WAEC Cancels Literature Paper For Private Candidates

A file photo of graduating students writing the West African Senior School Certificate Examination.

 

The 2021 Literature-in-English paper of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) taken by private candidates has been cancelled.

This was disclosed by the Nigeria Office of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) via Twitter.

No reason was given for the cancellation of the examination which was earlier taken on Friday, February 26.

The examination body however rescheduled the examination for March 11.

WAEC had earlier slated the first series of exams on February 15 through March 2.

Meanwhile, the examination council has released the payment procedure for WASSCE 2021 for school candidates.

It directed schools to visit its offices in their respective states to complete a remittance form and get approval from the Ministry of Education for the number of candidates to be registered for this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

While directing them to obtain the endorsement of WAEC Branch Controllers in their states, the council told schools to make payment of N13, 950 to any of Access Bank, Zenith Bank, First Bank, Union Bank, Sterling Bank, among others.

Renowned Novelist, Chukwuemeka Ike, Dies At 88

 

One of Africa’s most prolific writers, Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike is dead, according to multiple media reports on Friday.

The literary giant is said to have died on Thursday at the Nnamdi Azikwe Teaching Hospital in Nnewi, Anambra State, at age 88 after a brief illness.

Mr. Ike, until his death was the traditional ruler of Ndikelionwu in the Orumba  South Local Government Area of Anambra State.

His works include Toads for Supper (1965), The Naked Gods (1970), The Potter’s Wheel (1973), Sunset at Dawn (1976),  Expo ’77 (1980), The Chicken Chasers (1980), The Bottled Leopard (1985), Our Children Are Coming Home (1990), and Conspiracy of Silence.

Ike attended Government College, Umuahia, the same school attended by the late Prof. Chinua Achebe and poet Christopher Okigbo.

He went on to study English, history, and religion at the University of Ibadan.

He was a former Registrar of the West African Examination Council and the boss of the Nigerian Book Trust Foundation at a time.

On Friday, several persons took to social media to pay their last respect to the late author.

Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar described him as a “prolific novelist.”

Literary critic, Ikhide Ikheloa, said Ike was a “huge literary influence” during his childhood and urged others to find his “fiction, read, and enjoy the fecund mind of a humble man who plumbed complex issues simply and joyfully.”

 

Kosovo Declares Nobel Laureate Handke ‘Persona Non Grata’

Austrian author and laureate of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature Peter Handke gives a speech during a royal banquet to honour the laureates of the Nobel Prize 2019 following the Award ceremony on December 10, 2019, in Stockholm, Sweden. Anders WIKLUND / TT News Agency / AFP

 

Kosovo declared Peter Handke a ‘persona non grata’ on Wednesday in the latest protest against his induction as a Nobel literature laureate, barring the Austrian writer from a place he has visited numerous times.

The Swedish Academy’s pick for the 2019 prize has reopened old wounds in the Balkans, where many see Handke as an apologist for Serb atrocities during Yugoslavia’s bloody collapse.

One Nobel committee member resigned over the choice, while Tuesday’s award ceremony was boycotted by representatives of the embassies of Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Turkey.

“Today I have decided to declare Peter Handke as not welcome in Kosovo. He is a non-grata person… Denying crimes and supporting criminals is a terrible crime,” Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli wrote on Facebook.

The writer is not popular among Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian-majority, who fought Belgrade for independence in a 1998-99 war that claimed 13,000 lives.

But he was a frequent guest in the tiny Serb enclave of Velika Hoca, one of several small ethnic Serb communities scattered around the former Serbian province.

Handke has visited Velika Hoca at least five times and donated nearly 100,000 euros ($110,000) to the community of 500 people, whose village is nestled among the rolling hills of southern Kosovo.

“Even if there are big problems, I think life has a good rhythm here”, the writer said during a 2014 visit.

“I can be alone here. I can hide. I can walk very hidden behind the hills,” he added.

Barred from Sarajevo

Handke’s elevation to Nobel laureate has also been painful for many Bosnian Muslims, as he is accused of questioning the genocide in Srebrenica, where Bosnian Serbs slaughtered 8,000 Muslim men and boys in 1995.

On Wednesday he was formally barred from Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo, where the regional government said his appearance would “provoke the anger and humiliation” of war victims.

