Monday, 6 December 2010

News Report: Peoples Democratic Party Governor, Oil Company To Host Nigerian Nobelist In A Literary Festival

Wole Soyinka
The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) governor of Rivers state, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Total, an oil and gas multi-national concern, Ogeyi Place, owned by rtd. Brigadier-general Anthony Ukpo, an Ibrahim Babangida protege and other companies would be hosting the Nigerian born 1986 Nobel prize winner in Literature, Professor Wole Soyinka and other writers in Port Harcourt, Rivers state from wednesday 8th to saturday 11th December, 2010 in a literary festival named Garden City Literary Festival

The festival, according to a copy of the programme obtained by chidi opara reports will open with a conference, "Nigerian Literature @ 50: challenges & prospects"  at the Ebitimi Banigo Hall of the University of Port Harcourt.

The festival, a brainchild of Rainbow Book Club Port Harcourt and the Rivers state government debuted in 2008 with Professor Soyinka as the main resource person. The 2009 edition featured the Kenyan writer and activist, Professor Ngugi Wa Thiongo as star participant.

"I am aware however that by internationalising the event we are opening ourselves to wider scrutiny and I feel this can only be a good thing for us. The famous writers who visit are not people who will remain silent and this event gives us an opportunity to listen to their views not only about literature but about what they find when they visit our home and we will certainly respect their views and heed their advice. I am very open to criticism because I am a trained critic myself. Literary criticism is not very different from the critique of society and I expect that it will help us to govern better if we are open to the views of those who visit us during the Festival", the Rivers state governor said concerning the festival.

The literary festival will close with a drama performance at the Cinema Hall of Hotel Presidential.

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