Tuesday 9 July 2019

Soyinka's birthday to host 'Igho Goes to Farm' presentation, 85 students

As part of OpenDoorSeries/Wole Soyinka International Culture Exchange (WSICE 2019) programmes, 85 student participants in Lagos and Abeokuta will on July 12 and 14 witness a book presentation.

Written by Culture journalist and The Guardian Newspaper’s Head of Politics, Mr. Anote Ajeluorou, the presentation of the writer's debut children’s storybook, Igho Goes to Farm is designed to celebrate the Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka at 85. A special reprint edition of Igho Goes to Farm, facilitated by WSICE, will be distributed to about 1,000 students across the country.

The four-day programme is a yearly feast that celebrates Soyinka who will be 85 on July 13. It starts on July 12 through July 15. Eighty-five secondary students who excelled in an essay competition will gather in Lagos, Abeokuta, and Akure to felicitate with the literary icon in a number of dazzling cultural programmes that will immerse the students on the life of Soyinka that span writing, teaching, performance, and activism.

The 85 finalists will be hosted by Prof Soyinka at his Ijegba, Abeokuta residence, where they will engage him in conversation, and draw from his fountain of wisdom and knowledge, with the winner being announced at the event. Also, a presentation of WSICE@10 books: Memo to our Future will hold.

Mr. Ajeluorou has expressed delight at his participation at the cultural feast to celebrate a longstanding mentor and present his book before youngsters for whom the book is intended. He also expressed gratitude to Zmirage Multimedia Ltd crew, particularly Alhaji Teju Kareem, for the collaboration and opportunity to speak on writing and why his book is an important companion to the youngsters who easily get distracted in the age of social media. He will also address adults on how his book addresses the need for Nigerians to look inwards in harnessing the country’s huge potential.

“OpenDoorSeries/WSICE is a huge platform to present an important small book like Igho Goes to Farm,” Ajeluorou stated. “The young ones are very impressionable and they need to be guided so they don’t stumble. Igho Goes to Farm speaks to their concerns and how to navigate some of the modern distractions that can derail them from getting the best from their educational quest, particularly smart phones and social media."

Ajeluorou asked questions on issues of development: "Why have Nigerians failed to develop the country’s tourism potential? Why do Nigerians always go abroad for holidays? Why don’t we patronise local goods and products? Why spend scarce resources on foreign products and goods? These are some of the concerns Igho Goes to Farm tries to address in a subtle way as the youngster lead character is shipped off to the village to spend his long holiday because he fails to perform well in school work while his siblings go to Disneyland in America.”

Drama performances are among the exciting programme line-up for WSICE 2019.

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