Prize distributed: Nigerians Saving Nigerians poetry competition winners announced

Nigerians Saving Nigerians, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for democratic ideals in Nigeria is humbled to announce the result of the poetry competition announced on its website on the 29th of September, 2012 in commemoration of its one year anniversary.

James Onyelucheya
Third position: James Onyelucheya, Abia state, Nigeria

Prize: Ten dollars and an autographed copy of the book: “Everything the Light Touches”; a poetry collection by Seun Badejo, Director, Nigerians Saving Nigerians

WATCH MY BACK By James Onyelucheya, Abia state, Nigeria

I heard your cry in the wilderness, the cry of hunger, shelter and security. The sun is too scotchy and the ground too rocky. You shouted, who will save me from this dilemma and I came to your rescue. Because of you I have tilled the ground and cultivated. My hands are soily so that your mouth can be oily. In the past they believed in crude oil but now we believe in palm oil. Come my father’s son let’s join hands together and put food on our mother’s table. But instead, you see me as a jew, and you as gentile, and because of that you have taken me as an enemy and I call you a killer. But let’s not forget that we are from the same mother, sucked the same breast and bearing the same surname but we fight like two giant walls seperated by tower of Babel. My mother’s son! Watch my back, so I can watch your own back and together we can save each other and restore the glory of our fatherland.

Autobiography of James Onyelucheya

My names is James Onyelucheya but popularly known as Jamo-D, the second in a family of five and hail from Isuikwuato L.G.A in Abia State. In 1999, I saw my elder brother win an International Poetry Competition which geared up in me the passion to learn how to write good poems. I told myself, if my brother can write a poem which could win an international competition, I as well can write, that was how I began to write and my first published poem was the poem I wrote for Guardian Newspaper on Nigeria’s Independence day celebration some years ago.

Nigerians Saving Nigerians interview with James Onyelucheya

Nigerians Saving Nigerians: How did you feel when you were told you are the third prize winner of the “Nigerians Saving Nigerians” poetry contest?

James Onyelucheya: I was elated when I heard that I was among the winners because I was actually expecting a good news from the Nigerians Saving Nigerians Poetry competition.

Nigerians Saving Nigerians: How do you define poetry as means of self expression?

James Onyelucheya: Poetry to me is an imaginative creation of experiences expressed through meaning, sound and rhythmic language-choices so as to evoke an emotional response.

Nigerians Saving Nigerians: How best do you think individuals can contribute to National development?

James Onyelucheya: It is by looking inward, discovering your potentials and using them for the benefit of mankind, by this I think one will be contributing in his or her own little way for national development.

Nigerians Saving Nigerians: In your opinion do you think Nigeria needs more books or more jobs?

James Onyelucheya: I think what Nigeria needs is to strike a balance between books and jobs.

Nigerians Saving Nigerians: With what we see and hear every day, most people remain pessimistic about the future of Nigeria, what inspires you to keep on believing in the new Nigeria dream?

James Onyelucheya: God and Agriculture are the two major things that inspires me to keep believing in the new Nigerian dream.

Chinyere Rosita Ndukwe
Second position: Chinyere Rosita Ndukwe, Voice of Nigeria, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria

Prize: Twenty dollars and an autographed copy of the book: “Everything the Light Touches”; a poetry collection by Seun Badejo, Director, Nigerians Saving Nigerians

This Nation Will Survive By Chinyere Rosita Ndukwe, Voice of Nigeria, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria

If those who started in manners dishonourable.
With shaken history and background
Children n’ women running berserk
At crimes feel day
A regular feature this is
A recurrent decimal it was
Where turbulence reigned supreme
In those days
If those whose heritages were crooked
Whose ancestors saw no beam of light
Struggling many days for their time of light
Seeing nowhere to call their own
If those who saw countless perils on end
Living every hour at their lives wits- end
With nations no one could call their own
If those who never saw a beautiful serene society
Whose love for rancor motivated
The very many sorrows
Of the world’s troubled spots
If and only if,
Quaked economies could survive
In climes red hot with climate un-tamed
Nations so awash with volcanic eruptions constant tsunamis, tornadoes
Nations with Corrupt-ridden government
Who sold their nations for a pound of flesh
Could wangle their ways into
The rough ways of ‘DEVELOPMENT’
If only others could thread the esteemed part of stardom
To climb the ladder of
Recognition.
If these ones who lacked
what would have been required.
Could but make it
at the end of the day.
Then THIS nation
So loved by the Almighty
Cherished by Him
Bestowed with rich human and
Endowed with Mineral resources
With brains un-equaled
Having comfortable climate
Will make it
YES
There is therefore no limit
To the height which we can attain
As we find our feet in the sands of time

