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Soyinka Unveils New Novel At CANEX, Says ‘Writing is Anguish’

“I would rather be doing other things more pleasurable… but in the end, you’ve purged yourself of accumulated debris.”

The Intra Africa Trade Fair in collaboration with Afreximbank taking place in Cairo Egypt from November 9th running through November 15th, has generated significant support for the creative arts in Africa, including the establishment of a $1 billion African Film Fund to be launched in 2024 to support the continent’s film industry.

At Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX), on Friday November 10th, ARISE News Anchor Ojy Okpe spoke with Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka who was at a fireside chat where he unveiled his latest novel, ‘Chronicles From The Land Of The Happiest People on Earth’.

Asked if he would continue writing, Soyinka responded, “You know, I’ve said, enough is enough, so many times. I wasn’t expecting to write this, for instance, but events and things accumulated in my mind, and then I managed to find some space where I could tackle peace of mind away from the environment which produced it. And so the book came out.”

He acknowledged the challenges of writing but emphasised the purging effect it has on him.

A significant part of the conversation revolved around Professor Soyinka’s strong views on the proliferation of the Internet, especially in Nigeria.

He expressed concern about the debasement of values, including language, and said the Internet is infested with content lacking intelligence and integrity.

He noted the absence of critical oversight compared to traditional media, leading to the spread of inappropriate content.

Regarding the regulation of the Internet, Soyinka cautiously discussed the need for a thoughtful approach, stating,

“I would rather discuss, say, theoretically, if you’re going to regulate, who regulates it? Does the regulation begin from education, new education?”

He underscored the need for a thoughtful and inclusive approach, incorporating education into the conversation.

Soyinka cautioned against hasty and dictatorial measures, suggesting a structured and methodical approach to addressing the challenges posed by the Internet.

The fireside chat provided a unique opportunity for participants to engage with one of Africa’s literary giants, and Soyinka’s perspectives added depth to the ongoing discussions at the Creative Africa Nexus.

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