Celebrating World Poetry Day 2024 with Wole Soyinka 


Lagos is ready for the annual literary feast and the celebration of wit this evening at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island. The World Poetry Day (WPD) is celebrated every March 21 globally as declared by the UNESCO in 1999 to “promote the reading, writing, publishing, and teaching of poetry throughout the world” and, to “give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional, and international poetry movements.”

Since 2020, the Providus Bank under its CSR initiative — Providus Bank Poetry Café” – has hosted the celebration of the Day, curated by the Culture Advocates Caucus, CAC, directed and produced by Jahman Anikulapo, under the supervision of the Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka. 

The past editions have treated themes relating to the general human conditions, especially on matters relating to preservation of the environment, education and mental empowerment of the youth, protection of the girl-child and respect for the female gender, among others.

The project has held every year since inception but the 2020 edition was cancelled at the last minute due to the outbreak of the COVID19, which compelled the lockdown of cities around the world, including Lagos on March 19 – two days to the staging of the edition.

The 2024 edition coincides with the 90th birthday anniversary year of Soyinka, who is a globally celebrated Poet, Dramatist, Memoirist, Essayist; public intellectual, and above all, a human and civil rights defender.

The 5th edition is on the theme “World Poetry Day 2024: Engaging the Quintessential Poet Wole Soyinka @90.”  It will feature presentations and performances by nine poets – six Nigerians and three from other countries. Cutting across age and experience, the poets have been selected based on their varied styles and techniques of poetry writing and renditions. In their individual presentations/ performances, the poets will be having a “conversation with Soyinka” by engaging their chosen poems of Soyinka – in their individual dictions and styles.


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