Inside Wole Soyinka’s Forest House

Located in the deep outskirts of the ancient city Abeokuta is Professor Wole Soyinka’s house where people visit for tour because of the old antiques in the house.

The house was first documented by Kola Tunbosun, an author and Yoruba linguist. In his Non-Fiction piece, ‘A House for Mr Soyinka’ which was published on popular, he described the house saying “the house sits tucked away behind a thick forest, from the road you would never know a house lay behind it. There is no visible fence just a thicket distinguishing the entrance. “If you wandered in by mistake, a boldly-lettered sign at the entrance reads: “TRESPASSING VEHICLES WILL BE SHOT AND EATEN.”

He gave more vivid description of Soyinka’s forest home “made of brick, the house is fitted on one side, with big slanted glass windows that let in sunlight and breeze while giving the resident a good view of the grounds. A small stream runs across the ground through a small bush that hides a deceptive marshland, under a culvert, and into the bush on the other side of the property towards a new public amphitheatre.”

The interior is filled with an array of ancient pieces of art collected by Professor Soyinka over the course of the years and some gifted. “On almost every available space around his living room stood a piece of art, ancient bronze heads from Ife, life-sized bronze leopards from Benin and many more including a carved door from Cameroon” says Tunbosun.

The house is about four and half acres wide and largely covered by forest reserves, save for living area in one end and outdoor amphitheatre on the other. The amphitheatre is managed by the International Cultural Exchange and according to the manager of the amphitheatre, Mr Teju Kareem, there are plans to make the residence a tourist destination in future. Also, he stated that it will serve as a literacy and academic resource.

Leave a Reply