Monday, 28 April 2014

Students artworks at LBHF 2014 focus on ‘Rule of Law and Law of Impunity’


The artworks students from different schools in Lagos showcased at the just concluded Lagos Black Heritage Festival 2014, proved that there is hope for Nigeria as a nation as the children unravelled the implications of disobedience to law and order in the society and also proffered solution to them.
The third edition of The Vision of the Child, held at Kongi’s Harvest Art Gallery, Freedom Park, Lagos, in which school children were involved in painting contest on Law of impunity indeed wowed guests who wondered in amazement on the artworks as well as the students’ interpretations of their works.
Some of them created a work of where: Rule of Law prevailed over vices,
 uniformed men extorting money from motorists were caught and severely dealt with, Nigerians held hands together, united and obeyed the constitution and a driverwas punished for disobeying traffic law, among others.
12- year-old girl, Miss Eze Uchenna, a Junior Secondary School (JSS2) student of Lagos State Model College, Badagry, describes her work: “My artwork represents Rule of Law and Law of Impunity”. Things are not working the way it should in Nigeria, the constitution, which supposed to stand is fallen because the masses are not obeying the law, some judges are not following the constitution; insecurity and corruption are the order of the day. Some of the books standing above the constitution include: injustice, drug trafficking, corruption, hopelessness, bribery, insecurity, child abuse and so on,” Uchenna explained.

She blamed the leadership of the country and the masses for not recognising and obeying the law and order and also proffered solution to the situation: “I want both the rich and the poor, the government and the governed and the judiciary to adhere strictly to the Rule of Law to make Nigeria a better place.” She described impunity as a situation where someone goes against the law and is not punished.
Eze, whose parents are into business (buying and selling), also hinted that she would study Law in the University to correct issues in Nigeria to make the country greater and better.
Another student who described her work as Law of Impunity is Adetujoye Oyinkansade, 11, a JSS2 student of Reagan Memorial Baptist Girls’ Secondary School, Sabo, Yaba. “My painting is divided into two – One group is breaking the law by participating in oil bunkering and the other is that uniformed men such as the police and others don’t have any right to apply corporal punishment on the masses,” she explained.
 According to her, she used her work to ensure that nobody goes contrary to the Rule of Law. She also mentioned students cheating during examinations as part of the group of people guilty of the Rule of Law and advised Nigerians to be law abiding, adding that no one is supposed to disobey the law.
Similarly, 10-year-old Mesack Uzoukwu noticed there is a line demarcating the rich and the poor in Nigeria and decided to erase it. “I felt that it is wrong for the poor to live in the slum while the rich live separately, so my drawing tries to destroy any demarcation separating the rich from the poor,” said Uzoukwu.
Though schooling in a school for the well-to-do, the primary five pupil of Chrisland School, VGC, Lagos, suggested the gap between the rich and the poor be closed. He adds: “Government should donate money to upgrade the area inhabited by the low income earners so that their standards of living will improve.” He revealed that he would study engineering to help build beautiful houses for the poor.
After going round to appreciate the paintings done by the students and listening to them interpreting their works, the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Governmental Relations, Oladisun Holloway, described the works as “quite impressive”.
“I have been most impressed by what I’ve seen today. When Professor Wole Soyinka told us the theme of the festival, some of us were a bit sceptical about the ability of the children to interpret it. We thought it was a difficult theme but you can see what the children have done and I am most impressed. Each one of them, have taken their time to express what they see in our society. They are looking at us, the grownups and this is what they see as us. It’s a bit depressing but that’s reality,” the commissioner said.

Through My Eyes competition: British Council announces winning entries

The British Council has announced the winning entries of the “Through My Eyes” competition, following an online exhibition that provided an opportunity for young people in Nigeria to stimulate debate in their communities through creative writing and photography.
Daily Newswatch gathered that in September 2013, teams of Nigerian photographers and writers between the ages of 18 and 35 were invited to submit short stories and pictures that explore their surroundings. Applicants were challenged to produce work that investigated their local communities combining story telling with photography to examine public spaces, inspirational figures and Nigerian identity.
They stated that: “12 teams, comprising a photographer and a writer were shortlisted from over a hundred submissions and were invited to a 5-day workshop in Lagos facilitated by British photographer Sue Parkman and author Richard T Kelly. Sue and Richard worked with the participants to hone their craft with the hope that the 12 photo essays and stories that have been produced will stimulate debate both locally and in Nigeria as a whole.
“All entries were judged by an online public voting audience and a panel of judges comprising Project Manager, British Council Nigeria, Fusi Olateru-Olagbegi, Literature Adviser, British Council Sophie Wardell, Richard T Kelly and Sue Parkhill.
Hajia’s Bad Day has been selected as the official winning entry of the competition by the panel of judges with writer, Onyinye Muomah and photographer, Aisha Augie-Kutahave received a prize of £2,000 to further develop their project.
Commenting on the result, Richard T Kelly said, “Choosing one winning entry from the group of bold, sharp-eyed young talents was a challenge. But we were looking for a good collaboration between writer and photographer that said something truthful about Nigeria today. ‘Hajia’s Bad Day’ was a worthy winner.
Corroborating with Kelly, Sue Parkhill adds, “Judging a winner was a very close run thing and finding that combination of great writing and great pictures meant much debate.  It was sometimes the case that great pictures were let down a little by the writing and vice versa.  Our winner was strong in both areas and seemed to have a fresh vision of Nigeria.”
According to Onyinye and Aisha, “We are both strong believers in women empowerment and child education because we believe that a nation/society that focuses on these issues is better for it. In real life, women like the fictional Hajiya Kareemah, sadly, often do not get the encouragement they need to pursue their dreams and instead are forced to conform to some role created for them by society; a role based on some archaic traditional/religious view which more often than not constrain them to becoming dependent on rather than contributors to their society’.
The organsiers revealed that Coming of Age by writer, Roli Afinotan and photographer, Onafuwa Damilola Michael was the most popular with the online voter’s with1229 votes. “Roli and Onafuwa will each receive a signed copy of Richard T Kelly’s book The Possessions of Doctor Forrest and a print by Sue Parkhill.”

