By Precious Oyeniyi
It was a memorable day at Federal University Oye Ekiti as Ekiti Book Club presented its first Ekiti Poetry Festival, EKPOFEST.
The event which happened to be the first poetry festival held in FUOYE was held at the new pavilion building at the Faculty of Arts on Friday, July 16, 2021.
EKPOFEST was aimed at revisiting the plains and hills of Ekiti land, culture and arts had this year edition themed “Shadows on the hill”. Performances such as poetry reading, spoken words, rhymes, music, drama, mime, chants and many other creative arts talents were unveiled in the event.
According to the coordinator of the programme, Mr Okebiorun Daniel, the Ekiti Book Club was inaugurated on May, 2021 and it is a movement and society of poets and passionate writers alike.
He stated that the objectives of the club is to change the misconception that literature and art had continued to suffer in the minds of parents and individuals in Ekiti state and that the club does not really focus on higher institutions but majorly concerned about primary and secondary schools across Ekiti state, to change the conception that venturing into Arts is a waste of time and to help the young ones imbibe and cultivate reading habits.
“To the glory of God, we’ve at least visited about three schools and orientated them on literature and arts and in these schools we have established a book club. The three schools are St. Augustine school, Oye Egbo secondary school and The Gems school, whose pupils presented a performance in the festival,” he said.
He also stated that the club is noted to be backed up by the Association of Nigeria Authors (ANA) and the Public Relations Officer of the current administration, Mr. Wole Adedoyin is the President of the club.
One of the participants in the programme, Pelumi Jegede, who is a 200 level student of the department of English and Literary studies, commented that “a lot happened. Emotions were felt. A lot were discovered and history has found its base in FUOYE. I mean, EKPOFEST is the first poetry festival in FUOYE,” she explained.
“As regards my experience as a performer, it was such a beautiful thing to have the words in my head gain expression. Nothing beats having words leave the space they’ve been occupying in one’s head, rent-free and upon leaving, having impacts on the listeners,” she asserted.
Another participant, Jacob Ebenezer, said the event happened to be fun and educative at the same time and as student of the university. He said he hoped to witness more of it.
A performer at the programme, Idasi Ruth, who is popularly known as Jojola Olodumare also commented that the festival had helped her in preparing to present her best. She said it encouraged her as she learnt a lot while rehearsing for her presentation.
The festival had in attendance, the guest speaker, Jide Badmus who is a renowned Poet in Nigeria; Dr. Harry Olunfunwa, a senior lecturer in English and Literary studies department and other lecturers of the institution.
A short drama was also presented in tribute to the late Joseph Okonofua and Kehinde Ige who died during the September 10, 2019 protest in FUOYE.