Yet he is still welcome to visit the Serb-run zone that spans nearly half of Bosnia’s territory — a legacy of the war that left the country carved up along ethnic lines.

On Tuesday Handke told RTRS, the public broadcaster in Bosnia’s Serb-run region that he would like to visit “in the spring”.

Handke has defended his work and denied any allegiance to the late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

Critics say Handke made his loyalties clear by speaking at the funeral of Milosevic, who died in 2006 while on trial in The Hague for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Handke’s 1997 book “A Journey to the Rivers: Justice for Serbia” was also accused of minimising Serb war crimes.

But among Serb fans, Handke is still celebrated for taking note of their suffering during the conflicts and challenging the narrative that Serbs were the sole aggressors in the wars.

In Belgrade, one politician suggested creating a human rights prize in Handke’s name on Wednesday.

Handke was one of “very few who searched for the truth during the 1990s,” said MP Mirjana Dragas, describing the author as a “brave, but above all great, novelist”.

Five Things To Know About The Nobel Literature Prize

 

The Swedish Academy will on Thursday crown two Nobel literature laureates after postponing the 2018 prize for a year to deal with the fallout of a sexual harassment scandal that rocked the venerable institution.

Here are five things to know about the Nobel Literature Prize.

Prestigious award

Each year, the Swedish Academy awards 16 prizes, the most famous and prestigious being the Nobel Literature Prize. The other Nobels — including the coveted Peace Prize — are awarded by other institutions.

In his 1895 last will and testament, Swedish scientist and philanthropist Alfred Nobel tasked the institution with awarding the Nobel Literature Prize each year.

Since 1901, four or five of the Academy’s 18 members have been elected to serve on its Nobel Committee for a three-year term, designated to sort through the nominations and provide the rest of the Academy with a shortlist of possible winners.

The nominees’ bodies of work are then studied and discussed by the entire Academy. The members hold a vote in October to choose the winner — the laureate must obtain more than half of the votes cast.

Following last year’s scandal, the Nobel Foundation that funds the Nobel Prizes insisted that five external people also join the Nobel Committee for at least 2019 and 2020.

350 nominees a year

The Academy’s archives are bursting with letters from the world’s most renowned literary figures nominating candidates.

Each year, the institution receives around 350 nominations submitted by those eligible to do so: former Nobel literature laureates, members of other countries’ equivalent academies, literature professors, and the heads of national writers’ associations.

Each one vaunts the talents of their candidate, some going so far as to slip in a little gift for Academy members — a gesture they typically frown upon.

To be valid, nominations must be presented or renewed each year and must be received by the Academy by January 31 at the latest.

To qualify, nominees must still be alive, and, according to the strict rules laid out by Alfred Nobel, must have published a piece of work within the past year, though the Academy has occasionally strayed from that requirement.

Reserved and refused awards

A total of 114 people have won the Nobel Literature Prize. It has been awarded on 110 occasions, with two people sharing the prize on four occasions.

It has also been declined twice: In 1958 Russian author Boris Pasternak accepted the prize but was later forced by Soviet authorities to decline it, and in 1964, French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre turned it down.

The institution, founded in 1786, chose to reserve the prize eight times: in 1915, 1919, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1936, 1949 and 2018.

On six of those occasions, the prize was delayed then awarded at the same time as the following year’s prize, as will be the case on Thursday.

France tops list

France takes the gold medal for the most Nobel Literature Prizes with 15 laureates, including the first one ever awarded, to Sully Prudhomme in 1901.

Tied in second place are the United States and Britain with 12 laureates each, including last year’s winner, Japanese-born British writer Kazuo Ishiguro, author of “Remains of the Day” and “Never Let Me Go”.

In terms of languages, however, laureates writing in Moliere’s tongue find themselves outnumbered by those writing in Shakespeare’s, with 29 Anglophone authors honoured since 1901.

Scandals

The Academy has been rocked by several affairs in modern times.

In the name of the “independence of literature”, the Swedish Academy refused to condemn a 1989 fatwa against British author Salman Rushdie following the publication of his novel, “The Satanic Verses”.

Academy members were divided about whether to stand as neutral guarantors of the arts or as supporters of their fellow author.

Three members angered by the Academy’s chosen path of silence left their seats, though technically they were appointed for life and could not resign.

It was not until 27 years later, in 2016, that the Academy finally condemned the fatwa against Rushdie.

