Akinwande Oluwole "Wole" Soyinka (pronounced wo-lay sho-enka),
born 1934, is a Nigerian writer, poet
and playwright, considered by many to be Africa's most distinguished playwright.
He was also the first African to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986
(since then, two others have won: Egyptian
Naguib Mahfouz in 1988 and South-African
Nadine Gordimer in 1991). He studied at both the University College,
Ibadan (south-west Nigeria) and at the University of Leeds (UK) where he
received a degree in English Literature.
After a time working as a playwright and a play reader for the Royal Court Theatre in London, he returned to Nigeria, where he taught in the Universities of Lagos, Ibadan, and Ife (becoming Professor of Comparative Literature there in 1975).
He has played an active role in Nigeria's political history. In 1967, during the Nigerian Civil War he was arrested and put in solitary confinement for his attempts at brokering a peace between ...