Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has told Sahara Reporters, an online newspaper and advocacy platform, that it has to become more careful, now that its location is known.
On Thursday, Sahara Reporters launched its civic media lab, located on Isaac John Street in Ikeja GRA, Lagos.
As a special guest at the event, Soyinka made jokes about his presence at the event, and congratulated Omoyele Sowore, its founder, while also expressing his hopes that the media lab will be a genuine media centre.
“I’m here under false pretences; I was told that I agreed to be present at the launch of this media centre. Nobody said to my understanding of English, and my understanding of English Language is not too bad,” Soyinka joked.
“Nobody said I was coming to launch it. My hearing may be a bit wonky, but you know… still here I am. Let me congratulate you once again on the launching of this media centre.
“I hope it makes the media more careful, now that people know where to come and find you and to deal with you when you go wrong, and I hope it will be a genuine media centre, which means that when we stop by, we would have a drink before we get to more serious tasks.
“I hope the media, when they do their launch will not be like the launching with which the nation was treated recently in Abuja. I think this nation — you and I — have been slapped in the face by some of the disgusting reprobates that we know in any level of connection with power.”
Sowore appreciated Soyinka for his presence despite his busy schedule, citing his responsibilities at the Lagos at 50 planning and celebration.
He took Soyinka, alongside Tunji Lardner, Ayo Obe, Jahman Anikulapo, and a number of Nigerian literary and advocacy voices, on a tour of the media centre.
Sowore said the media centre is a very different one and it can be used to pour libation to the gods.
“I also want to assure you that this media centre is different to the extent that if you wait long enough, there will be palmwine available on the other side of the centre. If you want to pour libation to the gods,” he said.
The media centre, which has the images of ace musician, Fela Kuti, and Gani Fawehinmi, human rights lawyer, takes on its walls a brief history of political resistance in Nigeria.
The designs began with illustrations from the 1960s and end with the 2012 Occupy Nigeria protest.