NCC wants Soyinka's birthday declared Nigeria’s National Reading Day



By Olatunde Ajayi

The first African Nobel Laurette in Literature, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has been designated Copyright Change Champion by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).

It also advocated for the declaration of July 13, the birthday of the Nobel laureate as Nigeria’s National Reading Day.

Dr. John Asein, the Director-General (DG) of NCC made the declaration at the 2024 World Book and Copyright Day celebration in Ibadan on Tuesday.

The DG says the theme for the year, “Read Your Way”, underscores the transformative power of reading to shape character, stimulate the mind and empower individuals to realise their potential.

He said in furtherance of the 2024 theme, the Nigerian Copyright Commission is launching its year-long intervention programmes to promote reading for pleasure and build respect for copyright as part of its ABC Action Plan which include: Adopting measures to make reading more fun for all.

He said this also include bringing books closer to more children, and Choosing a change champions for books and copyright.

Asein said the commission had thus resolved to dedicate the 2024 World Book and Copyright Day to Soyinka.

“We also featured his works as part of the celebrations across the country in commemoration of his 90th birthday.

“Our Nobel Laurette in Literature, playwright, essayist, literary icon and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Professor Wole Soyinka, will turn 90 on July 13.

“He is, unarguably, the tallest living iroko in Nigeria’s rich literary forest and an advocate for books, reading and copyright.

Related News

“By this recognition, he becomes our first Copyright Change Champion,” he said.

The copyright boss said beyond a befitting birthday celebration of the literary icon, the commission would be calling on stakeholders in the book industry to recognise July 13 as Nigeria’s National Reading Day.

“This is to encourage Nigerians to read for pleasure and draw attention to some of the values he advanced in the literary world.

“To bring books closer to children, the commission will, for a start, make copies of Soyinka’s books and other frontline titles available to 90 public schools and establish more Copyright and Creativity Clubs in schools,” he said.

Earlier in her opening remarks, NCC, Oyo State Coordinator, Mrs Oluropo Oke, said the day aimed at celebrating authors, reading and encouraging equal access to knowledge and raising copyright awareness.

“Today, children will be going home with different story books in line with the NCC’s affirmative slogan, “Read My Way” to adopt measures to make reading fun for all among others.

“This is not a one-off programme; we will extend this to other schools and ensure proper follow-up with copyright school clubs, reading and essay competitions,” she said.

The event also featured lectures and presentations from book enthusiasts, scholars, students with disabilities, authors, and other stakeholders.

The day is set aside by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to focus on books, celebrate authors, promote reading and raise copyright awareness.



Load more