Wole Soyinka

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Biography / Profile

Akinwande Oluwole Babatunde Soyinka (popularly callled Wole Soyinka) was born on of July 13th, 1934 in the city of Abeokuta, in Ogun state of Nigeria. His native town is Isara Remo, Remo North Local Government Area in Ogun State. He is the second out of six children born to his father, Samuel Ayodele Soyinka, an Anglican Minister and Headmaster of St. Peter’s Primary School, Abeokuta, and his mother, Grace Eniola Soyinka, a market trader.

Wole Soyinka Age
Wole Soyinka is 87 years old.

Wole Soyinka Early Life
Soyinka started going to school at the very tender age of two and half years, as a result of his very inquisitive nature. He had both his nursery and elementary education at the St. Peter’s Primary School Abeokuta, before proceeding to Abeokuta Grammar School. He was later enrolled at Government College Ibadan in 1946, at the age of 12 and graduated in 1952, at the age of 18. He went on to do his University preparatory education at the New University College, Ibadan for two years before proceeding to the University of Leeds, England in 1954 to acquire a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature. While at the University, he worked as an editor for the satirical magazine, The Eagle.

Wole Soyinka Career
Following his graduation in 1958, and the attention he got for the two notable plays he published around that time: The Swam Dwellers (1958) and The Lion and The Jewel (1959), he got employed as a script-reader, actor, and director by the Royal Court Theater, in London. In 1960, he was awarded a Rockefeller bursary and returned to Nigeria to study African drama. It was during this time that he founded the theatre group, “ The 1960 Masks” and in 1964, the “Orisun Theatre Company “, through which he produced his own plays and also played acting roles. At the same time, he taught drama and literature at various universities in Ibadan, Lagos, and Ife.

His works deal with a variety of subject-matters, ranging from comedy to tragedy and from political satire to power struggles of the indigenous people, and also the theatre of the absurd. In 1957, his poems ‘The Immigrant’ and ‘My next Door Neighbour’ were published in the ‘Black Orpheus’, a Nigerian magazine. The same year, his play The Invention, which was his first play ever was produced at the Royal Court Theatre, London. His first major play was the Swamp Dwellers (1958), followed by The Lion and the Jewel (1959), and then, A Dance of the Forests(1960), his first important play.
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