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Wole Soyinka Says He Never Made Derogatory Remarks about Igbo People



Wole Soyinka - July 2014 - 01Wole Soyinka has refuted reports circulating online that he made derogatory remarks about Igbo people during a lecture at Harvard University.

Soyinka on Wednesday released the following statement:

“I have just read a statement attributed to me on a news outlet, evidently one of the Internet infestations. My lecture at the Hutchins Centre, Harvard University, was video recorded. Anyone who believes what I am alleged to have said must be a moron – repeat, a moron.

It is demeaning, sickening and boring to have to deal with these cowards who cannot fight their own battles but must fasten their imbecilic pronouncements on others. Only the mentally retarded will credit this comment attributed to me regarding the Ndigbo voting pattern in the last elections.

I strongly suspect the author of this despicable concoction, and may make a further statement, once the source is verified.”


  1. Omawunmi

    May 6, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Glad to hear this. I was kind of disappointed when I saw the headline but refused to read it

    • Bola

      May 6, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      Clearly Wole Soyinka would never say such. This is a man who was imprisoned by Nigeria for protesting against the unfair treatment of Igbos during the Biafra war. That’s why he is saying anyone who believes that a man who sacrificed on his belief for the rights of Igbos would then say such and at Havard no less, is a real moron!

  2. @edDREAMZ

    May 6, 2015 at 11:48 am

    So that well composed written statement was all a lie… I cant believe this abeg….

    • Jules

      May 6, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      You won’t believe, cause you are always in “Jupiter”. Sometimes I believe you people are too sentimental and blame others for your misfortune.

    • nimaelo

      May 6, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      Which people, d igbos? U have completely nd ignorantly shown how shallow u re, pretending to be deep. BRAVO! !!!!!

  3. Busarni

    May 6, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Well, I am not igbo. But you will have to give me empirical evidence before I believe you. For now, I have lost respect for you. Learn from #achebe. Senile old men all around. God help us, cos we might be in for a very loooong four years;

    • Mohammad

      May 6, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      You’re the one with problems. He isn’t the one to provide you evidence of what he didn’t say> The onus lies on you to prove that he did in fact say it! Your failure to think logically in this instance should embarass you.

    • Busarni

      May 6, 2015 at 2:16 pm

      Sharrap, aboki. He has to give me empirical evidence. This is Nigeria, not Syria. Mumu.

    • Mohammad

      May 6, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Astounding hypocrisy! For someone accusing someone of inciting ethnic hatred and proclaiming loudly how they have lost all respect for an innocent person, you go on to make a derogatory comment about my name and reducing me to an aboki! Your tribalism is here for all to see, not Prof Soyinka’s.

      I insist the burden of proof should be on you to show us that he did in fact make the comments. In any case, there is video footage of his speech. You can watch it if you are that bothered. You hateful, ignorant someborri!

    • Busarni

      May 6, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      Buhahahaha!!! I did not reduce you to an #aboki. That is what you are; give me empirical evidence or forever shove your opinion in your behind. I am entitled to my opinion so look the other way when you read my comments.

    • Bola

      May 6, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      @ Busarni, you may want to go and read Achebe’s memoirs where he insulted Yorubas! Is that what you respect ?

      Wole Soyinka has said he didn’t say it and there is a video to prove that yet you say you’ve lost respect for him but you respect the man who’s words against another tribe are clearly documented in his memoirs? Hmmmm very telling

    • Olanne

      May 6, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      What chapter and page did Achebe insult the Yorubas. I will wait till you reply because i have read that book over and over again and i see NO INSULT on Yorubas! Some people love to jump on bandwagons. I see you have been read FFK aka foolish old he-goat’s post on Facebook. It is a personal memoir and you thick skulled idiots will never understand that. Intact, Achebe wrote honestly about how Igbos assimilated more into the Western culture and that sort of was a catch 22 for us. Did he speak on Awolowo? Yes! But, did you also miss the part where he wrote highly and i mean highly of Wole Soyinka?! Why am i even asking you since you CLEARLY did not read “There was a Country: A Personal Memoir of Biafra” NONSENSE!

      Wole Soyinka never said this. I refuse to believe he did and till evidence is given otherwise, anyone with a functioning brain will shut up and discuss important things.

