SOYINKA: AFRICA’S BEST AT 80 Prof-Wole-Soyinka

Wole Soyinka was 26 years old in 1960 when the Federal Government commissioned him to produce a play for our Independence celebration. His play, “A dance of the forests”, was rejected because the “play was unfit for celebration”. Had Nigeria accepted the play and its message, Nigeria would certainly have been a better nation today.

In assessing the literary impact of Soyinka, it should be noted that he’s (about) the only African writer with prodigious productivity in all genres of literature (prose, poetry and play) and yet more (music and cinema). Let’s start with drama. Soyinka formed his drama troupe (1960 masks in 1960); this became Orisun Theatre in 1963. This troupe, which collaborated with Hubert Ogunde, Duro Ladipo, Kola Ogunmola and produced theatre greats like Jimmy Solanke, Tunji Oyelana, Taiwo Ajai lycett, Olu and Joke Jacobs and Sam Loco, could be said to be the origin, the bed…

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