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13 astonishing facts about Wole Soyinka

He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, becoming the first African laureate. Wole was described as one “who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence”.
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1. Soyinka’s first major play, He Swamp Dwellers was published in 1958 at 24.

2. Two of his works, The Man Died: Prison Notes of Woke Soyinka and Poems from prison were written on a sheet of toilet paper and smuggled out of prison.

3. He was raised in a religious family, attending church services and singing in the choir from an early age; however, Soyinka himself became an atheīst later in life.

4. In 1965, at the age of 31, he seized the Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service studio and broadcast a demand for the cancellati0n of the Western Nigeria Regi0nal Electi0ns.

5. He has taught in some of the best universities in the world, including Oxford, Cambridge, Yale and Harvard.

6. Soyinka’s relentless activism often exp0ses him to risks.
During the regīme of Nigeria’s mi.litary dictator, General Sani Abacha, he escaped from Nigeria via the ‘NADEC0 R0ute’ on a motorcycle, after the dictator had issùed a d£ath sentence on him in ab>sentia.

7. In 1952 at the age of 18, Soyinka alongside six friends founded the Py.rates C0nfraternity at the University College, Ibadan.

8 . In 1967, during the Nigerian Civīl, Soyinka was acc.used of supporting the Bīafra. And he was impris0ned for 22 months.

9. In 2014, Soyinka revealed he was diag0nised with prostate ca.ncer and cured 10 months after treatment.

10. He resigned from his university position twice in protest. First in 1964 and second, in 1971.

11. Soyinka has received several honorary degrees, from such prestigious universities as Harvard (1993), Princeton (2005) and the Franklin Humanities Institute of Duke University, where he was appointed Distinguished Scholar in Residence in 2008.

12. Even at 89 Soyinka still exides brilliance, mental alertness and intervenes in national and global poitics. He still writes.

His latest novel, “Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth” was published to critical aclaim in 2021 at the age of 87.

Booker Prize award-writer Ben Okri described the book as “The greatest novel, his re.venge against the insa.nities of the nation’s ruling class and one of the most shocking chronicles of an African nation in the 21st century.”

13. Today Tinubu names Abuja highway after Professor Wole Soyinka
“He said Soyinka has brought honour and fame to Nigeria.”

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