South Africa's Path To Freedom

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20100531

Nobel Prize-winning author Wole Soyinka travels from his native Nigeria to South Africa to assess the past and present of the rainbow nation through the eyes of its finest writers.

Wole Soyinka fought apartheid from outside South Africa during the years of oppression and conflict, and now he makes a special journey to the country to meet some of the key writers who lived through the turbulent years.

In Johannesburg he joins fellow Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer.

At the Constitutional Court he speaks with Albie Sachs, a former judge who was almost killed in a car bomb attack in 1988 in which he lost an arm and the sight of his right eye.

Instrumental in setting up the legal framework for the new nation, Albie Sachs proves an inspiration to Professor Soyinka.

Also in Johannesburg he speaks to South Africa's Poet Laureate Keorapetse Kgositsile and in Cape Town to Antjie Krog, author of the seminal work 'Country of My Skull' about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Wole Soyinka also meets the new young black writers who are interpreting their world through fiction.

In Johannesburg he visits the local FM radio station to speak to Karabo Kgoleng, who gives her take on modern South Africa, and visits the township of Alexandra to see if living conditions have actually improved.

Economics, social issues, and the desperate need to improve the lot of the poor are all brought to Wole Soyinka on his journey through the land.

Finally calling in at both the Market Theatre and the new theatre in Cape Town, Wole Soyinka catches Athol Fugard after whom the new theatre is named.

In a dramatic twist, the two end up on stage together as they consider their shared histories.

This is a journey through old and new South Africa by a writer who truly understands the work of the African writer.

It sheds fresh light on the problems of the past and the challenges of the future for the society that now makes up the rainbow nation.

Wole Soyinka travels to South Africa to assess the past and present of the Rainbow Nation.