By Godson Ikiebey-
President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on his 85th birthday on Saturday, July 13, 2019.
In a statement issued by Femi Adesina, special adviser on media and publicity to President Buhari on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Abuja, the president rejoiced with the Nobel laureate “for being one of the country’s greatest pride, and a universal brand”.
He saluted the Soyinka for his intellectual momentum, interventions on state issues and polity through articles and comments, a penchant for justice and persistence in holding leaders accountable.
He said that the Nobel laureate’s lifestyle sends a message to Nigerians and Africans, especially the younger generation, that real
success is measured by the intangibles of courage and impact brought to others, rather than the pursuit of personal interests.
The President congratulated the literary giant for projecting Nigerian and African values to the world and wished
him more years of good health, wisdom, and service to the nation and humanity.
Born on July 13, 1934, into a Yoruba family in Abeokuta, Akinwande Oluwole Babatunde Soyinka is a playwright, poet, and essayist.
He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first African to be honoured in that category.
After preparatory university studies in 1954 at Government College in Ibadan, he continued at the University of Leeds, where, later in 1973, he took his doctorate.
During the six years spent in England, he was a dramaturgist at Royal Court Theatre 1958-1959 and 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 universities of Ibadan, Lagos, and Ife.
He had been professor of comparative literature since 1975 and founded the theatre group — “The 1960 Masks” in 1960 and “Orisun Theatre Company” in 1964.