Words, Rhymes and Rhythm, WRR, has on Saturday held its 5th edition of the annual Feast of Words (FOW) literary event, hosting writers and literary enthusiasts from different states of the country in Ado Awaye town in Oyo State.
The event, which took place beside the Ado Awaye Suspended Lake, marked a significant time in the history of the event. Unlike previous editions hosted in the University of Ibadan, the event (for the first time) was hosted at a tourist centre.
Leading the occasion as the special guest of honour, foremost literary icon and art promoter, Sir Eriata Oribabhor, welcomed delegates to the year’s hosting, describing the nature of the event as a novel idea.
According to literary figure, the essence of the natural setting was to inspire writers and serve as a means of recreation as the year winds to an end.
“I am particularly excited to be amidst my people again. I remember how we started some years back. Today, we give thanks to God for how far we have come as a group of writers promoting art across the nation. “We are making history with this hosting. I must acknowledge that this is a novel idea and a good way for writers to commingle and unwind."
While hinting on the itinerary of the event, Eriata further expressed hope that the Ado Awaye experience would long be remembered.
“With the string of programmes and relaxing interludes the organising team has for participants this year, I am hopeful that everyone will have a beautiful memory of today.”
Writers went hiking
Following the welcome address by the special guest of honour, a head count was conducted as participants filled up to climb the popular Ado Awaye Mountain.
The exercise, however, exhausting, was fun-filled and instrumental to how writers from different backgrounds and states easily formed bond as they assisted another through the path leading to the zenith of the mountain.
Half an hour climbing and resting to catch breath
After about 20 minutes into the exercise, participants reached the summit to relax by the rocky shore of the Ado Awaye Suspended Lake -traditionally called Iyake.
On the Spot Poetry Writing Contest
The convener of the initiative, Kukogho Samson, addressed participants and revealed that the team would be awarding 5 winners who were creative enough to compose a short poem to mirror the experience and thoughts of visiting the Ado Awaye community.
The award-winning author and convener disclosed that the contest shall be adjudged by Sir Eriata Oribhabor and that a writing time limit of 7 minutes shall be allotted for the contest.
The winners were later awarded in the evening during the closing session after participants had descended the mountain for a refreshing segment.
Pictures by the Iyake lake
Writers and other guests seized the opportunity of visiting to take pictures and selfies with other participants. The tour guide, a Prince of the town shared stories and educated participants on this history of the land Ado Awaye, the mountain and the lake.
A touch on historical facts and the Elephant Tree
The tour guide further revealed that the lake, aside from being a site of attraction for tourists, also serves as a source of water for people residing around the mountain.
He led the congregation to the place of the Elephant Tree, just another 3 minute distance from the lake.
Although, the object appeared to be a fallen tree, an image of an elephant can be observed at a glance. It had along trunk, side eyes with an obvious shape of an elephant head.
Return to the lake
The tour guide led reluctant participants who were already in awe back to the shore of Iyake. Before leaving, however, participants took turns posing for photographs with the elephant tree as the troop dispersed to re-converge by the lake.
Brigitte Poirson Winners, NSPP, and Albert Jungers Laureate
The convener once again reminded participants of the organisation’s mission and vision. He noted that towards the realisation of the aforementioned ambition, a notable number of passionate kind-hearted personalities have been supportive. Among these people included the chairman of the occasion, Sir Eriata Oribhabor, art promoter Brigitte Poirson and the Late Albert Jungers who the world lost recently.
Samson presented certificates to monthly winners of the Brigitte Poirson Poetry Prize and soon moved to invite Sir Eriata Oribhabor to announce the 2019 winner of Albert Jungers Prize.
Lagos-based writer, Emmanuel Faith emerged as the award winner of the highly caveated prize. He was praised for his highly dedicated spirit in writing and how consistent he had been through out the year. Emmanuel was awarded a cash prize and celebrated amongst other monthly winners of the Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest winners.
Amala and poetry performance
Since an FOW event would not be complete without public performances by poets and spoken words artists, an open “mat” traditional setting was staged to appreciate emerging writers and performance artists.
With hot Amala in the background, participants laughed, cheered and clapped as the session geared.
On the Spot Poetry Writing Contest
Winners for the contest were announced and a prize money and book gifts were given out to encourage winners.
Poet in Nigeria secretary, Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom, following the session appreciated participants for making it down to Ado Awaye, sharing poetry collection of the latest NSPP publication (Micah) as part of support from the organisation to the WRR family.
The event, according to participants, was worth the energy, time and cost invested into it seeing the light of day.
If you missed the Ado Awaye hosting, you can only look forward to #FOW2020. If you were at Ado Awaye, share your thoughts via the comment session.