By Hamza Ibrahim Chinade.
The Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) in collaboration with the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Kano state chapter has organized a one day capacity building workshop for sixteen senior secondary schools in Kano state. CITAD has facilitated the establishment of Peace Clubs in many secondary schools in especially northern states in order to foster campaign for peace, tolerance and unity as well as counter Hate Speech and violence, at tertiary level, Students for Peace have also been established in various universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and so forth.
Stating the objectives of the workshop, Executive Director of the organization, Dr. Yunusa Zakari Ya’u said it is obvious that there is a decline in reading culture which then results in decline in creativity and creative writing, and creative writing is one way we can develop our societies. “Therefore, we organized the workshop to revive the culture of creative writing in the students so that they can be more productive to their societies and country at large as well as encourage them to come up or create and spread messages that will counter the growing culture of hate speech, disunity and intolerance.”
The first presenter, Dr. Ismail Bala of the department of English, Bayero University Kano interactively and practically took the participating students into the world of poetry with background and exercises on poetry. Entitled “Introduction to Poetry”, Ismail’s somewhat long but interesting presentation guided the students on what poetry is, how it originated and how they can become poets and impact positively on their societies.
The next presentation was facilitated by Mubarak Ibrahim on “How to Write a Poem”, after gradually explaining the steps for writing a poem and the logic for developing it, Mubarak engaged the participants into exercise sessions where many students developed amazing peace poems making the workshop much livelier. Teachers who brought the students to the event also took interest in the theme of the workshop “Creative Writing” which makes them actively participated in group exercises.
The third and last presentations, “Tools for Writing Poetry” and “Introduction to Short Fiction”
were respectively facilitated by the Vice Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Khalid Imam who equally treated the two concepts with elucidation and inspiration for the students. He took time to thoroughly paint a picture on fiction and non-fiction writing, short fiction as well as tools needed for writing poetry. The presenter became highly impressed with the students performance that he had to give two students two copies of his book “A Wise Whisper” on poetry.
Schools that participated at the one day capacity building workshop on creative writing included: GGSS Shekara, GGASS Tahir, GGSS Hausawa, GGSS Fatima Muhammad, GGAC Goron Dutse, GGC Kano (WTC), GSS Kofar Nasarawa, GSS Sabuwar Kofa, GSS Sharada, GSC Sabuwar Kofa, GSS Sharada, GSC Airport Road, GSS Ado Gwaram, GGSS Dakata, SAS Kano and GSS Dala.
Giving a vote of thanks, Senior Programme Officer, Peace and Conflict, Isah Garba thanked the Association of Nigerian Authors for their efforts in making the workshop a success, the teachers for accompanying the students and encouraging them on paying attention to learn, he advised the students to practice what they learned a lot in order to be useful to their schools, communities and nation at large, Isah Garba also urged them to utilize creative writing to campaign for peace and counter Hate Speech.