The 50th anniversary of The Man Died, the prison memoirs of Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has been put off.
Soyinka made the confirmation on Tuesday in a statement he signed and made available to FrontPage.
He explained that the decision to put off the 50th anniversary was partly informed by the social problems caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
He said he also believed that the Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, needed to devote more time and energy to consolidating, and bringing back all members into a unified fold as it had just emerged from the worst crisis of its existence.
The statement reads:
For the avoidance of any doubt, I wish to confirm that I initiated the request to the National Executive of the Association of Nigerian Authors to put off the commemoration that is being planned for a 50th anniversary of my prison memoirs THE MAN DIED.
This is only partly due to the current unsettled social conditions caused by the COVID pandemic, still ruthless in its disruption of the literary and other creative lives of numerous colleagues and institutions. Even more pertinent is my conviction that the Association of Nigerian Authors, just emerging from the worst crisis of its existence, requires to devote more time and energy to consolidating, and bringing back all members into a unified fold.
I have been profoundly encouraged by the efforts made by the Advisory Body and other “Elder Pens” of the association. I remain confident that ANA will emerge stronger and steadier than ever before, and resume its peerless contribution to the cultural life of the nation.