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‘African I-D-E-N-T-I-T-Y (AI)’… Soyinka @90 celebration goes to Italy

With a focus on promoting good governance and democracy amidst the challenges of corruption, AI encapsulates the essence of Africa through the principles of Diversity, Economic Development, Nationhood, Trade, Innovation, Talent, and Youthfulness

FROM June 7 to 11, the city of Florence in Italy will host a series of activities featuring as part of the global celebration of the 90th birthday of Africa’s first Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka.
At the centre of the celebration in Florence is a major exhibition themed, “African I-D-E-N-T-I-T-Y (AI): Redefining African Culture through Integrity,” which he promoters said is “designed to put Africa’s rich cultural heritage at centrestage of global appreciation of Africa’s illustrious son and statesman.”
Curated under the Vision of the Child (VoTC) initiative, the exhibition is part of the month-long cultural extravaganza designed to mark the arrival of the Africa’s illustrious writer and global humanist on the nonagenarian rung. Aspects of the celebration are already marked to feature in more than 6 countries across continents – United Kingdom, United States of America, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, South Africa, and more but with Nigeria remaining the epicentre.
The live painting event to be held in Florence from June 7 to 11 and in Lagos in July 2024, “is  conceived as “a milestone in promoting creativity, education, and social transformation across the continent,”
Beyond celebrating Soyinka’s birthday, “African I-D-E-N-T-I-T-Y”, aims to launch a virtual exhibition and Solution17 Creative Academy, nurturing exceptional talents and creativity towards Africa’s growth, development, and prosperity.
“Africa I.D.E.N.T.I.T.Y is one of the projects conceived to celebrate the 15th edition of the annual Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange (WSICE) and as well mark the 90th birthday anniversary celebration of Soyinka (WS90) as a global cultural icon and humanist,” stated Foluke Michael, the co-founder of VoTC and Project Director of WS90/WSICE 15th edition.
Ms Michael added, “The African I-D-E-N-T-I-T-Y” initiative is conceived from the themes of the 2013 and 2014 editions of VoTC: “Good Governance and Democracy in Nigeria” and “One Thousand and One Faces of Corruption”.
She continued, “With a focus on promoting good governance and democracy amidst the challenges of corruption, AI encapsulates the essence of Africa through the principles of Diversity, Economic Development, Nationhood, Trade, Innovation, Talent, and Youthfulness.

 

“Through a captivating fusion of art, literature, music, fashion, and food, “African I-D-E-N-T-I-T-Y” aims to redefine Africa’s narrative, showcasing its resilience and progress.

“From the vibrant streets of Lagos to the artistic city of Florence, Italy, where the project originated in 2002 and culminated in a grand exhibition in London, this immersive experience invites audiences on a transformative journey through Africa’s cultural labyrinth.

Nine award-winning VoTC alumni, under the mentorship of renowned artists Tola Wewe, Nike Okundaye, and Segun Almaroof, will lead the project, infusing their unique perspectives and talents into each masterpiece.

With guidance from Prof. Soyinka, assisted by cultural advocate, Jahman Anikulapo, these participants will create masterpieces that reflect Africa’s cultural richness and culture of integrity while addressing critical narratives of diversity, economic development, innovation, and youthfulness.

According to the Executive Producer of the WSICE, Dr. Teju Kareem, the WSICE 15th edition and WS90 celebration will also feature a unique “Harmony and Verses: A Life in Full” event at the Africa Centre in London, scheduled from July 19 to 29. This event promises 10 days of inspiration and reflection, celebrating Prof. Soyinka’s enduring legacy and contributions to African culture and society.

  • Full full information about the features and programme of the WS90/WSICE2024, please read: https://ntm.ng/2024/05/14/wsice-2024-honours-soyinka-at-90-explores-ideas-around-national-interest-good-governance-nation-building/

 

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