Revolutionary Ken Saro-Wiwa Quotes That Will Always be Remembered

Compilations of the 15 Revolutionary Ken Saro-Wiwa quotes.

Kenule Beeson “Ken” Saro-Wiwa was born on October 10, 1941, and died on November 10, 1995. He was a writer, television producer, and environmental activist from Nigeria.

Ken Saro-Wiwa was an Ogoni, a Nigerian ethnic group whose homeland, Ogoniland, in the Niger Delta, has been targeted for crude oil production since the 1950s and has suffered severe environmental degradation as a result of decades of indiscriminate petroleum waste disposal.

Saro-Wiwa led a nonviolent campaign against the multinational petroleum industry’s operations in Ogoniland, particularly the Royal Dutch Shell company, first as a spokesman and then as president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). He is also a critic of the Nigerian government for supposedly being hesitant to impose environmental controls on international petroleum companies operating in the region.

At the pinnacle of his nonviolent campaign, he was prosecuted by a special military trial for allegedly masterminding the heinous murder of Ogoni chiefs at a pro-government meeting, and hanged in 1995 by General Sani Abacha’s military dictatorship. 

Ken Saro-Wiwa Quotes

  1. “I’ve used my talents as a writer to enable the Ogoni People to confront their tormentors. I was not able to do it as a politician or a businessman. My writing did it… I think I have the moral victory.”

2. “I tell you this, I may be dead but my ideas will not die.”

3. “I am more dangerous dead than alive.”

4. “The inconveniences which I and the Ogoni suffer, the harassment, arrests, detention, even death itself is a proper price to pay for ending the nightmare of millions of people.”

5. “Lord take my soul, but the struggle continues.”

6. “The writer cannot be a mere storyteller; he cannot be a mere teacher; he cannot merely x-ray society’s weaknesses, its ills, its perils. He or she must be actively involved shaping its present and its future.”

7.  “I have no doubt about the ultimate success of my cause no matter the trials and tribulations which I and those who believe with me may encounter on our journey. Neither imprisonment nor death can stop our ultimate victory.”

8. “The men who ordain and supervise this show of shame, this tragic charade, are frightened by the word, the power of ideas, the power of the pen.”

9. “I have devoted all my intellectual and material resources, my very life, to a cause in which I have total belief and from which I cannot be blackmailed or intimidated.”

Ken Saro-Wiwa Quotes

10. “I have no doubt about the ultimate success of my cause no matter the trials and tribulations which I and those who believe with me may encounter on our journey. Neither imprisonment nor death can stop our ultimate victory.”

11. “Whether I live or die is immaterial. It is enough to know that there are people who commit time, money and energy to fight this one evil among so many others predominating worldwide. If they do not succeed today, they will succeed tomorrow.”

12. “The most important thing for me is that I’ve used my talents as a writer to enable the Ogoni people to confront their tormentors. I was not able to do it as a politician or a businessman. My writing did it. And it sure makes me feel good! I’m mentally prepared for the worst but hopeful for the best. I think I have the moral victory.”

13. “Oil was at the centre of the Nigerian Civil War. People from oil-bearing land were the main victims. Twenty years later, the system of revenue allocation, the development policies of successive Federal Administrations, and the insensitivity of the Nigerian elite have turned the Delta into an ecological disaster and dehumanized its inhabitants. The notion that the oil-bearing areas provide the revenue and yet be denied a proper share of that revenue is unjust. The silence is deafening. The affected people must not be frightened by the enormity of the task, by the immorality of the present. I call upon the Nigerian elite to play fair.”

14. “In this country [England], writers write to entertain, they raise questions of individual existence…but for a Nigerian writer in my position you can’t go into that. Literature has to be combative. You cannot have art for art’s sake. This art must do something to transform the lives of a community, of a nation. And for that reason, literature has a different purpose altogether in that sort of society…The stories that I tell must have a different sort of purpose from the artist in the Western world…and art, in that instance, becomes so meaningful both to the artist and to the consumers of that art, because you do not just depend on them to read your books, you even have to live a life that they can.”

15. “The writer cannot be a mere storyteller; he cannot be a mere teacher; he cannot merely X-ray society’s weaknesses, its ills, its perils. He or she must be actively involved shaping its present and its future.”

My Favorite Ken Saro-Wiwa quotes are, “I am more dangerous dead than alive.” and “I tell you this, I may be dead but my ideas will not die.”

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