Copyright Commission calls on corporates to support young creatives
The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has appealed to corporate organisations to support the development of young creative talents in the country.
Director General of the commission, Dr. John Asein made this plea in Abuja on Tuesday at the presentation of prizes to winners of the maiden edition of the National Creative Writing Competition for Secondary Schools.
The National Creative Writing Competition was organised by NCC as part of this year’s World Copyright Day. It featured three categories, Essay writing, Poetry and Short Stories.
Dr. Asein who said he was thrilled by the level of creativity exhibited by the children, said with the right support, the children can do wonders.
According to him, “I think we should begin to reward people that are truly engaged in intellectual exercises like this. Yes other creative sectors are wonderful, but we notice that some areas are being neglected.
“A child that is very good at poetry, should be rewarded. He doesn’t have to do the other things that people will glue their eyes to the television to watch all through the night before he can be rewarded, a child that writes well should be encouraged to write better.”
The NCC boss said Nigeria should start investing in children wherever they are and whenever their talents are being exhibited.
“Whether it is in spoken word, poetry, or whether it is in any creative writing, we should support them. If a child does not see that society is encouraging writing, he or she may begin to feel that maybe there isn’t a future in writing. So I call on the corporate world to put more of their resources in those areas that will nature and provide the manure for these talents to grow.”
He said that some of the challenges the commission encountered while organising the competition is the bureaucracy of getting to government schools, a situation which he said was unhealthy as children in public schools are being denied the opportunity of showing their talents. He called on the education authorities, especially the ministries of education both at the state and federal level to open up the space to allow the children express themselves.
He promised that NCC will publish the winning essays, poems and short stories to encourage the children. He also promised that the competition has come to stay and urged the children to continue to participate as that will help to nurture their talents.
In her keynote address, Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning on Digital Communications Strategy, Ms Aisha Augie, charged the children to join the crusade against piracy which she said is a danger to the creative industry.
Ms. Augie who spoke on the dangers of piracy on the book ecosystem, said with the advent of digital media, piracy has become an increasing problem in the book industry.
She said there are millions of unauthorized books being circulated globally. “I feel that for someone who has put in a lot of energy to put his story into writing, the least we can do as a society is to allow the person reap from it,” she said, noting that piracy has both economic and cultural implications both of which affect the society negatively.
She advised the young ones to join in the fight against piracy by refusing to buy pirated books or pirating other people’s works.
Goodwill messages were taken from the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who was represented at the occasion by a director in the Ministry, Mr. Sebogun Oluwasegun, the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN) as well as Deejay Association of Nigeria (DJAN) among others.
Miss Kamarachi Laura Ibeneme of St Augustine Secondary School New Nyanya, Nasarawa State, emerged the winner in short story writing. The second and third positions went to Miss Bello Beraccah Moralayo of St. Anthony Secondary School, Ilorin and Miss Sarah Egbung of St. Augustine Secondary School, New Nanyang, Nasarawa State, respectively.
The first prize in Poetry category went to Kelsey Kalu Chibuike of St. Augustine Secondary School, while the second and third prizes were won by Salihu Abdullah of Essence International School, Kaduna and Sa”Ada Isa Yahaya of Jewel Model School, Kubwa, Abuja respectively.
Miss Fridaous Ojulatayo Ikeoluwa of Muslim Model College, Ibadan clinched the first prize in Essay competition. She was closely followed by Egwu Favour Onyekachi of Government Secondary School, Kurudu in the second position. The third position went to Angel Myra Mbayo of Olumawu School, Abuja.
The winners were presented with HP Laptop for the first prize, Galaxy Tab for second prize and a high end mobile phone for the third prize.