Morocco celebrates Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka

(with MAP)
DR stands for "Doctor" in English.
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In tribute to Nigerian writer and 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Wole Soyinka, a round table was organized on Tuesday at the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco's headquarters in Rabat.

Born on July 12, 1934, in Abeokuta, Nigeria, Soyinka attended Government College and University College Ibadan before earning a degree in English from the University of Leeds in England in 1958. Upon returning to Nigeria, he founded a theater company and wrote his first major play, The Swamp Dwellers (1958), followed by lighter pieces like The Lion and the Jewel (1962) and The Trials of Brother Jero (1964). In Death and the King's Horseman (1975), he dramatizes the clash between tradition and modernity. His latest novel, Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth (2021), satirically critiques the assaults on reason and the joy of living. Currently, Professor Soyinka teaches at the American University of Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.

This round table, organized on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Soyinka's birth with the support of the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA) under the theme «Africa Celebrates Wole Soyinka in Morocco», offered an opportunity to revisit his prolific career and significant contributions to African and global literature. The event, which highlighted Soyinka's latest work, Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth (2021), was attended by numerous cultural, academic, economic, and diplomatic figures.

Lahjomri, the Permanent Secretary of the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco, praised Soyinka's literary qualities, noting his role as a defender of African cultures and a keen observer of the continent. Lahjomri highlighted Soyinka's opposition to negritude and all forms of domination, as well as his fight against racism and his efforts to elevate the voice of the African continent on the international stage.

Speaking at the event, Soyinka emphasized that this celebration helps strengthen the ties between Morocco and West Africa and highlights their historical continuity. The event also included readings of poems celebrating Soyinka and the presentation of the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco Trophy to the esteemed Nigerian writer.

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