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Wole Soyinka Biography, Net Worth, Family, Wife & Children

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Wole Soyinka Biography, Family, Wife, Tribe, Age, Children, Books And Net Worth. In this article, you will know Wole Soyinka’s Other Names,  Wife, Age, Family, His Net worth, How Wole Soyinka Made It.

Wole Soyinka Biography

Table Of Contents

Who Is Wole Soyinka?

Professor Wole Soyinka was the first and only Nigerian to win a Nobel Prize and the second African to achieve the same feat. This article looks at the life history of the Wole Soyinka, as well as other little known facts about him – such as his books, literary works, and quotable quotes.

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Quick Facts/Full Data Profile Of Wole Soyinka

Full Name Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka
Other names Wole Soyinka
Age 88 years old
Gender Male
Birthday 13 July, 1934
State of Origin Ogun State
Parents Samuel Ayodele Soyinka & Grace Eniola Soyinka
Height Unknown
Marital Status Married
Tribe Yoruba
Net Worth $25 Million
Net Worth in Naira 10,300,250,000.00 Nigerian Naira
Career playwright, novelist, poet, and essayist

Wole Soyinka Biography

Prof. Wole Soyinka, named Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka, was born on the 13th day of July, 1934 in Abeokuta, Ogun state, Nigeria (therefore Wole Soyinka age as of present is 88 and Wole Soyinka nationality, without doubt, is Nigerian).

He hails from Isara Remo in Ogun state.

He was the second of the six children born to his family. His father, Samuel Ayodele Soyinka was an Anglican minister, and his mother, Grace Eniola Soyinka, was a trader.

Wole Soyinka’s mother is a descendant of the popular Ransome-Kuti family in Abeokuta. Thus, he was a cousin to the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.

Wole Soyinka had his elementary education at the St. Peters primary school in Abeokuta, from where he proceeded to Abeokuta Grammar School, for his secondary education. He gained admission into Federal Government College, Ibadan in 1946.

In 1952, he proceeded to the University College Ibadan, now University of Ibadan, where he studied, Western History, English literature, and Greek.

In 1954, Soyinka began work on a short radio play, “Keffi’s birthday threat”, which was broadcast by the Nigerian Broadcasting Service.

Wole Soyinka went to England in 1954 to continue his studies in literature. There, he worked with and learned from top-notch British writers. Before he defended his Bachelor of Arts degree, Soyinka worked as an editor for a satirical magazine, the Eagle.

Wole Soyinka’s early career

Wole Soyinka wrote his first major play, The Swamp Dwellers in 1958. His second, The Lion and the Jewel, came in 1959. After the publication of these two Wole Soyinka books, he was invited to the Royal Court Theatre, London, where he worked as a play reader.

Soyinka wrote his first play to be produced at the Royal Court Theatre, The Invention, in 1957.
As at 1957, some Wole Soyinka poems, such as “The immigrant” and “My Next Door Neighbour” were already published in the Nigerian magazine, The Black Orpheus.

After receiving the Rockefeller Research Fellowship grant for research on African Theatre, he returned to Nigeria. With the grant, he bought a Land Rover, with which he travelled all over the country during his research works.
It was around this time that he wrote the popular satire, The Trials of Brother Jero.

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Wole Soyinka’s Fame

Though he had won many international awards earlier, Wole Soyinka shot to global fame when he won the Nobel Prize for peace in 1986. His acceptance speech, titled, “This Past Must Address Its Present” was dedicated to Nelson Mandela.

Later in the same year, Wole Soyinka received the Agip Prize for literature.

Wole Soyinka, in 2009, bagged the Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award.

In all, he won over twenty national and international awards and honours.

Note: as is the case with every famous individual, the autobiography of Wole Soyinka is so extensive that it could fill a whole book of several pages.

Wole Soyinka Net Worth

how much is Wole Soyinka Net Worth According to Forbes

Akinwande Oluwole Babatunde Soyinka (Yoruba: Akínwándé Olúwo̩lé Babátúndé S̩óyíinká; born 13 July 1934), known as Wole Soyinka (pronounced [wɔlé ʃójĩnká]),  who has a total Net Worth of 25 Million Dollars

Quick Facts About Wole Soyinka

1. Wole Soyinka, during his childhood days, was very curious and inquisitive, such that he prompted the adults around him then to warn one another thus: “He will kill you with his questions.”

2. Although Soyinka was brought up in a Christian religious family, right in an Anglican Mission compound, attending services, and fully participating in church activities such as Sunday schools, singing in the choir, etc, he grew up to become an atheist!

3. His mother was a descendant of the popular Ramsome-Kuti family in Abeokuta, known for her contributions to Nigerian art, religion, education, medicine and politics. His cousins, therefore, include activists Beko Ransome-Kuti and Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, Health Minister Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, and the legendary Afrobeat musician Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.

4. It is not so surprising that Soyinka grew up to become an activist because activism runs in his family, especially from his mother’s side. While Fela’s mother was the leader of the Abeokuta Women Association, his own mother was an active member. His own non-conformist nature started manifesting quite early in life. This could be seen in the account of an event which he related in the autobiography of his childhood, Ake, when he refused to prostrate before a group of elders. And when confronted, he gave the following response:

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“If I don’t Prostrate myself to God, why should I prostrate to you”?

5. Wole Soyinka’s first publication, a short radio broadcast for Nigerian Broadcasting Service National Programme called “Keffi’s Birthday Threat”, was broadcast in July 1954 by Nigerian Radio Times.

6. It was from the “Pyrates Confraternity” founded by Soyinka during his University days in Ibadan that University cult groups and secret fraternities evolved. However, Wole never formed the group which involved himself and six of his friends with any evil intentions. Their major aim was to fight corruption and seek justice for students. That was, of course, the first confraternity in Nigeria.

7. Wole Soyinka was imprisoned for a year and 10 months(1967-1969) right from the onset of the Nigerian-Biafran Civil war, for alleged conspiracy, when it was discovered that he secretly appealed to Odumegwu Ojukwu to avert the war. Prior to this Soyinka was arrested in 1964 for allegedly making political radio broadcasts disputing published election results.

8. While imprisoned during the Civil War, he was not allowed access to writing materials. However, he found ways to smuggle in such and therefore was able to produce several poems and other write-ups, still criticizing the Nigerian oppressive government. While still imprisoned, Soyinka also translated from Yoruba a fantastical novel by his compatriot D. O. Fagunwa, entitled The Forest of a Thousand Demons: A Hunter’s Saga.

9. He became the first African Laureate when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986; with his acceptance speech titled “This Past Must Address Its Present”, dedicated to South African Freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela. The was a major achievement that brought him to the global limelight. The same year, Soyinka was also named Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and as well won the Agip Prize for Literature.

10. He has been married thrice and divorced twice: He married late British writer, Barbara Dixon in 1958, whom he met during his university days; Olaide Idowu, a Nigerian librarian, in 1963; and finally, Folake Doherty, his former student, in 1989. He had children with the former two and precisely 3 kids with the later.

11. Soyinka’s relentless activism often exposed him to great personal risk, most notably the 5-year exile from home during the regime of General Sani Abacha (1993–98): Soyinka escaped from Nigeria through the “NADECO Route”, the border with Benin on a motorcycle, and then to the United States. General Sani Abacha later pronounced a death sentence on him ‘in absentia.’ He only came back to the country at the onset of civilian rule after the General’s death.

12. He is referred to as the Conscience of the Nation. This is because of his ceaseless concerns and voice against corruption and autocratic government in his country.

13. Wole Soyinka had once disclosed he breaks every rule about rules concerning his personal health, including the fact that he doesn’t drink water, eat only when he wants to and “don’t obey the rules of cholesterol.”

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