Nigeria: 10 Quick Facts On Ken Saro-Wiwa

Esther Kiobel is the widow of Dr Barinem Kiobel. He was hanged in 1995 along with the writer and human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, and seven other men, collectively known as the Ogoni Nine.
10 October 2018

Kenule Beeson Tsaro-Wiwa was born on this day in 1941. Kenule popularly known as Ken Saro-Wiwa was an award-winning human rights activist who met his untimely death in 1995 while fighting against the environmental degradation and the survival of the Ogoni people under the administration of Military head of state, Sani Abacha.

Yet his impact has continued to outlive him.

Here are some quick facts you should know about him:

An exceptionally intelligent student, he won departmental prizes in the English department at the University of Ibadan.

The avid activist's interest spanned across the arts. He was a member of a travelling drama troupe.

He was an author. Some of his popular works included the Sozaboy: A Novel In Rotten English; On a Darkling Plain, his documentation on the Civil war and Africa Kills Her Sun, a prediction of his own death

He produced two of Nigeria's best television series, Basi & Company as well as Transistor Radio.

He was a commissioner for Education in the Old Rivers state.

Despite caution from the government, he continued to speak up for his people, especially against the Royal Dutch Shell Company. He was eventually tried by the government for allegedly arraigning the murder of some Ogoni chiefs and sentenced to death by hanging on the 10th of November 1995 and buried in an unmarked grave.

After his death, the Commonwealth of Nations suspended Nigeria for three years.

He was a commissioner for Education in the Old Rivers state.

A street in Amsterdam is named after the activist. Also, the Rivers State Polytechnic had its name changed after him by the Governor of Rivers State, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike.

Several international songs have been sung in honour of him.

He had five children with his wife, Maria. Three of his children are journalists.

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