Lecture to be Delivered by Wole Soyinka as KWASU Graduates 732 Students
Kwara State University, also known as KWASU, is the 77th university to be registered by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC). It is the 95th university to be recognized in Nigeria.
The university was Established by the administration of Dr. Bukola Saraki in 2009, and envisioned to be more than a typical university in Nigeria. It was designed to be a center for community service and entrepreneurship. In a country where the fundamental values of volunteerism and community involvement are yet to be fully embraced, The university recognises itself as a part of a community,and has the position of a Director for Community Development for the purpose of mobilizing the community, setting assessment strategies, and identifying the needs within the community so that lecturers can use their expertise to impact directly on the communities.
About Wole Soyinka
Akinwande Oluwole “Wole” Babatunde Soyinka (Yoruba: Oluwo̩lé S̩óyinká, pronounced “Shoyinka”; born 13 July 1934) is aNigerian playwright and poet. He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first African to be honored.
Soyinka was born into a Yoruba family in Abeokuta. After study in Nigeria and the UK, he worked with the Royal Court Theatre in London. He went on to write plays that were produced in both countries, in theatres and on radio. He took an active role in Nigeria’spolitical history and its struggle for independence from Great Britain. In 1965, he seized the Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service studio and broadcast a demand for the cancellation of the Western Nigeria Regional Elections. In 1967 during the Nigerian Civil War, he was arrested by the federal government of General Yakubu Gowon and put in solitary confinement for two years.
Soyinka has been a strong critic of successive Nigerian governments, especially the country’s many military dictators, as well as other political tyrannies, including the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe. Much of his writing has been concerned with “the oppressive boot and the irrelevance of the colour of the foot that wears it”. During the regime of General Sani Abacha (1993–98), Soyinka escaped from Nigeria via the “NADECO Route” on a motorcycle. Living abroad, mainly in the United States, he was a professor first at Cornell University and then at Emory University in Atlanta, where in 1996 he was appointed Robert W. Woodruff Professor of the Arts. Abacha proclaimed a death sentence against him “in absentia”. With civilian rule restored to Nigeria in 1999, Soyinka returned to his nation. He has also taught at the universities of Oxford, Harvard and Yale.
From 1975 to 1999, he was a Professor of Comparative Literature at the Obafemi Awolowo University, then called the University of Ife. With civilian rule restored to Nigeria in 1999, he was made professor emeritus. Soyinka has been a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In the fall of 2007 he was appointed Professor in Residence at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, US.
Lecture to be Delivered by Wole Soyinka at KWASU Convocation
Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka has been scheduled to deliver the convocation lecture at the third convocation of the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete on Saturday.
At a briefing on Tuesday, Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof AbdulRasheed Na’Allah, told reporters that the renowned Professor of Comparative Literature would speak on a topic that is relevant to the present situation in the country, adding that “Professor Soyinka would speak from his heart”.
He said 732 students would graduate this year – with six from the faculties of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and Pure and Applied Sciences bagging first class honours degrees.
One hundred and seventy-four others would get Second Class Upper, 549, Second Class Lower, and three would be awarded third class.
The Vice Chancellor, who said the graduates of the university had been prepared with academic and entrepreneurial knowledge, added that some got funds from the university to start businesses, even while on campus, with the aim of making them job creators.
He, therefore, appealed to parents of the graduates to support and encourage them in their determination to create wealth and be solutions to the country.
The vice-chancellor also called on the corporate organisations, government, and others to partner with the university on research outputs.
Asked his expectation from the new government, Na’allah urged President Muhammadu Buhari to revitalise public education in Nigeria.
He said: “Most of us here are products of public education. We were ready to defend our schools as the best. We had the best teachers; best equipment and we had the passion to make the difference in the world. Today unfortunately, most Nigerians who have something good for their young people prefer the private schools. Today sadly too people have no more confidence in public schools.
“I think this government must take revitalisation of public education as one area of major change for Nigeria. If public education is revitalised and parents begin to have confidence in public education a lot of changes will come to this nation.
‘’The Federal Government should declare state of emergency on public education and mobilise state and local governments to revitalise public education in Nigeria.”
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