WSICE 2024 honours Soyinka at 90, explores ideas around National Interest,

Good Governance and Nation-Building



The 15th edition of the annual Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange, WSICE, is set to hold in two tranches:  July 13 to 16 (virtual and onsite) in Nigeria; and July 19 to July 27 in London.

Organised in collaboration with partners located in Nigeria and overseas, the edition is coinciding with the 90th birthday anniversary (July 13) of the Nobel laureate, Professor Oluwole Akinwande Soyinka, whose exceptional life story and as well illustrious career as a quintessential artist and global humanist, inspired the birth of the project in 2010.

The general theme, as is traditional to the project since birth, is premised on the general condition of humanity, but specifically for this milestone edition, it is focused on Nigeria, Soyinka’s land of birth to which he has devoted his life-long career as a multi-talented/skilled artist, public intellectual and as well, human/civil rights activist.

Specifically, the WS90/WSICE2024 theme is “E.N.I.O.G.U.N – Engaging National Interest on Good Governance, Understanding and Nation-Building” — a summation of the over seven decades commitment and struggles of Soyinka as a nationalist, patriot, and humanist — as can be gleaned from his voluptuous creative works and consistent public engagement.

In particular, the theme E.N.I.O.G.U.N is to sum up his life-long commitment to the cause of nation building through his relentless fight for the national interest that would ensure good governance for the wellbeing of the general citizenry. While the theme domiciles appreciation of Soyinka’s commitment to his birth country, Nigeria, it is by extension an appreciation of his global service to humanity in general, which has seen him advocating for justice, freedom and respect for the rights and freedom of citizens all over the world. The theme will be the focus of all the programme items of the edition.

WS 90/WSICE 2024: Programmes

The celebration will embrace several programming ideas that have been the features of the WSICE since its birth, including, Essay Writing, Advocacy, Do Your Own Thing & Performances. Essentially, the programme is designed to celebrate the values and virtues of Soyinka all grounded in his struggles to ensure social and cultural JUSTICE, FREEDOM from all forms of shackles and, respect for the fundamental human and civil RIGHTS of all.

Reflecting on the theme E.N.I.O.G.U.N – E-Engaging N-National I-Interest O-n G-ood Governance U-nderstanding and N-ation-B-uilding for WSICE 2024, Dr. Teju Kareem, Executive Producer of the WSICE, stated:

“Prof. Soyinka has pursued the betterment of society through his support for freedom and the common good of all irrespective of age, class, gender, religious or political persuasions — making his work a global service to humanity. His career spanning academia, literature, and activism exemplifies a profound commitment to creating a just and equitable world, thus encapsulating the essence of E.N.I.O.G.U.N as both a personal and a universal pursuit.


Features of the 2024 edition


Preamble: The youth section of the edition will focus on the central motif of the project: mentoring and grooming the new generation of thinkers and eventual leaders who would work for the overall national interest of lifting their country and their society to greater heights of human and material development.

July 13, 2023 @ Ijegba Forestage, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
(i) Students Essay Writing; & excerpts from previous Winners Essay
(ii) Youth Creative Expression (Do Your Own Thing) & Culture House Reception

(a) Student Essay Writing Session

Motif: The Educational/Intellectual engagement of the students on the theme through Essay Writing Competitions.  

In its 15th year, the annual WSICE essay competition has garnered over 10,000 essays written by students, mostly the Senior Secondary Students (SSS) cadre in the age range 12-17 years old. It has also conferred over 90 prizes on winners in at least 23 states of Nigeria, as well as 30 winners from five linguistics zones of the world. For this edition, 90 students would on Thursday, July 13, converge on the base of the project at the Ijegba Forestage Theatre to write the essay in the full glare of the public, including their parents/guardians, teachers as well as other members of the public. These students would be drawn from around Nigeria writing on the theme: THE MANY LIVE OF AN IRRESISTIBLE PATRIOT, HUMANIST, & RIGHTS ACTIVIST. The objective is to deepen their understanding of the dynamics of nation building, especially to think through the examples already established through Wole Soyinka’s personal life and intervention in public discourses and engagements. Winners of the Essay writing competitions will be unveiled on July 13, the actual birthday of the patron saint of the project.  NB: The entries in English language will be 800 words minimum in text volume.

(b) D-Y-O-T: After the reception for the winners, over 1000 youths would converge at the Ijegba Forestage, the WSICE theatre site in Soyinka’s backyard, to engage in a hybrid Do-Your-Own-Thing open-air creative expressions. The event will be live televised and streamed via various social media platforms.

(c.) Cultural Evening: An Evening of Sight and Sound: This will be followed by an evening of Sight & Sound designed in creative performances — music, drama, dance, poetry & spoken words, fashion parade, craft displays and film screening, among others.



Event 1: Presentation of “THE NOBLE WARRIOR – ENI OGUN”

Date: July 13

Venue: June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State

A centerpiece of the evening will be the presentation of the play “THE NOBLE WARRIOR – ENI OGUN,” a theatrical masterpiece, written by Aiyeko-ooto Onadele, and produced by Adubiifa Network Company in collaboration with WSICE, which explores themes of bravery, struggle, and the human spirit, resonating deeply with Soyinka’s literary legacy.

