On Friday, 9th February, 2018, the University hosted a meeting with Emeritus Professor Wole Soyinka who was invited by the Institute of Cultural Studies, in connection with the proposed Ife Festival of Food and Identity to be held in July 2018. On ground to receive the eminent visitor were Prof.
Eyitope Ogunbodede (Vice-Chancellor), the DVC – Academics, Prof. Bamire, the DVC – Administration, Prof. Chris Ajila, the University Registrar, Mr. Dotun Awoyemi, and the University Librarian. Also present were the Ag. Curator, Martin Aworinlewo Odeyemi Museum of Antiquities and Contemporary Art [MAOMACA], Mr. Akin Adejuwon, and the Festival Consultant, Dr. Wale Adeniran.
After the initial reception of Prof. Soyinka at the Institute of Cultural Studies, the meeting proper moved to the Chancellor’s Lodge where a luncheon had been prepared for the visitor at which the VC and all the Principal Officers were present.
The purpose of the meeting was to conclude arrangements and approve the proposal for the 2018 Ife Festival of Food and Identity to be organized by the Institute of Cultural Studies, with Prof. Soyinka as the Festival Adviser, and the Vice-Chancellor as the Chief Host.
The highlights of the meeting are as follows:
- The theme and name of the festival were approved as 2018 Ife Festival of Food and Identity.
- Prof. Soyinka requested that we include the collaboration with the African Drums Festival, Abeokuta in the build-up programme to the Festival.
- Prof. Soyinka further requested that we include in the build-up the Boat Exhibition on the Migration of African Identity that will begin in Haiti in February 2018 from where it is expected to travel through Italy (Venice and Palermo). The Exhibition will end in OAU in April.
- The date of April 19th was approved for the launching of the Festival Logo, to be held as a media event here on Campus. A list of special invitees is to be drawn up immediately.
- The dates of the Festival were approved as 30th July – 6th August 2018.
- The venue for the Festival will spread from the University campus to some identifies major points in Ile-Ife township.
- It was agreed that we invite state governments, embassies, national and international food and allied companies and NGOs as participants and collaborators.
- Prof. Soyinka proposed that a Festival Colloquium be organized on the theme “Genetic Alterations and the Politics of Food and Security”. A post-festival publication is expected to be edited by the Institute on the theme, bringing together a comprehensive catalogue similar to the one on Korean Food whose copy Prof. Soyinka donated to the Institute. The book which was conceived as a Festival souvenir will contain information and graphics on Nigerian, African and African Diaspora Food and Solidarity efforts.