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lime Exhibitions Review: The Sage of the White Hairs

Lime Review - Exhibitions

The Sage of the White Hairs






words by

Tricia Wombell

Reporter: Tricia Wombell
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In conversation with Wole Soyinka, British Museum

Wole Soyinka, playwright, author, poet, campaigner, and educator was on wonderful form at the British Museum on Friday, May 14


 

In front of a packed audience of London\\\'s Afro-literati, he was in conversation with Ellah Allfrey, deputy editor of Granta magazine, whose insightful and challenging questions ensured an evening of stretching thoughts, ideas, humour and sheer humbling enjoyment. 

 

Professor Soyinka, the first African writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature (in 1986), was taking part in a discussion that was part of a series of events developed with the Royal African Society to celebrate the Kingdom of Ife: sculptures from West Africa exhibition.

 

The discussion was of course wide-ranging: the state of Africa and whether mass mobilisation of the people to over throw ill-functioning governments was possible; the disappointing post-colonial leaders; his thoughts on his county – the not quite at the brink Nigeria. His reflections on the Biafran civil war, his imprisonment and the UK\\\'s newly \\\'hung\\\' parliament and his writing. 

 

At 75 Soyinka, with his head of shockingly fine white hair, is in grand form and it is good to hear he has no plans to age gracefully; in fact, he is only just beginning to enjoy himself. 

 

Venue: Kingdom of Ife: sculptures From West Africa is at the British Museum until 6 June, 2010. 

 

 

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