By Mercy Hill
Fides Communications, on September 21, organized a writing contest for young writers at its premises in Nodu, Okpuno, Awka South LGA of Anambra State. The contest was the first in the series of such contests to be organized by the communications' outfit, reports Mercy Hill.
The Young Writers' Contest, FYWC, which had its theme as ''Renaissance'', was a brainchild of young Amarachi Florence Okpunobi, a columnist with Fides Newspaper, who authors the popular “Young People's Corner, Insight with Amarachi Okpunobi”, and has maintained her zest in reaching out to young minds positively.
The event, took place in Obiefuna Auditorium, and featured a seminar\workshop which was aimed at reconnecting and awakening the minds of young people through literary works and also, uniting young people in Anambra State and beyond to bring back the reading and writing culture, as well as boosting their media creativity.
Speaking during the event, the Director of Fides Communications, Rev. Fr. Martin Anusi, appreciated all present, including the organizing team, for the achievement in gathering students from various schools in the State and beyond, to create and express their thoughts and ideas through writing.
The Fides Director, also commended the efforts and enthusiasm of the students and schools in conveying themselves from various distances to the contest venue, even as he expressed interest in ideals that would help to foster the talents and gifts of young people.
He urged them to continue in their quest to achieve and propagate knowledge and hard work.
In a paper presentation on Creative Writing, a Filmmaker/poet, Miss Chioma Ngaikedi, explained that creative writing went beyond writing down thoughts or ideas, but entailed intricacies and guidelines that aided writers to drive home their points.
She went further to expose the students to the nuances of Creative Writing, its genres, as well as pros and cons. This was even as she encouraged them to express their thoughts more through their writings, rather than their speeches.
For his part, the Editor-in-Chief, of Fides newspaper, Hon. Jude Atupulazi, engaged the participants on an interactive session, discussing with them the role of journalists in society, even as he described journalists as agents of societal change.
He urged aspiring journalists to read widely, be bold and courageous, as well as being responsible, as, according to him, the journalist had enormous powers that could make or mar society.
Speaker after speaker, including a former Commissioner for Education in Anambra State, Prof. Leonard N. Muoghalu, who is also the Vice-Chairman of Fides Board, commended the organizing team for providing the platform for students in the State, and enjoined the participants to replicate this in their various schools to bring back the reading and writing culture which, he observed, was going into extinction.
Speaking to Fides, the Initiator and Coordinator, Miss Amarachi Okpunobi, said that FYWC 1.0, was the maiden edition which began with the entries of the participants from July 1 – August 12, 2018 and had a total number of 77 entries. Thirty (30) students from different schools within and outside the State were shortlisted from the entries for the workshop/Seminar of the final stage of the contest - which engaged them for the final round of essay/poem to authenticate the originality of their entries.
She disclosed that the award for the best students would be conveyed to their various schools, while the winners would be announced during the schools' morning assembly.
Thirty students participated in the workshop. They came from twelve schools, namely, Holy Child Secondary School, Isuofia; St. John of God Secondary School, Awka; St. Anthony’s Catholic Comprehensive Institute, Agulu; Austica Memorial Grammar School, Nanka; Holy Spirit Secondary School, Ebenebe; Unizik High School, Awka. Others are: Federal Science and Technical College Awka; Community Secondary School, Obeledu; Lorreto Special Science School, Adazi-Nnukwu; Bubendorff Memorial Grammar School, Adazi-Nnukwu; Mercy Seminary, Bende, Abia State; and St Patrick's High School, Awka.
Some of the participants who spoke to Fides after the contest were Ifeoma Akagbue from Lorretto Special Science School, Adazi-Nnukwu, and Errhokhon George Omozuabha from Bubendorff Memorial Grammar School, Adazi-Nnukwu. They expressed joy as they explained that the contest had increased their knowledge in media and creative writing, describing the contest as unique, compared to others they had attended.
In her vote of thanks, the event's Coordinator, Miss Okpunobi, expressed her appreciation to the speakers and participants and to all who worked to see to the success of the event. She said the main aim of the event was to rekindle the attitude of writing amongst young ones in order to produce future giants in the literary field, in the molds of Chinua Anchebe, Chimamanda Adichie and others. She recounted most of her efforts towards inspiring young people's creative minds, nurturing the younger generation into having a voice in the society through the stories they tell, via the “Young People's Corner, Insight with Amarachi Okpunobi” a column in Fides Newspaper that has continuously showcased young people and their talents in various aspects of life.