On Monday, July 15th, 2019, Nero and Vivian Asibelua of Winestitute hosted living legend Professor Wole Soyinka to a wine auction as part of activities surrounding his 85th birthday.
The Wine Auction event was indeed unique as it is a first of its kind in Nigeria. Proudly hosted by Winestitute, the event which took place in Lagos, was simultaneous to raise funds for the Nobel Laureate’s foundation- ‘Wole Soyinka Foundation’.
The African giant Soyinka during his speech which was received with a roar of applause that filled the auditorium said:
“Since my birthday came along; I have always been feeling ungracious, that other people celebrate my birthday, more than I do. For me, it’s a pain! Except for this one. I’ve been enjoying this one, because of this event”.
‘Kongi’ as fondly addressed by his contemporary spoke about the idea of celebration, and celebrating by drinking wine and equally creating wealth, and also remain humane to share the joyous moments with family and friends.
This only goes to agree with the saying by the famous Louis Pasteur,
“A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world.”
‘Wine Auctioning’ dated back the seventeenth century and it’s presently pacing the billion-dollar venture. But for the record, Winestitute Nigeria and Wole Soyinka Foundation remain the first to auction premium wines in Nigeria, and what a noble way to do it than in the presence of top players in the country.
200 bottles of wine specially made for this enigmatic event are serially numbered and each has Professor Soyinka’s signature signed on it, plus hanging a poem written by the foremost African Noble Laureate on the neck of each bottle. Truly these particular set of bottles of wine are collector’s items.
As the first-hand auction began by the Winestitute auctioneer; several POS transactions went down in minutes and many other anonymous biddings went under the gong with all proceeds going to the Wole Soyinka Foundation.
In attendance was Governor of Ekiti State- Kayode Fayemi, Professor Duro Oni, JP Clark & wife Ebun Clark, Former Minister of Power, Works and Housing- Babatunde Raji Fashola, Former Minister of Transportation- Rotimi Amaechi, CEO Terra Kulture- Bolanle Austen-Peters, Traditional Noblewoman- Erelu Dosumu, Co-Founder Sahara Group- Tonye Cole, and Founder Fight Against Desert Encroachment – Dr. Newton Jibunoh and many more.