Morocco’s Royal Academy Celebrates Wole Soyinka’s 90th Birthday


The Royal Academy of Morocco has honoured Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

Wole Soyinka

The event, organised in collaboration with the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA), celebrated the Nigerian writer’s outstanding achievements in both African and global literature.

Born in 1934, Soyinka embarked on his literary journey in Nigeria, later gaining international acclaim.

His notable works, such as “A Dance of the Forests” (1966) and “Death and the King’s Horseman” (1975), explore themes of tradition, modernity, and the complexities of human existence.

Soyinka, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986, has long been reverred for his poignant and powerful works, which often explore themes of oppression, justice, and human dignity.

In his 2021 novel, “Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth,” satire is used to critique societal issues.

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In a roundtable discussion titled ‘Africa Celebrates Wole Soyinka in Morocco,’ cultural figures, academics, and diplomats were brought together.

At the event, Soyinka’s prolific career was celebrated, stating his steadfast dedication to social justice and his distinctive advocacy for African cultures.

Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of the Royal Academy, Abdeljalil Lahjomri, lauded Soyinka’s unwavering dedication to portraying African realities in an interview with the local press.


He described Soyinka as a “defender of African cultures” and a keen observer of the continent’s complexities.

Lahjomri stated that  Soyinka’s refusal to align with the Negritude movement, emphasizing his ongoing battle against all types of domination.

Wale Okediran, Secretary-General of PAWA, commended Soyinka for his diverse talents as a poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, and satirist.

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He applauded Soyinka as an inspiration for aspiring African writers, commending his skill in posing critical questions and amplifying African voices globally.

In his speech, Soyinka expressed appreciation for the celebration, emphasised its role in strengthening cultural ties between Morocco and West Africa.

Soyinka explained historical parallels, pointing to the deep ties between Morocco and Senegal, exemplified by his friendship with the late Senegalese president, Léopold Senghor.

Professor Raphael Liogier, a scholar from Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, described the event as a significant symbol of Africa’s potential.

Liogier explained the importance of recognizing African talent like Soyinka, stating that Africa has the capability to assert itself globally and to open up to the world.

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