Event 2: Presentation of The Lion & the Jewel

Staging of Soyinka’s classic, The Lion and the Jewel by Live Theatre Lagos

Date: July 12-14, and July 19-21

Venue: RadissonBlu Anchorage, V/ sland Lagos; & Nigerian Law School, VI, Lagos.

There are several other organisations in the performing arts sector of the creative industries that have indicated interests to be part of the celebration. Details will be unveiled as the discussion matures in the course of the preparation for the grand celebrations.



Since inception, the annual WSICE event has always hosted an Advocacy Session that is either in the form of a Conference, Seminar, Symposium or Debates. This session always features eminent scholars and resource persons cutting across disciplines, age, gender and creed.

The 2024 edition, being a milestone, will be held in collaboration with the Nigeria Academy of Letters, NAL, and has been slated for July 11 at the prestigious Main Auditorium, University of Lagos, Akoka.  It is guaranteed to be attended by top-notch resource persons from the academia — professors and researchers — as well as professionals in various disciplines of the arts.

Reception: The session will be followed by a dinner reception for guests. A key member of the diplomatic community will be playing host to distinguished guests in a rare show of solidarity to honour the first Africa Nobel laureate in recognition of his decades of advocacy for the good of our collective humanity.



Crafted on the theme, NINE Season of KONGI, and to be hosted by the famous The Africa Centre, this is an international event rooted in the concept of charity-begins-at-home, the event will feature a multi-podal programme content, including:

  1. African I-D-E-N-T-I-T-Y (AI) – a visionary exhibition project, curated under the Vision of the Child (VoTC) umbrella, to promote creativity, education, and social transformation across the continent. Dotting on the theme Redefining African Identity through Integrity (In celebration of Wole Soyinka at 90), the exhibition, The African I-D-E-N-T-I-T-Y initiative, is conceived from the themes of the 2013 and 2014 editions of VoTC: “Good Governance and Democracy in Nigeria” and “One Thousand and One Faces of Corruption” – which were themes conceived  by Soyinka himself while serving as project supervision and grand patron for the VoTC and the Lagos Black Heritage Festival, LBHF,  the annual project promoted by the Lagos State Government under the then Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola. With a focus on promoting good governance and democracy amidst the challenges of corruption, AI encapsulates the essence of Africa through the principles of Diversity, Economic Development, Nationhood, Trade, Innovation, Talent, and Youthfulness.
  2. WS: A LIFE IN FULL, an exhibition of portraits of the laureate from childhood through adulthood, a collection of drawings and paintings by different artists of varying ages and persuasions. The works have been sourced from personal collections of Soyinka as well as the WSICE Art Gallery located in Abeokuta, Ogun state.
  3. The exhibition event will also feature a rare collection of the manuscripts of the famous Onitsha literature — a passion project by the laureate.


The highlight of the UK leg of the celebration will be the London premiere of THE MAN DIED, the feature film inspired by Soyinka’s classic prison memoir of same title. Featuring top bills in Nigerian film industry, including Wale Ojo, Sam Dede, Nobert Young, Francis Onwochei, Christiana Osunniyi, and Hollywood actor, Abraham Amkpa, and others, the film is directed by Awam Amkpa, Soyinka’s former student and professor of Theatre, Media and Cultural Aesthetics at the New York University, Abu-Dhabi, where he is currently Dean of Humanities and Deputy Provost. The Film screening event will also feature in the course of the duration – July 19-27 — other films, especially documentaries on the life and career of Soyinka.

Organised in collaboration with The Africa Centre, the event enjoys support and participation of reputable institutions in the UK such as the London School of Economics, Bournemouth University, amongst others.


WSICE: The Project
The WSICE is organised on the platform of the OpenDoorSeries ProjectWS, an international cultural exchange programme designed for the purpose of using the platforms of Arts (literary & performing) and Culture to affirm and uphold the dignity of man.  Organised and sponsored by Zmirage Multimedia Ltd (Nigeria & UK) led by Dr. Teju Kareem, and jointly promoted with Global NewHaven led by Prof Segun Ojewuyi (Dean of College of Art & Media, Southern Illinois University, SIU, Carbondale, USA), the OpenDoorSeries continues to enjoy supports from public and corporate organisations, especially Ogun State Government.

Overall Project Mission, Vision & Principle
The Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange mission is to reaffirm and elevate the dignity of man through the platforms of literature, arts, and culture. Project WSICE seeks to create unity among mankind regardless of nationality, culture, or religion by focusing on youth as the future of humanity. Other core value propositions of the WSICE are: Fostering unity, bolstering integrity, and instilling qualities of leadership in the young people. The youths are the key to bringing about change and prosperity in Nigeria and around the world. It is our duty to engage them and ensure that their thinking and goals are oriented toward progress for the motherland and humanity, stated Dr. Teju Kareem, the CEO of ZMirage Multimedia Company, and Executive Producer of the WSICE.

WS90: Celebrating the Icon
To celebrate the 90th birthday anniversary (July 13) of Wole Soyinka as is WSICE tradition since inception, the focus remains the advancement of interest of the children and youth of Nigeria and the world.

Media & Communications Unit

Fostering unity among mankind regardless of nationality, ethnicity and religion.

Contact Us