The Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, stepped up the tempo of cultural activities at the Olympics on Tuesday night when he featured in ‘Conversation with Soyinka’
The appearance of the Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, changed the temperature of the Nigerian House on Tuesday night, as many people thronged the place to attend a programme tagged Conversation with Wole Soyinka. Although the management of Theatre Royal, Stratford, venue of the event, charged a gate fee, the traffic to the auditorium was so heavy that many could not gain entrance into it.
Obviously buoyed by the fervent love demonstrated by the crowd, which, though largely Nigerians, included Britons and other nationals, the 78-year-old radiated excitement and a kind of fervour that is not too common with him nowadays.
Dripping with occasional angry bluntness, wit and humour, his clinical phonetics found a conducive aura on the UK soil, where basic principles of English Language are still being largely conservatively preserved.
‘Boko Haram not in our tradition’
Although the programme was situated in the ‘Cultural Olympiad’, Soyinka could not escape questions on socio-political issues from UK-based compatriots puzzled by some of the things happening in Nigeria. Predictably, one of such is Boko Haram, with a participant asking the great dramatist what his position is on the matter and ways to resolve the crisis it has bred.
Trying to establish the Boko Haram saga as an aberration, Soyinka said, “Boko Haram is not in our tradition. That is more or less an association of butchers. I am on the side of what is productive in society.”
He decried a situation where people whose voices should be heard on the issue had indulged in silence, which he described as the most dangerous form