Nobel laureate Professor Wole Soyinka has warned that technology is causing a rise in illiteracy among Nigerians.
Soyinka emphasized the need for caution about the emerging “Internet culture” during his speech at the CANEX Live Theatre closing ceremony of the 3rd Intra-African Trade Fair in Cairo, Egypt.
Although the Nobel laureate praised technology for being a liberating tool that leverages instantaneous communication culture, he pointed out that it “is creating new generations of the illiterate who believe it’s up to them that it’s sort of noble, progressive, and populist to despise what I call the real meaningful culture that improves the mind of humanity, expands our horizons, offers numerous alternatives or interpretations of phenomena, et cetera, and leads to a new construct of a genuine new being.”
Soyinka went on: “Now we have to watch this network-facilitated abuse of culture. I speak very specifically to my society, especially the Nigerian society, the greatest abusers of that kind of culture, where you have the real degradation of the real meaning of culture, facilitated by Internet technology.”
He described it as a large subject, which must not be trivialised. “We shouldn’t take the easy way out. We shouldn’t go on the axial, black and white, and so on. It’s a work in progress, but we must not let the barbarians get away with this new project,” he said.