      I am so bloody sick and tired of this useless tribal comment and zero tolerance! Achebe was a proud Igbo man. Soyinka is a proud Yoruba man. Both are important part of our literary world and we should stop demeaning all they worked for. What kind of lazy generation is this?! It takes me ten minutes to type such rubbish but less than that to google and actually see some text of his speech. Listen, you are allowed to be foolish privately but not publicly. Achebe insulted the Yorubas?! What chapter because i will bloody open it and read it back to you. Don’t come for us till we send for you. Sit down and shut up!

    • Damilola

      May 6, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      Don’t even bother bcos Igbos will never admit their wrong. They will forever be in state of denial. Remember, they are perfect and peaceful people.! They don’t provoke or say anything bad about Yorubas. When they insult Yorubas, they will turn around to say it’s not a reliable source or what people like Achebe said is his opinion not insult. They have excuse in the whole world when it comes to that. They want to be the only one insulting Yorubas, be excused bcos they are “victims”.

      And so what if Soyinka said it? If wole Soyinka said it, he should stand on it. After all, it’s his opinion. And if Igbos want to lose their respect, that’s their problem. It doesn’t affect his Nobel prize or respect he has around the world. So, people can’t speak their opinion again bcos Igbos don’t want to hear it. I told my friend from the north, I said northern leaders ruined Nigeria. You guys are power monster who don’t care for Nigeria. If she likes, she should hate Yorubas for that or call me a tribalist. Na her own problem.

    • Manny

      May 6, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      Busarni, as if it is your respect that will put food on the table for him. I always find it funny when Nigerians announce with all pomp and fanfare that they have lost all respect for a person, as if it should make the person cry or something.

    • Shopperoflife

      May 6, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      #Empirical Evidence! I am just so surprised BN did not post that interview.

  4. Accra lover

    May 6, 2015 at 11:51 am

    This Ibos must be very important in Nigeria 2warrant so much attention of the high and might from Obas to Politicians and now Intelllectuals

    • ola

      May 6, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      self deceit

    • Chinma Eke

      May 7, 2015 at 10:30 am

      I tire o! Everybody coming for the Igbos, but let us go, they wont. O well! like kermit, sipping tea and waiting for the Igbo hate to either pass, or Nigeria send us packing.

  5. Kadara

    May 6, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Good, you blogs have to be careful with how you promote unverified reports. No point saying it’s unverified yet you still went ahead to post. Some naughty people are trying to break Nigeria up by fanning tribal sentiments and you guys are giving them a platform.

    • ASGRL

      May 6, 2015 at 1:08 pm


      Has anyone read “The Man Died” on this site???? Do you realize Soyinka went to prison for 27 months for taking up the cause of Igbos in Biafra?

      The article should have been marked “Alleged”

    • seriouslyconcerned

      May 6, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      Seriously, it’s getting ridiculous. That fake report was spread far and wide. Will there be retractions? What about the people who only heard the first part and won’t hear the correction. At a time when things are so tense, you would think media sources would use due diligence and not be complicit in aiding those that want to see Nigeria and Nigerians suffer.

      Could one of these sources not have taken the step to contact Harvard for verification, or even some of the Nigerians who were at the event. Is this what journalism is nowadays. Tufiakwa.

    • Warizdiz

      May 6, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      @Kadara, l see U speak from both sides of ur mouth. Did you not just refer to Igbos as “That class on people….” In a related post?

    • Warizdiz

      May 6, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      “…….,….That class of people……..”

  6. niola

    May 6, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Evidence that Wole Soyinka is on Bella Naija…hehe hehe .. Sir please if you are here o jare, hit me up, i have been wanting to meet you since your 72nd birthday.

  7. Deborah Komolafe

    May 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I love this man. Where are all the people castigating him? u can’t identify a fake yen until u know the original yen.

  8. Lagos slut

    May 6, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Ok Prof. We get it. u didn’t say it, but don’t forget we are still waiting for ur Memoir, finish it already b4 we hear say u don Die

  9. pretty

    May 6, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    i think there are some cowards who are trying to cause conflict between the igbo’s and the yoruba’s. Listen!!! it will not work, the igbo’s are fun loving and happy people and will not succumb to faceless people cooking up stories to stir up chaos. we are a nation and our different tribes and culture make us unique and beautiful, even siblings from the same parents are different. Mr. Soyinka if you say you didn’t say it, i believe you.

