Book Reading, Events

History Rekindled as “Vothuno” Takes Centre-Stage at the January LRF Book Reading

The Literary Renaissance Foundation (LRF) had its first monthly book reading for the year 2024 on January 14 on Zoom which was also streamed live on Facebook. The reading lasted for about one hour with Dr. Babatunde Mesewaku the author of the day.

In his welcome address, the ED of Literary Renaissance Foundation, Mr Babatunde Oladele, who also doubled as the compere for the day said the monthly reading helps authors of Nigerian extraction to showcase their literary works as an inspiration to promote literacy in society.

The reading started at 5:22pm with the usual introductions from participants while Olamide Omolawal, one of the Apprentices at The Ready Writers Consult, read the profile of the author for the month.

The author, Dr Babatunde Mesewaku, is an accomplished government functionary with degrees ranging from HND to a combined honours degree in English and Theatre Arts, plus three different master’s degrees and a Ph.D.

Aside from being a renowned author, Dr Mesewaku currently heads the Lagos Chapter of the Institute of Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN) as well as the Badagry Cultural Centre.

His work, “Vothuno”, a historical fiction explores the history of slavery and enslavement in old Badagry. He explained that slave trade plagued the African continent for over 300 years, and Badagry, being the port of contact for the trade in Nigeria, has the history preserved.

During the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Badagry was like a middleman between European traders on the coast and traders from the hinterland. Vothuno dwells on how the slave trade interacted with the culture of the people and the missionaries.

Participants were privileged to not just listen to the story but also excerpts of the book which the author graciously read. This made many eager to know more. After the reading, the author was lauded by the participants for his rich deployment of imagery as well as the plot structure and characters in the book.

The LRF Monthly Reading exemplifies the critical role that literature and the arts play in influencing cultural narratives and promoting education in society, in addition to being an examination of an artist’s journey and literary production.

These monthly gatherings help the LRF fulfil its objective by shining a light on the relationship between literature, art, and education for an enlightened and diverse audience.

The Book reading ended at 6:40pm with Mr Oladele inviting everyone to the next event of the Foundation, tagged Reading Culture Dialogue, scheduled to be held on January 27, 2024.

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