The 2011 edition of The Treasured Writers (TTW) workshop has enjoyed the support of the Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma.
Delivering the closing ceremony lecture, titled, “Our Culture and Our Heritage”, at the Video Arcade of the Maitama Amusement Park, Abuja, on Saturday, August 20, 2011, Dr. Ayakoroma advised parents to encourage their children to attend the NICO Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP), for them to speak their mother tongue and other languages as this would enhance national unity.
Admonishing them for what some see as modern way of life, the Executive Secretary said there is no substitute to one’s mother tongue, even as “some of us felt it is uncivilized to speak our indigenous languages,” and therefore encouraged the children to ask their parents to help them on how to dress Nigerian, eat Nigerian food and do everything that will promote the national identity.
Answering questions from NTA crew during the event, Ayakoroma said that The Treasured Writers’ initiative is something that is commendable, adding that, “for us to encourage children to write at this age, and it is the reason why NICO found this partnership necessary”.
Speaking further, the ES said since the “children are the link between us and the ones coming after us, as we are already on the other side, a programme like this will go a long way in re-directing our culture”.
In her remarks, ace broadcaster, Mrs. Eugenia Abu, the lead facilitator of the TTW, informed that the young writers’ summer workshop started in 2007 for children between seven to fifteen (7-15) years, and that this year’s edition has benefited immensely from NICO, especially the donation of local fabrics which the children used for designs and the institution of various cash prizes.
Apart from acquiring writing skills, the children were engaged in fashion designs, martial arts for self-defence by a taekwondo instructor. Highlights of the occasion were musical rendition, fashion parade, and award of certificates to participants.
In the Executive Secretary’s entourage were the Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Prince Bamidele Olusa, Assistant Director (Protocol), Mr. Alex Omijie, