Wole Soyinka deserves the utmost respect from Nigerians of all ages.
The kids of today might only know Wole Soyinka as the 83-year-old man with the coolest Afro in the world.
The silver-haired literary giant might seem to be a relic of an old generation in the eyes of millennials. This is because most cool kids on Twitter don't know their past.
Wole Soyinka is one of the coolest Nigerians to have ever walked the face of the earth. And whatever issues you have about his political silence these days please put some respect on his name.
The Nobel Laureate has lived a rich and fulfilling life that would take the best of Hollywood writers to conjure. Here is a brief history of one of the coolest Nigerians ever.
Wole Soyinka comes from the fine Egba stock in the Yoruba tribe. Born in 1934 in Abeokuta city, the English Professor is the cousin to another cool Nigerian, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
As a matter of fact, his mother was the daughter of Rev. Canon J. J. Ransome-Kuti. Just a bit of trivia for you guys, Rev. Canon J. J. Ransome-Kuti was the first Nigerian to release an album.
He attended prestigious Nigerian schools such as Abeokuta Grammar School and Government College in Ibadan. In 1952, he went to University College, Ibadan and studied English Literature, Greek and Western history.
Wole Soyinka wrote one of the greatest Nigerian books of all time 'The Lion & The Jewel' which was published in 1962 by Oxford University Press.
Three years later, in 1965, Wole Soyinka pulled off a brazen move that has remained the stuff of legends. He held up a radio station at gunpoint and reportedly replaced the tape of the speech of the premier of the Western region with a tape that had accusations of malpractice. Wole Soyinka was arrested and spent a few months behind bars for this.
The great author and poet would be more involved in Nigerian politics after this. After the coup in 1966, he met with Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu in an unofficial capacity in Enugu in 1967. Soyinka did his best to avert the civil war but was imprisoned for 22 months.
During this period, Wole Soyinka wrote a lot on toilet paper since he didn't have access to writing materials. At the end of the civil war, he was freed along with other political prisoners.
Wole Soyinka continued churning out literary works and in 1986 he became the first African to be awarded the Nobel prize for Literature.
Still, an activist, his criticism of the Abacha led government made him go into exile in 1994. He would later be charged with treason in 1997. Wole Soyinka would later come back into the country after the death of the dictator has been one of the few Nigerians who has spoken up against injustice, corruption and bad governance.
With a career spanning six decades, Wole Soyinka has touched every facet of Nigerian life from politics, arts, culture, movies and more.
People should put more respect on his name.
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