Filed in Arts by on May 19, 2011

Soyinka @ 77: For Soyinka, Zmirage harvests 77 new stars
Thursday, May 19, 2011

With a renewed passion to sustain the yearly international cultural exchange between Nigeria and the outside world, Zmirage Multimedia Limited is again set to mark this year’s edition on July 13 at MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos. The Lagos -based company headed by Teju Wasee Kareem, disclosed recently that it would focus on children at the 2011 edition, otherwise known as Project WS7728086.

Explaining this year’s edition, Kareem who is Managing Director of Zmirage/ Executive Producer of the project said his company is committed to changing the mindset of people through the medium of arts and culture and make them appreciate other people’s ways of life. He noted with a rare passion that the mission is to invest in the creative sector with the hope of transforming it into a more lucrative and enduring sector.

Last year, Zmirage made its debut by celebrating Africa’s first Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka with two plays;Preemptive and Seven. The two plays were produced in the United States and brought to Nigeria before it toured parts of Europe and the Carribean. But this year, the organisers of WS7728086 said there is need to engage the younger generation on intellectual issues, in view of the quest for national identity and lasting peace in the world.

As a result, the emphasis this year is on Advocacy and Reorientation of children, but with pupils of secondary schools as target. Said Kareem “The idea that nothing good can come out of Nigeria is constatntly drummed into our children who are leaders of tomorrow, it is therefore important to change their mindset and consequently change their outlook and attitude. We have therefore come up with a re-orientation and advocacy project as part of this year’s programme.”

On the scope of the 2011 project, Kareem disclosed that two secondary school students (one from a private school and the other from public would be selected by coordinators from each of the 36 states and the FCT Abuja, while three more students would be selected from the winners of last year’s secondary school essay competition to make total of 77 students. His words “These students (77 of them) would be required to write an essay on the topic; I Love My Country. The choice of topic,we believe will help them see the positive sides of the country and give them a chance to become advocates of the Nigeria we all wish for…. Each school will hold the essay ompetition amongst its students with the same topic. The best in each school will be picked to represent the school at the grand finale which will hold in Lagos”.

On the theme of WS7728086, Lilian Amah Aluko, Producer of the project hinted that as a creative effort which centres on advocacy, this year’s edition shall focus on Culture and Humanity. She added that two speakers would be invited to speak on the theme while each of the speakers would be hosted in Nigeria and London respectively. All these, according to Aluko, are in line with the mission of exchanging ideas.

While Mike Omi Dada, official marketer of the programme, enjoined all hands to be on deck to make the project a success, the Executive Producer reminded that all activities for this year’s event, which would open officially in London on July 1, are again designed to celebrate Professor Wole Soyinka who turns 77 years oldon July 13. According to Kareem, there would be an encore of the red carpet presentationof Wole Soyinka’s theatrical spirit nd offsprings with a line-up of 77 celebrities from the world of theatre performing snippets and monologues from the many characters the revered writer has created in his works”.


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