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Minister Musawa Seeks Soyinka’s Help in Preserving Nigeria’s Literary Heritage



Musawa and Soyinka

Nigeria’s Minister of Art, Culture, and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musa Musawa, recently met with Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka to discuss strategies for promoting and preserving the country’s literary heritage.

Minister Musawa, on a courtesy visit to the renowned playwright who is currently a visiting professor at New York University Abu Dhabi, emphasized the importance of Soyinka’s experience.

“It is an honor to share my vision for the development of the arts, culture, and creative economy with the Nobel Laureate,” Musawa said. “The purpose of this visit is to invite you to share your invaluable experience with us, including insights, guidance, and advice on how to further develop literary arts in the country.”

Highlighting the newly established ministry dedicated to arts and culture, Musawa outlined their priorities.

“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.

“Nigeria boasts of great writers like Professor Wole Soyinka, the late Prof. Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Adichie, Prof Okey Ndibe and many others. 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”.

Professor Soyinka expressed his appreciation for the visit and highlighted the importance of cultural preservation.

“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 artist 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,” Prof Soyinka said.

Minister Musawa also discussed initiatives to engage younger generations, foster artistic development, and explore collaboration and innovation within the creative economy. Additionally, she emphasized the importance of cultural diplomacy and utilizing art and culture to promote Nigeria’s cultural diversity on the global stage.

The Minister looks forward to collaborating with Professor Soyinka and believes their partnership can significantly benefit the advancement of arts, culture, and the creative economy in Nigeria.

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