By Elizabeth Uwandu
BABCOCK University, the Isaac Delano Foundation and the Pan African University Press have instituted the Isaac Oluwole Book Prize for Yoruba Studies to recognize outstanding works and fiction that continue to uphold and represent the legacy of Yoruba icons like Isaac Delano.
A statement by the organizers, said, “It is a dream of theirs , like Delano, to promote and revive the socio-cultural, political and religious significance of Yoruba, and by so doing contribute to the stream of revivalist efforts geared towards the resuscitation of the African spirit, for it is in the language, culture and worldview that the spirit flourishes.”
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The Delano Prize for Yoruba Studies, according to the organizers, not only encourages and welcomes diverse submissions that can (uniquely) contribute to the sustenance of the totality of the Yoruba people, but also, is especially aimed at scholars and young creatives whose endeavors contribute to the understanding and enhancement of (the) Yoruba.
“At the moment, the Delano Prize for Yoruba Studies is worth $1,000, which will make it one of the most robust prizes for Yoruba Studies and the most prestigious recognition in the world for Yoruba scholarship,” the statement stated.
It further said that submissions will not only open to Yoruba people located in Africa, but also everyone with a shared Yoruba ancestry, as well as scholars of Yoruba Studies, whilst key selection criteria include originality, creativity and innovativeness, contribution to Yoruba or Yoruba Studies and or potential to continue to conduct groundbreaking research on the Yoruba.
According to the organizers, submission opens from February 15- May 30, 2020 while the winner would be announced in December 2020.
“It is our hope that, in so doing, the Delano Prize would be a solid and remarkable platform for the promotion and further development of Yoruba, in continuation of Isaac Delano’s legacy.
The Delano Prize for Yoruba Studies supervisory board comprises Dr Bola Dauda as chair, Chief Akinwande Delano, Professor Bola Sotunsa, Dr. Michael O. Afolayan and Dr. Olajumoke Jacob-Haliso.
Isaac Delano committed his lifeworks to the proper documentation, preservation, presentation and teaching of the Yoruba language and culture as well as the essence of the existence of Nigeria in such works as The Soul of Nigeria and Notes and Comments from Nigeria.
Popular among his over 40 works that border on history, literature, linguistics, biography, religion and sociology, are Owe L’Esin Oro, Atumo Ede Yoruba, A Modern Yoruba Grammar, Iran Orun, Josiah Ransome Kuti: The Drummer Boy who Became a Canon, Aiye d’aiye Oyinbo.