Then, in late 2017 and early 2018, it disagreed publicly about how to manage its close ties to Frenchman Jean-Claude Arnault, accused and later convicted of rape.

Arnault is married to Katarina Frostenson, a member of the Academy who later resigned over the scandal.

The rift exposed scheming, conflicts of interest, harassment and a culture of silence among members, leaving the Academy in disarray and forcing it to postpone the 2018 prize.

The Academy’s statutes have since been revised to increase transparency and allow members to resign.

Seven members quit the Academy in 2018 and have since been replaced.

Nobel Prize Season Opens Without Literature Prize

A portrait of Swedish inventor and scholar Alfred Nobel on a banner on display at the Nobel Forum in Stockholm, Sweden… on October 1, 2018. Photo: Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

 

The announcement on Monday of the Nobel Medicine Prize opens this year’s amputated awards season, with no Literature Prize for the first time in 70 years because of a #MeToo scandal.

Like every year, Nobel aficionados have speculated wildly about possible winners, given the number of worthy candidates in the fields of medicine, physics, chemistry, peace and economics.

The medicine prize committee at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute is the first to reveal its choice of laureates, on Monday at 11:30 am (0930 GMT).

But its announcement risks being at least partially eclipsed by a Stockholm court’s verdict around the same time against Frenchman Jean-Claude Arnault, charged with rape.

His close ties to the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Literature Prize, have caused a scandal and deep rift in the Academy, prompting it to postpone this year’s prize for a year.

It is the first time the prize has been postponed since William Faulkner’s 1949 honour was awarded in 1950.

Without the Literature Prize this year, the most highly-anticipated award will be that for peace, announced on Friday in Oslo.

But before that there will be the science prizes, traditionally dominated by men working at US institutions.

Swedish public radio SR tipped, however, the medicine prize could go to two women for the gene-editing technique known as the CRISPR-Cas9 DNA snipping tool, a type of genetic “scissors” used to cut out a mutated gene in a human embryo and replace it by a corrected version.

However, the discovery could be too early for a Nobel, with a recent study suggesting the technique may damage DNA more than previously thought. A legal dispute is also raging over who discovered the technique.

It has been claimed on the one hand by the French-American research duo of Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna, and on the other by Chinese-born American Feng Zhang.

Hearing, genes, opiates?

Other research mentioned as Nobel-worthy include the cochlear implant, which can help deaf people to hear again, and gene sequencing, already honoured with a chemistry Nobel in 1980 but a field whose vast progress has revolutionised medical, biological and evolutionary research since then.

Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet meanwhile cited research on opiates and pain relief, new blood vessel growth, and the creation of a giant gene and genome database as other possible award-winning fields.

The physics prize will follow on Tuesday.

SR suggested the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences could give the nod to research on zero-dimensional quantum dots — very small semiconductor particles that play a key role in data communications, light diodes, solar cells and medical imaging.

Svenska Dagbladet meanwhile said the discovery of the so-called “spin Hall effect” in semiconductors could be honoured, or pioneering methods to determine the age, size and distance between galaxies.

Work on the mechanisms behind supercapacitators, a type of battery that can store large amounts of electricity, was also seen as a possibility.

The chemistry prize, to be announced on Wednesday, could meanwhile go to recurring favourite John Goodenough, a 96-year old electrochemist whose work led to the invention of rechargeable lithium ion battery present in cell phones, computers and electric cars, SR said.

Peace Prize to Korea?

For the Peace Prize, the only Nobel announced in Oslo, there are 329 candidates this year but their names are kept secret.

US President Donald Trump has been mentioned as a possibility for his efforts to bring peace to the Korean peninsula.

But Dan Smith, head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), said he believed it would be “inappropriate” to honour Trump after he withdrew the US from international agreements on the climate and Iran’s nuclear programme.

In addition, the only known Trump nomination submitted to the Nobel committee turned out to be a fake.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has also been mentioned for his rapprochement efforts with North Korea.

But Smith said that would be “premature,” recalling the dashed hopes after Moon’s predecessor Kim Dae-Jung won the prize in 2000.

Other names circulating include Congolese surgeon Denis Mukwege and Yazidi activist Nadia Murad, who both campaign against sexual violence, as well as the World Food Programme, the UN refugee agency UNHCR, jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, organisations defending the media and Russian human rights champions.

