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Wole Soyinka Prize: Literary icons to inspire secondary students

By The Rainbow
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Select pupils from secondary schools in Nigeria with keen interest in literary arts will have a golden opportunity to meet and interact with literary icons attending the grand finale of the fifth edition of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa. The award is sponsored by the Nigerian national telecommunication carrier, Globacom.

Literary icons such as the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and renowned Ghanaian author who was also a former Ghanaian Education Minister, Professor Ama Ata Aidoo, among other distinguished writers, will be available to speak with the students at an event slated for 5 July at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Some of the schools pencilled to bring select pupils are Unique Heights Senior and Junior School, Halifield College, First Harvard School, Dowen College, Victoria Island Senior Secondary School, and Kuramo Senior Secondary School, all in Lagos.

In a joint statement by Globacom, the main sponsor of the Prize and Lumina Foundation, the organisers of the award, it was stated that the idea of inviting students to the grand finale is to enable the students meet their literary idols so that their imagination can be fired and they can be inspired to seek and attain greatness.

In contention for the $20,000 grand prize are three authors: Othuke Ominibohs, Akin Bello and Toyin Abiodun. The three finalists will also be available to interact with the students.

The finalists were selected from a longlist of 10 African authors including, Soji Cole, Comfort Adesuwa Ero, Isaac Attah Ogezi, Moshood Oba, Mayowa Saja, Wumi Raji and Akin Adejumo. They were drawn from a total of 163 entries submitted from 17 African countries in the genre of Drama, which is the focus of the 2014 edition.

The award is a biennial event staged to recognize the best literary work produced by an African. It was established in 2005 to promote literary excellence in Africa and has since become the African equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

The panel of five judges for the Prize is drawn from Uganda, South Africa, Mali, Nigeria and Algeria. Globacom also sponsored the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in 2012.