Lateef Ibirogba’s “Giants of History” unveils Africa's giants

L-R: Book Presenter/Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lagos State, Lateef Ibirogba; Speaker, Governor Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola; Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola; Commissioner for Information, Oyo State, Prince Gbade Lana and Chairman of the event/Chairman, MTN, Chief Pascal Dozie, at the public presentation of a book title: GIANTS OF HISTORY (The Making of our World), at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos…yesterday. Photo: Padonu Segun

Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, presented his book to the public at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Titled: “Giants of History –The Making of Our World,” it is a non-fiction book for readers, writers, journalists, students, and other research or history-oriented readers. Published by Sage Publishers in Lagos, it features a profile of 150 “giants” so-called because of their role in shaping the world mostly for the better, and being pioneers that left the world way different than they met it.
Daily Newswatch gathered that a few of the giants profiled are Aristotle, Plato, Marie Curie, The Wright Brothers, Steve Jobs, Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Nelson Mandela, Babatunde Jose, Madam Tinubu, Johannes Gutenburg, Usman Danfodio, Deborah Sampson, Mary Seacole, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, among many other known and unknown innovative figures of history.
The Lagos State Governor and the Guest of Honour of the event, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), hinted that there is a leadership vacuum in the country.
Fashola also added that, “At the heart of this book presentation lies the leadership question in this country. We must know where we came from to look whether the pain is severe. If you think there is leadership question, yes.”
Citing Aregbesola’s comment on leadership, Fashola noted that, “We wear the shoes whether as governors or not.”
He thanked Ibirogba for taking time to write the book and adds, “I don’t know how he found time because I am busy with a couple of publication. I have challenged all the people in the government that they must enrich the public with their public lives. In a sense, I have stirred the hornet’s nest. Lateef has joined the club of prolific writers. By the time you finished reading his work, you will be inspired to do something about the situation you don’t like. I told my team that this is the right time to be a leader. Lead, we must whether it is a good time or not.”
In his keynote address, Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, began his speech by saying that people should stop calling those in authority “Your Excellency,” and noted that it is only in Nigeria that people attach importance to that title.
He jokingly said that his own heroes were not identified in the book, adding that “probably, when I sponsor my own book like this, my own heroes would be unveiled.”
Identifying the qualities of a giant, he stressed that “great people do not tell the tale of their greatness” and further said that people who turned out to be great may not necessarily set out to be great. Very often, they are people who see challenges in life and rise up to it.”
He quoted many quotes by William Shakespeare, Martin Luther King Jnr and Charles de Gaulle, who states that, “Nothing great will be achieved without great men.”
The Osun State helmsman also cited Albert Einstein as one of the great men who failed several times before they became successful and recommended the book to the youths because he said it would influence their lives.
The author, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba urged everyone to think and create something like the late Obafemi Awolowo did.
 “I have always loved knowing who made what, who said what, and who first discovered what. I love reading about great people, and learning how they were able to achieve what they did. What motivated them, what kept them going against all odds as well as what made them see light at the end of each tunnel. It was one of those curious moments that I was inspired to write a book about men and women who have made remarkable contributions to the emergence of the interesting world we now live in, to provide an easy reference for anyone with a similar curious spirit,” he said.
Special guests at the book presentation among others were: Chairman MTN Nigeria Communications Limited and former Chairman Diamond Bank plc, Mr. Paschal Dozie, Prof Ralph Akinfeleye of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, Managing Director of Sun Newspapers and president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Femi Adeshina and the acting National Legal Adviser of All Progressive Congress (APC) and former Honourable Commissioner for Environment of Lagos State Muiz Banire Ph.D.