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[AFRICAN POETRY] YOUNG POETS CLASHED WITH SPOKEN WORDS IN THE JUST CONCLUDED EKO POETRY GRAND SLAM 2015.

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Left: Ken Okere (chief organizer) and winner Joyce Nwanokwai from National open university.

It was an evening of inspiring spoken words and poetry feast, as 33 contestants tussled for the grand price of the Eko poetry and spoken words grand slam 2015 organised by Eko Literary Society in conjunction with Radio Nigeria, Lagos.
The contestants, who were all young students, spoke on issues that plagued the Nigeria including poverty, extortion, terrorism, corruption, lies and deceits, man’s imperfection, lust, pride, social vices among others.
After a keenly contested competition, 25-year old final year student of National Open University, Miss Joyce Nwanokwai impressed the audience enough to become the 2015 grand slammer and was given a N100,000 cheque and a trophy. While the first runner up, Omo Awe and second runner up got N30,000 and N20,000 respectively.

    According to founder Eko Literary Society who is also the Director, Radio Nigeria, Mr. Ken Ike Okere, noted that the event was part of activities to promote arts in Nigeria.
“Over the past two years, we have had numerous sessions of Metro Open Mics and book reviews including the poetry slam. These contestants do not require to pay any fee; interested poets only indicated interest through an email with a deadline and they were contacted and given the rules. Once they accepted the terms, they are taken into the game.”
He, however, noted that spoken word poetry has more youth appeal. “This event is an improvement on our last year’s event; the slam is made for people to enjoy poetry and that is why the judges are selected from the audience. We didn’t go to professors of poetry to join the slam. Slams make poetry popular and for some people here today who are hearing of poetry for the first time, when they pick up a book of poem, it becomes easy to understand and enjoy.
“Performing poetry dates back to our African roots because the root of poetry is in dance, songs, and performing poetry brings performance to life. I think the literary appreciation in Nigeria is quite high now. I organise literary events across the country and this is about my 20th in the literary field; so I know for sure that it is getting better. We see a lot of young ones coming up.”
Miss Nwanokwai who hails from Delta State said, “I have dreamt of this; this is a dream come true.”
The student of Criminology and Secretarial Studies noted that although there is no relationship between her course of study and passion, said, “This is what I love to do. I have been writing poems since I was eight but not to this extent. I write short scripts but none has been performed”.
Nwanokwai said she’d written scripts for movies and sent them out, but she didn’t get any feedback until she saw her story being played out in a movie and felt disappointed for being so cheated.
“I stopped writing scripts and I focused on poetry, because that is my life and I want to take poetry to my grave,” she noted.

Source: guardian news

Posted by: thebtandradioblog.

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