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Wole Soyinka

Nobel Laureate for Literature; International Best-Selling Author

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 Wole Soyinka Biography

Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian playwright, poet, and essayist who has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, becoming the first African to be honored in that category.

The life of Soyinka's is one of the rare, riveting biographies of our time. His life course has brought him from death's door as a political prisoner in solitary confinement to the hallowed halls of Harvard, Yale, and Leeds.

Soyinka seems fated to bridge elements in our world which are poles apart. His vision is described variously as, "inspirational, transcendent," and "demanding but rewarding." As a playwright, poet, and novelist Soyinka's vision comes to us through a stunning corpus.

During the six years spent at the University of Leeds in England earning his doctorate, he was a dramaturgist at the Royal Court Theatre in London 1958-1959. In 1960, he was awarded a Rockefeller bursary and returned to Nigeria to study African drama. At the same time, he taught drama and literature at various universities in Ibadan, Lagos, and Ife, where, since 1975, he has been professor of comparative literature.

In 1960, he founded the theatre group, “The 1960 Masks” and in 1964, the “Orisun Theatre Company”, in which he has produced his own plays and taken part as actor. He has periodically been visiting professor at the universities of Cambridge, Sheffield, and Yale.

During the civil war in Nigeria, Soyinka appealed in an article for cease-fire. For this he was arrested in 1967, accused of conspiring with the Biafra rebels, and was held as a political prisoner for 22 months until 1969.

Soyinka's passion for the written word is nowhere more poignantly revealed than by his actions during his political imprisonment. He was denied reading and writing materials, but he manufactured his own ink and began to keep a prison diary, written on toilet paper, cigarette packages and in between the lines of the few books he secretly obtained.

Each poem or fragment from the journal he managed to smuggle to the outside world became a literary event and a reassurance to his supporters that Soyinka still lived.

Soyinka, who has held positions at Yale, Cornell, Cambridge, and Harvard, is acknowledged as one of the great dramatic imaginations of the 20th Century.

Many critics consider Soyinka Africa's finest writer. His unique style blends traditional Yoruban Folk Drama with European dramatic form. His corpus itself is one of the premier chronicles of Africa's political turmoil and its struggle to reconcile tradition with modernization. Soyinka warns against excesses in either African impulse.

In Dance of the Forests he warns against living in nostalgia for Africa's past, and followed that work with The Lion and the Jewel in which he lampoons Africa's indiscriminate embrace of Western modernization.

His wide-ranging wit takes in all sections of a corrupt society - the brutal masses, aimless intellectuals, the affected and hypocritical university dons, the vulgar, corrupt businessmen, the mediocre civil servants, the illiterate politicians, and the incompetent journalists.

Videos
Books
Of Africa

Of Africa

You Must Set Forth at Dawn: A Memoir

You Must Set Forth at Dawn: A Memoir

Climate of Fear: The Quest for Dignity in a Dehumanized World (Reith Lectures)

Climate of Fear: The Quest for Dignity in a Dehumanized World (Reith Lectures)

Death and the King's Horseman (Norton Critical Editions)

Death and the King's Horseman (Norton Critical Editions)

The Burden of Memory, the Muse of Forgiveness (The W.E.B. Du Bois Institute Series)

The Burden of Memory, the Muse of Forgiveness (The W.E.B. Du Bois Institute Series)

The Open Sore of a Continent: A Personal Narrative of the Nigerian Crisis (W.E.B. Du Bois Institute)

The Open Sore of a Continent: A Personal Narrative of the Nigerian Crisis (W.E.B. Du Bois Institute)

News
FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Wole Soyinka?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Wole Soyinka for both live and virtual events for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment. Fill out a booking request form for Wole Soyinka, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Wole Soyinka or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Wole Soyinka?

    Booking fees for Wole Soyinka, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies between live and virtual events. Other factors that can affect speaker fees include the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. The live and virtual event speaking fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Wole Soyinka, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Wole Soyinka?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Wole Soyinka for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Wole Soyinka for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Wole Soyinka or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Wole Soyinka or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

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Wole Soyinka

Nobel Laureate for Literature; International Best-Selling Author

Travels From:
Covington, PA, USA
Speaking Fee:

Wole Soyinka Biography

Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian playwright, poet, and essayist who has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, becoming the first African to be honored in that category.

