By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Several Nigerian poets were rewarded for their creativity at the Korea- Nigeria Poetry Feast in Abuja to mark the 100th anniversary of the Korean Independence Movement.
Over N500,000 prize money was shared among the poets in the three categories of the competition, including the Adult, Schools and the Ambassador’s Prize.
The entry of Shamarang Silas from Kaduna State, titled “Blessings” was adjudged the overall best in the Adult Category.
Silas, a film maker and a social development initiative volunteer, won N100,000 to edge Madu Chisom King David‘s “Naked Reflection” and “Perfect Sermon” entered by RCN Anyanwu.
Ayojah Theatre Group presented a short drama on the Korean Independence movement with the key character being a young woman, Yu Gwan Sun, who was arrested while leading a demonstration against Japanese oppressive rule.
Yu kept shouting “Long Live Independent Korea” even in detention. She eventually died in prison from injuries caused by the torture.
The Korean Cultural Centre, Abuja organised the play and photo exhibition, to help put in perspective the entire timeline and stories of the March 1st movement.
In his remarks, the Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Lee In Tae, said the anniversary marked the 100 years since the March 1 Independence Movement, when Koreans rose up in unity against the colonial Japanese government’s oppression.
Lee, whose speech was read by Kim Do Hwan, Deputy Head of Korean Mission in Nigeria, said that the rallies on March 1, 1919 across the country by Korean leaders, students and ordinary people against Japanese cruelty, were peaceful and effectively demonstrated Korean people’s noble will for independence.
The ambassador stressed that the movement provided crucial momentum for Korea’s independence to be achieved in 1945, including the establishment of the Provisional Government of Korea (PGK) in Shanghai, China in April 11, 1919.
“The Korean People will always remember the noble sacrifice of our parents’ generation who ardently wished free, peaceful and independent nation and courageously raised their voice and stood up against any unjust suppression,” Lee said.