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World Copyright Day: Commission holds reading challenge in honour of Wole Soyinka

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The Nigerian Copyright Commission on Monday in Lagos held a book reading challenge in honour of Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, ahead of the World Book and Copyright Day, celebrated annually on April 23.


The programme, tagged, “Wole Soyinka Reading Challenge”, had 90 students from five schools read Soyinka’s books, recite and present some of his poems to encourage reading culture among students.


The schools include Bisney College, Idimu; First Zion High School, Ijegun; Light of Little Saints School, Idimu; Christ Dominion Imperial School and Idimu Junior High School.


The programme was organised in collaboration with the Centre for Research, Information Management and Media Development (CRIMMD).


Earlier, Mrs. Lynda Alphaeus, Director, Nigerian Copyright Commission, Lagos office, said the theme for the 2024 World Book and Copyright Day is “Read Your Way”.


Alphaeus said in commemoration of the Day, the commission had deliberately dedicated the programme to honour Soyinka as he prepares for his 90th birthday on July 13.


She encouraged the students to cultivate the habit of reading and emulate the good virtues Soyinka represents.


She described reading as the easiest access to knowledge as she decried the role social media and the new media had played in discouraging reading among schoolchildren.


She also advised them against using people’s intellectual works without giving them credit or seeking permission.


“We want you all to go back to reading, to impact the world, also, learn to respect copyright,” she said.


Educating the students on who Soyinka is, Dr Raphael James, CRIMMD Curator, described Soyinka as an overtly talented and compulsive writer.


James said Soyinka’s significance cut across local and international reach with over 1,000 awards received across the globe.


“Many do not know Soyinka to be a hunter, a musician, a palm wine lover and a lover of Nigerian culture.”


He urged the students to aspire to be great and even greater than Soyinka, to continually make Nigeria a great nation.


James said CRIMMD was established as a free public library in 2004 to encourage young ones to gain access to books on Nigerian history.


Also advising the students on hardwork, Mr Bayo Fadairo, President, Lagos Philatelic Club, said: “There is dignity in labour, Wole Soyinka started like all of you, he took it to the high level with great commitment to his academics and that fetched him lots of awards.


“Please, develop lots of passion and love for this country. Like Soyinka, take off your minds away from travelling abroad, seeking better means of livelihood but focus on developing yourselves.”


On his part, Mr David Obaro, popularly known as “World Wrapper Man”, advised the students to always believe in their abilities and work on laying good legacies like Soyinka had done.


Victoria Shomorin, a student of Mass Communication at the Lagos State University (LASU), gave a demonstative presentation of Soyinka’s “Abiku”.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme featured an exhibition of  Soyinka’s plays, novels and portraits while his music was also aired.


Some other dignitaries also paid tribute to the playwright and his contributions to the development of arts.

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