The life of Soyinka's is one of the rare, riveting biographies of our time. His life course has brought him from death's door as a political prisoner in solitary confinement to the hallowed halls of Harvard, Yale, and Leeds.

Soyinka seems fated to bridge elements in our world which are poles apart. His vision is described variously as, "inspirational, transcendent," and "demanding but rewarding." As a playwright, poet, and novelist Soyinka's vision comes to us through a stunning corpus.

During the six years spent at the University of Leeds in England earning his doctorate, he was a dramaturgist at the Royal Court Theatre in London 1958-1959. In 1960, he was awarded a Rockefeller bursary and returned to Nigeria to study African drama. At the same time, he taught drama and literature at various universities in Ibadan, Lagos, and Ife, where, since 1975, he has been professor of comparative literature.

In 1960, he founded the theatre group, “The 1960 Masks” and in 1964, the “Orisun Theatre Company”, in which he has produced his own plays and taken part as actor. He has periodically been visiting professor at the universities of Cambridge, Sheffield, and Yale.

During the civil war in Nigeria, Soyinka appealed in an article for cease-fire. For this he was arrested in 1967, accused of conspiring with the Biafra rebels, and was held as a political prisoner for 22 months until 1969.

Soyinka's passion for the written word is nowhere more poignantly revealed than by his actions during his political imprisonment. He was denied reading and writing materials, but he manufactured his own ink and began to keep a prison diary, written on toilet paper, cigarette packages and in between the lines of the few books he secretly obtained.

Each poem or fragment from the journal he managed to smuggle to the outside world became a literary event and a reassurance to his supporters that Soyinka still lived.

Soyinka, who has held positions at Yale, Cornell, Cambridge, and Harvard, is acknowledged as one of the great dramatic imaginations of the 20th Century.

Many critics consider Soyinka Africa's finest writer. His unique style blends traditional Yoruban Folk Drama with European dramatic form. His corpus itself is one of the premier chronicles of Africa's political turmoil and its struggle to reconcile tradition with modernization. Soyinka warns against excesses in either African impulse.

In Dance of the Forests he warns against living in nostalgia for Africa's past, and followed that work with The Lion and the Jewel in which he lampoons Africa's indiscriminate embrace of Western modernization.

His wide-ranging wit takes in all sections of a corrupt society - the brutal masses, aimless intellectuals, the affected and hypocritical university dons, the vulgar, corrupt businessmen, the mediocre civil servants, the illiterate politicians, and the incompetent journalists.

Wole Soyinka Videos

  • A poem to all ‘Lost Poems’ by Wole Soyinka
  • TALK AFRICA: A conversation with Wole Soyinka
  • In conversation with Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate in Literature

Wole Soyinka Books

FAQs on booking Wole Soyinka

  • How to book Wole Soyinka?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Wole Soyinka for both live and virtual events for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment. Fill out a booking request form for Wole Soyinka, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Wole Soyinka or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Wole Soyinka?

    Booking fees for Wole Soyinka, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies between live and virtual events. Other factors that can affect speaker fees include the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. The live and virtual event speaking fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Wole Soyinka, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Wole Soyinka?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Wole Soyinka for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Wole Soyinka for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Wole Soyinka or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Wole Soyinka or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Wole Soyinka is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Wole Soyinka for your event is $20,000 - $30,000. Wole Soyinka generally travels from Covington, PA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Simon Lovell, Caroline Elkins, Oyinkan Braithwaite, Nnedi Okorafor and Nadifa Mohamed. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Wole Soyinka for an upcoming live or virtual event.

Wole Soyinka Speaker Videos

  • A poem to all ‘Lost Poems’ by Wole Soyinka
    TALK AFRICA: A conversation with Wole Soyinka
  • In conversation with Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate in Literature
    CNN's Amanpour's interview with Nigeria's Nobel Laureate Wole ...
  • Hero Summit 2013 - Wole Soyinka - Heroes
    Professor Wole Soyinka, governors visit 450,000 year old city in ...

Wole Soyinka News

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Speakers Similar to Wole Soyinka

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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