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T. M. Aluko (Timothy Mofolorunse Aluko) Biography

(1918– ), (Timothy Mofolorunse Aluko), One Man, One Matchet, One Man, One Wife

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Agha Shahid Ali Biography to Ardoch Perth and Kinross

Nigerian novelist, born in Ilesha, Western Nigeria, educated at Government College (Ibadan), Lagos University, and the University of London. He was director of public works for Nigeria's Western Region, and in 1966 became senior lecturer in engineering at Lagos University. His most accomplished novel, One Man, One Matchet (1964), set in preindependence Nigeria, depicts with comic verve political conflicts between traditionalists and modernizers in a coca-growing village. His first novel, One Man, One Wife (1959), was equally shrewd in its depiction of village politics, pitting Christians against the authority of traditional chiefs. Other novels include Kinsman and Foreman (1966), about a civil servant's struggles to resist the demands of his relations; Chief the Honourable Minister (1970), which deals with the problems of government at the top; His Worshipped Majesty (1972), which focuses on the loss of political power by traditional chiefs; and Wrong Ones in the Dock (1982), which denounces certain aspects of the Nigerian legal system. Despite his exposure of political chicanery, Aluko, unlike many other prominent African novelists, such as Chinua Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong'o, appears to be a champion of the post-independence élites in government and civil service.

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