Renowned playwright and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Oluwole Soyinka, on Tuesday opened up on his health status, saying he was diagnosed of cancer last December. But an expert and Founder of African Cancer Centre, Lagos, Prof. Olu Williams, quickly assured Soyinka that he would “not die of cancer.” Williams, who revealed that Soyinka had the disease because of his old age, said the playwright will only “die with the ailment.” Soyinka, who revealed his cancer status at a press conference at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State, said he had decided to open up so as to create awareness about the cancer disease and to help people take measures to prevent it or seek prompt medical attention for cure.
The Nobel Laureate said he survived the silent killer disease because of early detection, treatment and proper dieting, adding that it has also dawned on him that the family has a history of cancer ailment.
He noted that his initial reaction when it dawned on him that he has cancer was to see it as one of those challenges and nuisance that should be dealt with, adding that a time he considered it “an unwanted squatter in his body and had to get rid of it whether it is a slow growing one or malignant.”
Although, “Kongi”, who showed a crest to attest to his surviving the disease, did not reveal to reporters the nature of the cancer he was treated for, his son, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, who is also the Commissioner for Health in Ogun State, later told The Nation his father was treated for “prostate cancer.”