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BRAZIL: Soyinka to speak at the Africa Week festival

*To participate in ‘Back to Black Festival’ in Rio, Sao Paulo, others

In an exciting development for cultural exchange and intellectual dialogues, Nobel Prize-winning Professor Wole Soyinka has arrived in Brazil as part of Africa Week, engaging audiences in a series of lectures and events. This highly anticipated visit aims to strengthen ties between Brazil and Africa while shedding light on the rich African heritage deeply ingrained in Brazilian society.

The renowned Nigerian playwright, poet, and scholar commenced his itinerary on May 25 by joining forces with Bahian musician Mateus Aleluia at the esteemed Back to Black Festival. In a captivating panel titled “Portraits of Africa,” moderated by Carolina Morais, Soyinka and Aleluia delved into the multifaceted aspects of African culture and its impact on global societies. The event served as a platform for showcasing the beauty and resilience of African traditions.

Under the meticulous coordination of The African Pride, an organization dedicated to celebrating African culture and heritage, Professor Soyinka’s agenda spans over six days, with Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo hosting the intellectually stimulating activities. The significance of the visit lies in Brazil being home to the largest black diaspora worldwide and its profound influence of Yoruba culture.

In Rio de Janeiro, alongside delivering enlightening conferences, Professor Soyinka made a poignant visit to Little Africa. This historically significant region holds the painful distinction of being the destination for the largest number of enslaved people in the Americas. By immersing himself in this site, Soyinka paid tribute to the resilient spirit of the African diaspora and highlighted the importance of acknowledging the shared history between Brazil and Africa.

Moving forward, São Paulo eagerly awaits Professor Soyinka’s lectures, which will take place at two esteemed institutions. On June 1st, he will grace the stage at Sesc Vila Mariana, captivating the audience with his unparalleled insights and perspectives. The following day, June 2nd, Zumbi dos Palmares University will welcome the Nobel Laureate, where he will further explore the intricate relationship between Africa and Brazil.

The timing of Professor Soyinka’s visit is especially noteworthy due to the ongoing Back to Home project development. With its focus on reconnecting the African diaspora with its roots, this initiative seeks to encourage a mutual exchange of ideas and knowledge. Ajoyemi Osunleye, Co-founder of The African Pride, encapsulates the essence of the project, stating, “Africa needs to invite its children of the Diaspora back home. Prof Wole Soyinka’s visit is this invitation in the form of intellectual dialogues. Brazil needs to know Africa to develop its full potential.”

As Brazil embraces Professor Wole Soyinka with open arms, the nation eagerly anticipates the intellectual enrichment and cultural enlightenment that will emerge from his thought-provoking discussions. This pivotal exchange of ideas is expected to pave the way for deeper connections and an increased appreciation for the invaluable contributions of African heritage in Brazilian society. Through the power of intellectual engagement, this visit has the potential to transcend borders, promoting unity and fostering a shared sense of pride in African and Afro-Brazilian cultures.

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