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By Editor
01 October 2017   |   3:38 am
Arterial Network Nigeria, has called for a halt to proceedings on a new bill at the National Assembly, which seeks to set up a federal agency to be known as the NGO Regulatory Commission.

National Theatre

Entries Open For 2nd Ken Saro Wiwa Book Review Competition
The opportunity to be named Nigeria’s best book reviewer is up for grabs. The 2nd Ken Saro Wiwa Book Review competition has been announced. Jahman Anikulapo, director of the Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF), says that this year’s edition is focused on the work of the poet Niyi Osundare, who is the special guest of honour at the Festival. “To qualify, the contestant must have read and written reviews of any four of 12 collections of poems by Osundare, including Songs from the Marketplace (1983), Village Voices (1984), The Eye of the Earth (1986), Moonsongs (1988), Songs of the Season (1999), Waiting Laughters (1990) Midlife (1993), The Word is an Egg (2002), Early Birds (2004) , Tender Moments: Love Poems (2006), City Without People: The Katrina Poems (2011) and Random Blues (2011). “The competition is open to all- students, teachers, academics, non-academics, and general lovers of the written texts; the review of the three texts could be contained in one extended review write up, or sent as separate copies, the review(s)must not have been published elsewhere and entry must be sent on/or before October 30, 2017 to The prize project was launched in 2015 on the occasion of the 17th LABAF, which was dedicated to mark the 20th anniversary of the state killing of Saro-Wiwa, who was, himself, a keen observer, commentator on, and critique of the quality of literature being produced in the country. The sum of N100,000) is on the table for the winner. The winning review will be widely published in the media and in reputable journals on Literature. A shortlist of THREE finalists will be announced at the CORA BOOK TREK on Monday, NOVEMBER 6– being the flag-off date of the 19th LABAF, hosted by the British Council, Lagos. Announcement of winners will be done on Saturday November 11, during the Festival Party in honour of a select group of distinguished culture producers.

Shakespeare Falls In Love At The Fugard
The Fugard Theatre will be presenting Shakespeare in Love throughout October and November 2017. Located in District 6 in Cape Town, South Africa, The Fugard Theatre is named after Athol Fugard, the legendary South African playwright (Blood Knot, Sizwe Banzi is Dead, The Island, etc). Shakespeare in Love imagines a pivotal moment in the life of William Shakespeare, widely regarded as the world’s pre-eminent playwright. It was adapted for the stage by Lee Hall and based on the 1998 Oscar winning film of the same title written by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman. As the synopsis goes, young William Shakespeare has writer`s block… the deadline for his new play is fast approaching but he`s in desperate need of inspiration. That is until he finds his muse – Viola. This beautiful young woman is William`s greatest admirer and will stop at nothing (including breaking the law) to appear in his next play. Against a bustling background of mistaken identity, ruthless scheming and backstage theatrics, William`s love for Viola quickly blossoms and inspires him to write his greatest masterpiece. The cast and crew are essentially South African.

CALENDAR: LCA Ends With Opera, GULA Continues And…
Manthia Diawara’s An Opera of The World will wrap up the film screenings at the Lights Camera Africa!!! (LCA) Film Festival this evening. It will be followed by a Q&A with the director at 9.10pm. The three day festival opened on Friday. Today’s film screenings include Borders (Frontieres), at 12 noon, Kalushi at 2pm, Akatapo: The Legend of Tony Odili, at 4.15pm, I Heard It Through The Grapevine at 6pm… Elsewhere in Lagos this evening, the play Gula!, continues at Terra Kulture and will also be staged next week October 7 and October 8, all at 3pm and 7pm. It is based on Olusegun Obasanjo’s encounter in prison with a ruthless killer Baba Ali, as captured in his memoir, My Watch. Felabration, a yearly event dedicated to celebrating the iconic musician Fela, runs from Oct 9, 2017 – Oct 15, 2017 at the Africa Shrine in Ikeja. The Lagos Biennale runs from October 14 to November 22 at the Railway Compound in Ebute Metta. Art X Lagos, the ambitious showcase of contemporary African art, happens between November 3 and 5 at Civic Centre on Victoria Island. The Lagos Book and Art Festival, tagged Africa’s largest culture picnic, will hold from November 6 to 12, 2017 at the Freedom Park on Broad Street.

CORA Slams Proposed NGO Bill 
The Committee for Relevant Art (CORA), with its partner, Arterial Network Nigeria, has called for a halt to proceedings on a new bill at the National Assembly, which seeks to set up a federal agency to be known as the NGO Regulatory Commission. The groups say that the bill is neither in the interest of the country, nor the Arts and Culture sector. “Many art organisations in Nigeria are registered as NGOs, promoting the rich culture and heritage of the Nigerian people, playing prominent roles in civic education and public enlightenment and thereby strengthening democracy and human rights”, CORA/Arterial Network said in a statement by Ayo Ganiyu, secretary of the CORA/Arterial Network partnership. “Many art NGOs organize book festivals, film festivals, exhibitions, live concerts and other cultural events that provide the platforms for artists to showcase their works, some of which critique government policies”. The controversial bill is titled “An Act to Provide For The Establishment of the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Regulatory Commission For the Supervision, Coordination And Monitoring of Non-Governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, etc. If passed into law, the agency will be empowered to issue licences to all NGOs, renewable every two years. In the event of the agency’s refusal to renew any group’s licence, that NGO will cease to operate. Every NGO will also have to receive permission from the agency before it executes projects. Its board will also determine how funds received from donors are spent, and if any NGO spends without the agency’s permission it would amount to a crime, which attracts a jail term of up to 18 months. CORA/Arterial Network is concerned that this proposed law threatens the freedom of civil society bodies. Art and Culture NGOs “advocate and hold Nigerian government accountable in the domestication and implementation of international cultural policies signed by Nigeria. They work closely with international partners to promote international human right law and best practices that advance the rights of Nigerian artists and the freedom to express themselves in the form of music, film, theatre play, art exhibition, poetry, etc., some of which address national issues and critique government policies”.

Compiled by staff of Festac News Agency