Happy 80th Wole Soyinka! Read A Few of His Famous Quotes

Wole Soyinka - July 2014 - BellaNaija.com 01
Today, Sunday 13th July 2014, Nigerian playwright, poet and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka is 80!

Wole Soyinka has been an inspiration to many with his stellar creative books, inspiring words, and speaking out about issues concerning the nation.

To celebrate his 80th, here are a few of his famous quotes;
“Well, some people say I’m pessimistic because I recognize the eternal cycle of evil. All I say is, look at the history of mankind right up to this moment and what do you find?”

“Romance is the sweetening of the soul, With fragrance offered by the stricken heart.”

“See, even despite pious statements to the contrary, much of the industrialized world has not yet come to terms with the recognition of the fallacy of what I call the strong man syndrome.”

“Human life has meaning only to that degree and as long as it is lived in the service of humanity.”

“I am convinced that Nigeria would have been a more highly developed country without the oil. I wished we’d never smelled the fumes of petroleum.”

“African film makers are scraping by on a mere pittance.”

“We live in a materialist world, and materialism appeals so strongly to humanity, no matter where.”

“Seven is the magic figure, because that’s a symbolic figure of my favorite deity, Ogun.”

“For me, justice is the prime condition of humanity.”

“I cannot belong to a nation which permits such barbarities as stoning to death and amputation – I don’t care what religion it is.”

“History teaches us to beware of the excitation of the liberated and the injustices that often accompany their righteous thirst for justice.”

“Being the first black Nobel laureate, and the first African, the African world considered me personal property. I lost the remaining shreds of my anonymity, even to walk a few yards in London, Paris or Frankfurt without being stopped.”

“I don’t know any other way to live but to wake up every day armed with my convictions, not yielding them to the threat of danger and to the power and force of people who might despise me.”

“One has a responsibility to clean up one’s space and make it livable as far as one’s own resources go. That includes not only material resources, but psychological resources: the commitment of time and a portion of your mind to something when you’d rather be doing something else.”

“You cannot live a normal existence if you haven’t taken care of a problem that affects your life and affects the lives of others, values that you hold which in fact define your very existence.”

Wish Soyina a happy 80th and if you have any of your favourite quotes, share below.
Photo Credit: Rex Features/Associate Press | Quotes Credit: Btainy Quotes | Good Reads

17 Comments on Happy 80th Wole Soyinka! Read A Few of His Famous Quotes
  • Dauda Aliu July 13, 2014 at 9:14 am

    My quote; Idea do not matter, it is what you do with it that count. Dauda Aliu

  • DatingDose July 13, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Happy Birthday to an Icon! We pray you live longer so we can benefit from your wisdom as always.

  • Kongi’s First Son. July 13, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Many hearty cheers to an epitome of literary prowess and unrivalled bluntness. My favorite quote of his, paraphrased “The man dies in any man, who keeps mute in the presence of evil”. Favorite poem “Abiku”. Best play “The Beatification of An Area Boy”.

  • Linda Okon Asuquo July 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Happy Birthday our laureate writer

  • humm July 13, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Well, he looks good @ 80 and rocking that white hair well. Though I am not crazy about some of his antics.

  • Moyo July 13, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Happy Birthday sir, May you see more years in good health. Our own WS. Ever so proud of your achievements.

  • Author Uknown July 13, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Wole Soyinka is now an octogenarian? How time flies! You are to me the most objective voice in our sad country. Happy Birthday to our literary icon.

  • Busarni July 13, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Hbd, but you brought about the proliferation of cult groups in our uni’s.

  • chicadimples July 13, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Happy Bithday Sir

  • Dee July 13, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Happy Birthday to a great Icon.

  • Zeezah July 13, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Happy Birthday to you sir! I remember my daughter came 1st at the Wole Soyinka @ 77 International Essay competition and she came 3rd at the Wole Soyinka @78 International Essay Competition, and today Wole Soyinka is 80, HURRAY!!! This reminds me of all the stories about her experiences and also how she met you. Happy Happy Birthday to a Great Icon, have fun and enjoy sir, it”s your BIRTHDAY!

  • Brenda July 13, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Happy birthday Wole Soyinka.

  • IKOI ABODE IKENNA July 13, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    happy birthday. as a birthday gift i present to you and all BN readers


  • TIAMIYU M. BADMOS July 14, 2014 at 8:34 am


  • NNENNE July 14, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    HBD sir. Love your hair.

  • prince ibrozano adaji October 16, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    where my heart blizzard is where my icon pens.
    where my joy goes and comes in repeated time is where my icon criticism and pessimism.
    where my read is Abiku and the lion and jewel is my icon a noble prize laureate.
    Happy 29th anniversary is my noble prize winner of 16/10/1986.

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