Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Wole Soyinka's The Swamp Dwellers

Wole Soyinka's The Swamp Dweller

The Writer: Wole Soyinka: (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wole_Soyinka)

Akinwande Oluwole "Wole" Babatunde Soyinka (YorubaAkinwándé Oluwo̩lé Babátúndé S̩óyinkápronounced [wɔlé ʃójĩŋká]; born 13 July 1934) is a Nigerian playwright, poet and essayist. He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature,[2] the first African to be honoured in that category.
Soyinka was born into a Yoruba family in Abeokuta. After studying in Nigeria and the UK, he worked with the Royal Court Theatre in London. He went on to write plays that were produced in both countries, in theatres and on radio. He took an active role in Nigeria's political history and its struggle for independence from Great Britain. In 1965, he seized the Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service studio and broadcast a demand for the cancellation of the Western Nigeria Regional Elections. In 1967 during the Nigerian Civil War, he was arrested by the federal government of General Yakubu Gowon and put in solitary confinement for two years.[3]
Soyinka has been a strong critic of successive Nigerian governments, especially the country's many military dictators, as well as other political tyrannies, including the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe. Much of his writing has been concerned with "the oppressive boot and the irrelevance of the colour of the foot that wears it".[4]During the regime of General Sani Abacha (1993–98), Soyinka escaped from Nigeria on a motorcycle via the "NADECO Route." Abacha later proclaimed a death sentence against him "in absentia."[4] With civilian rule restored to Nigeria in 1999, Soyinka returned to his nation.
In Nigeria, Soyinka was a Professor of Comparative Literature (1975 to 1999) at the Obafemi Awolowo University, then called the University of Ife.[5] With civilian rule restored to Nigeria in 1999, he was made professor emeritus.[3] While in the United States, he first taught at Cornell University as Goldwin Smith professor for African Studies and Theatre Arts from 1988-1991[6][7] and then at Emory University where in 1996 he was appointed Robert W. Woodruff Professor of the Arts. Soyinka has been a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has served as scholar-in-residence at NYU’s Institute of African American Affairs and at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, US.[3][8] He has also taught at the universities of OxfordHarvard and Yale.[9][10]
In December 2017, he was awarded the Europe Theatre Prize in the "Special Prize" category[11][12] awarded to someone who has “contributed to the realisation of cultural events that promote understanding and the exchange of knowledge between peoples”.[13]
After graduating, he remained in Leeds with the intention of earning an M.A. Soyinka intended to write new work combining European theatrical traditions with those of his Yorùbá cultural heritage. His first major play, The Swamp Dwellers (1958), was followed a year later by The Lion and the Jewel, a comedy that attracted interest from several members of London's Royal Court Theatre. Encouraged, Soyinka moved to London, where he worked as a play reader for the Royal Court Theatre. During the same period, both of his plays were performed in Ibadan. They dealt with the uneasy relationship between progress and tradition in Nigeria.[20]

Watch the Play - The Swamp Dwellers




  1.  Tyler Wasson; Gert H. Brieger (1 January 1987). Nobel Prize Winners: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary, Volume 1. The University of Michigan. p. 993. ISBN 9780824207564. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  2. Jump up^ "The Nobel Prize in Literature 1986 Wole Soyinka". The Nobel Prize. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  3. Jump up to:a b c Theresia de Vroom, "The Many Dimensions of Wole Soyinka"Vistas, Loyola Marymount University. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  4. Jump up to:a b c d Maya Jaggi (2 November 2002). "Ousting monsters"The GuardianISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  5. Jump up^ "Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife  » Brief History of the University"www.oauife.edu.ng. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  6. Jump up^ "Soyinka, Wole 1934- - Dictionary definition of Soyinka, Wole 1934- | Encyclopedia.com: FREE online dictionary"www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  7. Jump up^ https://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstream/handle/1813/25283/019_37.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
  8. Jump up to:a b "Nobel Laureate Soyinka at NYU for Events in October", News Release, NYU, 16 September 2016.
  9. Jump up^ "Profile of Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka" (pdf)The University of Alberta. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  10. Jump up^ Posey, Jacquie (18 November 2004). "Nigerian Writer, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka to Speak at Penn"The University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  11. Jump up^ "Wole Soyinka Wins The Europe Theatre Prize - PM NEWS Nigeria"PM NEWS Nigeria. 2017-12-12. Retrieved 2017-12-24.
  12. Jump up^ "Soyinka Wins 2017 Europe Theatre Prize"Concise News. 2017-12-15. Retrieved 2017-12-24.
  13. Jump up to:a b "Wole Soyinka to receive Europe Theatre Prize 2017"James Murua's Literature Blog. 2017-12-14. Retrieved 2017-12-24.
  14.  "Wole Soyinka"The New York Times, 22 July 2009.