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By Marcus Johnson, BookArtville’s Literary Editor

The World Poetry Day arrives March 21 every year.

Of the several events marking the UNESCO anointed day in Nigeria, the ProvidusBank World Poetry Day Café:An Evening with Wole Soyinka is a large, distinct, outlier.

Soyinka, with Providus Bank chief, Walter Akpani, at ‘the party last time’

The Bank has smartly seized the day, by collaborating with the revered Nobel Laureate, to host a soirée- like session of poetry readings every year since 2019.

The event is curated by the Culture Advocates Caucus, CAC, directed/produced by Jahman Anikulapo, under Professor Soyinka ‘s supervision

The 5th edition is on the theme “World Poetry Day 2024: Engaging the Quintessential Poet Wole Soyinka @90.”  It will feature presentations and performances by nine poets – six Nigerians and three from other countries. Cutting across age and experience, the poets have been selected based on their varied styles and techniques of poetry writing and renditions. In their individual presentations/ performances, the poets will be having a “conversation with Soyinka” by engaging their chosen poems of Soyinka — in their individual dictions and styles.

“Previous editions have treated themes relating to the general human conditions, especially on matters relating to preservation of the environment, education and mental empowerment of the youth, protection of the Girl-Child and respect for the female gender, among others”, Mr. Anikulapo explains in a widely distributed statement.

The project has held every year since inception but the 2020 edition was cancelled at the last minute due to the outbreak of the COVID19, which compelled the lockdown of cities around the world, including Lagos on March 19 – two days to the staging of the edition.

WPD2024: Celebrating Wole Soyinka @90

The 2024 edition coincides with the 90th birthday anniversary year of Soyinka, who is a globally celebrated Poet, Dramatist, Memoirist, Essayist; pubic intellectual, and above all, a human and civil rights defender..

The outline of the event is as follows:

Date: Thursday, March 21

Venue: Banquet Hall, Eko Hotel& Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos

Time: 4pm (Prompt)

NB: It is strictly by Invitation.

The audience, at the 2023 edition of World Poetry Day Café (Photo by Toyin Akinosho)

The event will also be accompanied by an exhibition of artworks and photographs on his life and career, as well as a reception.

This piece was adapted from a statement signed by:

 JAHMAN O ANIKULAPO

Executive Prog. Director, CAC

+2348033076418; +2348022016495

 

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