Thursday, July 12, 2012
Professor Wole Soyinka: A Delicious Literary Porridgege
Professor Wole Soyinka is a distinguished playwright,poet,author and writer. Professor Oluwole Akinwande Soyinka is famous for being the first African in Africa and in diaspora to win the Nobel prize for literature in 1986. He is regarded by many as Africa's greatest writer and one of the world"s most salient dramatist. He was born on July 13,1934 in Abeokuta, Ogun State,South-west Nigeria. He was born into a family with deep religious values.His father, Samuel Ayodele Soyinka was an Anglican minister alongside his mother,Grace Eniola Soyinka whom he described as a wild christian. his mother was a daughter of Reverend Canon J.J. Ransome Kuti of the influential Ransome-Kuti family.The world renowned Afro beat super star,Fela Ransome-Kuti,who later changed his name to Anikulapo-Kuti,Dr Beko Ransome-Kuti,Prof.Olikoye Ransome-Kuti are all Professor Wole Soyinka's cousins. Prof Soyinka read English Literature,Greek and Western History at the University College Ibadan,which was then affiliated to the University of London.He later proceeded to England and studied at the University of Leeds.Professor Wole Soyinka played an active role in the Nigeria's political struggles since the 60's.In 1965, he caused an uproar at the Western Nigerian Broadcasting Service studio when he broadcast a popular demand,for cancellation of the then Western Nigeria regional election. During the Nigeria's Civil war in 1967, he was arrested by the Federal Government of Nigeria, The then military head of state,General Yakubu Gowon puthim in solitary confinement for two years. As a humanist and a protagonist for good governance,Prof Soyinka continues his political struggles till the days of the fiery Military ruler, General Sanni Abacha, and even till date in Nigeria, where his salient opinions on topical issues are well-sought by many Nigerians.In the aftermath of the the killing of Chief Bola Ige,the former attorney general and Minister of Justice,Professor Soyinka described the attitude of the then former president Olusegun Obasanjo administration as 'Dancing on Ige's funeral' He called the current Militant islamic sect Boko Haramism and wondered why the Boko Haram group detest western education.Professor Soyinka also condemned the killing of then leader of the Boko Haram sect,Muhammad Yusuf by the Nigerian Police.He called the recent renaming of the University of Lagos,a dubious way to honor the acclaimed winner of the 1993 Presidential election in Nigeria and asked President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to declare MKO Abiola, the winner of the 1993 election with the additional befitting honors.Professor Soyinka also said recently in an interview on Aljazeera satellite television that he was not thinking about how he would like to be remembered. He said that it is up to those who care to extract whatever they like on how they would like to remember him.