LASU student wins ZODML poetry challenge 2023
A 200-level English Language student of the Lagos State University (LASU), Saheed Sunday, has emerged winner of the Zaccheus Onumba Dibiaezue Memorial Library (ZODML) 2023 poetry challenge for undergraduates in the nation’s public universities.
The competition was aimed at boosting creativity among Nigerian students.
Sunday emerged winner out of the 791 students who submitted entries for the competition.
His poem titled: ‘My Mother’ was considered the best of the outstanding final five poems selected by the judges. The theme of the 2023 ZODML poetry challenge was “Motherhood.”
The entries were pruned to 10 finalists and subsequently to five, from where the winner emerged.
Chairman, ZODML, Ifeoma Esiri, told journalists that the competition was aimed at inculcating reading culture in students building on the legacy of the late Zaccheus Onumba Dibiaezue, who dropped out of primary school due to socio-economic issues but later became a graduate and lawyer through self-learning.
Esiri said: “The ZODML Poetry Challenge is part of our commitment to nurturing and inspiring such. This challenge will improve their competence and confidence. We looked at our impact and what we have been able to achieve over the years, and we said, let’s challenge the children intellectually and creatively, and settled for a poetry challenge.
“We chose poetry because we felt that Africans in general and Nigerians in particular, use language in a very rhythmic and beautiful way, which is what poetry is all about,” she said.
Chidiebere Nwuguru from Ebonyi State University emerged the first runner-up, while Lenient Amidu of Federal University, Lafia in Nasarawa State, was the second runner-up.
Ademola Jerry-Adesewo of Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) and Seyi Ojenike of Tai-Solarin University of Education, Ijebu Ode, were joint fourth place winners.
While the winner gets a cash prize of N100,000, the first and second runners-up were rewarded with N50, 000 and N25, 000 respectively. Others were compensated with N10,000 each.
The judges were drawn from renowned poets and authors, including legal luminary and respected Nigerian poet, Tade Ipadeola, an author, Aduke Gomez, and Acharaugo Ilozumba.
Esiri disclosed that since its inception in 2000, the non-governmental organisation has established 54 libraries, 34 in local government primary schools in Lagos and Anambra States, 19 in prisons across Nigeria, and one community library in Ikoyi.
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