By Elizabeth Osayande
As the world sets to mark the world book day, WBD on March 4, PEN Nigeria has stated its readiness to reinvent the love for books among pupils of Air Force Primary Schools 1, 2, 3 and students of Air Force Secondary School, Ikeja, Lagos.
In a statement signed by the President, Nigerian Centre of PEN International also known as PEN Nigeria, Dr, Folu Agoi, the event which will feature :Award to teenage authors; Book donation to all the schools; and Guidance and Counselling talks will also expose the pupils and students to critical thinking and appreciation.
According to Agoi:”PEN Nigeria joins over 100 countries across the world in celebrating this year’s World Book Day, a day set aside by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to celebrate authors, illustrators, books and reading – to assist young people to encounter the power and pleasures of books and reading, and to stimulate in them the love of literature.
” World Book Day is a global assembly of children of all ages across the world who come together to celebrate books and everything connected with books.
“It is a day to launch and/or reactivate book clubs, and to offer free books, including audio books, to children, a special day to share stories, experiences and books with the children, to inspire the youth to share their own stories with one another, a day to reward excellence with prizes.
“This year’s edition of the annual event is on Thursday, March 4, 2021, being the first Thursday in March; and PEN Nigeria has finalised arrangements to celebrate the event with the pupils of Air Force Primary Schools 1, 2, 3 and Air Force Secondary School, Ikeja, Lagos.
“The highlights of the event organized by PEN Nigeria for the pupils at Sam Ethnan Air Force Base, Ikeja, Lagos to commemorate this year’s World Book Day, scheduled to hold at Air Force Primary School 2, Ikeja, include:”Award to teenage authors; Book donation to all the schools; and Guidance and Counselling talks.” Pen Nigeria President reiterated.
Speaking on what PEN stand for, Dr. Agoi explained that PEN Nigeria has – since November 21, 2001 – been an affiliate of PEN International (International Association of Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists), a worldwide Association of writers, founded in London in 1921, known to play a leading role in promoting literature as a force of global culture and defending free speech and linguistic rights across the world.
He added that membership of the association is open to all writers in Nigeria. The term ‘writer’ is used by PEN International as an all-inclusive term for anyone involved with the word – written or spoken, who could be a poet, playwright, editor, essayist, novelist, academic, journalist, blogger, translator, biographer or publisher.