Ogun Poetry Festival: Next Edition Will Be Bigger, Convener Vows

The Convener of Ogun Poetry Festival School Competition, Miss. Calista Omotade Adebayo has vowed that the next edition of the event will be bigger than this year’s by inviting more Schools accross Ogun State because the competition will not be limited to schools within Abeokuta alone in the subsequent ones.

Adebayo made this vow on Friday while addressing newsmen at Ogun Poetry Festival School Competition held at St. Bernadette School, Ibara, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. She stressed that the foundation would make more improvement on its shortcomings for this year’s edition against next year’s.

Adebayo highlighted the aims and objectives of the event and the intended outcomes of the event.She expressed her pleasure on the outcome of the first edition, adding that the foundation did not intend to limit the programme to competitions alone.

“It is always easy to make mistake at the first edition because you do not know how well to start. Things that we have observed we didn’t do right during this edition will be worked on and improved at the subsequent editions. This year, we could only focus on schools in Abeokuta, based on our budget, but hopefully next year; we will be able to expand and invite more schools across Ogun State to have bigger events and bigger audience.

“We are poetry foundation aimed at encouraging the youths to become better writers, readers, speakers and listeners. We are not just focusing on the youth alone, we are targeting the young generation; even secondary school as well because we believe readers are leaders. We are teaching and encouraging people from now, so that they will become notable people that they are aspiring to be in the future,” she said.

“I’m delighted for the results we are getting from this event because we started gradually. It is a journey of couple of years and this is First Edition. It has been a dream from long time and we are glad for its actualisation today and the number of schools that turned out. Though, it is supposed to be a yearly event, we are looking forward to hosting a Poetry Festival in Ogun State by December where people from all spheres in the State will come for Poetry and Music, so it is not limited to competition alone. The competition is targeted to encourage students to start writing and reading,” adebayo added.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the day, Dr. Chris Omotosho enjoined the participants to see themselves as winners and they should not allow anything to discourage or distract them in whatever they do.In his address, the former chairman of Association of Nigeria Author (ANA) in Ogun State and publisher of Prestige Newspaper, Dada Olanipekun commended the organisers and urged them to improve more in the subsequent editions and make amends where they have made mistakes in today’s event. He supported the organisers with three of his works to present to participants with highest points.

The Queen of Olowu of Owu, Olori Aminat Adeleye Matemilola expressed her joy on the event, adding that the organizers should do more, so that the event would be bigger and try to showcase the African culture in the subsequent competitions. She also pledged to be part of next year’s organising committee of the event.

In the Written category of the competition, Bamilora Darasimi of Sacred Heart Catholic College came 1st, Position while Rachel of Apostolic Faith Secondary School came 2nd and Ajiboye Atinuke of Taidob College came 3rd.

In the spoken word (Junior Category), Heritage Omodunbi of Foursquare International Secondary School came 1st, while Damilola of Emmanuel College came 2nd and Sodipe Folarin of De-Best International College came 3rd.In the spoken word (Senior Category), Ashimi Amira of Taidob College came 1st, while Falade Rachel of Apostolic Faith Secondary School came 2nd and Shittu Susannah of Foursquare International Secondary School came 3rd.

In attendance were Mrs. Oluwayemisi Shofoluwe, panel of Judges, members of the foundation and others.