The 2014 Nigerian Breweries sponsored and Farafina Trust led Creative Writing Workshop came to an end on Friday, August 22, 2014 with the Literary Evening at the Oriental Hotels, Lagos. The event witnessed an unprecedented turn out of people as observers lauded Nigerian Breweries and Chimamanda Adichie, lead facilitator at the workshop, for contributing towards the revival of reading culture in Nigeria.
Welcoming guests to the Literary Evening, Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde, MD/CEO, Nigerian Breweries Plc said it was gratifying to note that the partnership with Farafina Trust which started six years ago has succeeded in training well over a hundred budding creative writers, some of whom have gone on to publish best sellers and have also revived the reading culture among Nigerians. Mr. Vervelde said “that the workshop has helped to elevate writing among Nigerians and has also encouraged young writers to aspire for excellence in their art”. He thanked Chimamanda Adichie and Farafina Trust for the effort they put every year into the Creative Writing Workshop, something, he added, they do with passion.
On her part, Chimamanda said the workshop has helped to build a community of writers: “What this workshop has done is that it has brought so many talented people together and has helped them by giving them information, knowledge and a sense of validation which I think is very important”. Chimamanda facilitated this year’s workshop with Eghosa Imasuen, a one-time participant and author of best-selling book, ‘Fine Boys’; Kenyan writer and winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing Binyavanga Wainaina and Norwegian writer, Aslak Sire Myhre. She advised young writers to cultivate the habit of reading wildly. “A good reader makes a good writer”, she enthused.
Among dignitaries present at the event was the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Petroleum Resources, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, former Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi, TV personality and publisher, Mrs. Adesuwa Onyenokwe, among several others.
The night featured poetic presentations by popular performance poet, Efe Paul Azino and Master Obi Obasi. Iextreme Dance Productions also thrilled the audience with a scintillating dance performance. The participants were later presented with their certificates after which the audience had a conversation with Chimamanda and the other facilitators. To bring the evening to a close, ‘The Man of the Year’, Phyno came on stage to the delight of the audience as he performed many of his hit songs.
The Nigerian Breweries sponsored Creative Writers Workshop which began in 2009 is in its sixth year. The event attracts internationally established writers as facilitators to burnish the skills of selected participants. Other writers who have participated in the workshop and literary evening include Jeffery Renard Allen, Robert Spillman, Ama Ata Aidoo and Chika Ike.