Saturday, 10 October 2015

Facts You Need To Know About Prof. Wole Soyinka - Must Read

Do you know that Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian playwright, poet, author, teacher and political activist? who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986.

Wole Soyinka was born on July 13, 1934, in Nigeria and educated in
England. In 1986, the
playwright and political
activist became the
first African to receive
the Nobel Prize for Literature. He dedicated
his Nobel acceptance

speech to Nelson Mandela. Soyinka has
published hundreds of
works, including drama,
novels, essays and
poetry, and colleges all over the world seek him out as a visiting
Early Life
Wole Soyinka was born
as Akinwande Oluwole "Wole" Babatunde
Soyinka in July 13, 1934,
in Abeokuta, near Ibadan in western Nigeria. His father, Samuel Ayodele Soyinka, was a prominent Anglican minister and headmaster. His mother, Grace Eniola Soyinka, who
was called "Wild Christian," was a shopkeeper and local
activist. As a child, he
lived in an Anglican mission compound, learning the Christian
teachings of his parents, as well as the
Yoruba spiritualism and
tribal customs of his
grandfather. A precocious and inquisitive child, Wole
prompted the adults in his life to warn one another: “He will kill you
with his questions.” After finishing preparatory university
studies in 1954 at
Government College in
Ibadan, Soyinka moved
to England and continued his education
at the University of Leeds, where he served
as the editor of the
school's magazine, The
Eagle. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in English literature in 1958. (In 1972, the university awarded him an honorary doctorate).
Plays & Political Activism
In the late 1950s, Soyinka wrote his first
important play, A Dance
of the Forests, which
satirized the Nigerian
political elite. From 1958
to 1959, Soyinka was a
dramaturgist at the Royal Court Theatre in
London. In 1960, he was
awarded a Rockefeller
fellowship and returned
to Nigeria to study
African drama. In 1960,
he founded the theater
group, The 1960 Masks,
and in 1964, the Orisun
Theatre Company, in
which he produced his own plays and performed as an actor.
He has periodically been a visiting professor at the universities of Cambridge, Sheffield, and Yale.
Soyinka is also a political activist, and during the civil war in Nigeria he
appealed in an article for a cease-fire. He was
arrested for this in 1967, and held as a political prisoner for 22
months until 1969.
Nobel Prize and Later Career
In 1986, upon awarding
Soyinka with the Nobel
Prize for Literature, the
committee said the
playwright "in a wide cultural perspective and
with poetic overtones
fashions the drama of
existence." Soyinka sometimes writes of
modern West Africa in a satirical style, but his
serious intent and his
belief in the evils inherent in the exercise
of power are usually present in his work. To
date, Soyinka has published hundreds of
works. In addition to drama and poetry, he has written two novels, The Interpreters (1965) and
Season of Anomy (1973), as well as
autobiographical works
including The Man Died:
Prison Notes (1972), a
gripping account of his
prison experience, and
Aké ( 1981), a memoir
about his childhood. Myth, Literature and the African World (1975) is a collection of

Soyinka’s literary essays. Now considered
Nigeria’s foremost man of letters, Soyinka is still politically active and
spent the 2015 election
day in Africa’s biggest
democracy working the
phones to monitor reports of voting irregularities, technical
issues and violence, according to The Guardian. After the election on March 28, 2015, he said that Nigerians must show a
Nelson Mandela-like ability to forgive president-elect Muhammadu Buhari’s
past as an iron-fisted
military ruler, according
to Bloomberg.com. Soyinka has been married three times. He
married British writer
Barbara Dixon in 1958; Olaide Idowu, a Nigerian
librarian, in 1963; and Folake Doherty, his current wife, in 1989. In
2014, Soyinka revealed
he was diagnosed with
prostate cancer and
cured 10 months after

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