The 2018 Nobel season wraps up on October 8 with the announcement of the economics prize.

This year, each Nobel comes with a nine million kronor ($1.01-million, 871,000-euro) prize sum, to be shared if several laureates are honoured in the same discipline.

AFP

Five Things To Know About The Nobel Literature Prize

In this file photo taken on October 13, 2016, video cameras are placed for a press conference to announce the laureate of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm, Sweden.

 

The Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Literature Prize, has been in turmoil ever since an influential cultural figure — the husband of one of its 18 members — was accused of sex crimes during last year’s #MeToo campaign.

The institution said Friday it was postponing this year’s prize due to reduced public confidence in the academy after several members resigned over the scandal.

Here are five things to know about the Nobel Literature Prize.

– Most prestigious award –

Each year, the Swedish Academy awards 16 prizes, the most famous and prestigious being the Nobel Literature Prize.

In his 1895 last will and testament, Swedish scientist and philanthropist Alfred Nobel tasked the institution with awarding the Nobel Literature Prize each year.

Since 1901, four or five of the Academy’s 18 members have been elected to serve on its Nobel Committee for a three-year term, designated to sort through the nominations and provide the rest of the Academy with a shortlist of possible winners.

The nominees’ bodies of work are then studied and discussed by the entire Academy. The members hold a vote in October to choose the winner — the laureate must obtain more than half of the votes cast.

– 350 nominees a year –

The Academy’s archives are bursting with letters from the world’s most renowned literary figures nominating candidates.

Each year, the institution receives around 350 nominations submitted by those eligible to do so: former Nobel literature laureates, members of other countries’ equivalent academies, literature professors, and the heads of national writers’ associations.

Each one vaunts the talents of their candidate, some going so far as to slip in a little gift for Academy members … a gesture they typically frown upon.

To be valid, nominations must be presented or renewed each year, and must be received by the Academy by January 31 at the latest.

To qualify, nominees must still be alive, and, according to the strict rules laid out by Alfred Nobel, must have published a piece of work within the past year, though the Academy has occasionally strayed from that requirement.

– Seven reserved years, two refusals –

A total of 114 people have won the Nobel Literature Prize. The prize has been awarded on 110 occasions, with two people sharing the prize on four occasions.

It has also been declined twice: In 1958 Russian author Boris Pasternak accepted the prize but was later forced by Soviet authorities to decline it, and in 1964, French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre turned it down.

The institution, founded in 1786, has on seven previous occasions chosen to reserve the prize: in 1915, 1919, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1936 and 1949.

On five of those occasions, the prize was delayed then awarded at the same time as the following year’s prize. The most recent such case was when William Faulkner was awarded the 1949 prize in 1950, the same year Bertrand Russell was honoured.

– France tops list of laureates –

France takes the gold medal for the most Nobel Literature Prizes with 15 laureates, including the first one ever awarded, to Sully Prudhomme in 1901.

Tied in second place are the United States and Britain with 12 laureates each, including last year’s winner, Japanese-born British author Kazuo Ishiguro, author of “Remains of the Day” and “Never Let Me Go”.

In terms of languages, however, laureates writing in Moliere’s tongue find themselves outnumbered by those writing in Shakespeare’s, with 29 anglophone authors honoured since 1901.

– The Salman Rushdie affair –

In the name of the “independence of literature”, the Swedish Academy refused to condemn a 1989 fatwa against British author Salman Rushdie following the publication of his novel, “The Satanic Verses”.

Academy members were divided about whether to stand as neutral guarantors of the arts or as supporters of their fellow author.

Three members angered by the Academy’s chosen path of silence left their seats, though technically they were appointed for life and could not resign.

It was not until 27 years later — in 2016 — that the Academy finally condemned the fatwa against Rushdie.

VIDEO: Joke Silva And Olu Jacobs Speak On Nigeria’s Theatrical Scene

Joke Silva and Olu Jacobs
Joke Silva and Olu Jacobs

In this exclusive interview with Channels Television, veteran actors, Joke Silva And Olu Jacobs speak about the rise of theatre in Nigeria.

Mobolaji Adenubi Chats With Sarah Diehl On Stereotypes, Literature And Lagos

On this episode of the Channels Book Club, German filmmaker and activist, Sarah Diehl, shared her experience while on visit to Nigeria, as part of her mission to learn about African cultures.

