Prof. Wole Soyinka revealed today that he lived with prostrate cancer, but was recently cured. The Noble laureate made the revelation at a press conference tagged: “Beyond Ebola and Beyond Reign of the
Silent Killer” held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, Ogun
The octogenarian, who clocked 80 years last
August, was flanked during the press conference by his son, who is also
the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Olaokun Soyinka and the
President/Founder of the African Cancer Centre, Prof Femi Williams.
stated that he lived with the killer disease for over ten months while
undergoing treatment. “I discovered that I was afflicted with prostrate
cancer in December last year and was finally cured of the killer disease
on October 28 this year,” Soyinka revealed.
He stressed that his
public disclosure of being afflicted with cancer was borne out of the
moral obligation he felt he owed the society, especially as a member of
the African Cancer Centre.
The Nobel Laureate added that he had to
make his experience public in order to demystify the killer disease,
which he assured was curable.
Soyinka further noted that he
decided to make the revelation to encourage others suffering from the
disease, as well as to compel those in charge of the health sector to
take the treatment of the disease more seriously.
last year, I discovered that I had cancer and I have been treating it. I
finished treatment on October 28 and that’s why I’ve come out to tell
you this. Many people start looking at you as if you are a ghost; No!
It’s not a death sentence and it is curable. I have undergone the
treatment and I even have a certificate and medal to show for it, but I
don’t normally wear decorations.
“I want to use myself to
encourage others to take whatever test available to them in our limited
circumstances here and more importantly to encourage those who are in
charge of our health to take the cancer menace seriously,” Soyinka
He therefore advised Nigerians, particularly the women
folk to check and test for cancer once they discovered any unusual lump
in any part of their bodies so as to tackle it before it is too late to
According to him, “There are many ways of managing cancer
even through diet. I have had to drink a lot of water and as many of you
may know, water and I are not really friends,” he said.
who also disclosed that certain amount of money had been earmarked for
cancer research, urged the Federal Government to release the funds, “we
should have a diagnostic centre where people can go to be tested,
treated and cured.”
Also speaking at the press conference, the
President/Founder of the African Cancer Centre, Prof. Femi Williams
lamented the dearth of qualified oncologists in Nigeria.
Williams identified cancer as a major disease responsible for capital flight from Nigeria.
is not a single Nigerian qualified as a medical oncologist in this
country and yet we have 220 qualified oncologists of Nigerian descent in
Diaspora. Most of these specialists are willing to come back home and
others have interest in the African Cancer Centre,” Williams said.
ACC boss accused the former Minister for Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu
of withholding funds appropriated for the treatment of cancer in the
Williams however vowed that he would continue to demand the release of the fund until “we get there”.
his contribution, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Olaokun Soyinka
explained that the state was working towards building its own cancer
He appealed to the Federal Government to ensure that
“we build our own cancer capabilities,” expressing regrets that Nigerian
oncologists in the Diaspora had not been given the opportunity to
exhibit their expertise at home while other countries have taken
advantage of them.
Prof. Femi Soyinka, the younger brother of the Nobel laureate also attended the event.