Why Famous: In 1986 Wole Soyinka was the first person from the African continent to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Soyinka is primarily a playwright, but has also written poetry, novels and essays.
A member of the Yoruba People of Nigeria, Soyinka often employs elements of Yoruba folklore into his work. His style is lyrical, satirical and humorous, much of his work criticizes figures in authority. Soyinka was imprisoned for 22 months 1966-67 during the Biafra war for speaking out against the war. His major works include the plays "Dance of the Forests" (1960),"The Strong Breed" (1964) and "Kongi's Harvest" (1965).
- 1960-10-01 Wole Soyinka's play "A Dance of the Forests" is first performed as part of Nigerian Independence celebrations
- 1986-10-16 Wole Soyinka, Nigerian playwright and poet, becomes the first African to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature
- Wole Soyinka Biographical - The Nobel Prize