WOLE SOYINKA @ 90:  A GRAND TRIBUTE AT THE AFRICA CENTRE

The Africa Centre, in partnership with Wole Soyinka International Cultural

Exchange, Nigeria (WSICE) is thrilled to present a nine-day celebration honouring Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka’s 90th birthday. 

 

London, UK – June 19, 2024 – Professor Wole Soyinka, the first African Nobel laureate in Literature (1986) takes centre stage at The Africa Centre, London in a vibrant 9-day programme honouring his immense contributions to literature, culture and human/civil rights advocacy.

From Friday, July 19th to Saturday, July 27th The Africa Centre will come alive with exhibitions, roundtables, film screenings, live music performances and poetry recitals.  Visitors will be able to explore Soyinka’s literary journey with ‘WS: A Life in Full’ -- a comprehensive display of his published works and photographs from his personal archive. This exhibition also features a rare presentation of Soyinka’s collection of Onicha Market literature. Another highlight of the programme will be the London premiere of THE MAN DIED, a feature film inspired by his prison notes of the same title.

Other activities will include daily screenings of films and documentaries related to or inspired by Soyinka’s life and work, and Kongi’s Nights, a series of evening entertainment including live music performances by ED KEAZOR & the AfroFunk Collective, Juwon Ogungbe, Lekan Babalola, Aduke, Kayefi, MeOlogo, Jazz session with BUMI THOMAS, and music party with DJ Abass etc, poetry recitals and wine-tasting. There will also be talks, seminars and workshops on Navigating the New Publishing Industry’, ‘The impact of AI on Culture & Identity’, ‘Culture Sponsorship & Corporate Social Responsibility’, and a seminar on “The Future Is Now – A Decolonisation Intersection”, by partner institution Bournemouth University, while Utopia Theatre will host a virtual unveiling of Soyinka’s portrait at the University of Sheffield. Also on the bill is “Ijo-mode, a dance workshop for youths with Peter Badejo, OBE, as well as presentation of prizes to winners of the essay competition on the theme, “AI & New Media: Reimagining Culture, Identity & Humanity” organised in partnership with TURAKA Art Centre, Chatham.

 

Olu Alake, CEO of The Africa Centre - “This year holds dual cause for celebration:

The Africa Centre's 60th anniversary and the 90th birthday of a global literary giant,

Wole Soyinka. We are incredibly honoured to partner with WSICE in celebrating

Professor Soyinka's remarkable life and his long-standing association with the Centre, dating back to 1969. He is not just a literary icon, but an integral part of our history. We are thrilled to host this momentous occasion and share Professor Soyinka's story with all generations of literature lovers.

Dr Teju Kareem, Executive Producer of Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange – “Prof. Soyinka has consistently pursued the betterment of society through his support for freedom and the common good of all irrespective of age, class, gender, religious or political persuasions -- making his work a global service to humanity. His career spanning academia, literature, and activism exemplifies a profound commitment to creating a just and equitable world, thus encapsulating the essence of E.N.I.O.G.U.N as both a personal and a universal pursuit.”

Full event details below and at The Africa Centre's EventBrite pages and WSICE website 

Press enquiries to [email protected] (London) or [email protected] (Nigeria). 

Website: www.africacentre.org

Instagram: @theafricacentre

X: @TheAfricaCentre 

About WSICE:

The WSICE is organised on the platform of the OpenDoorSeries ProjectWS, an international cultural exchange programme designed for the purpose of using the platforms of Arts (literary & performing) and Culture to affirm and uphold the dignity of man. Organised and sponsored by Zmirage Multimedia Ltd (Nigeria & UK) led by Dr. Teju Kareem, and co-produced with Prof Segun Ojewuyi (immediate past Dean of College of Art & Media, Southern Illinois University, SIU, Carbondale, USA), the OpenDoorSeries continues to enjoy supports from public and corporate organisations, especially Ogun State Government.

 

Event Overview:

Date: Friday, July 19th - Saturday, July 27th, 2024

Time: Various (see detailed schedule)

Location: The Africa Centre, London, UK

Day 1: Friday, July 19th

      11:00 AM: Exhibition Opening - WS: A Life in Full

 

Facilitated by: Africa Centre, WSICE & Zmirage UK

      1:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Talk & Q&A on Exhibitions

Presenters: Oyin Ogunjobi, Abolore Shobayo, Kanyinsola Sanusi, Safurat Kareem, Akani Eucharia.

