Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I made second class upper - Wole Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole
Soyinka has called on the
Federal and State Governments
to eliminate all barriers to
children's education.

He made the call in Aboekuta on
Sunday when he hosted
secondary school students
across the country as part of
this year's Open Door Series
Project, an international cultural
exchange programme.

He also used the occasion to
dispel the insinuation that he
graduated with third-class
division, explaining that he
graduated from the University
College, Ibadan with a Second
Class Upper.

He explained that although he
had kept silent on the issue over
the years, he decided to open
up for the first time over the
rumour as a mark of respect for
the participants.

The programme was organised
as part of activities to mark his
79th birthday.

Soyinka appealed to the
students, particularly, those
studying in the violence-prone
areas of the north, not to be
discouraged by the activities of
Boko Haram sect.

He urged them to draw
inspiration from the 16-year-old
Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai,
who was shot in the head on
October 9, 2012 by Taliban
fighters over her campaign for
girl-child education in Pakistan.

Soyinka, who fielded questions
from 79 student participants,
charged them to cultivate zero
tolerance for failure and strive
to excel in all their endeavours.

"It might look very negative and
hopeless, but we must not allow
ourselves to be discouraged.

"The fact that people are still
going to schools in those
violence-prone areas shows that
we should not be discouraged.

"You are not a complete human
being if you are not educated,
schooled or cultured.

"No matter what goes on
around you, you must insist on
your education."

Earlier, Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of
Ogun, described Soyinka as a
world citizen and encouraged
the participants in the essay
competition to emulate his life
and be more studious.

Amosun commended the
organisers and re-stated the
commitment of his
administration to celebrate
prominent Nigerians whose
lives have remained sources of
inspiration to younger

The event, tagged: "Memoirs of
our future", was organised by a
Lagos based multimedia
company, Zmirage, in
conjunction with the Ogun State

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