Born Akinwande Oluwole Babatunde Soyinka on the 13th July, 1934 into a Yoruba family—Remo—in the city of Abeokuta, Ogun State. He is a playwright, poet, essayist and an activist.
Read some fact you probably don’t know about him:
1. Although W.S was a chorister born into a Christian devoted home of an Anglican Minister and head master of a missionary school, he is today a devoted Ogun deity worshipper.
This is contrary to the popular belief that he is an atheist. His writings, memoirs, interviews and indulgence has proved him to believe so much in the Yoruba tradition and Ogun deity. His book, Idanre was dedicated to Ogun deity.
Every year he sacrifices a ram for his family—or, to be specific, for his children.
2. He once held a radio station hostage with the aid of a gun. He ordered the tape of the premier’s election speech be removed and replaced with his own pre-recorded speech.
3. He once hid in the office and under a massive oak desk in Chief Awolowo’s office while Awolowo himself was imprisoned. He would later narrate the incident to Chief Awolowo years later.
4. He has been hosted by famous African leaders like Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, a younger Cyril Ramaphosa and so many other famous world presidents.
5. Obasanjo had a gun under his garment which was a breach of the pre-arranged agreement. Obasanjo simply responded he is a soldier and shouldn’t be caught by surprise.
Banjo’s message through Soyinka was to tell Obasanjo to allow unhindered passage of the Biafran soldiers to Lagos to seize power.
6. Ibrahim Babangida, as a military president, had twice paid him visits in his home.
7. He is the founder of the FRSC (road safety corps) more especially due to the frequent accidents along the Ibadan-Ife road. He described the road as a slaughter slab, since he habitually scooped up his student’s brains after filling them with knowledge
8. He is one of the few Nigerians alive who have ever set their eyes on the real Ori-Olokun after going on a failed mission to steal back the plaque with the approval of General Olusegun Obasanjo. The original bronze made Ori-Olokun was later found in a Museum in England instead of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
9. He speaks French
10. While attempting to flee from Abacha via a boat and then a bike with his family in a night, he spotted an SSS agent and he had his pistol ready to fire and intent to kill him incase he attempted to apprehend him. On his successful escape to Benin republic, he was face-to-face to a Yoruba masquerade but still relaxed.
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