Plane seat hoopla: Soyinka says it's a minor incident

Wole Soyinka and the disrespectful young man in face cap

Wole Soyinka and the disrespectful young man in face cap

Wole Soyinka and the disrespectful young man in face cap

Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has punctured the controversy trailing his being unseated by yet-to-be-identified Nigerian on a flight, describing it a minor incident.

Ebony TV boss, Mo Abudu published an email reaction by Soyinka to the hoopla, in the wake of a post by a clownish Tosin Odunfa, who incidentally works for Mo.

Soyinka straightaway debunked the concocted narrative by Odunfa: “First, I never exchanged a word with him throughout beyond inviting him to take his allotted seat.Never spoke a word to him after that. Certainly never exchanged contact. So of course, I wonder if it’s the very individual who’s posted this or a total fake”.

The professor of literature and drama was damned right: Odunfa was fake.

Here is Soyinka’s mail as published by Mo:

Hallo Mo,
Someone sent me Patrick Tonye’s comment on the plane incident, and I saw your brief comment. It was a very minor thing and I’d forgotten all about it.

However, after reading the boy’s response, I became curious. First, I never exchanged a word with him throughout beyond inviting him to take his allotted seat.

Never spoke a word to him after that. Certainly never exchanged contact. So of course, I wonder if it’s the very individual who’s posted this or a total fake.

The phenomenon of stolen identities takes very strange dimensions and has become a source of worry. I wonder if this is one such. Anyway of your finding out.

I don’t operate in the social media as you probably recall.
WS

 

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Good morning beautiful people. Its 6.30 am here in Los Angeles. Quite a bit has been said about me making certain comments about the young man that refused to give up his seat for Professor Wole Soyinka. I will not comment further on this, however as you all know I LOVE and RESPECT Professor Wole Soyinka dearly. Based on this incident, I did receive an email from Professor Wole Soyinka this morning and with his permission, its below: Hallo Mo, Someone sent me Patrick Tonye’s comment on the plane incident, and I saw your brief comment. It was a very minor thing and I’d forgotten all about it. However, after reading the boy’s response, I became curious. First, I never exchanged a word with him throughout beyond inviting him to take his allotted seat. Never spoke a word to him after that. Certainly never exchanged contact. So of course, I wonder if it’s the very individual who’s posted this or a total fake. The phenomenon of stolen identities takes very strange dimensions and has become a source of worry. I wonder if this is one such. Any way of your finding out. I don’t operate in the social media as you probably recall. WS

A post shared by Mo Abudu (@moabudu) on

Oil and energy mogul Tonye Patrick Cole triggered the hoopla when he gave a witness account of the prudish behaviour by a young Nigerian who asked Soyinka to get up from a seat during a flight.

”I met one of the greatest Nigerians walking the earth today and as with other times, he was genteel, witty, forthright and humble. My smile gives me away as he permitted the picture whereas he would have preferred to get back to his newspapers.

”Then we boarded the flight and after assisting him with his bags, he took the window seat and promptly started reading again.

”A few minutes later this young man, baseball cap, t-shirt to show his muscled chest and tattooed biceps boards the plane and tells Prof he is on his seat (which he was). Those of us including the cabin crew tried to reason with Bobo Fine to let the old man be but the chap refused. He insisted Prof should vacate his window seat, which the old man quietly did for his original aisle seat next to him.

”I couldn’t understand how we got to this point where we no longer have respect for elders, even if are so ignorant of the great global personalities in our midst. Is it too much to ask that an elderly man be allowed to remain in a seat allotted to you in the same business class cabin and the same row?
Na wa o!”

The story has stirred controversy since then, with opinions split about the rightness or wrongness of the boy’s behaviour.