Egbas want Nigerian Government to declare July 13 as day to honour Wole Soyinka annually

The Egbas have advocated for July 13 to be declared by the Nigerian Government as special day in honour of Prof Wole Soyinka, the first African Nobel Laureate to commemorate his (Soyinka) birthday anniversary annually.

Penpushing reports that Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba (Dr) Adedotun Gbadebo made the call on Tuesday at a special royal press conference held at Ake palace, Abeokuta in preparatory for the 90th birthday of the quintessential playwright.

The royal father explained that the call became necessary in view of the feat Soyinka recorded globally and putting his country, Nigeria in the world map positively, as well as requesting the leadership of the country to equally consider him for the national award of General Commander Order of Niger (GCON)

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Penpushing further reports that Gbadebo pointed out that if in Orleans 1st November could be dedicated in honour of Soyinka, there is no reason why similar honour should not be accorded him in Nigeria, his home and place of birth.

‘On behalf of other highly revered Obas and Chiefs and distinguished sons and daughters of Egbaland. I am honoured to officially announce the forthcoming 90th birthday anniversary celebrations of a literary giant, son of our great kingdom, the Akinlatun of Egbaland, Prof Wole Soyinka’, Gbadebo said

‘I want to call on the Nigerian government to dedicate July 13 of every year as a special day for Wole Soyinka. In Orleans, 1st November is dedicated to Soyinka, why can’t we do same at his place of birth, his home country. I want to also call on the federal government to conferred him with the award honour of GCON’, the monarch emphasized

Penpushing also reports that Gbadebo who earlier announced that the Egbas across the globe have resolved to declare July 13 every year as Wole Soyinka Day, and will be celebrated by all sons and daughters of the ancient town, stressed that he deserved to be honour at all time.


‘It is said that honour should be bestowed on whom honour is due. It is for this reason and many more that I, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, the Alake of Egbaland, on behalf of all Egba sons and daughters, all over the world, announce that henceforth, July 13th shall be celebrated as Wole Soyinka Day’, Gbadebo emphasized.

Penpushing reports that the traditional ruler in his speech disclosed that a programme designed by the Egbas for the 90th birthday of Soyinka will hold on Friday July 13, 2024 at June 12, Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital.

The royal father added that the programme scheduled include exhibitions and cultural display between 10am-6pm, adding that  he used the opportunity of the world press conference to invite well-wishers in honouring the living legend.

‘We invite you to join us in honouring this living legend and sharing his remarkable story and this epock-making 90th birthday anniversary celebrations with the entire world. We are excited to honour this living legend. The first black man to be honoured with the Noble Laureate prize in Literature’, he stated

Penpushing further reports that the paramount ruler disclosed that the theme for the celebrations is, ’Defiance and Creativity: A Celebration of Soyinka’s Artistic Ingenuity and Impact on Nigeria, Africa and the Entire World’

‘Gentlemen, how else can we appropriately, reflect on his remarkable contributions to literature, his unwavering commitment to justice, and his unrelenting passion for our culture and heritage’, the monarch emphasized

Penpushing also reports that Gbadebo added that the celebrations will feature a series of events, including arts exhibitions by pupils of Saint Peters Primary School, Ake, Abeokuta, Abeokuta Grammar School and Ogun State Chapter of the Society of Nigeria Artises.

The royal father disclosed that other activities include books exhibitions by Spectrum Publishing Company, exhibition of a Kolaj of Documentaries on Wole Soyinka, poetry recitals, cultural performances and hunting expedition by hunters from Egbaland

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