Facilitated by: Africa Centre & WSICE

      3:00 PM - 5:00 PM: RoundTable Discussion: New Trends in African Theatre Speakers: Segun Ojewuyi, Dipo Agboluaje, Tunde Awosanmi, Perpetual Mforbe, Samuel Kasule, Ato Quayson, Wangui Wa Goro.

Facilitated by: WSICE & African Theatre Association (AfTA)

      5:00 PM - 6:00 PM: Film Screening: Wole Soyinka: Child of the Forest Presented by Jahman Anikulapo.

      7:00 PM - 10:00 PM: Kongi’s Happy Hour + Cocktails & Canapés Featuring ED KEAZOR & the AfroFunk Collective.

(Ticketed Event)

Facilitated by: Africa Centre & WSICE

Day 2: Saturday, July 20th

      11:00 AM - 6:00 PM: Exhibitions Continue

Facilitated by: Africa Centre, WSICE & Zmirage UK

      11:00 AM - 2:00 PM: Talk & Q&A on Exhibitions

Presenters: Oyin Ogunjobi, Abolore Shobayo, Kanyinsola Sanusi, Safurat Kareem, Akani Eucharia.

Facilitated by: Africa Centre, WSICE & Zmirage UK 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM: Film Screening: Ebrohimie Road Followed by a Q&A with Director/Producer Kola Tubosun.

      4:00 PM - 5:00 PM: Roundtable: ‘A Life in Full’ Exhibition Curated by Foluke Michael for Vision of The Child (VoTC). Facilitated by: Africa Centre, WSICE & VoTC

      5:00 PM - 6:00 PM: Seminar: Culture Sponsorship - A Key Corporate Social

Responsibility 

Speakers: WEMA Bank Representatives in conversation with Foluke Michael. Facilitated by: WSICE & VoTC

      7:00 PM - 10:00 PM: Kongi’s Happy Hour + Cocktails & Canapés Featuring JUWON OGUNGBE Live.

(Ticketed Event)

Facilitated by: Africa Centre, WSICE & Zmirage UK

Day 3: Sunday, July 21st

      11:00 AM - 6:00 PM: Exhibitions Continue 

Facilitated by: Africa Centre, WSICE & Zmirage UK

      4:00 PM - 6:00 PM: Film Screening: Kongi’s Harvest & Kongi Here & There Presented by Lanre Ladele and Tunde Awosanmi.

      7:00 PM - 10:00 PM: Kongi’s Happy Hour + Cocktails & Canapés Jazz session with BUMI THOMAS.

(Ticketed Event)

Facilitated by: Africa Centre, WSICE & Zmirage UK

Day 4: Monday, July 22nd

      11:00 AM - 6:00 PM: Exhibitions Continue Facilitated by: Africa Centre & WSICE

      12:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Film Screening: Soyinka: Years Unend of Activism Facilitated by: Africa Centre & WSICE

      2:00 PM - 4:00 PM: Publishing Roundtable: African Creative Writing &

Publishing in Global Market

Speakers: Bankole Olayebi, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Margaret Busby, Mike Abiola, Kabir Kareem-Bello.

Facilitated by: Africa Centre & WSICE

      4:00 PM - 6:00 PM: IP Conference: Copyright & Business of Music in Digital Era

Speakers: Foza Fawehinmi, Yemi Oladapo, Gracey Mae, Elle Erinle, Damilare Odusanya, Folasade Kareem, DJ Abass, Ayo ADUKE Aladekomo, Alistar Soyode, Subomi Dare, Yibo Koko, SMADE.

Facilitated by: Africa Centre & WSICE

      7:00 PM - 10:00 PM: Kongi’s Happy Hour + Cocktails & Canapés

(Ticketed Event)

Facilitated by: Africa Centre, WSICE & Zmirage UK

Subsequent Days:

The remaining days (July 23rd - 27th) feature continued exhibitions, film screenings, panel discussions, roundtables, and musical performances. Notable events include:

      Youth Programme: Presentation of the UK Essay Competition (Wednesday, July 24th)

      Panel Discussion: The Future Is Now – A Decolonisation Intersection (Tuesday, July 23rd) 

      Mentorship Session: WS in Conversation with Youths (Thursday, July 25th)

      London Premiere of ‘The Man Died’ (Thursday, July 25th)

      Prize Presentation and Sponsors’ Night (Saturday, July 27th)