Senior management and top performing employees of Sterling Bank Plc, were upbeat as they anticipated engagement with the Nobel Laurate, Prof. Wole Soyinka.
The venue was the luxurious Head Office Annex of the bank in Lagos.
Kongi, as Prof. Soyinka is fondly called by a cross section of the culture community, arrived in style in company with Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive Officer; Yemi Odubiyi, Executive Director; Mr. Emmanuel Emefienim, Executive Director, all of Sterling Bank. They were his host at the maiden edition of the Sterling Leadership Series which was aptly themed – ‘Corporate – Culture Intersection’.
In his welcome remark, Suleiman described the literary giant as a living legend whose large body of work is positively influencing people on the continent and across the globe.
He disclosed that one of the works of Professor Wole Soyinka that helped to shape his life as a youth is a little publication entitled: The Credo of Being and Nothingness. He said the book had a profound effect on his thinking and changed his perception about life.
Although he needs no introduction, Professor Wole Soyinka was introduced by poet, author and publisher, Ms. Lola Shoneyin who handed over proceedings to Mr. Odubiyi. It was a question and answer session anchored by the Executive Director, Corporate and Investment Banking.
The highly engaging conversations between the two crisscrossed leadership, building strong institutions, racism, migration and arts with answers laced with double entendre drawn from complex bodies of knowledge.
Professor Wole Soyinka’s expansive responses delivered in true oracular fashion deconstructed the current knotty issues of migration, particularly the death of thousands of migrants on the Mediterranean Sea, the indifference of some developed countries to the plight of migrants, mass burial, loss of identity and hopelessness of majority of young people as well as the on-going xenophobia in South Africa.
In a response to a provocative question leadership and future of Nigeria, he subtly berated the younger generation for lethargy and connivance with the old brigade to shut themselves out of leadership.