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    Nigerian Writing Legend turns 80

    Published on 22/07/2014 by David Birkett

    Akinwande Oluwole "Wole" Soyinka, popularly known as Wole Soyinka, turned 80 recently, and was feted by a series of celebratory events throughout his native Nigeria. Soyinka became – in 1986 – the first African to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, and his considerable body of work has embraced many genres, including novels, plays, short stories, essays and screenplays. The writer’s work has been constantly informed by a desire to identify and challenge oppression, regardless of the uniform or colours it wears, and his insistence on carrying out this mission in his personal life has led him into activism and exile, although he returned to Nigeria in 1999. One of Soyinka’s early acts of protest was to seize the Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service studio in 1965, and broadcast a demand for the cancellation of the Western Nigeria Regional Elections. Soyinka has enjoyed a prestigious academic career alongside his creative work, having taught at Oxford, Harvard and Yale, among other institutions.



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