World Book Day: ANA President Tasks Students on Creative Writing

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Funmi Ogundare

The President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Mr. Denja Abdullahi, has called on students to cultivate the habit of writing creatively, which he said is intertwined with character formation.

Abdullahi, who made this known recently at a programme organised by Flipbook to commemorate the World Book and Copyright Day, said creativity is paramount in all people do if they are able to observe their environment well. He said students should be able to read widely as this would also inform their character.

“You must think outside the box, you can’t write well if you don’t read, the more you read, the more you will begin to exploit your vocabulary.”

He said reading and listening to African traditional folk tales would also help to form their character traits to develop the power of imagination.

“Creative writing can lift your emotion and relief you of stress, it teaches you empathy and compassion. You are able to develop sincerity and truthfulness.”

The Tutor General/Permanent Secretary, Education District III, Mr. Olaniyi Gbemi, who was represented by the Director Co-curricular, Science and Technology Department, Mrs. Aderonke Odunsi, described the event as a celebration of reading, while expressing concern that public school students usually find it difficult to settle down and read.

“It has been affecting the results we have been having in WASSCE and BECE for some time, until the Lagos State government in partnership with the World Bank intervened.”

She said the day gives children the opportunity to get closer to books and read on their own, as well as get familiar with the authors of the books. “There is nothing stopping you as a child from writing your own books and develop your talents by so doing. You can do what the likes of Williams Shakespeare have done.”

The Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Consult, Mr. Cdon Adinuba, emphasised proficiency, saying, “you don’t have to be a graduate of communication, English or any related field for you to write well. You must know how to communicate and be considered diligent and efficient to be given high responsibilities.

“If you write well, you will become the conscience of the society and people will respect you. Being a writer helps you in many ways and also enhances your communication skills.”

The Executive Director of Neimeth Pharmaceuticals, Chief Chris Mmeje, commended the initiator of the programme for bringing young people together to focus their attention on the need to think. “Thinking precedes writing. You cannot write down what you have not thought of. One of the criticisms of our current educational system is that it produces schooled people who are not educated. The core of the weakness is that individuals go to school without developing the responsibility for the arduous task of thinking.”

For a successful writing, he said one must jot down the topic; spend time thinking and noting down what comes to mind on the subject or theme; rearrange the jotted ideas using coherence as a guide, then begin to write on the ideas.

“Thought comes to us in waves and scattered forms. Coherence forces us to arrange them to conform to sequence of reasoning. This step is a must for good writing.”

The initiator of Flipbook, Mrs. Belinda Nzeribe, regretted what she described as a situation where public school students cannot write well, saying that it has always been her passion to write.

“I want to see young people who can write confidently and pass WAEC. The social media has also created platforms for people to create and express themselves. You have to document your thoughts such that it could benefit the society in future.”