Friday, 27 September 2013

Professor Wole Soyinka Escapes Death In Kenya


But for providence, Nigeria's Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, would have been among the dead in the terror attack that took place at the Nairobi Westgate mall in Kenya last weekend.

Speaking at a press conference at the Freedom Park in Victoria Island, Lagos, on Friday in honour of the late Ghanaian poet, Professor Kofi Awoonor who died in the attack, Soyinka led a group of Nigerian writers to condemn the Nairobi massacre.
“Those who organised and carried out the outrage on innocent lives in Nairobi are carriers of the most lethal virus of corruption imaginable – corruption of the soul, corruption of the spirit, corruption of that animating humanistic essence that separates us from predatory beasts."
Soyinka said he and Prof Awoonor would have attended the Storymoja/Hay Literature Festival, but couldn’t be there with him due to other pressing engagements he had elsewhere. “My absence was particularly regrettable, because I had planned to make up for my failure to turn up for the immediate prior edition. Participant or absentee however, this is one edition we shall not soon forget,” he said.

The literary iconic said, giving his close relationship with Awoonor, he might have been at the same place with him and could have been shot as well. He said: “Kofi and I could have been splitting a bottle at that same watering hole in between events and at the end of each day.”

Condemning the use of religion to commit atrocities, Soyinka, who spoke on the theme, “Humanity and Against,” said: "I am no theologian of any religion, but I aver that these assailants delude themselves with vistas of paradise after life, that their delusion is born of the perverted reading of salvation and redemption.”

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