Sunday, July 12, 2020

Wole Soyinka Biography and Net Worth



Are you looking for Wole Soyinka's biography and net worth? Then read on.
 
 Wole Soyinka is a scholar and a Nobel Laureate. He's widely known for his contribution to the
African Literature.

Although was never a politician, but his works and success has made him a public figure and has also brought him to different levels.

He was given the privilege to travel across the 54 countries in Africa.

Needless to say, he also has little beginnings.

In this post, I will be sharing with you Wole Soyinka biography, his net worth, his books, and other random facts that will interest you.

So let's get started from the beginning.

Wole Soyinka Biography - Early Life

Wole Soyinka was born Akinwande Oluwole "Wole" Babatunde Soyinka on July 13, 1934, in Abeokuta, near Ibadan in western Nigeria. His father, Samuel Ayodele Soyinka, was a prominent Anglican minister and headmaster.

His mother, Grace Eniola Soyinka, who was called "Wild Christian," was a shopkeeper and local activist.

As a child, he lived in an Anglican mission compound, learning the Christian teachings of his parents, as well as the Yoruba spiritualism and tribal customs of his grandfather.

A precocious and inquisitive child, Wole prompted the adults in his life to warn one another: “He will kill you with his questions.”




SEE ALSO: Biography Of Asiwaju  Bola Ahmed Tinubu



EDUCATION

After finishing preparatory university studies in 1954 at Government College in Ibadan, Soyinka moved to England and continued his education at the University of Leeds, where he served as the editor of the school's magazine, The Eagle. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in English literature in 1958. (In 1972 the university awarded him an honorary doctorate).

CAREER

Upon his return to Nigeria, he founded an acting company and wrote his first important play, A Dance of the Forests (produced 1960; published 1963), for the Nigerian independence celebrations.

The play satirizes the fledgling nation by stripping it of romantic legend and by showing that the present is no more a golden age than was the past.

He wrote several plays in a lighter vein, making fun of pompous, Westernized schoolteachers in The Lion and the Jewel (first performed in Ibadan, 1959; published 1963) and mocking the clever preachers of upstart prayer-churches who grow fat on the credulity of their parishioners in The Trials of Brother Jero (performed 1960; published 1963) and Jero’s Metamorphosis (1973).

But his more serious plays, such as The Strong Breed (1963), Kongi’s Harvest (opened the first Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar, 1966; published 1967), The Road (1965), From Zia, with Love (1992), and even the parody King Baabu (performed 2001; published 2002), reveal his disregard for African authoritarian leadership and his disillusionment with Nigerian society as a whole.




Other notable plays include Madmen and Specialists (performed 1970; published 1971), Death and the King’s Horseman (1975), and The Beatification of Area Boy (1995).

 In these and Soyinka’s other dramas, Western elements are skillfully fused with subject matter and dramatic techniques deeply rooted in Yoruba folklore and religion.

Symbolism, flashback, and ingenious plotting contribute to a rich dramatic structure.

His best works exhibit humour and fine poetic style as well as a gift for irony and satire and for accurately matching the language of his complex characters to their social position and moral qualities.From 1960 to 1964 Soyinka was coeditor of Black Orpheus, an important literary journal.

 From 1960 onward he taught literature and drama and headed theatre groups at various Nigerian universities, including those of Ibadan, Ife, and Lagos. After winning the Nobel Prize.

He also was sought after as a lecturer, and many of his lectures were published—notably the Reith Lectures of 2004, as Climate of Fear (2004).

From 1960 to 1964 Soyinka was coeditor of Black Orpheus, an important literary journal. From 1960 onward he taught literature and drama and headed theatre groups at various Nigerian universities, including those of Ibadan, Ife, and Lagos. 

After winning the Nobel Prize, he also was sought after as a lecturer, and many of his lectures were published—notably the Reith Lectures of 2004, as Climate of Fear (2004).

