Wole Soyinka @85 -The Man, His Writings , His Politics - THISDAYLIVE

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Wole Soyinka 85 -The Man, His Writings , His Politics via thisdaylive

At 85, Wole Soyinka evokes the buoyancy of a 30-year-old; his mind remains distilled and brilliant. He is stillole Soyinka is 85 today. Where does one begin to unravel the man? To aid with an answer, this reporter wrote to linguist Kola Tubosun, who has written a seminal profile of Soyinka and is working on a book about the famed playwright’s interaction and relationship with nature. “I don’t know what to tell you about WS,” Tubosun replied in an email.

‘’It came with oil and the wrong leadership at the moment when there was suddenly this upsurge of wealth. It’s mostly that – unprecedented wealth without labor. We were unfortunate to have Gowon’s government, which saw this simply as a bonanza. The Army proved it’s every bit as corrupt as the political class.

Soyinka’s father was the headmaster of a Christian school. He called his mother, whose religiosity was apparently bottomless, ‘’Wild Christian.’’ ‘’Knight was very interested in exploring the other side of reality,’’ Soyinka said. ‘’Bonamy Dobree , on the other hand, was an out-and-out pagan. He really believed in ancient gods, and sometimes he worshipped them. Coming from my background, I found that quite intriguing. I had always assumed white people were Christians automatically.

His use of satire is also noteworthy. Satire “can make people understand that they do not have to take a supine attitude; it makes them understand that they’re not alone,” Soyinka said in 1996, while criticising Sani Abacha’s dictatorship after completing one of his most famous plays ‘The Beatification of Area Boy’. “And as far as the regime is concerned, well, the play is sheer terror for them.

More recently, on the RUGA settlement policy controversy, Soyinka noted that it was an explosive issue that should “be handled very carefully.” “That is the most important thing and the cattle rearers have been given a sense of impunity: they kill without any compunction; they drive farmers also who are contributing to the food solution of the country away; burn their crops; eat their crops; and then you come with Ruga.

 

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85 what an Autobiography! Happy 85th birthday Prof.

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