Tuesday, November 24, 2015 1:01 pm
“I prefer a quiet entry.” This was Prof. Wole Soyinka, the Nobel Laureate’s, response to the Brazilian authorities during a high level dinner, organized in his honour prior to the Black Race Award – Premio Raca Negra on 15 November 2015. This prestigious event is organized by the Zumbi dos Palmares University in Sao Paulo. Ministers, State Secretaries, the academia, renowned artistes from across Brazil, the United State of America, Cuba, Columbia, Trinidad and Tobago were all present in the feast.
The Premio Raca Negra is the most prestigious award in Brazil in honour of black people of great achievement all over the World. Rev. Jesse Jackson, Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel are among others who have been honoured with this award.
Soyinka who on his arrival at the Sao Paulo’s airport aboard South African Airlines, at the sight of heavy government apparatus, asked, “which head of state is arriving Brazil?”. Little did he know that all those protocols were for him.
The Nobel Laureate was given a presidential reception at the Guarulhos Airport with all roads blocked, sirens from a team of dispatch riders and a long convoy. Soyinka in his address humbly said: “I am no longer a stranger in this country. I visited some two months ago during the Senate event in honour of my brother, Abdias dos Nascimento. I prefer a quiet entry”. The whole crowd burst into laughter.
TheNEWS sources revealed that the same Brazilian authorities cancelled the conference that a former governor of the State of Osun, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, had attempted to hold in that country.
In September this year, Oyinlola and Soyinka disagreed vehemently over the leadership of the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU). In fact, Oyinlola addressed a press conference in Okuku, Osun State, claimed that Soyinka had no regard for him and those who constitute the Board of Trustees of CBCIU. However, Soyinka replied with verbal missiles that made Oyinlola to dive for cover.
Worse still, the controversy went viral on social media and the story reached the Brazilian authorities which made them to cancel Oyinlola’s conference. The story was entitled, “CBCIU Matter: Wole Soyinka Blasts Oyinlola Again”