Lasting friendships are hard to come by. When we see one that has endured for over half a century, it’s definitely worth celebrating, especially when the parties involved are some of our favorite people and share a deep love for literature.
Recently, three of our favorite public intellectuals came together to celebrate 50 rewarding years of friendship. The American literary critic & professor Henry Louis Gates Jnr, the Nigerian author, professor, & Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, and the British-Ghanaian philosopher, novelist & art historian Kwame Anthony Appiah reconnected at the University of Cambridge to celebrate the golden anniversary of their friendversary.
In a Facebook post that quickly went viral, Gates posted the photo above with the caption: “Had a lovely time reconnecting with Professors Soyinka and Kwame Anthony Appiah to celebrate our 50-Year friends at Cambridge University.”
The reason for this remarkable longevity is self-evident. The trio are noticeably similar—close in age, bearing links to West Africa, and all accomplished in their own right.
Henry Louis Gates is currently Director of the Hutchins Centre for African and African American research at Harvard University. A 1981 MacArthur, he has been awarded multiple honorary degrees.
Soyinka’s most recent work is the novel Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth. He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature and has published about 50 books, many of them critically acclaimed plays and novels.
Appiah currently serves as the President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has held lectureship positions in institutions all over the world including Yale, Duke, Cornell and Harvard universities.
Watch their conversation from a live broadcast below.
Here’s a toast to many more years of friendship!