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Happy birthday Professor Wole Soyinka! We join our voice with others to celebrate one of the greats of African literature. Just in case you didn’t know, Professor Soyinka became the first black person to win a Nobel Prize for Literature back in 1986. The feat instantly put Nigeria on the map, along with many more accomplishments made in his prime.

Over the years, Wole Soyinka has challenged our minds as well as our hearts with some very thought-provoking quotes. Read on for some of our favourites:


“One has a responsibility to clean up one’s space and make it livable as far as one’s own resources go. That includes not only material resources, but psychological resources: the commitment of time and a portion of your mind to something when you’d rather be doing something else.”


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


“Well, some people say I’m pessimistic because I recognize the eternal cycle of evil. All I say is, look at the history of mankind right up to this moment and what do you find?”


“And I believe that the best learning process of any kind of craft is just to look at the work of others. “


“Human life has meaning only to that degree and as long as it is lived in the service of humanity.”


“Writers and intellectuals have a duty to humanity. It is to insist that the human entity remains the primary asset in overall development; thus, it must be safeguarded.”


“I love beauty. But I like the beauty accidentally, not dished up, served up on a platter. “


“No human is completely fearless. “


“When I write plays, I’m already seeing the shapes on stage, of the actors and their interaction, and so on and so forth. I don’t think I’ve ever written one play as an abstract piece, as a literary piece, floating in the air somewhere, to be flushed out later on. “


“The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism.”


Which is your personal favourite?

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