Showing posts with label Prof. Wole Soyinka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prof. Wole Soyinka. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The Nigeria Prize for Literature Has Not Improved the Literary Culture of Nigeria

The Nigeria Prize for Literature is the biggest prize in African literature worth US$100,000 to the winner. It is fully sponsored by the Nigeria LNG Limited, that founded it in 2004 for outstanding literary works  by Nigerian authors in Nigeria. 

The prize rotates among four genres; fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature: repeating the cycle every four years.

I was opportuned to be with the inaugural members of the organising committee during their meeting in 2004, at the Federal Palace Hotel & Casino on Victoria Island, Lagos. I went there to meet with the famous Nigerian novelist, Eddie Iroh and Ms. Siene Allwell-Brown, the famous broadcaster at the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) who was now, the General Manager for External Affairs of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Limited. The Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Nigeria Prize for Literature, Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo was there. His beautiful daughter, Elizabeth Banjo came second to me when I won the first prize in a national essay competition sponsored by the Pop Magazine for children and teens in 1976.

The Nigeria Prize for Literature is laudable for improving the welfare of the winners. But it has not improved the literary culture of Nigeria. It has failed to achieve what other coveted literary prizes have achieved in America, Europe, Asia and Australia where winning a major prize for literature makes the winner a bestselling author by boosting the celebrity status, increasing the popularity and increasing the demand for the winning author and the winning book like the Pulitzer Prize in America and the Booker Prize in the UK. The news will make local and international headlines and will increase the public appreciation and sales of the books among readers. But contrary to our expectations, majority of literate people in Nigeria don't even know the titles of the winning books of the Nigeria Prize for Literature. If you doubt me, do a public opinion on radio and TV on the streets of Lagos, Abuja and other cities in the country, and you will see how clueless and ignorant majority of Nigerians are about the so called most prestigious literary prize in Africa and the winning books.

What makes it prestigious? The prestige of the worth of the cash prize of US$100, 000 or the intellectual esteem of the winning authors?

The sponsor of the Nigeria Prize for Literature and their public relations company have failed to use the prize for the appreciation of the reading culture which is most vital to the improvement of the literary culture of Nigeria where majority of Nigerians don't read books, except for the  recommended text books for pupils and students. Majority of Nigerians stop reading after graduation and after their professional examinations.

Just handing out US$100, 000 to the author of the book selected as best entry in the national competition is not enough to improve the lives of Nigerian authors and improve the literary culture of Nigeria without making sure that Nigerians read their books and celebrate their literary achievements as examplary role models worthy of emulation in the inspiration for outstanding success in human development and the  advancement of modern civilisation in Nigeria.

Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka sitting with Adeleke Adeyemi and his wife Wosilat Adeyemi at the event of The Nigeria Prize for Literature award ceremony on February 6, 2012, at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) on Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria. 

The Federal Ministry of Education and ministries of education in the 36 states and Abuja should be involved in the appreciation of the Nigeria Prize for Literature to make recommendations for the winning books to be included in the selections for reading booklists of primary and secondary schools and tertiary institutions. For example, I recommended that Adeleke Adeyemi's Children's story book, "The Missing Clock", that won the Nigeria Prize for Literature in 2011 should be on the reading list for primary schools in Nigeria and in particularly in Ekiti state, the state of origin of the author. And the Federal Ministry of Education should purchase as many copies as possible for distribution to all the public schools in the country. The prize winning authors should have interviews on radio and TV and the governors of their states should celebrate them. 

There should be reading and book signing tours for the winning authors to selected schools and tertiary institutions; to clubs like the Ikoyi Club, Metropolitan Club, Capital Club, Ikeja Country Club and other locations that will increase the appreciation and cultivation of literary culture in the Nigerian society.

- By  Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima,

Founder/CEO, WEREADđź’•đź’‹



247 Nigeriia) / Twitter

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Prof. Wole Soyinka's Most Anticipated New Novel, "Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth"


"Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth" by Prof. Wole Soyinka, the first black winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Book

The novel tells the story of a pact and an alliance formed between four friends, to make an impactful change in their nation. Now in the late stages of adulthood, against an evolving political landscape and a change of government, they drift apart, reunite, navigate complex familial relationships, and increasingly gain recognition in their professions — all the while, their paths interweave with those of prominent religious, community and government leaders, and the tide begins to turn against them, with dire consequences.

It is a dramatic and engaging read, laced with humour and extraordinary characters. The read also provides a realistic perspective on the state of affairs in Nigeria, with a depth of commentary. In Soyinka’s expert hands, the apparently disparate strands are woven together with a master story-teller’s aplomb. 

CHRONICLES OF THE HAPPIEST PEOPLE ON EARTH, is a great and unputdownable read from start to finish.

Book Size: 6.1 inches x 9.2 inches (15.5 x 23.5cm)

Number of pages: 524 pages.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wole Soyinka's Final Verdict on the PDP of Nigeria

Prof. Wole Soyinka

The following is the final verdict of Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka on the ruling People’s Democratic Party of Nigeria on the coming April elections.

Only 4 sets of people can vote for the PDP:

(1) those who are intellectually blind.
(2) those who are blinded by ethnicity
(3) those who are blinded by corruption and therefore afraid of the unknown, should power change hands; and finally
(4) those who are suffering from a combination of the above terminal sicknesses"

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

To Prof. Wole Soyinka @ 76

Our lionized sage Prof. Wole Soyinka, the first African Nobel Prize winner in Literature is celebrating his 76th birthday (he was born on July 13, 1934) and he is going to launch a new political party called Democratic Front for Peoples Federation in September.

We recommend Okey Ndibe’s An Apology to Wole Soyinka published in his OFFSIDE MUSINGS column in the Daily Sun newspaper of Tuesday July 20, 2010. Ndibe recalled the daring revolutionary zeal of the lion-hearted Soyinka during the Nigerian civil war and his opposition to military tyranny and corruption in Nigeria.
Nigerians Report is wishing Wole Soyinka many happy returns of the day with more blessings from above with all our love.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Our Dear Wole Soyinka

Prof. Wole Soyinka of Nigeria

Happy Birthday to Professor.Wole Soyinka, the first African Nobel Prize laureate in Literature who clocks 75 today. The great African dramatist, poet, novelist and essayist, we call our own WS, said he is not having any "Owambe" party and would rather address why President Barack Obama snubbed Nigeria, the so called Giant of Africa in favour of Ghana in his first official visit to sub-saharan Africa.

The video below is a must view for all those who appreciate the genius of Soyinka.

Nigerians Report is wishing Prof. Wole Soyinka many more happy years of long life and peace of mind.