Twenty years ago this October, Wole Soyinka became the first African to win the Nobel Prize for literature. Now, at 72, that gilded moment is just one peak in an astonishing life story of letters and bold, even rash, political activism.
It’s been four decades since the young Nigerian writer and firebrand took over a radio station at gunpoint to denounce a stolen election. Years since he shared playwright honors with Tom Stoppard and a solitary jail cell with no one. Years since he denounced neo-Tarzanism, suffered exile, feared for his life in Atlanta.
But Soyinka is still writing, still plumbing Africa’s soul, still denouncing dictators.
Hear a conversation with Africa’s most acclaimed writer and unrelenting dissident, Wole Soyinka.
Wole Soyinka, essayist, poet, novelist, playwright, 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature recepient. His most recent work is “You Must Set Forth at Dawn: A Memoir.”