Africa celebrates one of its greatest writers, Wole Soyinka as he turns 82. Wole is a vibrant intellectual, critic, humanitarian and political enthusiast.
Wole Soyinka was born in 1934 in Abeokuta, Nigeria. He is the first African author to be awarded the Nobel Prize award in literature. Wole is remembered for his outstanding contribution in African literature.
In form of satires, the brilliant and observant author critiques social ills as well as ruling African governments. The poet and playwright did not and still does not spare political ills in his home country Nigeria. This landed him a 2-year solitary confinement during the Nigerian Civil War.
He is known for his work as a playwright. He authored such works as Death And The King’s Horseman, Dance Of The Forests, The Beatification of Area Boy, amongst others.
Wole Soyinka was appointed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the Promotion of African culture, human rights, freedom of expression, media and communication, in 1994.
The African born international personality currently works as a professor in 2 prestigious institutions in the United States- Professor University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.
These are some of the thought-provoking quotes of Wole Soyinka:
1. The hand that dips into the bottom of the pot will eat the biggest snail.
2. I cannot belong to a nation which permits such barbarities as stoning to death and amputation – I don’t care what religion it is.
3. The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism.
4. You are not a complete human being if you are not educated, schooled or cultured.
5. Books and all forms of writing are terror to those who wish to suppress the truth.
6. The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny.
7. Power is domination, control, and therefore a very selective form of truth which is a lie.
8. The writer is the visionary of his people… He anticipates, he warns.
9. I am a glutton for tranquility.
10. No human is completely fearless.
11. I am convinced that Nigeria would have been a more highly developed country without the oil. I wished we’d never smelled the fumes of petroleum.
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12. Some African leaders actually dare to suggest that democracy is a concept alien to traditional African society. This is one of the most impudent political blasphemies I can think of.
13. For me, justice is the prime condition of humanity.
14. The Sudanese government has been playing games with the world, with the Africa Union, in particular, have been playing for time in order to conclude its mission of ethnic cleansing in the Sudan.
15. I’m an Afro-realist. I take what comes, and I do my best to affect what is unacceptable in society.
16. Weak people revenge; strong people forgive; intelligent people ignore.
17. Be yourself. Ultimately just be yourself.