Sunday, 13 July 2014

A Short Tribute to Wole Soyinka : The Williams Shakespeare of our time.

The advantage of being 80 years old is that one has many people to love" says Jean Renoir , the French film Director and Author. Let me add that living up to 8 decades gives you the privilege of being loved by many, as well. Let's all thank God for the Life of Wole Soyinka,  the Williams Shakespeare of our time . For while History may have been garnished with subtle prejudice during documentation,  the present offers us with a better reality to grasp. Even with the subjectivity of diverse humans we still find objective grounds to agree.  We may have arrived this place through inter-subjectivity. However, it is beyond reasonable doubt that the Man Wole Soyinka has lived a life not only worthy of emulation but also Worthy of education.

Starting out with a life of excellence that far out runs time, he has turned out to be greatness personified. While in his Thirties he had already written some of the best African literary works  including  The Man died, the Lion and the Jewel , The Trials of Brother Jero, etc.

A thorough bred African who admonished the pragmatism of Negritude  stressing that with the anology of "a tiger does not shout its tigritude" instead it acts. He reflected in almost all his works the need for Africa to develop. This he emphasised in his numerous satirical works.

If we sum up Soyinka's life in a little phrase it has been one marked by an unusual zest for all that is humanistic. Aside that, Kongi has lived a highly productive life -- absolutely phenomenal.   The one that has seen several masterpieces come out of his literary loins. Some immortal, many living. One of which I will be honored to be called. Perhaps we should connect his "high tension" energy to his spirituality which radiates around him. For he speaks dearly of Ogun -the Yoruba deity  which he acknowledges as his companion deity.

Twenty Eight years ago he won the Nobel Prize for Literature which is unarguably the most remarkable event of his career being the first African ever to win such  prize. It opened several doors including the rapport with World class( Ivy League) Colleges . He earned honorary doctorates and  faculty membership, among other benefits.

After all said, it interests me to affirm that He will remain to us a source of Inspiration...that we can achieve a lot within our lifetime by being creative , hardworking  and passionate in our calling.

Long Live Wole Soyinka! Ogun, Nigeria and Africa as a whole is proud of you. And as you grow younger remember;  "Igba odun ojo kan ni".

•Wole Soyinka clocks 80 today 13th July,2014.

Rex Showunmi (@remirex) is the Senior Editor at Delta Forte Magazine (

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