Prof. Soyinka speaking at the PH WBC stand at the London Book Fair in April 2014. Governor Amaechi and Mrs. Koko Kalango in front row.

Celebrating Wole Soyinka At 80

 Prof. Soyinka speaking at the PH WBC stand at the London Book Fair in April 2014. Governor Amaechi and Mrs. Koko Kalango in front row. 

Wole Soyinka was born on 13 July 1934 at Abeokuta, near Ibadan in western Nigeria. After preparatory university studies in 1954 at Government College in Ibadan, he continued at the University of Leeds, where, later, in 1973, he took his doctorate. During the six years spent in England, he was a dramaturgist at the Royal Court Theatre in London 1958-1959. In 1960, he returned to Nigeria to study African drama. At the same time, he taught drama and literature at various universities in Ibadan, Lagos, and Ife, where, since 1975, he has been professor of comparative literature. He has periodically been visiting professor at the universities of Cambridge, Sheffield, and Yale.1

Come Thursday July 13 2014, literary enthusiasts all over the world will celebrate the 80th birthday of this rare genius, Professor Wole Soyinka. Several events have already been lined up by organizations in Nigeria and beyond to celebrate the Soyinka legacy in grand fashion. Here at the Port Harcourt World Book Capital vis-a-vis Rainbow Book club, celebrations will be enshrined in the PH WBC Book-of-the-month for July. The fascinating memoir on his childhood; Ake, the Years of Childhood, is to be read and discussed by book club members and lovers of literature who are taking part in the PH WBC monthly readings.

Plan to attend this month’s BOTM reading and drama performance holding on Sunday 27th June at the Atlantic Hall, Hotel Presidential at 3pm. The drama will be performed by University of Port Harcourt’s Institute of Arts and Theatre.

Since 2006, when Prof. Soyinka participated in the Rainbow Book Club’s Get Nigeria Reading again! campaign, he has been an ardent supporter of and a regular guest at literary festivals hosted by the RBC. Prof Wole Soyinka is an honorary member of Rainbow Book Club.

We raise our voices and join the rest of the world to wish this literary sage a very merry 80th birthday.


1 "Wole Soyinka - Biographical". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2013. Web. 3 Jul 2014. <http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1986/soyinka-bio.html>

Prof. Soyinka and Mrs. Koko Kalango at Get Nigeria Reading Again 2006 

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