See Also: Biography Of Wale Adenuga

Though he considered himself primarily a playwright, Soyinka also wrote novels—The Interpreters (1965) and Season of Anomy (1973)—and several volumes of poetry

The latter include Idanre, and Other Poems (1967) and Poems from Prison (1969; republished as A Shuttle in the Crypt, 1972), published together as Early Poems (1998); Mandela’s Earth and Other Poems (1988); and Samarkand and Other Markets I Have Known (2002).

 His verse is characterized by a precise command of language and a mastery of lyric, dramatic, and meditative poetic forms. 

He wrote a good deal of Poems from Prison while he was jailed in 1967–69 for speaking out against the war brought on by the attempted secession of Biafra from Nigeria. 

 The Man Died (1972) is his prose account of his arrest and 22-month imprisonment. 

Soyinka’s principal critical work is Myth, Literature, and the African World (1976), a collection of essays in which he examines the role of the artist in the light of Yoruba mythology and symbolism. Art, Dialogue, and Outrage (1988) is a work on similar themes of art, culture, and society.

 He continued to address Africa’s ills and Western responsibility in The Open Sore of a Continent (1996) and The Burden of Memory, the Muse of Forgiveness (1999).


Soyinka was the first black African to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. 

An autobiography, Aké: The Years of Childhood, was published in 1981 and followed by the companion pieces Ìsarà: A Voyage Around Essay (1989) and Ibadan: The Penkelemes Years: A Memoir, 1946–1965 (1994). 

In 2006 he published another memoir, You Must Set Forth at Dawn. In 2005–06 Soyinka served on the Encyclopædia Britannica Editorial Board of Advisors.
Soyinka has long been a proponent of Nigerian democracy.

His decades of political activism included periods of imprisonment and exile, and he has founded, headed, or participated in several political groups, including the National Democratic Organization, the National Liberation Council of Nigeria, and Pro-National Conference Organizations (PRONACO). 

In 2010 Soyinka founded the Democratic Front for a People’s Federation and served as chairman of the party.

Wole Soyinka Life Time Honours

In 1994 - The Wole Soyinka Annual Lecture Series was founded in 1994 and "is dedicated to honouring one of Nigeria and Africa's most outstanding and enduring literary icons: Professor Wole Soyinka". 

In 2011 - The African Heritage Research Library and Cultural Centre built a writers' enclave in his honour.

In 2014 - The collection Crucible of the Ages: Essays in Honour of Wole Soyinka at 80, edited by Ivor Agyeman-Duah and Ogochwuku Promise, was published by Bookcraft in Nigeria and Ayebia Clarke Publishing in the UK
In 2018, Henry Louis Gates, Jr tweeted that Nigerian filmmaker and writer, Onyeka Nwelue, visited him in Harvard and was making a documentary film on Wole Soyinka. As part of efforts to mark his 84th birthday, a collectiom of poems titled 84 Delicious Bottles of Wine was published for Wole Soyinka, edited by Onyeka Nwelue and Odega Shawa. Among the notable contributors was Adamu Usman Garko, award winning teenage essayist, poet and writer.
  • 1973: Honorary D.Litt., University of Leeds
  • 1973–74: Overseas Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge
  • 1983: Elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
  • 1983: Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, United States
  • 1986: Nobel Prize for Literature
  • 1986: Agip Prize for Literature
  • 1986: Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR).
  • 1990: Benson Medal from Royal Society of Literature
  • 1993: Honorary doctorate, Harvard University
  • 2002: Honorary fellowship, SOAS
  • 2005: Honorary doctorate degree, Princeton University
  • 2005: Conferred with the chieftaincy title of the Akinlatun of Egbaland by the Oba Alake of the Egba clan of Yorubaland. Soyinka became a tribal aristocrat by way of this, one vested with the right to use the Yoruba title Oloye as a pre-nominal honorific.
  • 2009: Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement
  • 2013: Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, Lifetime Achievement, United States
  • 2014: International Humanist Award
  • 2017: Joins the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, as a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Humanities
  • 2017 "Special Prize" of the Europe Theatre Prize
  • 2018, University of Ibadan renamed its arts theater to Wole Soyinka Theatre.
  • 2018: Honorary Doctorate Degree of Letters, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB).[77]
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