Akinwande Oluwole Babatunde Soyinka shortened Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian playwright, novelist, poet, and essayist in the English Language who was born on 13 July 1934 at Abeokuta,Ogun State. He studied at Government College Ibadan and University College Ibadan. Soyinka later proceeded to the University of Leeds UK, where he bagged a doctorate degree.
After graduation, he worked with the Royal Court 5
Theatre in London between 1958-1959 writing and producing. In 1960, he returned to Nigeria to study African Drama
while also using his wealth of knowledge teaching drama and literature at various universities in Ibadan Lagos and Ife. Soyinka over the years has also been a visiting professor at the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield,
Yale, Oxford among others.
Soyinka’s creative works are usually infused with the traditional popular African theatre with it’s combination of dance, music and action.
Soyinka has written many works. The following are some of his first set of plays: “The Swamp Dwellers” “The Lion and the Jewel” ( 1963); “The Trials of Brother Jero ” ( 1963); Jero’s Metamorphosis,(1973); A Dance of the Forest ( 1963); Kongi’s Harvest (1967) and Madmen and Specialists ( 1971);
“The Strong Breed (1963) The Road (1965) and Death and the King’s Horseman (1975) respectively.
Soyinka has also authored the following novels: The interpreters (1965); Season of Anomy (1973) and The Man Died (1971).His poetic collections include Idanre and Other Poems (1967); Poems From Prison (1969); A Shuttle in the Crypt (1972); Ogun Abibiman (1976) and Mandela’s Earth and Other Poems (1988).
Soyinka has also garnered many awards in his stellar writing career. He reached the peak of his literary career in 1986 when he won the prestigious Nobel Prize for Literature. He also has these awards: Benson Medal from Royal Society of Literature (1990); Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award (2009); the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, Lifetime Achievement (2012) and Europe Theatre Prize Speech Prize (2017).He is also currently the Consultant for the Lagos Black Heritage Festival and was appointed a Patron of Humanists UK in 2020.
Soyinka’s creative and artistic prowess has contributed to the renewal of African creative cultural life.
Wole Soyinka remains undoubtedly a world acclaimed creative juggernaut and a great copyright icon. The Management and staff of Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) on this special day wishes this quintessential copyright icon a happy 89th birthday and many great years ahead.