Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange Essay Competition 2020

The 11th edition of The Wole Soyinka Essay competition which is a part of the annual Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange Program (WSICE) is now open.

About the Award: The theme for the year’s project is: I AM because YOU ARE, which is drawn from UBUNTU, the Southern African philosophy which epitomises the principle of shared values that ensures the sustenance and survival of the human family. The theme is inspired by observed factors and motives behind the responses of people and governments across the world to the challenges pushed forward by the rage of the pandemic. In particular, the obvious interdependence of our collective humanity has been brought to the fore in the way people and States have risen to support others experiencing the dire effects of the pandemic.

The 2020 edition of the WSICE runs July 12-14 with programs slated to hold in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

The topic for the competition is: I AM because YOU ARE, inspired by UBUNTU, the Southern Africa philosophy on the principle of interdependence of the Human Family, especially auspicious now in the era of covid-19, which has ruptured the fabric of our collective and common humanity.

This competition is open to young people between the ages of 12 and 22 and entries are accepted in English, French, Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish.

It is divided into two age categories.

i. Age 12-16 — (350-400 words)

ii. Age 17-22 — (800-1000 words)

Type: Contest (Essay writing)

Selection/ eligibility: age 12-22

Number of awardees: 20

Value of Award:


Global winner -$1,000

Zonal winners -$500

Zonal runner ups – $300


Global winner -$600

Zonal winners – $300

Zonal runner ups – $200

Judging criteria

Originality and creativity: Treatment of the theme showing imagination, human interest and a fresh point of view. Ability to think ‘outside the box’ in an unusual way.

Content and structure: Clearly express your ideas in an organized manner. Fully develop your theme and use transitions to move smoothly from one idea to the other.

Length: Must conform strictly to the word limit provided for each category.

There must be logical flow using proper grammar and spelling.

Adherence to the topic. Essays must stay focused on the topic.

Wow factor: Exceptional essays that display an incredible use of vocabulary, clever ideas, and unique style.

Duration of Award:  This year’s events will run for three days – July 12 – 14 2020

Eligible countries: All. Entries are accepted in 5 languages English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese.

How to apply: The second and integral part of the year’s cultural exchange is the essay competition which targets the youth, and is open in two categories:

Ages 12-17 – Secondary/High School students (350-400 words)
Ages 17-22 – College, University and Tertiary level students (800-1000 words).

The submission of essays will start on the 5th of June and close on the 26th of June.

Three winners from each category will be announced on the 14th of July during a scheduled Meet & Greet session in the same virtual/digital space.

Apply here

Visit Program Webpage for Details

Application deadline: 26th June 2020

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *