A total of 82 students will participate in the 2016 edition of the Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange.
The executive producer of the organisation, Teju Kareem, who disclosed this in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday, said the event will hold between July 13 and 14, at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
He said the event was designed to coincide with the 82nd birthday of the Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka.
Mr. Soyinka, a professor of literature, was born on July 13, 1934.
“As is traditional to the project in past six years, it is to coincide with the 82nd birthday anniversary of the Nobel laureate, Professor Oluwole Akinwande Soyinka, who is the grand motivation behind the project, and after whom it is named,” he said.
Mr. Kareem explained that the programme was organised yearly under the auspices of the Open Door Series and promoted by Zmirage Multimedia Limited in collaboration with the US-based Global New Haven.
He said as a common feature of the project in the previous years, themes and topics to be addressed by its various segments were selected to reflect current issues in Nigeria and around the world.
He further stated that the overall theme for this year, “Corruption: A battle for the Arts”, had been divided into adult and youth segments.
Mr. Kareem said the youth segment would feature an essay writing competition by students, while that of adult would feature two keynotes addresses on the main theme as well as an all-female panel of discussion on corruption as it affects children, women and common Humanity.
He said the theme for the youth segment is “Challenges or Not, I love my country”.
Mr. Kareem said the 18 past winners of the yearly competition will be brought together to write commemorative essays on same topic.
According to him, the wife of Ogun State Governor, Olufunso Amosun, will have a special mentorship session with the 82 student essayists.
He said, “This is a tradition which Mrs. Amosun has held strong over the years as it presents one more opportunity for her to impact and encourage the youths”.
“This year’s theme/topic for the youth segment is aimed at awakening the patriot in young Nigerians, even as many in the older generation have become disillusioned due to the recurrent failure of the Nigerian State.”
Also speaking, producer of the series, Haneefat lkharo, stated, the youth (secondary school age) were the main target because “we believe at that age, their minds are still open to receive and process change and they are also curious enough to explore and accept the unique nature of mankind.
“All the essays will be edited and subsequently published into a book. Also present to write an essay on the same topic will be 82 students from various schools in and around Ogun State pre-selected to symbolically signpost the fact that Prof. Wole Soyinka (the pivot of the project) will be 82 years old on July 13th 2016.”
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