Nigerian Poets took turn on various social media platforms to celebrate the World Poetry Day to add their voice to the global celebration of their creativity with different hashtags online such as #NigerianPoetry, #IamProudToBeAPoet and #WorldPoetryDay.
UNESCO declared 21 March #WorldPoetryDay in 1999, to help promote the significance of free speech and creativity through poetry.
Irina Bokova, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said “poetry contributes to the expansion of our common humanity, helping to increase its strength, solidarity and self-awareness.”
One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.
The observance of World Poetry Day is also meant to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.
Poetry is diverse from cultures across the world. Yoruba poetry include Ijala (professional song of hunters), Ekun Iyawo (The Bride’s Wailing), Ewi (Poetry), Gelede, Oriki (Eulogy), Iwi Egungun (Masquerading Songs) Rara and many more.
Happy World Poetry Day!
(c)Olutayo IRAN-TIOLA, Lagos, Nigeria