Biography 1997 Wilberforce Lecturer Wole Soyinka

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Wole Soyinka was born in Abeokuta, Nigeria in 1934. He attended university at Ibadan and Leeds, in Britain, where he received his Ph.D in 1973.

Soyinka was imprisoned from 1967 to 1969 during the civil war in Nigeria for writing an article in which he appealed for a cease-fire. His experience in solitary confinement is recorded in “The Man Died: Prison Notes”.

In addition to his novels and essays, Soyinka is best known in Africa and the west for his plays and poetry,

Soyinka has taught at many universities, including Yale, Cornell, Harvard, Sheffield and Cambridge and is a member of numerous international literacy associations. He has received honours from around the world and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986.

Persecuted and sentenced to death by the Nigerian dictator, General Sani Abacha, Soyinka is now living in the United States.