He said the leaders had had to continually show resistance towards these two past events.
Soyinka said, â€œSlavery and colonialism are two monumental events in the history of Africans. African leaders have failed to respond to these elements.â€
The celebrated playwright spoke in Lagos during a programme titled â€˜A Conversation with Wole Soyinkaâ€™ to unveil his latest book, Harmattan Haze On An African Spring.
According to Soyinka, there is a need for Africa to return to its culture, beliefs and believe in itself.
The writer, who said he would not dwell on the challenges facing Nigeria, which he identified as bad leadership and corruption.
He added that a path not taken had continued to disturb the country till date.
On her part, former Managing Director for Africa, World Bank, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, wondered whether there was an original process which Africa missed in the quest for development.
Also, a director of Pan African University, Prof. Pat Utomi, hinged the problem of Nigeria on a lack of adequate penalty for infraction which he said, accounted for why people engage in criminal acts with impunity.
â€œBecause you can do something and get away with it, there is a tendency that you will do it again and again,â€ he said.
On his part, poet and social critic, Odia Ofeimun, said the distrust which the colonialists left still abide with Africa.
He, however, called for efforts that would address the critical issues of development in Nigeria for the benefit of the citizenry.
The event was moderated by Dr. Kayinsola Ajayi with interlocutors such as arts enthusiast,Toyin Akinosho; Ezekwesili and Utomi.