Wole Soyinka, Nobel Prize Winner: “Donald Trump is a mass murderer”

The confluence between African myth and Western narration, between theater and humor, characteristics that made Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka, better known as Wole soyinka (Abeokuta, Nigeria, 1934) became the first African writer to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature. It was the Swedish Academy in charge of granting it recognition for being “a work with a wide cultural horizon and poetic nuances that addresses the drama of existence.”

Playwright, poet, novelist and critic, always faithful to freedom and independence. With The dance of the woods he exposed the problems of the young nation while offering a critique of the sweetening of the past; with The man is dead (1972) most poignantly described his 22-month experience in a Nigerian jail during the civil war for his criticism of the government of his native country; later came Season of chaos (1973), considered one of the most relevant works in African literature for its argument about the possibility of social regeneration. In his exile he published a set of 4 theater pieces (The Metamorphoses of Brother Jero, The Bacchae of Euripides, Madmen and Specialists and Death and the King’s Knights) and now, after 50 years in publishing fiction, it has been released to Chronicles of a country of the happiest people on Earth, a political satire on corruption set in an imaginary Nigeria where he denounces abuses of power.

Power does not tolerate freedom »

Wole soyinka

Soyinka has visited Spain to present her latest book and that is where she has approached power, to show it, to portray it and denounce it with the tool she knows best how to use, the narrative. Soyinka assures that “power does not tolerate freedom” and that power rarely understands what it is told.

Wole soyinka DC

In addition to being an author and the entire list of positions that follow him, he has also been part of the faculty of the most prestigious universities in England and the United States. It was in the latter country that Wole broke the green card or permanent residence card in the United States, when Donald Trump won the presidential elections in the North American country, a “catharsis”, according to him, which he came to define as Wolexit. For Soyinka, Trump is “an insult to the human being. He is one of the most dangerous heads of state in all of history, ”blaming him also for the mismanagement he did in the Covid-19 pandemic and his inability as president. “America must wake up.”

Trump “was in charge of millions of people when COVID-19 arrived and, as he admitted in an interview, he had known about the threat and the danger it posed before and did nothing” because “he did not want to alarm anyone. And above all, he wants to return to power, when he is responsible for at least half of the deaths that have occurred in the United States from this cause. He is a mass murderer ”, he added.

Nobel Prize, a double-edged sword

The presentation of the last Nobel Prize for Literature to the Tanzanian Adbulrazak Gurnah admits that it has made him very happy, but he does not believe in the quota system or regional representations “it would be a condescending attitude.” And in his opinion, “Western readers are beginning to understand and realize the great artistic wealth of the African continent, and I’m not just talking about literature.”

The Nobel Prize gives you some protection, but those in power see it as a way for you to escape their control.

Although for Soyinka the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature was a double-edged sword, since by obtaining that recognition, she was saying goodbye to an anonymity that also added “an immense burden” on her shoulders. «In the Third World, the Nobel is a prize that gives you some protection, but those in power see it as a way for you to escape from their control, due to external recognition, so it is a risk to your existence »

Wole recalls what happened to a writer, a friend of his, when he was hanged at the hands of a dictator as a way to defy international pressure, and that is why he ended up fleeing Nigeria “on the back of a motorcycle”, a year after the dictator came to power: “I realized that my luck was running out and that the dictator would have loved to go to the grave with a resume that said he had been able to hang a Nobel Prize in Literature.”

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Wole Soyinka, Nobel Prize Winner: “Donald Trump is a mass murderer”