Summary of personalities
Kenule Beeson “Ken” Saro-Wiwa (1941 – 1995) was a Nigerian writer, television producer, environmental activist, and winner of the Right Livelihood Award for “exemplary courage in striving non-violently for civil, economic and environmental rights” and the Goldman Environmental Prize. Initially as spokesperson, and then as president, of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Saro-Wiwa led a nonviolent campaign against environmental degradation of the land and waters of Ogoniland by the operations of the multinational petroleum industry. He was also an outspoken critic of the Nigerian government, which he viewed as reluctant to enforce environmental regulations on the foreign petroleum companies operating in the area.
Interesting facts about Ken Saro-Wiwa
- Ken Saro-Wiwa, a well-known Nigerian author and television producer, was president of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), an organization set up to defend the environmental and human rights of the Ogoni people who live in the Niger Delta.
- In January 1993, Saro-Wiwa gathered 300,000 Ogoni to march peacefully to demand a share in oil revenues and some form of political autonomy. MOSOP also asked the oil companies to begin environmental remediation and pay compensation for past damage.
- On November 10, 1995 Saro-Wiwa and his eight co-defendants were hanged. The only crime he and his colleagues had committed was to demand sound environmental practices and to ask for compensation for the devastation of Ogoni territories.
- Ken Saro-Wiwa’s life has provided a legacy of great inspiration for human rights and environmental activists around the world.