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ProvidusBank World Poetry Day Café: An Evening with Wole Soyinka holds in Lagos

  • March 20, 2024
  • 3 min read
ProvidusBank World Poetry Day Café: An Evening with Wole Soyinka holds in Lagos

By Editor

TOMORROW, Thursday, March 21, 2024, poetry lovers will be treated to an amazing cast of performers to celebrate World Poetry Day 2024. The event is sponsored by Providus Bank Plc, and tagged ‘ProvidusBank World Poetry Day Café: An Evening with Wole Soyinka.’ Those on the bill include the journalist trio of Akeem Lasisi, Evelyn Osagie and Uche Uwadinachi. Others are Ocho Oko Owi, Salamatu Sule and Ruth Mahogany. Three international performers will join the train that include Nathaniel Handal, Malika Booker, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo. The performance venue is the Banquet Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Time is 4:00pm. This fifth edition is dedicated to Soyinka @90. It will also be accompanied by an exhibition of artworks and photographs on Soyinka’s life and career, as well as a reception.

World Poetry Day (WPD) is celebrated every March 21 globally as declared by the UNESCO in 1999 to “promote the reading, writing, publishing, and teaching of poetry throughout the world” and, to “give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional, and international poetry movements.”

Since 2020, the Providus Bank under its CSR initiative — Providus Bank Poetry Café — has hosted the celebration of WPD, curated by the Culture Advocates Caucus (CAC), directed and produced by Mr. Jahman Anikulapo, under the supervision of the Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka. Officially titled ProvidusBank World Poetry Day Café: An Evening with Wole Soyinka, past editions treated themes relating to the general human condition, 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.

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

Also, 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.

This fifth 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 and performances, the poets will be having a ‘Conversation with Soyinka’ by engaging their chosen poems of Soyinka in their individual dictions and styles.

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