The World Stands Still for Port Harcourt



All is now set for the opening ceremonies of the Port Harcourt World Book Capital 2014. The weeklong ceremonies which will hold between Tuesday April 22 and Saturday April 26 will kick-start the yearlong programme during which the attention of the globe will be focused on Port Harcourt.

The main opening ceremony will take place on Wednesday April 23, which incidentally is United Nations World Book and Copyright Day. On that day, in which Bangkok will hand over to Port Harcourt as the World Book Capital 2014, Professor Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, will deliver the keynote address.

Koko Kalango, the project director, Port Harcourt World Book Capital 2014, disclosed this at a press briefing in Lagos recently. She also said activities that have been lined up for the event include celebrities reading to children, interactive sessions with Nigeria’s most important authors, a dance drama, titled Along Came the Book, which traces the role of information sharing from our oral tradition to the written word, culminating in the Port Harcourt World Book Capital. The play is directed by Bikiya Graham-Douglas. Bikiya, an award –winning playwright who is currently in the city scouting local talent to participate in this drama.

There would also be the public presentation of The Walking Book, a communal story on the Sights and Sounds of Rivers State written by children from across the 23 Local Government areas of the state. Finally, visitors to Port Harcourt would be treated to the warm Rivers State hospitality which includes the display of a boat regatta and excursion to Songhai Farms.

Another key component of the opening ceremonies is the International Literature Exhibition, which holds between Tuesday April 22 and Thursday 24. Embassies and foreign missions in Nigeria, local and international book festivals, literary awards bodies, as well as key partners and stakeholders in the book chain industry have been invited to participate in this 3- day exhibition which will showcase literature and literary efforts from around the world. Visitors would enrich their global perspective by a visit to this exhibition tagged ‘It’s a Small World After all’.

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