Professor Wole Soyinka was again deified at an event put together by Globacom to honour the literati. The event tagged ‘An Evening With Wole Soyinka’ held on Friday, August 28, at the prestigious Eko hotel and suites.
The event hosted to celebrate literary excellence had a lot of dignitaries and literary icons in attendance. Prominent among those who attended were: Professor and Prof. Mrs Clark, Lady Francesca Emmanuel, Mrs Bella Disu the executive director of Glo, Dr. Odia Ofeimu, Prof Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, Prof Duro Oni, Prof Buratai and Dr Okechukwu promise.
Others include: Dele Momodu, Tunde Kelani, Sola Sobowale, Bovi, AY Makun and a host of other movie stars who came to celebrate the man of letters.
However, Soyinka was not the only one to be celebrate on the night, he was joined with three other great writers who were described by the Chairman of Glo, Dr. Mike Adenuga as “some of Nigeria’s brightest minds in the literary field”. The three writers were Caine prize winner 2013, Tope Folarin, Noma Award winner 2009, Sefi Atta and E.C Osondu yet another Cain prize winner, whose story ‘Waiting’ clinched the prestigious prize in 2009.
The night was a mini festival of art, as virtually every genre of arts came into play. Dramatic performances by the Bola Austin Peter group, and Dances by Root of David put the arena in a very festive mood, with the audience craving for more as a strong spirit of literary fellowship filled the charged atmosphere.
There were major high points at the august event, most of which were hinged around Kongi himself. The question and answer section was intense as some controversial issues were raised. Matters arising included but were not limited to issues of gender and sexuality, religion and personal philosophy, not forgetting the troubles of education and the burden of politics.
One other major high point of the night was when Prof. Wole Soyinka was deified. This came in a brief ceremony in which Soyinka was presented gifts by the host of the event Globacom. One of the two gifts given, left a very deep impression on the crowd, a feeling awe.
The first gift was a portrait of the literati himself, this was followed by a very strange chair which the sculptor who first eulogized Soyinka said was a sit on which Soyinka would be seated in the afterlife, a throne of light. The sculptor went on to say that Kongi himself will lead the light.
To do the honours of presenting the gifts where the three co-celebrants of the night and officials of Glo as led by Ebenezer Kolawole.
Of course the night would not have been complete without music, as it was made clear on the night that the Nobel Laureate was not just master of letters and words alone, but also a maestro of notes.
Bez was the first musical act to go up, the Glo ambassador did live up to his billing, as he entertained the crowd with his melodious ‘Stop Pretending’. Following few minutes afterwards was the popular singer Tunji Oyelana, who played songs as composed by Kongi himself. Uncle Oyelana as he is fondly called, took the audience gently to the good old days, crooning songs that raved in the 80s, as the guests were treated to a buffet-styled dinner.
The consummate performance was that of former Mo Hitz records’ star D’banj, who having spotted some Brazilian damsels in the crowd, made a different show of the event. Setting the almost empty hall on fire with his old hits and dramatic displays that revolved around the Latinos who did not hold anythging back while rocking the Koko-master.
Meanwhile, the war of words between Soyinka and former head-of-state Olusegun Obasanjo seem far from over. Soyinka lashed out again at the former President, saying he (Obasanjo) is a liar. This assertion was made while the man of prancing metaphors was reacting to some questions directed to him from the crowd.
Soyinka also hinted that his last book will be out in a few days, a book which he says will be his last, and final word, especially with regards to the feud between him and Obasanjo. The book which expected to hit book stores in a few days, is titled “The Republic of liars”.