Meet Folake, The Woman Behind Prof. Wole Soyinka


Nobel
Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka is not about books and books afterall! Recently,
he took time off to attend a party in company with his wife, Folake. Dressed in
his usual pristine cut attire, his wife was clad in a sky blue lace dress.
They
were part of guests at a surprise party organised in honour of advertising
guru, Biodun Shobanjo. The Group Chairman of Troyka
Holdings, Shobanjo just struck a major advertising collaboration in Europe.
How
did Folake meet the Nobel Laureate?
In
an interview she had with The News Magazine when Prof clocked 80 years, Folake revealed that
it was at the University of Ife. Of course, she knew he liked her, but the snag
was that she was still young and he was so accomplished.
She
said: “After I left Ife and went to do my NYSC in Kaduna state, Dr Biodunjeyifo
came to visit me and said Kongi (Prof Wole Soyinka) had been looking for me.
After the service year, Dr Yomi Ogunbiyi who was at the Guardian got me a job
there and one day, Wole stopped by.”
It
was an interesting courtship.
Explaining
that her parents and most of her relatives objected to her relationship with
the professor, she still had her siblings’ support.
“There
were objections from everywhere. My parents worried that he was too famous and
too accomplished. But within a few months after we were married, my parents had
changed their mind and they loved him until they passed away. His close friends
didn’t have a problem with it but also everyone had an opinion. Then came the
Nobel Prize in 1986 and that derailed everything for a couple of years. More
than a quarter of a century later, those opinions didn’t count, we are still
trudging along. I have enjoyed love because of him,” she said.
A
mother of three, she recalled an incident when Kongi, who is a brilliant
playwright, showed his culinary skills. Then, their boys were still little, and
they were in California.
“He
lined all three according to their heights and asked me to sit. He said he has
something to tell us and he was only going to say it once. He whipped some
cooking utensils, moved them around noisily in the pot, threw some up, caught
them performed a few tricks and then told us to listen. He said there were only
three people in the world who can cook pasta like he does; one is dead, the
other is in Silica, Italy and he is the third one and he is going to cook
something that we have never eaten. He cooked pasta that day and we truly
enjoyed it. True dramatist,” Folake said.
They
have been married since 1989 and the marriage waxes stronger daily.
529
SHARES
1.5k
VIEWS

IN THE NEWS