9mobile aplauded for commitment to talent development
Nigeria’s leading customer-friendly telecommunications company, 9mobile, has been commended for its consistent support for talent development, especially the growth of the arts and literary industry in Nigeria and Africa.
Making the commendation last week at Ake Arts and Book Festival 2017 held in Abeokuta, Ogun State, was Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who acknowledged that the resilience of promoters of Ake Festival and the unwavering support of corporate bodies like 9mobile, with a passion for promoting talent development and the creative industry generally, have made the festival a formidable platform for creative excellence.
Amosun said Ake Arts & Book Festival has become a hub for literary icons, academic community, artists and critics of creative works to cross-fertilize ideas as well as a platform to proffer alternative solutions towards resolving contemporary issues.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Chief Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga, said, “Apart from the colour of the skin, culture has been a major factor to identify and appreciate people. Our culture shows the uniqueness of our food, clothes, craft, music, dance, folklores, beliefs, lifestyles, literature and worldview. He said having all this being displayed at Ake festival shows great resolve to revive Africa’s rich culture and we thank all those involved, either as organisers or as sponsors such as 9mobile.”
Ake Arts & Book Festival is a platform that celebrates budding and accomplished African artists in an annual event, attended by academicians, creative writers, authors, publishers and art enthusiasts from across and outside the African continent. The theme for this year’s edition of the festival is ‘This F-Word’ in celebration of ‘feminism.’
Among notable, global literary icons that attended the festival are Ghana and patron of the 9mobile (formerly Etisalat) Prize for Literature, Ama Ata Aidoo, internationally renowned literature teacher and mentor of winners of the 9mobile Prize for Literature, Prof. Giles Foden, Molara Wood and Kenya’s Zukiswa Wanner, and past judges of the 9mobile Prize for Literature.
Also in attendance were fantasy writer, Prof. Nnedi Okorafor; Ogun State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon. Muyiwa Oladipo and Special Adviser on Media to Ogun State Governor, Dr. Oye Olubunmi.
Also speaking on 9mobile’s objective of supporting the festival, Director, Brand & Experience, 9mobile, Elvis Ogiemwanye, said 9mobile was proud to associate with the Ake Arts and Book Festival because of its commitment to develop, promote and celebrate creativity on the African continent.
“Ake Arts and Book Festival aligns with our corporate vision of promoting and nurturing talent and providing a platform for Africans to communicate ideas and share their views and life experiences through story telling,” he stated.
On his part, Foden, author of book-cum-movie, The Last King of Scotland, applauded 9mobile for being at the forefront of promoting talent development in Africa and expressed joy at mentoring annual winners of the 9mobile Prize for Literature.
As he noted, “Each year, I receive with joy the winners of the 9mobile Prize for Literature, who are admitted to study for about four months at the University of East Anglia, at Norwich, East of England, to further deepen their writing skill. This is significant in that while readership of hard copy books might have declined globally, readership online has greatly increased with platforms such as 9mobile Prize for Literature and 9mobile Flash Fiction, making it more exciting for people to write and read books.”
9mobile Prize for Literature is a strategic initiative by 9mobile to develop the publishing industry in Africa. It is part of the company’s commitment to talent development in the areas of arts and literature in Africa, which identifies and celebrates first time writers of published fiction books.
This year’s edition of Ake Arts & Book Festival attracted participants from Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, Brazil, Egypt, The Gambia and Nigeria. Other guests at the festival included a former First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, wives of Kaduna State Governor, Mrs. Binta El-Rufai and Mrs. Hadiza El-Rufai, and author, Mr. Toni Kan, amongst others.
Since its launch in Nigeria nine years ago, 9mobile has supported the creative industry and talent development through initiatives and platforms such as the 9mobile Prize for Literature, Flash Fiction, 9mobile Prize for Innovation, Love and Recession, Nigerian Idols, Kids Say the Darndest Things, 9mobile Under 15 School Cup, DJ Xclusive All White Party and Kado Picnic amongst others.
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