Autobiography of Chinyere Rosita Ndukwe

Chinyere Rosita Ndukwe hails from Ogboko in Ideato Area council of Imo state. She is a graduate of Dramatic Arts from University of Nigeria, Nsukka where she made the best result in her 1992 set. In March 1995, she joined the service of Voice of Nigeria, as a programme producer II. Since absorption, Chinyere has produced many excellent programmes including editions of Theatre on The Air- the station’s drama programme which earned her the two time awards for the best radio drama producer for years 2002 and 2008 consecutively by Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME), a prestigious media organization.
In 2010, Chinyere added yet another feather to her award cap when she won the best Radio Production of the year award by Nigerian Media Merit Award (NMMA). Also in far away Britain, in November 2011, she clinched the prestigious Association for International Broadcasting (AIB)’s plaque for emerging the Third Best in Creative Radio Feature category.
She is presently an Assistant Chief Producer and her hobbies include teaching, writing, acting and watching good movies.

Nigerians Saving Nigerians interview with Chinyere Rosita Ndukwe

Nigerians Saving Nigerians: How did you feel when you were told you are the second prize winner of the “Nigerians Saving Nigerians” poetry contest?

Chinyere Rosita Ndukwe: I felt very happy

Nigerians Saving Nigerians: How do you define poetry as means of self expression?

Chinyere Rosita Ndukwe: Just like in most art forms, emotions and feelings are easily laid bare or expressed when done through poetry because of the fact that there is poetic licence. A poet can through his or her medium speak to the small and mighty without fear of being misunderstood.

Nigerians Saving Nigerians: How best do you think individuals can contribute to National development?

Chinyere Rosita Ndukwe: Through positive social behaviour, abstaining from corruption, through writing good literary pieces that direct the young against anti-social tendencies and through using their talents to make positive impacts to the economy.

Nigerians Saving Nigerians: In your opinion do you think Nigeria needs more books or more jobs?

Chinyere Rosita Ndukwe: If only people can find time to read more, Nigeria needs more books than jobs.

Nigerians Saving Nigerians: With what we see and hear every day, most people remain pessimistic about the future of Nigeria, what inspires you to keep on believing in the new Nigeria dream?

Chinyere Rosita Ndukwe: I strongly believe that where there is a will, there will always be a way. It will only take a while but success is sure for those who continue to make efforts.

Toluwani Eniola

First position: Toluwani Eniola, Lagos state, Nigeria

Prize: Thirty dollars and an autographed copy of the book: “Everything the Light Touches”; a poetry collection by Seun Badejo, Director, Nigerians Saving Nigerians

I KNOW A LAND By Toluwani Eniola, Lagos state, Nigeria

I know a land; scattered and battered
Mushroom of sleeping seeds and shrubs
Finding feet on the league of Western Irokos
Amidst baleful heats and deluge
It is the land of my birth, where the pricks of Hosannas on the crest
Hurt the heavens and brew local alcoholic tears
I know a land mazed in the yore,
of the burly junta and the sweetness of war
Punching hopes to a comma.
I know a land that forgets the beautiful ashes of war
The poultry palace that incubates new dreams,
Dreams nodding to clack and clap.
I know a land hosting the University of Questions
We ask who will wash our linen?
Who will send rain to revive the dying lilies on the plains?
I know a land going green now
Springing up from the refuse of hope
Flexing muscles to the air
I know a new land embracing new breeds of peace and shield
And Heads with no personal gait,
Who will stomp and run
The back of their feet hitting the back of their swinging heads
They must arise from the Savannah and the Sahara
They must shame the blames of the furious past.
I know a land that will take shape with hands.
Hands of war, hands of slavery and hands of anger;
Glossy hands, coarse hands, black hands and moist hands;
Hands of the beggars, hands of farmers, hands of the rich upper class;
Hands working day and night fashioning the futures
Hot exhibits, glistening from the forge.

Autobiography of Toluwani Eniola

Toluwani Eniola is a young Nigerian journalist, poet and aspiring
novelist. He started writing in his teens. He has practiced journalism
with Nigeria’s newspaper – The Nation and worked with other news
agencies as online editor and curator. He obtained a BA (Hons)
degree in English and Literary Studies from the University of
Ado-Ekiti (UNAD) and just completed an MA degree in English Literature
at the University of Lagos (UNILAG). He loves travelling, reading and
writing.

Nigerians Saving Nigerians interview with Toluwani Eniola

Nigerians Saving Nigerians: How did you feel when you were told you are the first prize winner of the “Nigerians Saving Nigerians” poetry contest?

Toluwani Eniola: I was actually on the road when the call came in from Mr. Omololu Omotosho. I was ruminating over a challenge which I wasn’t really happy about. The thought died when I got the news. A wave of excitement hit me when Mr. Omololu briefly introduced himself and told me I was the first prize winner. I was, in a way, shocked because I didn’t know that my poem had been shortlisted on the NSN website. I mumbled ‘thank you’ repeatedly on the phone and quickly visited the homepage to see my poem and others. Winning the first prize is significant in my writing career because this is my first poetry competition. Although I
have unpublished poems, I am happy one of them yielded fruit of recognition. I feel immensely grateful for the opportunity to showcase my talent on a subject that I am very keen about-a better Nigeria.

Nigerians Saving Nigerians: How do you define poetry as means of self expression?

Toluwani Eniola: Poetry to me is emotion, thought dressed in words. It can be used to
impress, express, remind, advocate or promote consciousness. It can be used to stir a process, to suppress a trend and to give imagination, life.

Nigerians Saving Nigerians: How best do you think individuals can contribute to National development?

Toluwani Eniola: An individual can contribute to national development in so many ways. One, the individual must be conscious of his civil rights, responsibilities and limitations. Most importantly, he must seek to promote good leadership. By voting right and other civic engagements, he alongside others, helps to establish good leadership or remove bad one. This in turn improves the social welfare of the people and leads
to national development.

Nigerians Saving Nigerians: In your opinion do you think Nigeria needs more books or more jobs?

Toluwani Eniola: If Nigeria could use fifty percent of the information and wisdom available in books, the story of the nation would drastically change. Much as we need more knowledge, we also have to utilize the available ones we have got from books. Let the writers continue to write. But also, let us apply the feasible knowledge and wisdom we have gotten
from books. A major problem in Nigeria -poverty- is partly tied to unemployment or joblessness. Personally, I am not impressed by Nigeria’s rising unemployment because the knowledge available to turn situation around is not applied. Nigerian universities are churning out graduates who are left roaming the streets for unavailable jobs. To make it worse, the victims solely attribute their woes to the government. Now, the solution to unemployment is in two ways: the individual and the government. If the government is not fulfilling its
responsibility, the individual should take personal action within the ambit of the law to fend for himself or herself. One can be a successful entrepreneur by establishing his means of living on his potentials and
talents. So for now, more jobs.

Nigerians Saving Nigerians: With what we see and hear every day, most people remain pessimistic about the future of Nigeria, what inspires you to keep on believing in the new Nigeria dream?

Toluwani Eniola: This is a very interesting question because I have argued with family
and friends over the future of Nigeria. My argument that a new Nigeria is possible has been defeated by copious evidence that seem to show that we are doomed. Many have lost hope totally and to compound it, we are not patient for solution. This is not the best of times for the country, with rising socio-political problems that seem to defy solutions. However, over times, I have come to understand that the future of the country is not totally bleak as it is painted. What inspires me is the understanding that development is a process and retrogression is a process. Today we can attribute Nigeria’s woes to military rule, corruption, mismanagement of resources and bad leadership. But the truth remains that WE are all responsible for these in a way and we should learn to take action by learning from history. When there is a cycle of bad leadership, we should ask
ourselves who voted those leaders in? My inspiration comes from the fact that the Western nations we look up to as models have had their tough times too before they arrived where they are. Another consolation I have is that these Western nations thrive despite the multiplicity of ethnic groups there. In Nigeria, we have no excuse not
to get better. Peace is possible. What we need to get right is good leadership. When I say good leadership, I mean the servant-leadership, not leadership seen as an opportunity to enrich oneself at the expense of the masses. I am also one of those that believe in bloodless revolution. We have recorded so many deaths and many die daily out of avoidable problems in Nigeria. If death of Nigerians is the solution to Nigeria’s woes, I once said that Nigeria would have been more developed than Heaven. Revolution can be bloodless. When our politicians come around again to promise paradise in a day, you don’t cheer such promise. You instantly know such politician is a liar. As a Christian, I believe there is a hope for a tree cut down. There are opportunities for a better Nigeria that must be explored.

One Response to “Prize distributed: Nigerians Saving Nigerians poetry competition winners announced”

  1. jane says:

    when you posted top 12,you instructed readers to comment so as to enable your judgements;apparently,that wasn’t used at all.+ you never reached me on my mail,even to notify me as top12.
    Kudos to the winners anyway

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Nigerians Saving Nigerians is registered as a nonprofit corporation with the Secretary of State of Texas, U.S.A. Nigerians Saving Nigerians is a nontribalistic and nonprofit organization, founded on the 27th of September, 2011. The purpose of Nigerians Saving Nigerians is to strengthen civic duties among Nigerians in order to foster peace and prosperity. The purpose of the Nigerians Saving Nigerians website is to provide a platform where Nigerians can organize peacefully in order to strengthen the development of Nigeria.

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