Telecommunication giant, Globacom has announced plans to celebrate the continent’s biggest literary icon and Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka.
In a statement released in Lagos on Thursday, Globacom said an event captioned: ‘A Night with Wole Soyinka and Nigeria’s Young Literary Stars,” will be held in August to honour Soyinka and some of Nigeria’s young but inspirational literary writers.
The company said the event is being organised to pay tribute to the literary stars for their immense contributions to the study of literature and for putting Nigeria on the world literary map.
It noted that Soyinka had brought honour and glory to Nigeria and the whole of Africa. In addition to celebrating the wordsmith, the event will also provide a platform for lovers of literature, the media and the guests to interact with Soyinka and the young award winning writers, Globacom explained.
During the event, Globacom will also launch a special prize in Literature for undergraduate students across the country tagged: ‘The Glo Literature Prize for Undergraduate Students.’
The telecoms network added that arrangements were being concluded to ensure an evening of intellectual stimulation, glitz, glamour and sublime entertainment for guests.
The evening will also showcase a documentary on the life and times of the Nobel Laureate as well as a reading of his works by the three young literary Nigerian writers.
The writers will in addition share their personal perspective on African literature and the contributions of Prof Soyinka in an interactive exchange. The young writers being honoured on the night are Sefi Atta, Tope Folarin and E.C. Osondu.
Sefi Atta was born in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1964. She has won several awards including the 2009 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa, 2006 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, 2005 PEN International David TK Wong Prize and 2003 Red Hen Press Short Story Award.
Tope Folarin who lives and works in Washington, DC., United States, won the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing, described as Africa’s leading literary award, for his short story entitled ‘Miracle’ from Transition. He is the recipient of writing fellowships from the Institute for Policy Studies, Washington DC., and serves on the board of the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Tope was educated at Morehouse College, and the University of Oxford, where he earned two Master’s degrees as a Rhodes Scholar.
The last celebrant, E.C. Osondu, won the Caine Prize in 2009 for his story “Waiting.” He has also won the Allen and Nirelle Galso Prize for Fiction, and his story, “A Letter from Home”, was judged one of The Top Ten Stories on the Internet in 2006. His debut short story collection Voice of America was published by Harper Collins in 2010 and Granta Books in 2011. He lives in Rhode Island, USA where he is an Assistant Professor of English at Providence College.