Professor Wole Soyinka has stated that he sees no reason why people would have to go as far as Canada, Europe for treatment available in Nigeria.
Reacting to questions on how his wife felt when she heard that he was diagnosed for cancer in 2014, the Nobel Laureate explained that it was after one of his routine checkups in 2014, “I told my wife, don’t worry, we are going to fight this together.”
He narrated that “she just put her head on the steering wheel. I said start the car nah. She just sat there like that. I said, ‘don’t worry, we are going to fight this together’.
“It hadn’t yet gotten to the stage where it was not reversible and so gave us a number of guidelines. I say us because he wanted to make sure that my wife made sure that I followed it. He sensed that I wasn’t going to be a very good patient so he spoke to her most of the time rather than to me.
“Mine for me was an easy ride, uncomfortable in many ways but for me, but it is painless.”
“There is no disease in the world in which any human being need to be ashamed.
“Cancer is not a death sentence, it is a labour of willpower. Some hard labour is involved but ultimately, you can be victorious,” he said.
Speaking on how he fought the deadly disease, Soyinka revealed that a form of technology, proton therapy, was what was used to treat the disease.
“The options, I compared to other treatment I know about and I have seen in operation.
“And I don’t see why that kind of treatment or similar treatment should not be available. I don’t understand why there should not be a choice.
“I don’t see why people have to go to Canada, Europe to receive treatment which is affordable in this nation, it is a shame.”
“I wish, in fact, I spent more time in this very environment, that in itself I think answers the requirements of human health. It could be purely psychological, it doesn’t matter. But, it’s a feel. The body feels its environment and responds accordingly,” he said.
“I don’t go to the gym and I do not jog. I look at people who are jogging on the streets, some of them…they look ridiculous.
“But I believe that my normal active life is more than sufficient. At least, if I feel sluggish, I take a walk. If I feel very very sluggish, I take my gun and go in the bush and go hunting, not all theses artificial skyscrapers reaching towards nowhere. That is not my idea of home,” Soyinka said.