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Ken Saro - Wiwa

Ken Saro Wiwa45t
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Bori, Nigeria

Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa was born in October 1941 in Bori. His father was, and still is, a prominent community chief and his extended family was a large one. The term "Saro'' was added to his name to indicate his status in the family as the first-born son.

This is a common phenomenon in most African countries. He was brought up in a large yet supportive family with strong ethnic ties. Mr. Saro-Wiwa was educated at the Government College in Umuahia, where he later taught and the University of Ibadan. In the mid 1960s he was a graduate assistant at the University of Nigeria and later moved on as an assistant lecturer at the University of Lagos.

Ken Saor-Wiwa's interest in politics began in the 1960s when he assumed the role of administrator for Bonny, Rivers State. He also had roles as Commissioner for Works, Land and Transport; Education and Information and Home Affairs.

After several years in the positions mentioned above, in the early 1980s he turned to his passion, writing. Only three years later he published his first novel. He also had a successful running television series, Basi & Co., which ran from 1985 to 1990. Mr. Saro-Wiwa is also the author of several novels.

However, his most respected work was Sozaboy: A Novel in Rotten English which is a blend of pidgin and idiomatic English. This highly acclaimed novel is a "satirical portrait of the corruption of Nigeria's military junta, wth a bitingly humorous edge". Saro-Wiwa: A month and a day.

Beginning in 1990 Saro-Wiwa's work mainly focused on expressing the increasing exploitation of the Ogoni People to the entire world. As the President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), the entirety of his writings focused on these concerns to gain international attention.

After the 1993 election-day disturbances, Ken Saro-Wiwa was imprisoned for a month and a day. In May 1994, he was imprisoned again on the charge of murder after four chiefs were killed in an upheaval.

On November 2, 1995 Ken Saro-Wiwa was sentenced to death and only eight days later he was executed at Port Harcourt, Nigeria to the disgust of the entire international community.

Ken Saro-Wiwa was a proud member of the Ogoni People and he fought mercilessly for his fellow country men and women. It is a pity that Africa did not have more men and women like him in his time. He has been an inspiration to many, not only Nigerians but other Africans as well.

He will be remembered and cherished for what he wanted to achieve and the international attention that Nigeria as well as other African countries received.

The foundation was established in 2017 to work towards improved access to basic resources such as electricity and Internet for entrepreneurs in Port Harcourt.

The association founded the Ken Junior Award, named for Saro-Wiwa's son Ken Wiwa, who died in October 2016. The award is presented to innovative start-up technology companies in Port Harcourt.


The Association of Nigerian Authors is a sponsor of the Ken Saro-Wiwa Prize for Prose.

He is named a Writer hero by The My Hero Project.