By JAPHET ALAKAM
The literati, art enthusiasts and followers of the iconic figure, the Noble laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka will be treated to another celebration of the essence of the Artiste in the society using Wole Soyinka as a reference point as the organisers of the Open Door Series Project WS79 unveils the programme of activities marking his 79th birthday.
The project which is organised by Zimirage Multi Media Ltd will feature an essay competition, play production and culture presentation.
T he 2013 edition which is premised on the theme: ‘Memoirs for our Future’; would hold on the traditional July 13, being the 79th birthday anniversary of Prof. Soyinka. And as usual Soyinka will receive 79 students who participated in the project essay at his Abeokuta home while the London segment will hold on July20.
According to the project producer, Mrs Liliam Ama-Aluko, The Open Door Series Project WS is a platform for International Cultural Exchange. The programme has evolved over the past 3 years to include an international Essay competition for senior secondary school students, advocacy lectures, tours, drama and cultural presentations.
‘The Project WS brand was inspired by the essence and ideals of the Nobel laureate in literature, Prof. Wole Soyinka. These ideals sum up in the artiste’s humanism as reflected in his globally-acclaimed various roles as a cultural, civil rights and political Activist are the pedestal on which we have built the programme of the Open Door series.’
According to her, “Our main goal in the Open Door Series is to combat fear, violence and its contingent reactions through the use of education, arts and culture.We are starting with the youths (secondary school level) because we believe that they can still be positively influenced and moulded into the leaders of tomorrow that we desire them to be.”
She also stated that the 2013 edition is designed to herald the 2014 edition that would mark Soyinka’s 80th birthday celebration. A grand programme designed with novel artistic and educational items have been planned for the 2014 edition.
On his part,the project executive producer, Teju Wasee Kareem, who disclosed that sponsorship has been a major challenge to the project, said that the WS79 is a precursor to WS80, which is a highly significant year for us all. Prof. Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka who is the symbol and anchor of the WS project will be 80 years old next year and the project seeks to mark that very significant date in significant ways.
“It is important to note that we are not marking the day because it’s a birthday but we intend to mark the day because it symbolizes for us all a continuation of the life of an inspirational man who has fought and is still fighting for the dignity of man, the rights of the individual and the unity and security of his Country; our country,” he added
He also stated that “Memoirs for our future” apart from being the theme of this year’s project is also the title of our new book- a compilation of the winning essays from WS76 to WS78 as well as other selected essays from submissions for all the years.” The Nobel Laureate himself is writing the foreword to the book and will present the books to the public at our event on 20th July 2013.
The Nobel Laureate will also flag off the WS80 essay competition to the Diaspora students at the summit that will hold during the event.