Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka threw his weight behind the Rainbow Book Club (RBC) ‘Get Nigeria Reading again!’ Campaign by his personal participation at the events this year in Port Harcourt.
Students from 28 schools in Rivers State and Bayelsa State converged on the grounds of the British Council in Port Harcourt for a reading and interactive session with the renowned writer. Prior to this meeting, the students had participated in a writing competition at the British Council based on Soyinka’s childhood memoires (AKE). Three winners emerged in this competition that was assessed by the Association of Nigeria Authors: (1st prize) 15-year old Miss Victory Amadi of Aladumo High School, (2nd prize) 14 year-old Miss Ruhuoma Enyi of Aladumo High School and (3rd prize) 13-year old Miss Kemilia Ibulubo of Emarid College.
A literary evening held later that day at the Hotel Presidential where an excerpt from the writer’s work Trials of Brother Jero was performed by students of the University of Port Harcourt. Rersidents of the Garden City, from different works of life and different nationalities where present at the evening which climaxed in a spirited interview with the author, by the RBC founder, Koko Kalango. Soyinka was at the Rainbow Book Shop the day after to sign autographs.
The RBC national reading campaign was flagged off last year with author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Sponsors this year were Guarantee Trust Bank, MTN, Air France/KLM. Also partnering were the Association of Nigerian Authors, the French Embassy, the British Council, Novotel, Meridian and Presidential Hotels. These events took place on June 2 and 3 2006.