Friday, July 11, 2014

80 Candlelights for Prof. Oluwo̩lé S̩óyinká on Sunday

Our paths have crossed thrice in Lagos.
The first time was at the book launch of a young female poet at the Nimbus Art Centre on Maitama Sule Street Off Awolowo Road, Ikoyi.
The second time was at the prize giving ceremony for the Nigerian journalist, poet and dramatist Adeleke Adeyemi when he won the $100,000 LNG Nigeria Prize For Literature for his children's book "The Missing Clock".
The third time was when Luxury champagne brand, Moet & Chandon gathered distinguished personalities on Thursday 18th July, 2013 at the Gallery at Freedom Park, Lagos to toast the late literary maverick, humanitarian, national treasure and global voice - Chinua Achebe. And in his sonorous voice Kongi nodded as he said "Orikinla" as I greeted him. He was sipping his champagne and acknowledging the importance of the event in honour of his fellow great writer of our time, the late Achebe.

Prof. Akinwande Oluwo̩lé S̩óyinká will be 80 on Sunday ( born on July 13, 1934) and even before he won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first African to do so, I have always adored his genius and his influences have been manifested in some of my plays and poems over the years.

A birthday cake with 80 candle lights will be a great delight for Kongi to celebrate his awesome life of kaleidoscopic spectacles in drama, poetry and prose that has made him one of the icons of modern literature of both the 20th and 21st century.

I wish him many happier returns of the day.

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