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Poetry contest opens for Nigerian undergraduates

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Secretary of PIN and moderator of the poetry contest, Kolade Olarenwaju Freedom; PIN president, Mr. Eriata Oribhabor and PIN’s Publicity Secretary, Funke Awodiya at the poetry contest announcement last week… in Lagos


An innovative poetry contest has opened for Nigerian students in tertiary institutions, both at home and in the diaspora, in the third edition of Poets in Nigeria’s (PIN) Nigerian Students Poetry Prize (NSPP) 2018. The contest opened last Monday, January 15, 2018 and will run till February 28, 2018. Winning poets will receive N150,000, N100,000 and N50,000 for first, second and third prizes respectively. The 2018 edition of the prize is sponsored by Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu.

The announcement was made last week at PIN’s partner hotel, Virgin Rose Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. According to the president of PIN and poet, Mr. Eriata Oribhabor, “Poets in Nigeria was founded in January 15, 2015 in Surulere, Lagos, with the aim of promoting reading, writing and performance poetry across the country, thereby enhancing the culture of reading. A year after its establishment, NSPP was birthed on January 15, 2016, at the prestigious University of Ibadan. The second edition of NSPP was successfully hosted by University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNEC) in June 2017.”

In order to realise PIN’s objectives as encapsulated in its mission and vision statements, Oribhabor said are designed, includimng PIN Quarterly Journal, PIN Annual Food Poetry Contest, PIN Photo Contest, PIN Monthly 10-Day Poetry Challenge, Steps and Stops and Living Gist, as well as NSPP.

He also noted further that “Within two years, PIN is building on various successes, which include the declaration of October as month of Freedom and Creativity, celebrated nationwide at various PIN Connect Centres in 2017.”

While elaborating on the poetry contest, Secretary of PIN and moderator of the poetry contest, Kolade Olarenwaju Freedom, said, “Nigerian Students Poetry Prize (NSPP) is an initiative of Poets in Nigeria, designed to stimulate creativity, promote literary excellence and broaden the concept of intellectualism among Nigerian undergraduates. Since inception in 2016 at the Students’ Union Building, University of Ibadan, the prize has received over 1,000 entries from students drawn from over 100 tertiary institutions, cementing its place as the nation’s foremost poetry platform for students.

“Previous winners of the prize include Noah Oladele of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Chinelo Nwangwu of University of Ibadan and Chisom Okafor of University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2016; Bakre Fadil Adedamola of University of Ibadan, Ajah Henry Ekene of University of Benin and Bona Solomon of University of Ibadan in 2017.

Aside rewarding the top three entrants who also double as prize winners with a total cash prize of ₦300,000, the top 100 entries will be featured in a globally distributed anthology. Student poets, who wish to enter for the contest should visit https://nspp.poetsinnigeria.org.ng, buy the e-copy of PIN’s anthology of poetry and then register. Other guidelines are available at www.poetsinnigeria.org.ng.

Organisers of the students’ poetry prize also said theme for the contest is unlimited as they do not want to limit the creativity of contestants just as Nigerian students studying abroad could also enter for the prize.

On what may seem paltry prize money for the contestants compared to what contestants in other vain contests that add little value to social wellbeing receive, Oribhabor was emphatic that “money shouldn’t be the driver of creativity. We’re doing it gradually. Last year the total prize money was N200,000; now, it’s N300,000. We’re using it to attract investors and sponsors to the world of poetry and the creativity of young Nigerians.”Yusuf Balogun and Clementina Owumi performed two poems, ‘Pogrom’ and ‘Sexanity’ respectively to the rousing admiration of those in attendance.


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