Wife of Prof. Wole Soyinka, Mrs Folake Soyinka recently opened up on their love story in an interview with The News magazine where she revealed how she and the Nobel laureate met and her parents initial objection to their relationship. “There were objections from everywhere except from my sisters and brother who were happy if I was. I also had the support of his siblings here. My parents along with most of my relatives objected, not because of anything, they just felt he was too famous and too accomplished. They worried about that. 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
On how they met: “I knew he liked me from when I was in the University of Ife but I was young and he was so accomplished so I was kind of worried. 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. Our courtship was interesting,” she said.
She also revealed that the Nobel laureate, who turned 80 recently, is a great cook; “He cooks and he is quite good at it. He even cooked about two days ago. When the boys were really little, one day in California, he called all of us to the kitchen and said he wanted to have a family meeting. They were so young I don’t even think they had any concept of what a family meeting was. 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,” she said. (Linda Ikeji)