Nigeria: How Mathematics Saved Me During 27-Month Incarceration - Soyinka

16 September 2021

The Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has narrated the experience of his 27 months incarceration, saying solving mathematical problems saved him from insanity.

Soyinka said this on Thursday when he played host to the academic laureates who did Ogun State proud in various academic competitions, at his Kemta, Idi Aba residence in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

He said though he disliked the subject while in secondary school, mathematics actually became his saving grace while he was undergoing incarceration by a military junta.

The literary icon said it was while in detention that he "realised that you must always have an integration, a common line - be you an historian, horticulturist, mathematician... "

He added that at school, "I hated mathematics at school but with I even had a C. I hated my teachers who were very brilliant at mathematics and they forced it down our throats whether we like it or not."

Soyinka, while addressing the laureates, advised them not to prioritise any subject above others.

He lauded Abiodun administration's efforts on education which he said was evident in the emergence of the academic laureates who have shown great excellence and exploits.

Soyinka encouraged them to always have holistic sense of integration and interaction of subjects, which he said would help them to excel in all spheres of life.

Abiodun, while highlighting some of the achievements of his administration in the education sector, promised to continue to sustain and uphold the legacy of the founding fathers of the state who strived to make Ogun a citadel of education.

The governor represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Tokunbo Talabi, enjoined the awardees to thrive in giving their best and promised that the state would continue to create an enabling environment for learners to excel.

"We are indeed proud of all our academic laureates who have distinguished themselves in different competitions. And as a state, we promise to continue to put in the required provisions that will continue to aid teaching and learning activities that will produce more academic giants", the governor said.

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