It was an exciting and thrilling atmosphere where dignitaries from all walks of life came in to witness the 100 Anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement, Exhibition and Award Ceremony of the 9th Korea-Nigeria Poetry Feast in Abuja.
The event also had in attendance top government functionaries, lovers of arts and poetry it was organised by the Korean Cultural Centre in Nigeria (KCCN) to mark the movement in 1919 when Korean people rose up in unity against the colonist Japanese government. A drama presentation titled Yu Gwan-sun by Arojah theatre portrays the era of struggles for independence from the Japanese stronghold and how they were maltreated by their soldiers.
The emotionally crafted stage play opened cans of worms on the struggles the people of Korea had to go through for freedom. The poetry performance by the director of KCCN, Mr Lee Jin Sun, also epitomises lots of events. Yenu Adebeye and Sharamang also came out to refer theirs respectively.
According to reports,the competition was segmented into two categories namely Adult and School category. The adult category saw a total of 51 entries in which Silas Sharamang emerged winner with the poem `Blessings’ and got a cash prize of N100,000 only. King-David Chisom emerged first runner up with the poem `The Needed Reflection for Nigeria at 59’ and got the cash prize of N75,000 only. The second runner up position was clinched by Roseben Anyanwu with the poem titled the Perfect Ceremony’ with a cash prize of N50,000 only.
Similarly seven other poets won consolation prizes of N25,000 each. For the school category, while Emmanuel Okoro of Jawel Model School, Kubwa with the poem `Emergency’ emerged winner and got N50,000. The poem `Liberation’ by Princess Ezire of Government Secondary School, Dutse came second with a cash prize of N30,000. The third position in the school category went to Ebere Chris of Jawel Model School, Kubwa with the poem `Liberty for Cross’ and was awarded N20,000. Seven other students won consolation prizes of gift items from the KCCN. Similarly, Blessing Ojo from Jewel Model School won the special Ambassador prize. According to the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Nigeria, Mr Lee In Tae , who was represented by Head Mission in the Embassy, Mr Kim Do Hwan, urged Nigerian poets to use their craftsmanship to promote freedom, liberty and self-determination. On March 1 of 1919, Korean leaders, students and ordinary people staged a street demonstration across the country against Japanese to effectively demonstrate their noble will for independence.
However, the protest was violently suppressed by the Japanese colonist force; numerous people were arrested, detained, injured or killed. But the Korean people’s will towards an independent nation was expressed powerfully enough to spread to China, India, UK Russia, America and parts of the world. It provided momentum that led to Korea Independence in 1945. In this light, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of March 1 Movement, the theme for Korea-Nigeria Poetry Competition this year is dedicated for Independence. I wholeheartedly invite all talented Nigerian Poets who are here today to reflect and express their thoughts to the full meaning of freedom, liberty and self-determination. They should do it along with noble sacrifices our compatriots have made to entrench these values in both Korea and Nigeria.
Your fine lines reflecting the history of the Korean and Nigerian people’s struggle towards their nation’s independence will inspire many of your readers and resonate beyond the African continent, In Tae said through Mr Kim Do Hwan. The event was attended by officials from the National Council for Art and Culture, National Gallery of Arts, FCT Centre for Arts and Culture, lovers of Culture and many others.
Posted by Jeff