Below is a full list of the patrons of The Caine Prize:
John Coetzee, born in South Africa, now an Australian resident, is a writer and academic. Coetzee won the Booker Prize in 1983 with Life & Times of Michael K and again in 1999 for Disgrace. His novels include Waiting for the Barbarians (awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1980) and The Master of Petersburg (awarded the Irish Times International Fiction Prize in 1995). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003. He served as a judge in 2001.
Wole Soyinka was born in Abeokuta, Nigeria and received his doctorate from the University of Leeds. He was a dramaturgist at the Royal Court Theatre in London 1958-1959 and in 1960 was awarded a Rockefeller bursary and returned to Nigeria to study African drama. At the same time, he taught drama and literature at various universities in Ibadan, Lagos, and Ife, where, since 1975, he has been professor of Comparative Literature. In 1960, he founded the theatre group, "The 1960 Masks" and in 1964, the "Orisun Theatre Company", in which he has produced his own plays and taken part as actor. He has periodically been visiting professor at the universities of Cambridge, Sheffield, and Yale. During the civil war in Nigeria, Soyinka appealed in an article for cease-fire. For this he was arrested in 1967, accused of conspiring with the Biafra rebels, and was held as a political prisoner for 22 months until 1969.
His first plays were performed at Ibadan The Swamp Dwellers and The Lion and the Jewel in 1958 and 1959 and published in 1963. Later, satirical comedies are The Trial of Brother Jero and its sequel, Jero's Metamorphosis, and A Dance of the Forests. Among Soyinka's serious philosophic plays are The Strong Breed, The Road and Death and the King's Horseman. Soyinka has written two novels, The Interpreters and Season of Anomy. Purely autobiographical are The Man Died: Prison Notes and the account of his childhood, Aké. Soyinka's poems are collected in Idanre, and Other Poems, Poems from Prison, A Shuttle in the Crypt, the long poem Ogun Abibiman and Mandela's Earth and Other Poems. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986.
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