Throw back of Prof Wole Soyinka

Professor Wole Soyinka rejects the notion of Chinua Achebe being the “father of African literature”. Soyinka, who is a Nobel laureate himself, described calls for a posthumous Nobel Prize for Achebe as “obscene and irreverent”.


Soyinka questioned the significance of the Nobel Prize in the context of literary achievement, arguing that it was not the Nobel that inspired Achebe to write his seminal work “Things Fall Apart”.


Furthermore, Soyinka dismissed the idea of designating any single author as the “father of African literature”, stating that this is a “manifestation of the Nigerian habit of overpraising public figures” and that “African literature could do without this primogenitorial distraction”.


Soyinka believes that the “father” designation is a metaphor for Achebe’s immense influence and contributions to African literature, but he argues that no single author can claim that title. Soyinka himself has no desire to be considered the “father of African literature” either.

Written by schooleiwa

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