WS Int’l Cultural Exchange Project Marks Soyinka’s 84th Birthday


Yinka Olatunbosun

The ninth edition of the annual Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange Project (WSICE) is set to hold from July 12 till 15 in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

This event which was announced by the producers of Open Door Series ProjectWS is one of the cultural traditions to celebrate the birthday of the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka.

The theme for this year is, ‘The Pursuit of Truth in our Country (Truth and the National Psyche).’ According to the Executive Producer, WSICE, the theme is inspired by the Nobel Laureate’s preoccupation with the devastating consequences of lie in our national psyche which extends to global discourses, especially the invention of the term “fake news.’’

The four-day programme will feature the annual essay competition with 84 students writing analyses of three of Soyinka’s poems in a reality television format at the 1000-seater amphi-theatre situated within the premises of Soyinka’s Autonomous Residency Ijegba (ARI) in the forest of Ibara Housing Estate, Abeokuta.

The selected poems will be revealed to the participants in just a few minutes to the commencement of the essay writing exercise.
In the meantime, sample entries have been collected from senior secondary schools around the country for the essay competition.
Out of these, 84 students with the highest scoring essays have been invited for the final competition on July 13 at the Amphitheatre in Ijegba with 1,000 other students in attendance.

Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun will be visiting the participants the next day when the results will be announced.
The participants will meet the Nobel Laureate and enjoy a mentoring session which is one of the highlights of the event.
The programme will also attract guest participants from Southern Illinois University, USA who will be part of a week-long tour of key cultural and tourist destinations around the country.

The WSICE was initiated in 2010 by the management of ZMirage Multimedia Company led by the technical theatre exponent and businessman, Alhaji Teju Kareem and the United States-based Global New Haven headed by the theatre director and culture scholar, Professor Segun Ojewuyi.