Professor Wole Soyinka

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has expressed worries over what he termed as “distortion and media misconception’ of a British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, feature programme in which his 2014 experience with cancer was featured.

Soyinka, in a statement, Wednesday, said he had not seen the final presentation of the BBC feature programme on Health Awareness in which his 2014 experience with cancer was featured, but that he had been bombarded by narratives of the most disquieting nature, distortions through either misreporting or media misconceptions of what the BBC feature actually conveyed.

The statement read in part: “The first–and most urgent – correction, of course, is to re-state that this is an ancient tale that is firmly situated in the past tense. In other words, I have not been under any cancer-related condition for over five years. Indeed, it was in order to avoid creating any such anxieties that I refrained from even revealing my own ordeal until I had fully and successfully concluded treatment.

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“I made the original revelation in 2015, in support of the late Professor Femi Williams’ drive to set up an Africa Cancer Centre in Nigeria. It did not fail to strike an instructive chord that I had been a founding participant in that health initiative, little suspecting at the time that I was already a carrier of the enemy virus,” he said.

Soyinka said more worrisome, was that some of the reportage suggested that he criticized Nigerians for seeking treatment outside the country, which he described as “outright nonsense.”



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