Immense progress has been made so far in the preparations for the Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange Project as confirmation has started coming in from invited guests while the secondary school students having submitted their pre-screening essays, are set for the non-competitive essay holding on 13th July, 2016.
Dr. (Mrs) Olufunso Amosun will be holding a special mentorship session with the students of Ogun State and other youths at the main Hall of The Ogun State Cultural Centre, Abeokuta on the topic CHALLENGES OR NOT; I LOVE MY COUNTRY.
One of the highlights of this year’s event is the presentation of cheques to the remaining winners of the Project WS Essay competition from 2014 and 2015 who are yet to receive their scholarship money. The management of the project has faced some financial challenges in the past 2 years due to lack of sponsorship. This year’s event is not any different as sponsorship has been scarce but we do not want to drop the ball on the event as we are aware of the immense impact it has had on some of our past participants, both teenagers and adults.
Alhaji Teju Kareem said, in line with the theme for this year’s event, the organizers want to walk their talk by ensuring that all promises made have been fulfilled as promises made, with intention of not fulfilling, can also be termed corruption.
The Panelists will be speaking on the topic CORRUPTION AS IT AFFECTS CHILDREN, WOMEN AND OUR HUMANITY.
The Chairperson of the event, Professor Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka is an interdisciplinary scholar, Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka’s teaching, research, and creative works encompass theatre, literary and gender studies, including the theories that inform them.
Her works examine discourses on power, gender, race, and nationality especially in Africa and the Diaspora. Author of several books and chapters, her recent publication is a co- edited collection of poems, “Reflections: An Anthology of New Works by African Women Poets. (2013). Choreographer, and dancer, she has worked with several playwrights, directors and given performances both in Nigeria and internationally.
Expected at the Advocacy lecture this year are the all-female Panelists.
Hafsat Abiola Costello is a Nigerian human rights, civil rights and democracy activist, founder of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), which seeks to strengthen civil society and promote democracy in Nigeria. Abiola graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, in 1992 and Harvard College in 1996.
She received an honorary doctorate from Haverford College. Abiola is the founder of China-Africa Bridge and China Africa Forum, which promotes mutually beneficial cross-cultural collaboration between China and Africa, with a specific eye on women’s contributions to the economy. In 2015 she was chosen to be one of 21 women who met for a conference at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government funded by Hunt Alternatives.
Kadaria Ahmed is an international journalist, editor, social commentator and TV personality. She moderated Nigeria’s 2011 vice-presidential and presidential debates. Ms. Ahmed started her career in journalism with the BBC in London where she worked as a journalist/senior producer across different parts of the organization, including the newsroom and on the two flagships programmes for Africa: Focus on Africa and Network Africa.
She has reported from diverse places such as Eritrea, the United States and South Africa and interviewed notable personalities. She was also part of a select BBC team of 4 that provided annual briefings on Africa to members of the British parliament
Sola Salako (The Anchor) is a freelance writer and industry critic, she produced and presented the First Consumer TV show PROMOWORLD on Lagos Television for 3 years and contributed to various journals, Newspapers and Magazines on Marketing/Advertising issues. Sola pioneered the first consumer rights media campaign with the Handwriting on the Wall column in ThisDay Newspaper.
She also held the first Nigerian Consumer Sensitivity Awards in 2004. Vibrant personality, a proficient public speaker, strong writing and presentation skills, a committed and loyal team player, makes friends easily and eager to help with strong creative and ideas generating skills.
Rose Moses was the South West Editor of the AUTHORITY NEWSPAPERS Limited up until March 2016, having also served as Managing Editor and member, Editorial Board of Champion Newspapers Limited, Ilasamaja, Lagos. Before then, she was made Editor of Saturday Champion on November 10, 2005, an office she held till January 2011, and therefore an active member of the Nigerian Guild of Editors.
She is currently a visiting member of the Editorial Board of INDEPENDENT Newspapers, where she also serves as Contributing Editor. Although she started her journalism career in 1990 as Staff Writer with the defunct Satellite Newspapers limited in Enugu, Enugu state, she joined Champion Newspapers in Lagos, in 1993. Among other positions she has held include Deputy Editor, Daily Champion, from April to November 2005; Deputy Editor, Saturday Champion, from January 2004 to April 2005; Society Editor, Daily Champion, from April 2003 to January 2004; Deputy Features Editor, Daily Champion from February 2000 to April 2003.
They have all confirmed their presence at the much awaited event.
The Special Guest of Honor Professor Femi Osofisan as well as the Keynote speakers, Comrade Tunde Fagbenle and Professor Segun Ojewuyi have also confirmed their attendance.
The Guest of honor, Professor Femi Osofisan has served at the University of Ibadan as Acting Head of the erstwhile Department of Modern Languages; Acting Head and Head of the Department of Theatre Arts, and was a member of Senate from 1980 till 2011, when he took his mandatory retirement. He has also held similar positions at the University of Benin, where he first became a full professor in 1983.
A restless artist and multiple award winner, he has published, both in his own name and under the pseudonym of “Okinba Launko”, over four dozens of plays (including The Chattering and the Song; Esu and the Vagabond Minstrels; Morountodun; Once Upon Four Robbers; The Oriki of a Grasshopper; Twingle-Twangle; Who’s Afraid of Solarin? (plus its Yoruba version, Yeepa, Solarin N Bo!); Tegonni; Aringindin and the Nightwatchmen; Bishop Ajayi Crowther; Nkrumah-ni, Africa-ni!; Reel, Rwanda; Midnight Hotel; Women of Owu, etc)
The first Keynote Speaker, Mr. Tunde Fagbenle is a media entrepreneur. He began his media career as Managing Editor of international TRAVELS magazine in 1978. He is chairman of Alfa Communications Ltd, a publishing and media consulting outfit which he co-founded in 1984, renowned for its authoritative Nigeria Banking Annual with its celebrated pioneering Banker of the Year Award.
He was publisher of the defunct popular ‘Nigeria Home news’ weekly newspaper published in London from 1989-1992, and CEO of Terra Firma Agencies of Goodge Street, London. Mr Fagbenle is more widely known in Nigeria for his long running but now rested, hard-hitting, forthright column on the back page of the SUNDAY PUNCH, a column which had appeared at different times in the SUNDAY TRIBUNE and TRUST newspapers.
The second keynote speaker, Professor Segun Ojewuyi is a scholar and theatre director. A fellow of the Salzburg seminar, Ojewuyi has taught at the University of Lagos, Nigeria; The Yale University undergraduate studies, the Yale special summer Acting program and Rowan University, New Jersey. He currently teaches in the department of Africana studies at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois USA. He was the chair of the University’s fine Arts Activities Committee from 2008 to 2011.
He is winner of the Pittsburgh African American Committee for the Arts 2007 Best Director Award for the film ’The heart of the Father’ by CBN. He has been a recipient of the British Council Commonwealth Fellowship; a Ford Foundation/Arts International Professional fellowship Award; the Horowitz Foundation Fellowship; the Rowan University Centre for scholarly Excellency Recognition Award in two consecutive years.
Guests and theatre lovers can look forward to an intellectual but fun evening at the advocacy lecture of this year’s Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange Project.