Founded in 1994, the lecture series is dedicated to honouring one of Nigeria and Africa’s most outstanding and enduring literary icons: Professor Wole Soyinka (Nobel Laureate).
Date: July 11, 2014
Venue: Cultural Center, Abeokuta
Lecturers: Bishop Hassan Kukah
Dr Oby Ezekwesili
Visit http://www.wolesoyinkalecture.org for more information
The Lecture Series, which is a conception of National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity), is an annual event and holds in the month of July (the birth month of Professor Soyinka). It is aimed at promoting good governance, social justice and the advancement of democratic ideals in Nigeria and beyond. Since its inception, lectures have been held in three continents around the world (Africa, Europe and North America).
The institutionalization of an annual public lecture in honor of Professor Wole Soyinka, first African Nobel Laureate for Literature is significant. Wole Soyinka, one of the initiators of the idea of Pyratism, and unarguably the most visible Pyrate since the confraternity’s inception, could be described as the icon of that particular idea and the radical actions that have consistently concretized its essence. Wole Soyinka, the Pyrate’s Pyrate, thinks pyratism, yaps pyratism, lives pyratism, and acts pyratism. One of the greatest gestures, then, that can codify the organization’s show of gratitude for having been a worthy iconoclastic figure is a lecture of this nature. Soyinka himself, it must be noted, is a notable polemicist.
The Wole Soyinka Lecture Series, since 1994, has been complemented by many other annual lectures such as the Ralph Opara Lecture Series – christened after another of the seven founders of the confraternity – the Umalokun Lecture Series, as well as tens of polemical gatherings organized by our branches, spread across states and continents, during the traditional yearly Feast of Baracuda (FOB).
While the Wole Soyinka Annual Lecture Series is symptomatic of the intellectual bent of the organization, it is equally indicative of the charismatic leadership that Soyinka has provided for years. Having a role model like the Nobel Laureate, with his peculiar sense of humanistic involvement, is a unique opportunity for members of the confraternity. Organization of fora where solutions and answers are proffered to critical problems facing the humanity of our age, using a global figure as a rallying point, speaks loudly of the direction of the group’s community causes and the adoption of a multi-tactical approach to the realization of our dreams for the world.