Wole Soyinka was the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. As a Nigerian, he has been strongly critical of the country's miltiary dictatorships and as a result was imprisoned for 22 months in the late 1960s. In the 1990s, Soyinka was forced to flee Nigeria and went to the United States. Since 1999, Nigeria has become a transitional democracy and while Soyinka has pointed out improvements he is still openly critical of certain corrupt practices.
The excerpts found on the right sidebar are from Soyinka's April 17, 2006 talk at Carnegie Council about his memoir, You Must Set Forth at Dawn. The selected parts of the talk focus on the question of why and how authoritarianism and corruption exist in Nigeria.
For the transcript, audio, and video of the whole talk, please click here.
This activity works well in a comparative government, global, or world history class.