Wole Soyinka

Literary Birthday – 13 July – Wole Soyinka

Happy Birthday, Wole Soyinka, born 13 July 1934.


  1. Books and all forms of writing are terror to those who wish to suppress truth.
  2. Arts and the Sciences are a natural symbiosis. They stem from the same human existential impulse – exploration. Exploration of what lies beneath the surface, and re-configuration of elements of what we call reality.
  3. The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism.
  4. My horizon on humanity is enlarged by reading the writers of poems, seeing a painting, listening to some music, some opera, which has nothing at all to do with a volatile human condition or struggle or whatever. It enriches me as a human being.
  5. The man dies in all those that keep silent.
  6. Intolerance has become, I think, the reigning ideology of the world today, the intolerance versus intolerance and it’s taken on lethal proportions.
  7. Don’t take shadows too seriously. Reality is your only safety. Continue to reject illusion.
  8. I’m not sure I’m trying to communicate a message. I’m just trying to be part of the movement away from the unacceptable present.
  9. And I believe that the best learning process of any kind of craft is just to look at the work of others.
  10. But the ultimate lesson is just sit down and write. That’s all.

Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian playwright and poet. He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature. He wrote Death and the King’s Horseman: A Play and the memoir, Aké: The Years of Childhood.

Source for image


Frankie Fouganthin, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 13th July 2018