Gerd Meuer mit Nobelpreisträger Wole Soyinka
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Like da same one!

Well, some time in 1983 (yes: 1983) I am again crossing the border between Naija and the then – still – ‘People’s Republic of Benin’ at Kraké, where – as usual – the uniformed waylayers were trying to milk me of as much foreign currency as they possibly could. Which I – as usual – blankly refused. And then it was the turn of my by then – 14-year-old son, in whose passport it reads: Christian names: “Martin, Wole, Gabriel”.

The fat (sorry, she really was!) immigration lady looked at the young ‘Oyingbo Peppe’ (‘the white man who can’t eat pepper) and asked him: ”Wole, like who?”
My son’s immediate answer: ”Like da same-o!”
Da woman was flabbergasted, and repeated her question: “Like WHO?” and she got da same answer. Laughter all around and free passage for all of us!

Well, well: Wole is ONLY Mart’s second name – which is yet another story... For when he was born in Hilversum, Holland, in 1969, I went to the registry there to get him registered in the GERMAN family-book. The man at the DUTCH registry, however, refused the name WOLE: ”There is no such CHRISTIAN name!”
I told the man I would be back next day... And next day I WAS back with loads of books under my arm, all bearing the name of one WOLE Soyinka!
Upon which the Dutch bureaucrat sort of gave up: “Well, he is German anyhow. So I don’t care with what kind of name the poor boy will have to run around with for the rest of his life.”

Which just goes to prove... that the very progressive people of the Low Lands...

Well, the truth of our old saying already in the sixties: “One day, in the not too distant future, HE will get that prize!”

He GOT it when Mart WOLE Gabriel was 17 years old.