The Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange (WSICE) will celebrate a decade of promoting humanist principles, embodied in the works and person of Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, to young Nigerians.
The occasion also marks the 85th birthday of the iconic playwright, poet, theatre director, culture scholar and intellectual. To commemorate both occasions, WSICE producer, Haneefat Ikharo, says four days programme of activities are scheduled to hold in July at different cities across the country, such as Freedom Park, Lagos; Ijegba, Abeokuta, Ogun State; and Akure, Ondo State.
List of scheduled activities, Ikharo notes, include an Advocacy Session on Rights, Honour, Respect, Tolerance & Humanism; as well as the formal presentation of the books, Memo On Our Future: Essays by Nigerian Children as Inspired by Wole Soyinka, culture journalist, Anote Ajeluorou’s Igho Goes To School, and The Soyinka Impulse: Essays on Wole Soyinka by Prof Duro Oni and Bisi Adigun.
Also expected is a stage production of US Theatre-maker and Film graduate, Rebecca Jackson-Moeser’s The Kendrick, and The Mckenzie Panels. Both plays form part of a new concept of theatre termed Projection Theatre. They tell the real stories of racist experiences of young black girls in the American society at different periods of times.
A Musical and Poetry Session closes the opening day ceremony. Meantime, an essay writing competition involving about 85 preselected students from various schools across the country opens the second day, in Abeokuta, with the 85 students hosted by Soyinka in his residence on the third day, with opportunity of one-on-one conversation with the octogenarian, from whenceforth winners of the contest will be announced.
There will also be stage productions of Soyinka’s Childe International, and Death and The King’s Horseman in Lagos. A Mentorship Session hosted by the first lady of Osun State, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, with the preselected essay contenders, will hold on the final day. It’ll run simultaneously with an interview documentary on Professor Soyinka, a collaborative effort of Freedom Park Film Club and the iREP International Documentary Film Festival, which will close the festivity in Lagos.
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