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ANA to celebrate the man died at 50

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The Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) is concluding arrangements for its epic international conference to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Wole Soyinka’s The Man Died.

The conference, with the theme, Literature in the Cause of Governance, 50 Years After Wole Soyinka’s The Man Died, will be supervised by an organising committee under the chairmanship of Prof Gbemisola Adeoti of the Department of English Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Nigeria.

The conference will hold from January to July 2021 in five states of the federation. These are: Ekiti, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom and Ogun states.
Major highlights of the events include, book readings, essay competitions for students, paper presentations, drama adaptations and anniversary banquet.

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The Man Died is a riveting account of the atrocities perpetrated by the military regime against the civil populace, in which the author was also a major victim – of solitary confinement without trial for 15 grueling months.

During the Nigerian Civil War (1967–1970), Soyinka was arrested and incarcerated for 22 months, most of it spent in solitary confinement in a cell, 4ft by 8ft. His offence: assisting the Biafran secessionists.

The book now regarded as a classic of prison literature, is a product of this experience. What comes through in the compelling narrative is the author’s uncompromising, principled stand on the universality and indivisibility of freedom and human rights.

Dr. Obari Gomba of the English Department, University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) said, “the proposed celebration of the classic, The Man Died, by our own WS Nobel laureate by ANA is eminently deserving, more so as it’s being done when the colossus is still here, flesh and blood. Thanks ANA for the thoughtfulness. In celebrating the book for its eternal theme of justice being the first condition of humanity, we shall be sending a clear message to Nigerians of all colourations that we should leave the anachronistic past with its gore and bestiality that culminated in the civil war and forge a new dawn where all will be treated with fairness and justice.”

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