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Days After Brother’s Death, Soyinka, Others Don Cambridge Honorary Degrees

Nigerian Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka was alongside others conferred with a honorary degree from the prestigious University of Cambridge. The honour being one of the most prestigious ones in the world is meant specifically for “people who have made outstanding achievements in their respective fields,” says the varsity’s official site.

The grand event happened on Wednesday at the varsity’s Senate House, with not less than 400 staff, students including other guests present.

Lord Sainsbury of Turville, the Chancellor of the university led the ceremony which was held in Latin and English.

Soyinka, who is a playwright, poet, novelist and political activist, won the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986.

He has held visiting appointments at higher institutions in Cambridge, Legon, Atlanta, and Yale.

Recipients of this year’s University of Cambridge’s honorary degree, asides Soyinka, include Ghanian philosopher, Professor Kwame Appiah; literary scholar, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr; developmental biologist, Professor Edith Heard; music composer, Dr Judith Weir; and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Dr Ali Smith.

Other recipients, who are all professors, include mathematical physicist, Sir Roger Penrose; developmental biologist, Elizabeth Robertson; art historian, Simon Schama; and molecular biologist, John Walker.

Soyinka is presently a Professor Emeritus of Dramatic Literature of the Obafemi Awolowo University.

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