In commemoration of the 2023 World Poetry Day (WPD), the professor of African Literature and Cultural Studies, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Professor Emmanuel Egya Sule, has said poetry is an instrument for promoting national consciousness.
Speaking during his presentation at the dialogue organised by the Splendors dawn poetry foundation and by the National Cordinator of World Poetry Movement Nigeria in Abuja, Sule said poetry is an act that embraces all aspects of life.
Also speaking at the event, Dr. Ayo Ayoola-Amale said national literature should address issues around Nigeria and promote national consciousness and assume responsibility.
“We can raise national consciousness and social awareness through literature and building our national literature,” he said.
Also, Odoh Diego Okenyodo noted that there has been a push for poetry for development and national consciousness which is quite tasking “because there are different nations in Nigeria, and the real opportunity for poetry, its brevity, its ability to squeeze into very little space compared to the novel.”
Diego also stated that the Splendors of dawn poetry foundation has been organising poetry and short-short story competitions for young social media users as a tool to create social consciousness with support from the MacArthur Foundation through the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD).
He noted that the competition has further improved the minds of young social media users in using their act as a tool for anti-corruption, accountability, and transparency.
Others who performed their poems and had a discussion includes, Dr. Peace Longdet, Mr. Bash Amuneni, Dr. Ola Ifaimehin, Mr. Michal Musialowski, and Dr. Saddiq Dzukogi, author of the award-winning collection, Your Crib, My Qibla.
The contributors concluded that poetry can be used as a pathway for national consciousness if only the poet is brave enough to use his/her art without compromising and writing poetry that can change other minds.