Adedimeji Quayyim Abdul-Hafeez
The Students’ Union, under the leadership of Mr. Okoko Wisdom Oluwaseun of the Rebranding the Value Administration, had organized a workshop for campus writers and creatives, aimed at teaching the craft of writing and rewarding award winning entries of the SU Writing Championships.
The events, which was a project of the Union’s Secretariat, ably headed by the duo of Miss. Ajede Khadijah Omobanke and Miss. Tracy Allen Ezechukwu, was held on the 15th and16th of January, 2020 on the Google Meet Platform. The workshop had established mainstream creatives, policy shapers and university administrators in attendance to grace the occasion.
Olakunle Ologunro, who is a Fiction Editor at Kreative Diadem and a staff writer for Zikoko, facilitated the story writing session and enlightened creatives on the significance of crafting and drafting effective proses to creative brilliant narratives. He explored the different narrative styles in a story and the essence of including the audience in the story telling. He enjoined that they should never sacrifice substance for style and how important for storytellers to create a connection with the readership to elicit attention and compassion.
Chukwuebuka Ibe, who is an award-winning writer, an alumnus of the Purple Hibiscus Workshop and an Editor with Brittle Paper, also facilitated the storytelling session and urged writers to allow plots to have their flow without writers interfering with the flow. He enjoined creatives to give the characters the freedom to act as the story permits and avoid the adoption of cliches popular in common parlance. He urged writers to give their best to stories, read other qualitative works and avoid forcing narratives on audiences.
The Poetry session was facilitated by O-Jeremiah Agbaakin, who is an award-winning creative and an MFA Candidate at the University of Mississippi, emphasized on the importance of unraveling and finding a voice to allow powerful, lasting and unique, allowing the creative to create lasting impressions. He told writers to stick to a style that is consistent and original, and should explore themes that would address issues that gave societal significance. He enjoined writers to find their voice, read widely and diversely and write consistently regardless of the flaws to effectively hone their craft and skills in writing poetry.
Pat Ashinze, who handled the Essay Writing Session of the Workshop, is a Content Editor, Editorial Consultant and Founder of the Oculos Literary Society. He exposed on the different forms of essays and highlights the importance of essays to contribute to issues and perspectives in the society. He stated that essays mirrors the writer’s mind and influences thoughts on issues. Essays are important, he said, as they state the truths and convictions of the writer to address issues that would clear doubts in the mind of the reader.
Lawyer Chima Osuji, former President of the Union of Campus Journalists, University of Ilorin, explored the significance of journalism to the freedom and security of collective expression. He highlighted the role of journalists in projecting the voices of the citizenry and challenges journalists face in bringing the majority’s voices to the fore. He stated that being a journalist entails being a good writer and implored the participants to dedicate their all in projecting crucial voices to creative voices.
Bolaji Abdullahi, Nigeria’s former Minister for Youth Development and astute public administrator, commended the Students Union for organizing the workshop as a platform for writers to learn more about the craft of writing. He enjoined writers to be confident of their craft and should not be afraid to adapt new styles to their writings. He urged writers to always read new qualitative works and should be confident to tell their stories in their own words.
The President of the Union, Comrade Wisdom Okoko, thanked campus creatives and facilitators for taking the time to participate in the workshop. He reinstated the goal of the SU administration in promoting creatives and students on campus to create fully empowered youths and professionals.
The General Secretary of the Students’ Union, Miss. Ajede Khadijah Omobanke, remarked that the workshop has served as a viable platform to train writers to properly channel their craft in telling proper narratives. She thanked the team for making the event a success and promised that the Secretariat would do more in fulfilling its goals of instilling value amongst students.
The Assistant General Secretary of the Union, Miss. Tracy Allen Ezechukwu, in her closing remarks thanked all the participants for their attendance and support and vowed that the Secretariat would continue to implement projects for the benefits of the populace.
For the poetry category of the SU Writing Championships, Ameen Animashaun’s “The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory”, Abdulsalam Adeiza’s “Bargain” and Akinwale Peace Adedayo’s “Naming a Grief” won the first, second and third prizes respectively while Umar Atofarati’s “Loop” and Oluyomi Banke’s “Blackness” were honourable mentions in the category.
For the fiction category, Akanbi Shedrack’s “The Rot Underneath Your Skin”, Mustapha Enesi’s “Bring It Closer and Theophilius Silas’s “Gay Grief Month” won the first, second and third prizes respectively while Ella Agbai’s “Void” and Mofe Phil Atie’s “Raindrops, Nightfall and Whatever Came After” were the category’s honourable mentions.
The events had Professor Egbewole SAN, Dr Alex Akanmu, the Sub-Dean of the Students’ Affairs Unit, Senators of the Senate Council, faculty presidents, student administrators, campus journalists and students.