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NCC Moves To Adopt Wole Soyinka’s Birthday As Nigeria’s National Reading Day

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Tinubu, Govs Should Stop Taking Nigerians For A Ride - Soyinka
Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has proposed that July 13, the birthday of the Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, be recognized as Nigeria’s National Reading Day.

Naija News reports that the commission appointed Soyinka, the first African Nobel Laureate in Literature, as the Copyright Change Champion.

This was declared by the Director-General (DG) of NCC, Dr John Asein, yesterday (Tuesday) during the 2024 World Book and Copyright Day celebration in Ibadan.

The theme for the year, “Read Your Way”, highlights the significant impact of reading in shaping character, stimulating the mind, and empowering individuals to reach their full potential.

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To support the theme for 2024, the Nigerian Copyright Commission is initiating various programs throughout the year to encourage reading for pleasure and to promote respect for copyright.

These initiatives are part of the ABC Action Plan, which includes measures to make reading more enjoyable for everyone. He said this also includes bringing books closer to more children and Choosing change champions for books and copyright.

Asein said the commission had thus resolved to dedicate the 2024 World Book and Copyright Day to Soyinka.

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“We also featured his works as part of the celebrations across the country in commemoration of his 90th birthday.

“Our Nobel Laurette in Literature, playwright, essayist, literary icon and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Professor Wole Soyinka, will turn 90 on July 13.

“He is, unarguably, the tallest living iroko in Nigeria’s rich literary forest and an advocate for books, reading and copyright.

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“By this recognition, he becomes our first Copyright Change Champion,” he said.

The head of copyright mentioned that in addition to a fitting birthday tribute to the literary icon, the committee will be urging critical players in the publishing sector to acknowledge July 13 as Nigeria’s National Reading Day.

He said: “This is to encourage Nigerians to read for pleasure and draw attention to some of the values he advanced in the literary world.

“To bring books closer to children, the commission will, for a start, make copies of Soyinka’s books and other frontline titles available to 90 public schools and establish more Copyright and Creativity Clubs in schools.”

In her introductory speech at the event, the NCC Oyo State Coordinator, Oluropo Oke, highlighted the purpose of the event as a celebration of authors, promoting reading, advocating for equal access to knowledge, and increasing awareness about copyright issues.

She said: “Today, children will be going home with different story books in line with the NCC’s affirmative slogan, “Read My Way” to adopt measures to make reading fun for all, among others.

“This is not a one-off programme; we will extend this to other schools and ensure proper follow-up with copyright school clubs, reading and essay competitions.

Naija News understands that the occasion featured talks and discussions by book lovers, academics, students with disabilities, writers, and others involved in the literary world.

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