Wole Soyinka was born in Abeokuta in western Nigeria in 1934. His father was a headmaster of a local school and his mother was a shopkeeper. In his autobiographical work, Ake: The Years of Childhood (1981), Soyinka refers to his mother as Wild Christian. He describes her as a woman of strongly held views with a quick temper. One of her main worries about her son was his tendency to brood, which she regarded as dangerous. She was, though, unable to cure him of this trait. He also recalls why he always thought of his father as Essay:
He was called S. A. from his initials, HM or Headmaster, or Es-Ay-Sho by his more rumbustious friends. For...
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