  10. isaid!

    May 6, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Prof, just make sure you sue the moron that is responsible for this malicious lie when you verify the source. People are very dangerous. Don’t we have enough problems already!

  11. chy

    May 6, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    ok o if he said he didn’t say it fine.

  12. ACE

    May 6, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Am just here to read comments. Lol

  13. Iamwhatiam

    May 6, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Issorit…waiting for the audio followed by the video.

    • polypoly

      May 6, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      Harvard streamed the event online last week and it was available to all….ugh!!! all ye fake activists that cant google and come with facts….tufia!!!

      since when was Cable News Nigeria a reputable source….okay nau, kontinu. “Messy Igbo people” on this site just love to claim victim regardless of what the topic is. I am Igbo and not a messy boots like some of yall. so Chinue Achebe is a saint & Wole Soyinka is a senile fool abi. Why cant we celebrate accomplishments??
      thesame Wole Soyinka that won a Nobel Peace Prize for being vocal about injustice, corruption, and violence in Nigeria, but yall forgot and wanna act like he is Ojukwu. okay na.

    • Naijatalk

      May 6, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      Do not call Igbo people messy, perhaps you and your clan are, the rest of us aren’t. In any case, I could not bring myself to believe these words were uttered by Wole Soyinka. It is too much of a PR volcano for anyone with half a brain, talk less of Wole Soyinka himself.
      It is however not another excuse for you polypoly claiming to be igbo, and non-igbos to get on the “let’s bash on the oh woe is me, self-pitying igbo.” It’s way too old now. I don’t care whether you are igbo, that’s not a license for foolish talk.

  14. Iamwhatiam

    May 6, 2015 at 3:17 pm


  15. udo

    May 6, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I didn’t bother reading the allegation because I knew it was a waste of time. People, in trying to make caricature of we igbos, are trying so hard to pull down patriots like Soyinka. That’s dumb! Someone else, I’m trying to make a case for Soyonka, concocted a lie about Achebe. That’s unintelligent! I have “there was a country” over here right now and I must say that Achebe was careful not to turn it into a tribal thing. He never abused the Yorubas. Anyone who says he did should please show me where. Soyinka and Achebe are legends in there own right.
    PS: if you don’t like any other tribe but yours you belong in a vacuum!

  16. concerned9ja

    May 6, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Once I read the contents and tone of language I knew this couldn’t be true…
    Tired of all dem copy and paste Blog Queens they all posted without even taking time out to investigate.
    This is serious allegation and a slur on his character…very soon some of these Blogs would be out of business after a law suit that would put them out of business!!

  17. nimaelo

    May 6, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    When I saw dat post, my heart sank. Couldn’t even read it, very pleased it’s a lie, cos if it were to be true. Ah! dat means we are finished in Naija. For someone as intellectual nd learned as Prof to say dat! Just very pleased it’s all fabrications

  18. miss B

    May 6, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Clearly, there are some forces at work trying to stir up conflict between Yorubas and Igbos. This is very interesting as this movement has gained momentum since a Northerner was in the running to become President. Nigerians, open your eyes. Some people are trying to create these issues in order to promote their agendas which will surely be revealed sooner or later!

  19. ada zaria

    May 6, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Bella naija why na! I want to love Udo’s comment like 100 times but you aren’t letting me …..

  20. Usman

    May 6, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Okay guys, the man said he didn’t say what was attributed to him, can we move on, please? Haba!

  21. Naijatalk

    May 6, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    BN hope nothing oh? No swallow my comment abeg

  22. nnenne

    May 7, 2015 at 1:15 am

    I believe him. I know he is smarter than that.
    One of the few Nigerians I respect a lot.
    Only a foolish person can make that statement.

  23. Chimamanda Mom

    May 7, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Prof Wole Soyinka, im sure never said that. Im very proudly Igbo and love Prof Wole passionately. Iv tried reading all his works. Some I understand, some I dont.

    When I read this story about him and the comments on the Igbos, the first time, I knew there was a mix-up somewhere. I did not believe it. Prof Wole has never spoken from both side of his mouth. My Kinsman Chinua Achebe described him as ‘the Indefatigable Wole Soyinka’ – and those words sum him up. Now he has come out openly to say he didnt say so, I believe him. Sir please you dont need to explain yourself further. My regard for you is still up there. God bless you sir.

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