Thursday 25 August 2022

Wole Soyinka Returns To Biafra

Wole Soyinka, Lt. Colonel Emeka Ojuwkwu and Lt. Colonel Yakubu Gowon

An amalgam of a two-part BBC World Service Radio production featuring Wole Soyinka, the Nobel Laureate, retracing his journey from Lagos to Enugu, the capital of the newly seceded Republic of Biafra to meet Emeka Ojukwu, the former Lt. Colonel of the Nigerian Army and Governor of the former Eastern Region who had become the Head of State of what was intended to be a new nation. 

Narrated by Soyinka, it features interviews with the two main protagonists, Ojukwu and his nemesis, the then Lt.Colonel-turned-Major General, Yakubu Gowon who as the Head of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria had jailed Soyinka.

Soyinka was arrested on August 17th 1967 and released on October 8th 1969.

The Nigerian Civil War which lasted from July 1967 to January 1970 ended with the capitulation of the secessionist state and Ojukwu fled into exile.

His book The Man Died was inspired by his experience of solitary confinement.

Wole Soyinka was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987.

© Adeyinka Makinde (2022).

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.

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