Nigerian writer Kola Tubosun is writing and producing a documentary on Wole Soyinka’s campus home on Ebrohimie Road, University of Ìbàdàn in Nigeria. Titled Ebrohimie Road: A Museum of Memory, the film will be released in July 2024.

The documentary centers around Wọlé Ṣóyínká’s campus home on Ebrohimie Road, University of Ìbàdàn as a central character in the story of his life. In 1967, he was arrested there after having returned home from a visit to Biafra for a personal intervention in the Nigerian Civil War that was just breaking out. These events have been already recounted in The Man Died (1971), You Must Set Forth at Dawn (2006), and other works. It was there that he returned to from jail, and from where he went into exile in 1971. He never returned to Ìbàdàn, choosing to take up a role at the University of Ifẹ̀ in 1976, where he retired in 1985, a year before winning the Nobel Prize in Literature.

This house played host to many friends, family, and associates over the years while Soyinka was in solitary confinement, and features in his years of employment with the Ibadan University. And it was in that house where, in October 1969, after his release, he granted a famous interview to a Ṣọlá Ọdúnfá, a journalist from Daily Times to express himself about the war and the events that got him locked up.

Ebrohimie Road examines how the personal became the national, through the recollection of central and peripheral characters; how a small campus residence became witness to some of the most significant issues in Nigerian social, political, and literary history, many of which remain unresolved; and how ecological changes contribute to the erosion of history and a sense of place. Through stories, visuals, and historical records, Tubosun unearths what makes Ebrohimie Road more than just a campus street or physical location, but a place of history and a museum of memory.

The cinematographers of the film include Tunde Kelani, Jordan Wyatt, and Curtis Boggs. The film is supported with a grant by Open Society Foundation and Sterling Bank Nigeria. We are thrilled that Tubosun has decided to write and produce a documentary about the great Nobel Prize-winning Nigerian playwright Soyinka by focusing on the meaning of place in particular!

Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún is a Nigerian linguist, writer, translator, scholar, and cultural activist. He is the recipient of the 2016 Premio Ostana “Special Prize” for Writings in the Mother Tongue (Ostana Premio Scritture in Lingua Madre) for his work in language advocacy. He writes in Yoruba and English, and is currently the Africa editor of the Best Literary Translations anthology, published by Deep Vellum. He has published the poetry collections Ìgbà Èwe and Edwardsville by Heart.

Ebrohimie Road comes out this July. Stay tuned!