One of the most admired and respected Nigerians, Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka, marks his 80th birthday today, July 13, with best wished being directed from all over the world and in particular from President Goodluck Jonathan.
Photo: Professor Wole Soyinka
Ogun State born playwright, poet, essayist, activist and critic has always been the one to consider core human problems and issues plaguing the country, Punch reports.
In 1986 Soyinka became the first African to have been awarded the Nobel prize in literature. In such plays as The Man Died, The Swamp Dwellers, A play of Giants, Kongi’s Harvest, A Dance of the Forest to The Lion, the professor unveils his literary preoccupation and exceptional style.
Congratulating Soyinka in a statement signed by his Special Adviser Reuben Abati, Jonathan applauded the octogenarian for his dedication and commitment not only for the sake of arts, but also for the promotion of democratic principles.
He was quoted saying by The Nation:
“As he enters the elite club of the world’s highly revered octogenarians and very special people who have made very significant and indelible contributions to their countries and humanity, the President joins Prof. Soyinka, his family, friends, associates, readers and fans across the world in giving thanks to God Almighty for his glorious life of service to the arts, his nation and mankind at large. “
The president praised Soyinka over inspiring others to take up “a life of selfless service to humanity” and prayed for many more years of good health for the outstanding Nigerian “to continue with his devotion to making the world a better place for his people and all who live in it.”