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Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him - Literature - Nairaland

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Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by mastercee(m): 11:03am On Nov 26, 2013
Wole Soyinka is well known throughout Nigeria and the rest of the world as a brilliant playwright, poet and political activist. With more than 50 pieces of work, his writing includes novels, memoirs and a wide variety of essays. He is the first person in Africa to win the Nobel Prize in literature, and is respected for his willingness to speak out against repression and corruption. But beyond all of that, there are still many things you may not know about Wole Soyinka.

Though his father was an Anglican minister, Wole was an atheist

Wole’s father, Samuel Ayodele Soyinka, (whom he called S.A. or “Essay”) was an Anglican minister and headmaster of St. Peters School in Abẹokuta. His mother, Grace Eniola Soyinka, owned a market shop, was active in the women’s movement in her community and also was a practicing Anglican. Wole, on the other hand, was an atheist. His beliefs contributed greatly to his writing.

He’s got some pretty influential family members

Wole’s mother, Grace, was a member of the Ransome-Kuti family, known for its contributions to Nigerian art, religion, education, medicine and politics. His cousins include activists Beko Ransome-Kuti and Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, musician Fela Kuti, and Health Minister Olikoye Ransome-Kuti.

He helped found the first confraternity in Nigeria

While pursuing a degree in English literature, Greek, and Western history at University College in Ibadan, Wole helped found the Pyrates Confraternity with six others. It was built as an anti-corruption and justice-seeking student organization, themes that would play into much of his later work.

He’s been arrested multiple times

Before he was famously arrested during the civil war in Nigeria, he was imprisoned in 1964 after being accused of making political radio broadcasts disputing published election results.

Despite imprisonment, Soyinka was wildly productive, writing and producing several plays

Some of Wole’s most famous works were written during his 22-month imprisonment. He smuggled in materials such as books, pens and paper. Much of his work at this time, unsurprisingly, was focused on criticizing the Nigerian government that was restricting his freedom.

Wole went into voluntary exile amid concerns over the political situation in Nigeria

After resigning from his professorial duties at the University of Ibadan in April 1971, he spent five years of voluntary exile in Europe. During this time, he worked as the editor of “Transition,” Nigeria’s leading intellectual journal.

He has been married three times and divorced twice

He has been married to his third and current wife, Adefolake Soyinka, since 1989 and has three children with her (he also has children by his other wives). Adefolake is a former student of Wole’s.

He has never been afraid to criticize other nations or his own

Wole is well known for making contentious statements against other nations, including European nations where he lived in exile. It demonstrates his commitment to exposing injustice regardless of the location, and his willingness to make unpopular moves.

In Nigeria, he is considered a political activist first and a playwright second

Despite his amazing body of work, Wole’s long history of criticizing the Nigerian government and taking action against corruption are among his greatest legacies. He remains an influence on writers and activists in Nigeria and across the world.

He has been named Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

This is a Nigerian honor first established in 1964 people who served and benefited Nigeria. Soyinka was awarded in 1986, the same year he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Source: afkinsider.com

11 Likes

Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by boay: 11:13am On Nov 26, 2013
Thanks OP, have learnt from this. But is he really an atheist? His life is challenging
Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by castielo(m): 11:27am On Nov 26, 2013
He needs help undecided

1 Like

Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by 1stola: 11:32am On Nov 26, 2013
OK. me next.
Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by Sepp360(m): 12:06pm On Nov 26, 2013
boay: Thanks OP, have learnt from this. But is he really an atheist? His life is challenging
Whats challenging about his life? Being atheist?...
Thats the most interesting part if i must say!...

A proud Atheist!...
A proud Cultist!...

2 Likes

Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by boay: 1:47pm On Nov 26, 2013
Sepp360: Whats challenging about his life? Being atheist?...
Thats the most interesting part if i must say!...

A proud Atheist!...
A proud Cultist!...
His achievements are challenging considering the fact that he wrote from a prison.
Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by Sepp360(m): 4:32pm On Nov 26, 2013
boay:
His achievements are challenging considering the fact that he wrote from a prison.
I still disagree!... These days, true inspiritaions come only when you're in prison!... Yhu can go ask obj and mandela!...
Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by ikeokoye(m): 4:45pm On Nov 26, 2013
an atheist indeed ......................bad egg
Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by kenbee(m): 4:45pm On Nov 26, 2013
Saint Soyinka hmmmm! Now I know better that in whatever U do, good or bad, try to be outstanding.
Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by funkymedina: 4:49pm On Nov 26, 2013
10 things we didnt know? if we didnt know he has been arrested multiple times and is a playwright and political activist or he founded the first confra then what did we know??
brb

9 Likes

Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by Nobody: 4:50pm On Nov 26, 2013
Wole was an atheist?
Is he dead? Is he no longer an atheist?

15 Likes

Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by daffur: 4:50pm On Nov 26, 2013
lnspiring, Challenging and Informative
Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by daffur: 4:52pm On Nov 26, 2013
Today's prisons don't reform again. imagine the body of work he carried out. With 24-7 we have today, many are still finding purpose and fulfillment elude them.
Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by REMMEI(m): 4:53pm On Nov 26, 2013
Uncle Wole is not an atheist..He's an agnostic..






He says he doesn't wanna be a role model..but many are modelling his role.

1 Like

Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by IYANGBALI: 4:55pm On Nov 26, 2013
castielo: He needs help undecided
what have you achieved in your miserable life?who knows you in your family not to talk of your street?its you that needs help jo

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Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by yordha(m): 4:55pm On Nov 26, 2013
thats my mentor, but not as an atheist

1 Like

Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by zeanslim(m): 5:02pm On Nov 26, 2013
A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government ! Double thumbs up W.S

2 Likes

Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by REMMEI(m): 5:02pm On Nov 26, 2013
IYA NGBALI: what have you achieved in your miserable life?who knows you in your family not to talk of your street?its you that needs help jo




IYA,easy on that dolt lad..
Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by femogbangba: 5:02pm On Nov 26, 2013
.....
Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by IYANGBALI: 5:03pm On Nov 26, 2013
sexymoma: Iya Eleyin tolotolo dem go soon ban you.... wa to te.
fi iyawo mi lorun sile jo,na jelosi dey worry you
Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by Ajibel(m): 5:04pm On Nov 26, 2013
One of my role models. Much respect to him smiley
Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by Nobody: 5:04pm On Nov 26, 2013
This is wrong. He is not an atheist. He's an ardent Ogun worshipper.

4 Likes

Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by mustaphagreens(m): 5:05pm On Nov 26, 2013
..
Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by jaylorde(m): 5:06pm On Nov 26, 2013
Thank God,he didnt deny naija
Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by Nikapetrelli(f): 5:11pm On Nov 26, 2013
Gud to know
Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by eaglek: 5:13pm On Nov 26, 2013
The Fool says in his heart "There is no God". No be me talk am. Atheism is definitely not the way to go. Doesn't matter how many "prominent" people have taken that route. They sure have all erred! I rest my case.

12 Likes

Re: Wole Soyinka: Things You Didn’t Know About Him by Saraben(f): 5:13pm On Nov 26, 2013
atheist practising atheism

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