Atelewo Cultural Initiative has celebrated and awarded three old veteran Yoruba authors as a way to mark the 2022 edition of International Mother Language Day (IMLD).
The three veteran Yoruba authors awarded at the event which was held on Friday in the BNI Building at the University of Ibadan are Professor Arinpe Adejumo, Chief Olatunbosun Oladapo and Chief Banjo Akinlabi.
According to Ibrahim Oredola, one of the founders of the organisation, the three veteran Yoruba authors were celebrated as part of the Project Ògbóǹtarìgì launched in 2020 to identify, showcase and celebrate old veteran Yoruba authors who have made very great contributions through their works and life activities to Yoruba literature via YouTube documentary series.
“Atelewo launched the Ogbontarigi project in the year 2020 inspired by our virtual Yoruba book reading programme. We had read Eégún Aláré by Lawuyi Ogunniran and in the post-reading discussion, our community realised how much Yoruba authors are undercelebrated in our community and that’s when we decided to launch Ògbóǹtarìgì as a project to cast a spotlight on selected old Yoruba authors and to showcase their contributions with respect to Yoruba literature and culture to the world. And the first work was done on Baba Lawuyi Ogunniran, who died shortly after the work was done.
“The project was also launched to inspire younger generations about the feats and works of the selected veteran authors and to also motivate our younger people to want to contribute to the development of Yoruba literature and culture. And for this phase of the project, we appreciate the support of Goethe-Institut, Yorubaname.com,” he added.
A few minutes of the three documentaries made on each of the veteran authors were screened at the event followed by award presentations.
In separate remarks, the awardees – Professor Arinpe Adejumo, veteran Yoruba author, a former Head of Department Linguistics and African Languages, University of Ibadan and the current Deputy Provost, University of Ibadan Post Graduate College; Chief Ọlatunbosun Oladapo, a veteran poet, playwright and record producer; and Chief Baanjọ Akinlabi, a veteran Yoruba author and book publisher- commended the organisers and the Ògbóǹtarìgì initiative as a needed project to promote the Yoruba language and culture.
The event also featured the award ceremony for the 2nd edition of the Atelewo prize for Yoruba Literature.
Mr Waliyullah Tunde Abiimbola was declared the 2022 overall winner of the competition for his manuscript ‘Oko Ẹranko’ (a Yoruba translation of Animal Farm by George Orwell) and was awarded a N100,000 cash prize.
Four other finalists were awarded a cash prize of 50,000 each and they include Kafilah Ayọ̀bámi Fashola, winner of the drama category for her manuscript titled “Àbẹ̀ní”; Bákárè Wahab Táíwò, the winner of the poetry category for his manuscript titled, “Atewolara Akewi-Akowe; Anífowoṣe Zainab Olúwafúnmilọ́lá, winner of the Prose category for her manuscript titled, “Igbeyin Owuro”; and Abdulkareem Jeleel Ọlasunkanmi, shortlisted as a runner up and one of the best five works in the competition for his manuscript, “Ewì Kòbọmọjẹ́”.