Nigerian Professor and Africa’s first Nobel Laureate in Literature, Wole Soyinka has joined the University of Johannesburg as a distinguished visiting professor in the Faculty of Humanities.
According to the University of Johannesburg news, Professor Alex Broadbent, Executive Dean of the faculty of Humanities said Soyinka’s involvement will serve as an opportunity for the unique inspiration of their students, while attracting other renowned scholars.
Prof Broadbent said of Soyinka, “He has been and continues to be associated with some of the best Universities in the world. UJ’s commitment to decolonisation and the Africanisation of knowledge has led to significant dialogues at the Institution,”
“These conversations provide the University the opportunity to ask searching questions about our African identity and our role in nurturing the New Africa, and the future of our University. Prof Soyinka, a high profile academic and social influencer whose work, sentiments, and political positionality is taken very seriously in Africa, and across the world will bring a new dimension to this discourse.”
According to the news release, Prof Soyinka was educated in Ibadan, Nigeria, and Leeds, England, where he obtained an Honours degree in English, Prof Soyinka has held Fellowship and Professorial positions in the Dramatic Arts and Comparative Literature at the Universities of Ibadan, Lagos and Ife (Nigeria), Legon (Ghana), Sheffield and Cambridge (England), Yale, Cornell, Harvard, Emory, Nevada, Loyola Marymount (USA).
He continues lecturing as visiting Professor, and distinguished scholar in various American, European, African and Chinese universities.
Soyinka who lived in the U.S. for over 20 years teaching at prestigious universities such as Harvard, Cornell and Yale, last year threatened to discard his green card if Donald Trump emerged as president, a threat he carried out.
“His presence at UJ is sure to attract other respected scholars in associated areas of work, thus enhancing UJ’s stature and ability to attract even more excellent students and scholars of repute, both locally and internationally,” Prof Broadbent said.
“The return of Prof Soyinka to Africa and associated renegotiation of his American Universities appointments offer UJ the opportunity to work more avidly and closely with this discerning scholar,” Prof Broadbent added.