By Ogar Monday
It was a fun filled evening for lovers of poetry as eleven contestants slugged it out at the inaugural edition of the Calabar Poetry Slam, with Gabriel Nkanu going home with the top prize.
While declaring the occasion open, the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. John Gaul Lebo said he was happy that young persons have taken the initiative to do something worthwhile, and in the long run better their course in life.
The Speaker who was represented by his Special Adviser, Emmanuel Etim said that poetry speaks to the body in a way no other genre of literature does.
The Speaker went on to urge the participants not to play with poetry because it has a lot of opportunities maintaining that as a legislature they will continue to make laws that will make the environment conducive for poetry to thrive.
Also speaking, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Students Affairs and Youth Mobilization, Michael Abuo, said that writers, particularly poets should get involved in activities and decision making around them, as they have the eyes and ability to paint the society in words people can relate to.
Speaking on the side lines of the event, one of the organizers of Calabar Poetry Slam, Chris Sam said the event was organized having in mind the damage contemporary music has done to the youths.
He stated that sagging of trousers and smoking has become representation of music, and it is now necessary to use poetry to combat the damage done by music as the former is intellectual in all its forms.
At the end of the breath taking word play, spoken words and poem presentations by the eleven contestants, Gabriel Nkanu came first, Ugochukwu Anyanwu came second and Chimezie Ibe came third.
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