She discusses with award winning septugenarian author, Mobolji Adenubi (splendid) on matters relating to the arts, love and woman rights.

Enjoy!

Channels Book Club Winner Meets Sefi Atta

On this episode, 15 year old Eniola Oladipo, winner of the Channels Book Club Prize for Literature sits with the award winning creative writer, Sefi Atta.

Miss Eniola Oladipo of Vivian Fowler Secondary School, Lagos emerged winner at the recently concluded Channels Book Club Prize for Literature.

Miss Oladipo earned herself a sponsored trip to the Frankfurt book fair in Frankfurt, Germany next month.

Also, this episode of the programme features the library of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Victoria Island, Lagos.

Channels Book Club Features Journalist Turned Academic Don, Otiono

This edition of Channels Book Club features distinguished Nigerian journalist, Dr. Nduka Otiono, who was recently appointed assistant professor at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, hence becoming the first appointee at the University’s new found Institute of African studies.

He discussed a wide variety of subjects including his personal experiences, his writings and why Nigeria must focus on encouraging knowledge production institutions and initiatives.

About Dr. Otiono

Dr. Nduka Otiono obtained his Ph.D in English from the University of Alberta where he won several awards including the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship, and was nominated for the Governor General’s Gold Medal for academic distinction.

He is the author of The Night Hides with a Knife (short stories), which won the ANA/Spectrum Prize; Voices in the Rainbow (Poems), a finalist for the ANA/Cadbury Poetry Prize; Love in a Time of Nightmares (Poems) for which he was awarded the James Patrick Folinsbee  Memorial Scholarship in Creative Writing.

He has co-edited We-Men: An Anthology of Men Writing on Women (1998), and Camouflage: Best of Contemporary Writing from Nigeria (2006).

Channels Book Club Features Young Authors, Software Engineer

On this edition of Channels Book Club, we feature three guests.

One is a talented software engineer and writer, Rotimi Ogunjobi, who presented six books in one day!

The other two are 9 year old prodigies; Ijeoma Nwaogu, the author of ‘the lost girl’ is a primary 3 pupil of SOS Hermann Gmeiner primary school, Isolo. Tobi Osinubi, the author of ‘the royal recount’ is a student of Leicester high school for girls in south Knighton, Leicester, UK.

If you are one of those who have been procrastinating forever on writing your own book, these gifted girls will nudge you to get cracking! And if your own 9 year old has not particularly started writing, Ijeoma and Tobi will inspire him or her.

Soyinka, Mimiko, Fayemi Extol Virtues Of Late Literary Icon, D.O Fagunwa

A 3-Day International Conference has commenced in Akure, Ondo State Capital in memory of one of the pioneers of African literature and fiction in indigenous languages Chief Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa. 

The conference which has the theme:”D.O Fagunwa: 50 Years On” was organised by Ondo State Government in conjunction with The Centre For Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), Lagos;  the D.O Fagunwa Foundation and the Fagunwa Study Group.

The opening ceremony of the conference chaired by the Orangun of Oke-Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin attracted many dignitaries from within and outside Nigeria including late Fagunwa’s family members, academicians, politicians, literary icons and top government officials.

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, who was the keynote speaker, delivered a lecture on Fagunwa’s Forest Tapestry: Heroes, Heroics, Morals and Moralists in which he x-rayed the characters in some of Fagunwa’s books and linked them to the ills in our society today.

Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and his Ekiti State counterpart, Dr. Kayode Fayemi in their addresses commended the virtues of Late Fagunwa.

Mimiko said there was the need to encourage the use of mother tongue and the development of the culture of the people.

According to him, the state government had recommended the use of the books of Fagunwa in secondary schools across the state, saying the books were capable of preserving Yoruba language and culture.

He noted that many of Nigerian authors had contributed to the socio-economic development of the country and should, therefore, be celebrated.

Also speaking, Fayemi said the contributions and impact of Fagunwa’s poetry prowess could not be over-emphasised.

He said efforts should be made to ensure that indigenous languages were not allowed to die in the country.

Born in 1903 in Oke-Igbo, Ondo State; Late Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa was one of the pioneer authors in indigenous African languages.

He wrote his first novel, “Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmole” in 1938; and later authored 4 other fascinating novels all in Yoruba Language. He died in 1963, at the age of 60.

Some of his books have been interpreted into English language.