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Celebrating Literary Icon: WSICE Marks Wole Soyinka’s 90th Birthday

The 15th edition of the Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange (WSICE) is scheduled to take place in two phases.

According to reports, the first phase will occur from July 13 to 16, with both virtual and onsite events in Nigeria. The second phase will be held from July 19 to July 27 in London, United Kingdom (UK).

The celebration, organized in collaboration with partners from Nigeria and other countries, coincides with the 90th birthday anniversary of Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka. His remarkable life story and illustrious career as an artist and global humanist inspired the inception of this project in 2010.

The theme of the year’s WSICE is “E.N.I.O.G.U.N: Engaging National Interest on Good Governance, Understanding, and Nation-Building.” While it aligns with the event’s tradition, this milestone edition specifically focuses on Nigeria, where Soyinka was born.

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Throughout his multi-talented career as an artist, public intellectual, and human rights activist, Soyinka has demonstrated a commitment to creating a just and equitable world.

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During the cultural exchange, various activities are planned. These include a youth program at Ijegba Forestage in Abeokuta, Ogun State, a Culture House reception, and a student essay writing session. Ninety students will gather at the Ijegba Forestage Theatre to write essays on the theme “The Many Lives of an Irresistible Patriot, Humanist, and Rights Activist.”

Following the reception for essay winners, over 1000 participants will engage in a hybrid Do-Your-Own-Thing open-air creative expression, which will be televised and streamed on social media platforms.

Additional activities include a cultural evening, an evening of Sight and Sound featuring creative performances in music, drama, dance, poetry, and spoken word, a fashion parade, craft displays, and film screenings.

The event will also feature a play titled “The Noble Warrior: Eni Ogun,” written by Aiyeko-ooto Onadele and produced in collaboration with WSICE. This play explores themes of bravery, struggle, and the human spirit, resonating with Soyinka’s literary legacy.

Furthermore, one of the author’s classics, “The Lion and the Jewel,” will be staged, along with an advocacy session, visionary exhibition project, and film screenings.

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Written by Tapre Timine

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