ABEOKUTA – It was a gathering of prolific writers, scholars and academicians on Thursday 24th October, 2019 as Dr. Chris Omotosho, a renowned theatre expert, lecturer and lovers of arts played host to lovers of poets at his 2019 edition of Chris Omotosho Poetry Festival (COPOFEST) in conjunction with Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) at Simon Adebo Library, Kuto, Abeokuta the Ogun State capital.
In his opening remarks, Dr.Chris Omotosho appreciated all the guests and important dignitaries present at the epoch making event and urged youths and lovers of literary texts to embrace the act of reading most especially educative literature texts as it would further enhance more knowledge and skills to be an excellent scholars.
On her part, the Dean of School of Languages, Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE), Omu-Ijebu, Dr. Toyin Makinde stated that Poetry is an antidote towards depression, suicide, emotional feelings and other sides of life, adding that instead of living a depressed life, one should rather switch to poetry as an option.
The Dean, who was the keynote speaker, revealed that poetry could be compared with life, as poetry is an antidote, when life is closed on something bitter, adding that life can also be used to distinguish plant and animal from inorganic matters.
“It is when you can move around that we say you have life.The difference between us is that we have life, we can move but these inorganic elements and other things cannot move because they don’t have life’, she said.
“Life is a zone of reality, life could be long like that of Methuselah, all assured as that of a stiffback, life throws us different things at different times, life could be aborted, cut short, marched or destroyed, life is full of goals and stories of all, life is good, sweet, beautiful and sometimes pleasant, quality of life is determined by God, parents, environment, culture and perhaps how much you have in your pocket” Makinde said.
The Guest Lecturer, also urged people to switch to poetry when faced with every challenges in life, stressing, “instead of snapping and snerling, just switch, instead of broiling, switch, instead of fighting, switch, instead of crying and lamenting, switch, instead of regretting, beefing and ranting, why don’t you switch?
“Why don’t you escape into a world of your own, where you will be free, liberated, unimpeded, unhampered, untouched, where you can live in your own standard unlimited by your choice of words, because you can enjoy poetic licence and can rise high. Today I advise you to switch” she added
The Chairman of the Occasion, Chief Adetunji Ogundimu in his own address, lamented the attitude of Nigerians to literature and poetry culture, saying that it really affects us a lot as a nation.
“We don’t cherish literature, talkless of poetry and I believe that those who are here are lovers of literature and also here to gain knowledge. When we write, we don’t write for this generation alone, we are writing for the future generations, also” he said.
The event also climaxed the unveiling of “Water in the Basket” a collection of poems written by Dr. Chris Omotosho, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Theater Arts, Federal College of Education, Osele, Abeokuta.
The event also featured poetry performances, music, dance and the likes.
Dignitaries at the event includes; Dr. Basil Wikina, Director of Degree Programme, FCE, Abeokuta, Dr. Toyin Makinde, Dr. Olusegun Asade, Elder Dada Olaonipekun, Mr. Kola Obadimu, Chief Adetunji Sulaman among others.