Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka to Teach in South Africa

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Wole Soyinka
Wole Soyinka

Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka is set to take up the position of a visiting professor at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, saying being a traveling teacher has become “a way of life.”

Soyinka told students and journalists at the South African University on Friday that the benefit of encountering different cultures during his journeys is that “one does not stagnate.”

The 83-year-old Nigerian playwright and author who was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1986, has taught at universities around the world. He said he and his Johannesburg students might create a play together, as well as discuss history and international relations along with literature.

“Absolutely nothing is outside the scope of my interests in this interaction,” Soyinka said. He drew laughter when he added: “What I don’t know, I’ll pretend that I know.”

“South Africa is a traditional hub of migrant literature and art, including theatre. I am very much an itinerant teacher. And so moving from one institution to the other has become a way of life, not planned as such, but that’s the way it happens,” Soyinka said.

The University said it hopes Soyinka’s periodic presence on campus would boost plans to set up a creative writing programme.