Chief Isaac Oluwole Delano: A Legend and His Legacy


No honor befits a person who enjoys life without helping his country. What glory is entitled to a lazy person that the courageous man does not have? The head of a lazy person is not comparable to the nail of the strong; shame follows the pride of the lazy.2 Chief Isaac Delano discovered his intellectual mission during the colonial moment. The nature of the colonial state influenced his writings. The body of his work operated in a context of colonial-modernist state. The colonial power, in its imperialist/messianic philosophy and the quest to inscribe European ethos on other cultures, the colonized people of Nigeria, like others elsewhere, were told that the root to modernity was the European way of life. Tough it claimed to be liberal as it evolved from an already civilized society, “magnanimous” enough to spread the gospel truth of this civility and civilization to other societies still living far below their human potentials in their various crude and barbaric enclaves, it was not liberal enough to the extent of accommodating all indigenous cultural elements of the colonized people. Delano had to respond to the limitation of the colonial modernist project. Tus, for one to be qualified as being civilized—or call it “modern” if you like—is to be successful in the indoctrinated inevitability of combating every feature of one’s culture, values, and traditions to win the trophy of modernity.
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