Copyright commission urges students to emulate virtues of Wole Soyinka

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By Taiye Olayemi

The Nigerian Copyright Commission, on Monday urged students to cultivate the habit of reading and emulate the virtues of Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka.

Mrs Lynda Alphaeus, Director, Lagos office of the commission, made the call during a book reading challenge in honour of Soyinka, ahead of the World Book and Copyright Day, celebrated annually on April 23.

The programme, tagged, “Wole Soyinka Reading Challenge,” had 90 students from five schools read Soyinka’s books, recite and present some of his poems to encourage reading culture among students.

The schools include Bisney College, Idimu; First Zion High School, Ijegun; Light of Little Saints School, Idimu; Christ Dominion Imperial School and Idimu Junior High School.

The programme was organised in partnership with the Centre for Research, Information Management and Media Development (CRIMMD).

Alphaeus, who described reading as the easiest access to knowledge, decried the role social and new media played in discouraging reading among schoolchildren.

She also advised students against using people’s intellectual works without giving them credit or seeking permission.

“ We want you all to go back to reading, to impact the world, also, learn to respect copyright,” she said.

Dr Raphael James, the Curator at the CRIMMD, described Soyinka as an overtly talented and compulsive writer.

James said Soyinka’s significance cut across local and international reach with over 1,000 awards received across the globe.

“ Many do not know Soyinka to be a hunter, a musician, a palm wine lover and a lover of Nigerian culture.”

He urged the students to aspire to be great and even greater than Soyinka, to continually make Nigeria a great nation.

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James said CRIMMD was established as a free public library in 2004 to encourage young ones to gain access to books on Nigerian history.

Also, Mr Bayo Fadairo, President, Lagos Philatelic Club, noted that ” there is dignity in labour.

” Soyinka started like all of you, he took it to the high level with great commitment to his academics and that fetched him lots of awards.

” Please, develop lots of passion and love for this country. Like Soyinka, take off your minds away from travelling abroad, seeking better means of livelihood but focus on developing yourselves.”

On his part, Mr David Obaro, popularly known as “World Wrapper Man”, advised the students to always believe in their abilities and work on laying good legacies like Soyinka had done.

Victoria Shomorin, a student of Mass Communication at the Lagos State University (LASU), gave a demonstative presentation of Soyinka’s “Abiku”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme featured an exhibition of Soyinka’s plays, novels and portraits while his music was also aired.

Some other dignitaries also paid tribute to the playwright and his contributions to the development of arts. (NAN) (

Edited by Folasade Adeniran

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