Tunde Fatunde, an individual who can claim the titles of international bilingual journalist, environmentalist, creative writer, professor and chair at the University of Lagos in Nigeria, is returning to campus for a third time on November 8 to provide two informative lectures on “The Politics and Cultural Relevance of Nigeria’s Pidgin English” and “Africa’s Boat People in Europe.”
The first lecture is part of the World Issues Forum held in the Fairhaven College Auditorium every Wednesday afternoon from 12-1:30 p.m.. This lecture will focus on Pidgin English, a language widely spoken in urban areas of Nigeria and often referred to as “street talk.” Interestingly, this language is used tactically in political campaigns. Despite the growth of the language and the popularization by musicians, artists, and actors, the language has yet to be officially recognized. The lecture sets to answer this question and present the political concern of this issue.
Tunde Fatunde’s plays are often written in Pidgin English; they are plays for the common people in Nigeria.
The second lecture is part of the Paths to Global Justice Series, held in the Communications Facility room 120 from 4:00-5:30p.m., shifting focus to the hundreds of people who have tried to land in Europe with the hopes of finding gold-lined streets. Although these individuals are not able to obtain visas, they seek means of transportation through “immigration dealers” who take them on unsafe journeys across the sea. Many are determined to get to European turf even with the borders being closed at Italy and Spain. Could these aspiring travelers seeking a more uplifting economic situation than their homeland be at risk for future use as a threat against Europe’s safekeeping? Fatunde will speak about the people from Africa who have been coined “the boat people” and what can be done to prevent mistreatment of these hopefuls.
“The main objective of my visit is to present complex, political, economic and cultural issues affecting Nigeria and West Africa with a view to interacting with members of Western Washington University community so that they can further assist in the promotion of multiculturalism and democracy in the world,” says Fatunde. “The world is similar to a human body i.e. what affects the parts will affect the whole. Peace and progress in West Africa will definitely have a positive impact in the world and within the US.”
Longtime friend of Tunde Fatunde, English Professor Christopher Wise encourages students, faculty and community members to attend Fatunde’s lectures for a unique opportunity to see a person of many hats.
“When he gave a talk last year, people really enjoyed it. He’s a very smart guy, a very dynamic speaker, and he follows international politics very closely,” says Wise. “So you really do get an unusual perspective, that is a highly informed perspective at the same time from a writer of international stature whose a very sharp guy. It really is a unique opportunity because he’s a very interesting person; people who come will not be disappointed.”
Tunde Fatunde’s previous lectures include a lecture on globalization in the Fall of 2004 and a lecture on oil and US interest in West Africa in Fall 2006. The two upcoming lectures won’t be the last Western hears of Tunde Fatunde; with international politics and economics constantly changing the possibilities of future lecture material is endless. He also obtains a lot of his ideas for lectures, workshops and other academia seminars through the interaction with colleagues “whom he shares and exchanges ideas on various aspects of human affairs.”
“The feedback I have received from the Western Washington University community from my last lecture is that there is an urgent need to understand and appreciate the fact that multiculturalism in global politics is one of the fundamental bedrocks for peace, progress and democracy in the world,” says Fatunde.