Wole Soyinka Denies Calling The First Lady “An Illiterate”

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Prolific Writer/Public Speaker, Wole Soyinka In an interview with Sahara Reporters, has denied reports that he ever called Patience Jonathan an illiterate.

He released a statement concerning the reports.

“It commenced over a year ago, I seem to recollect, as a telephone text, ‘tweet’ or whatever it is called, died away after strong rebuttals, and is now being provided renewed life by some faceless cowards with their own private agenda. Let me state quite clearly that literacy is no indicator of intelligence, even though we all believe (I hope) in universal literacy. From childhood I have interacted with so-called “illiterate” men and women, sipped from their innate intelligence, and learnt much from them outside formal schooling.

Your readers may wish to know that when I first encountered the statement, I was sufficiently appalled to send a personal message to Patience Jonathan dissociating myself from such a base sentiment. The associated commentary on the president’s decisions – I have no idea which decision, if any – is equally outrageous and disgusting. To attribute to me the slightest interest in the choice of a spouse by man or woman is a complete travesty of my near obsessive belief in the sanctity of private relationships.

Let me take this opportunity to announce yet again that I do not tweet, blog or whatever goes on in this increasingly promiscuous medium,” he stressed. “I do not run a Facebook, even though I am aware that one or two serious-minded individuals/groups have instituted some such forum on their own, for the purpose of disseminating factual information on my activities. I neither contribute to, nor comment on the contents of their “calendar”

Ada Igboanugo

Ada Igboanugo

Unorthodox Female | Writer | PR Consultant. I am Titanium


  1. He is not altogether wrong if he had alluded to saying it.
    It is obvious that the “first lady” is a stack illiterate!

    1. Mrs. Jonathan was a senior civil servant in Rivers State where she hails from, and could not have been an illiterate. Maybe an illiterate could hold senior govt position in the North where you probably come from, since the vast majority of Northerners are illiterate, but that is not possible in the South where the literacy rate is very high.

  2. This man is becoming a nuissance. He runs his mouth too much. Granted he won a Nobel price but being a president is equally difficult. At this level, he should cease the display of brazen ethnic prejudice.

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