola Rotimi adapted greek mythology to a Nigerian setting. It was well done too.

  7. that was a mad book, it was so intriguiuing

  8. that was a mad book, it was so intriguing

  9. Thanks Yinka. Intriguing is just the right word to describe the book.

  10. i like the play a lot too. in fact, i have an old copy till date. the play is one to evoke a lot of mixed feeling and Rotimi aptly adapted the story of Oedipus to yoruba culture real well

  11. nice work toyin.but here is a poser to all. who is to blame?The gods or the king who the parents of the child who refused to carry out the dictate of the gods?

  12. @sambright, won’t it be like trying to ask “who came first the egg or the chicken?” I read the book a lot in secondary school and answered questions on it in GCE but on who is to blame? maybe the question should be “why was he created only to be burdened with such fate?”

  13. seeza (@anaduakachris)

    That book is quite didactic. I read it in my secondary school. I wonder why most of this books are no longer avaliable in bookshops.

    1. I really would not mind a copy of “The triumph of the water lily” by Ify Osammor. I read it for Jamb and still had the book until 400 level when my good friend lost it. Still hurts when I think that its no longer available

  14. Mmm…Ola Rotimi quite an Icon…felt really bad when he died. He was my external examiner for my post-grad you know. You know how much both the Greeks and the Yorubas have in common in terms of mythology….I don’t know of any other cultures with so many gods, myths and legends like these two, so it was a natural choice for adaptation. Thanks for your tribute.

  15. A most unforgettable book. One of my most loved books of all time.

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