Lumina Foundation readies for 5th WS Prize for Literature in Africa

Posted: August 15, 2013 in arts/culture
(From Left):  Founder and CEO of The Lumina Foundation and Secretary to The Wole Soyinka Prize Board of Trustees is Ogochukwu Promise, Ph.D; current Chairman of The Lumina Foundation and Board of Wole Soyinka Prize  Trustees, Mrs. Francesca Yetunde Emanuel, CON; Founding chairman of the Lumina Foundation and Board of The Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Yemi Ogunbiyi, Ph.D; mni;and Mr. Akintola Daramola, Manager Special Duties for Tamus Communications Limited, during the Lumina Foundation's Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa's special media briefing, Tuesday, in Victoria Island, Lagos

(From Left): Founder and CEO of The Lumina Foundation and Secretary to The Wole Soyinka Prize Board of Trustees is Ogochukwu Promise, Ph.D; current Chairman of The Lumina Foundation and Board of Wole Soyinka Prize Trustees, Mrs. Francesca Yetunde Emanuel, CON; Founding chairman of the Lumina Foundation and Board of The Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Yemi Ogunbiyi, Ph.D; mni;and Mr. Akintola Daramola, Manager Special Duties for Tamus Communications Limited, during the Lumina Foundation’s Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa’s special media briefing, Tuesday, in Victoria Island, Lagos

Activities towards the fifth edition of prestigious Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa effectively got underway Tuesday as Lumina Foundation hosted literalists, the media and corporate bodies to a press briefing geared towards presenting highpoints of the forthcoming awards.

The media briefing in Victoria Island, Lagos, provided a veritable platform for Founding chairman of the Lumina Foundation and Board of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Yemi Ogunbiyi, Ph.D; current Chairman of The Lumina Foundation and Board of Wole Soyinka Prize Trustees, Mrs. Francesca Yetunde Emmanuel, CON, mni, as well as Founder and CEO of The Lumina Foundation and Secretary to The Wole Soyinka Prize Board of Trustees, Ogochukwu Promise, Ph.D, to reiterate the readiness of the board of the foundation at ensuring a successful edition of the literary prize.

The prestigious literary prize was established in 2005 by The Lumina Foundation, as a Biennial Award to the best literary work produced by an African.

It would be recalled that the Biennial Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa bagged the sponsorship of telecommunications firm, Globacom Nigeria, starting from the last edition which held last year, even as the Lumina Foundation also announced that the prize will no longer be awarded across several literary genres but instead onwards be awarded in rotation from 2014.

The prize which assesses works by African authors selected within the two years preceding the award year,

is intended to serve as a African equivalent of the Nobel Prize, particularly in recognizing and encouraging professional and personal excellence.

According to Emmanuel, starting from 2014, the $20,000 USD Prize will rotate through the following genres, in this order: Published Play or collection of plays by a single author, Published Collection of short stories by a single author).

Emmanuel recalled: “The first edition of Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa assessed eighty-seven (87) entries from eight African countries and was held on August 5, 2006 at the Muson Centre, Lagos. The second edition assessed no less than two hundred and four entries (204) from ten African countries and was also held in Lagos on November 2, 2008.

“The third edition assessed three hundred and thirty-six (336) entries from eleven African countries. Joint winners from South Africa and Nigeria emerged at the award night which took place at The Civic Centre on April 30, 2010.

“The fourth edition in 2012, assessed Four hundred and two (402) entries from 26 African countries. The award night for that 2012 edition of the WS prize took place on Saturday, September 8, 2012 at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe.

The fourth edition of the ;literary prize which held last year was won by South African writer, Sifiso Mzobe for his book, Young Blood at a ceremony at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, which attracted members of the South African High Commission, former Ghanaian President Mr. John Kuffour, as guest speaker, as well Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka.

Chief Executive Officer of the Lumina Foundation, Dr Ogochukwu Promise, expressed her gratitude to Professor Wole Soyinka ‘whom this Prize is named after, for his very inspiring life and achievements, just as she was full praises for Globacom for ‘not hesitating to partner with us in making the 2012 edition of Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa a reality, for being generous and efficient, we thank you immensely. I know that together we shall take this Prize to greater heights.’

The Lumina Foundation has administered the prize since 2005 and is the Sole Administrator of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

A trophy is awarded to the prize winner, and it is a machete handle with a pen as its blade, resting on a scroll.

Members of the Board of Trustees, of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa include: Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, Mrs. Francesca Yetunde Emanuel, CON, Dr. Ogochukwu Promise, Mr. Jim Ovia, Mrs. Adebola Adetula, Mr. Akin Ajayi, Mr. Donald Duke, Dr. Olu Agunloye, Baajiki Adedeji Akintilo, Gen. Zamani  Lekwot.

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