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FEAST OF WORDS 2018: THANK YOU FOR BEING THERE

It has been a couple of days since we successfully held another memorable edition of the FEAST OF WORDS, the annual Words Rhymes & Rhythm Literary Festival. I have been taking stock and can confidently say that this year’s festival, which is the 4th since we hatched the vision of bringing young Nigerian writers together under one roof in 2015, is a success.

Going by the feedback so far received, I believe I would be speaking the mind of all attendees when I say it was a worthwhile experience. As with all the previous editions, FEAST OF WORDS 2018 justified every input – material and financial, ups the stakes from the past edition and offers additional impetus for the next one.

I am left marveling at the efficient collaboration that engineered the success of the event, the massive attendance and the unmistakable camaraderie and happiness that permeated the venue – breaking gender and age barriers with ease.

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If indeed the aim of the FEAST OF WORDS was to expose, inspire, connect and reward young writers and their supporters from different parts of the country, then I can say this confidently: WE CAME, WE SAW & WE CONQUERED. Young and old, male and female, writer and reader, prose writer and poet, Muslim and Christian, students and masters… all sat together to share the gifts of words (and food).

As the chief organizer, the greatest reward for me was witnessing the moments of recognition, where people matched faces to names they’ve long associated with on social media. It was beautiful to witness and it is beautiful to remember even as I type this. It was simply beautiful and I feel privileged to be a part of it.

Forever indelible in my heart’s archives are bits and pieces of the insightful discussions, exhilarating spoken word performances, enthralling reading, wonderful musical renditions, delicious snacks, sumptuous amala (which was so delicious, they finished it before I could taste it), loud laughter and banter, interesting books, awards excitement, flashing cameras smiling faces and lively bodies that the event was all about.

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE 342 OFFICIAL PHOTOS

It is important to state that, for the first time ever, the FEAST was held at a venue not paid for, all thanks to the principal of the International School, Ibadan (ISI) The International School, Ibadan, Mrs. Phebean O. Olowe, who not only leased her institution’s facilities to us for free, but also supported the festival with some bottled water and munchies. Of course, this was facilitated by Mr. FOC Ikwumesibe, who was deservedly awarded the 2018 Words Rhymes & Rhythm Publishers NIGERIAN TEACHERS AWARD (WRR-NTA) on the night.

Again, for the first time, we awarded Recognition awards to some deserving Nigerians who have actively been involved in promoting Nigerian literature. These people, who are all imminently deserving, are: Sir Eriata Oribhabor and his organisation, the POETS IN NIGERIA INITIATIVE; Ms Teresa Oyibo Ameh of AUNTY TALATU READS; Brigitte Poirson, ardent promoter of African writing and sponsor of the annual BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST anthology, Dr Raphael James of the CENTER FOR RESEARCH, INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND MEDIA DEVELOPMENT (CRIMD), Oyindamola Shoola of The SPRINNG LITERARY MOVEMENT; and Enigmatic Olumide Bisiriyu of EGC MEDIA.

Other award winners of the day were Aire Joshua Omotayo who won the Albert Jungers Poetry Prize (AJPP) 2018, awarded to the best poem from the combined top 10 entries of the monthly Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest (BPPC), from February to September 2018 and all the monthly finalist of the BPPC.

This is a collective success and I thank everyone who was a part of it in any way.

When we started planning this year’s FEAST, I thought we would have hitches, because we started late and we chose a date that was fast approaching. But the team, headed by WRR CEO Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom, did a great job of getting everything on track. Special thanks go to Ladi Adofikwu, our indefatigable EmCee Oyindamola Bliss Akinyemi, Makinde Damilola Peter, Lawal Kafayat Gold (and her helpers), Mahi Adedare. I will also like to particularly appreciate those who helped in sponsoring some young writers to the event.

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE 342 OFFICIAL PHOTOS

We especially appreciate our special guests, especially Oppong Clifford Benjamin who, for the second time, came all the way from Ghana to participate in the festival. Oppong has been part of the family from the days of small beginning. Also worthy of special mention are Sir Eriata Oribabhor, Ms. Brigitte Poirson, Mr. FOC Ikwumesibe, and Ms. Teresa Oyibo Ameh who were exceptionally supportive of FEAST OF WORDS 2018.

Finally, my deepest gratitude goes to (insert your name here if you were at the Festival) who honored the invitation to be a part of this edition. There is no doubt that, no matter the budget or how well we might have planned for the event, it would have been nothing without you – the writers, artists and literary enthusiasts who made it a reality.

We did it together!

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE 342 OFFICIAL PHOTOS

May we all be there to enjoy the next (bigger and better) FEAST OF WORDS.

Shalom.


Kukogho Iruesiri Samson
WRR CEO

Author: admin

I am a member of the WRR editorial team.

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