Wole Soyinka, fully Akinwande Oluwole "Wole" Babatunde Soyinka

Soyinka, fully Akinwande Oluwole "Wole" Babatunde Soyinka

Nigerian Author, Playwright and Poet, Awarded Nobel Prize in Literature

Author Quotes

Abacha is a psychopath, and a pathological liar... He knows he doesn't have one shred of proof connecting me to these bombings. [Soyinka and some of the others now charged fled Nigeria after Abacha seized power.]

But when you're deprived of it for a lengthy period then you value human companionship. But you have to survive and so you devise all kinds of mental exercises and it's amazing.

I consider the process of gestation just as important as when you're actually sitting down putting words to the paper.

I'm not fond of biographies. I don't like writing about myself.

My understanding of the creative process is simply that all cultures and all concerns meet at a certain point, the human point in which everything is related to one another. That has been my creative experience. I never know who's influencing me at any time.

See, even despite pious statements to the contrary, much of the industrialized world has not yet come to terms with the recognition of the fallacy of what I call the strong man syndrome.

The PDP, on whose platform he stands, represents the most harrowing of this nation?s nightmares over and beyond even the horrors of the Abacha regime. If he wishes to be considered on his own merit, now is time for him, as well as others similarly enmeshed, to exercise the moral courage that goes with his repudiation of that party, a dissociation from its past, and a pledge to reverse its menacing future. We shall find him an alternative platform on which to stand, and then have him present his credentials along those of other candidates engaged in forging a credible opposition alliance.

Very conscious of the fact that an effort was being made to destroy my mind, because I was deprived of books, deprived of any means of writing, deprived of human companionship. You never know how much you need it until you're deprived of it.

African film makers are scraping by on a mere pittance.

Colonialism bred an innate arrogance, but when you undertake that sort of imperial adventure, that arrogance gives way to a feeling of accommodativeness. You take pride in your openness.

I don?t know any other way to live but to wake up every day armed with my convictions, not yielding them to the threat of danger and to the power and force of people who might despise me.

I'm not one of those writers I learned about who get up in the morning, put a piece of paper in their typewriter machine and start writing. That I've never understood.

Nigeria has had the misfortune - no, the fortune - of seeing the worst face of capitalism anywhere in Africa. The masses have seen it, they are disgusted, and they want an alternative.

Seven is the magic figure, because that's a symbolic figure of my favorite deity, Ogun.

The phenomenon of creativity, we know, is closely related to the ability to yoke together separate, and even seemingly incompatible, matrices.

We are moving towards a total mockery of constitutionalism. The president has crossed the line of political toleration.

After the death of the sadistic dictator Gen. Sanni Abacha in 1998, Nigeria underwent a one-year transitional military administration headed by Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, who uncharacteristically bowed out precisely on the promised date for military disengagement. Did the military truly disengage, however? No.

Don't take shadows too seriously. Reality is your only safety. Continue to reject illusion.

I don't have the sort of temperament that submits to Christianity or Islam.

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.

No human is completely fearless.

Some African leaders actually dare to suggest that democracy is a concept alien to traditional African society. This is one of the most impudent political blasphemies I can think of.

The problem with literature, with writing, is that it works sometimes in terms of correction of social ills. Other times, it just does not suffice.

We live in a materialist world, and materialism appeals so strongly to humanity, no matter where.

All religions accept that there is something called 'criminality.' And criminality cannot be excused by religious fervor.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Soyinka, fully Akinwande Oluwole "Wole" Babatunde Soyinka
Birth Date

Nigerian Author, Playwright and Poet, Awarded Nobel Prize in Literature