This vivid, exuberant book is Soyinka’s record of his childhood in colonial Nigeria. In rich and evocative prose he tells the tales of his school days and adventures in a captivating narrative, sometimes recollecting fears and dangers but always sensitive to the surprises of childhood life. His days were full of discoveries, excitements, the presence of spirits and the tribal rituals of his colourful family – including his father whom Soyinka portrays in Isarà, the second volume of his autobiography. Aké ends with Soyinka about to go to college at the age of eleven and enter a new world of responsibility and wider horizons as his remarkable childhood comes to an end.
Akinwande Oluwole Babatunde Soyinka (Yoruba: Akínwándé Olúwo̩lé Babátúndé S̩óyíinká; born 13 July 1934), known as Wole Soyinka, is a Nigerian playwright, poet and essayist in the English language. He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first sub-Saharan African to be honoured in that category. Soyinka was born into a Yoruba family in Abeokuta. In 1954, he attended Government College in Ibadan, and subsequently University College Ibadan and the University of Leeds in England. After studying in Nigeria and the UK, he worked with the Royal Court Theatre in London. He went on to write plays that were produced in both countries, in theatres and on radio. He took an active role in Nigeria's political history and its struggle for independence from Great Britain. In 1965, he seized the Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service studio and broadcast a demand for the cancellation of the Western Nigeria Regional Elections.In 1967, during the Nigerian Civil War, he was arrested by the federal government of General Yakubu Gowon and put in solitary confinement for two years.