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Culture minister seeks Soyinka’s support on preservation of literary art

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Hannatu Musawa, Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, has called for the support of the Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, in providing strategies for the promotion and preservation of   literary arts in the country.

A statement issued by Nneka Anibeze, Special Adviser to the Minister, stated that Musawa made the call during a courtesy visit to Soyinka.

The minister said that the sector needed to tap into the wealth of experience of the literary icon in promoting the rich cultural heritage of the nation.

“It is an honour to share my vision for the development of the arts, culture, and creative economy with the Nobel Laureate.

“The purpose of this visit is to invite you to share your invaluable experience with us, including insights, guidance, and advice on how to add to the development of literary arts in the country.

“This is the first time that we are having a ministry created specifically for this sector which is the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy.

“Nigeria has a huge culture content including music, films, fashion and literary arts of which our priorities include the preservation of literary works.

“This, we intend carrying out by formulating policies that will ward off piracy and plagiarism,” she said.

According to Musawa, Nigeria boasts of great writers like Prof. Wole Soyinka, the late Prof. Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Adichie, Prof. Okey Ndibe and many others.

She said, “We will be happy to see Prof. Soyinka lead the way on these strategies.

“We look unto your antecedents for initiatives to encourage the younger generation to embrace and celebrate their cultural identity.”

The minister also discussed initiatives to encourage the younger generation to embrace and celebrate their cultural identity, artistic and creative development, as well as opportunities for collaboration and innovation in the creative economy.

She said the initiative of cultural diplomacy and utilising arts and culture as tools for international diplomacy and promoting the nation’s cultural diversity on the global stage would also be looked into.

She noted that she eagerly anticipates the opportunity to engage in a meaningful collaboration with Soyinka and look forward to the potential of collaboration for the advancement of arts, culture, and the creative economy.

Responding, Soyinka expressed delight in the visit and described his interest in culture and literary arts as a comparative one.

He called for a conscious effort at preserving the culture and tradition of the Nigerian people.

“Culture is interrelated and inter-connected with different other cultures, so culture is universal.

“Nigerians are faced with diverse issues due to the neglect of heritages and monuments.

“We need to promote indigenous languages and cultures to preserve morals and values across the country.

“The performing artiste is at a disadvantage, as his resources are limited. All an actor can do is join forces. Nigeria boasts of writers, musicians, painters, sculptors and artists who believe in opening up certain horizons for human striving.

“I am an artist and a producer, a creative person and I like to go into galleries, to listen to music and to read books.

“The arts are the material expression of the people’s essence, of their spirituality, and  of their dignity. Return the spirituality to Africa by returning all the looted works,” he said.  (NAN)

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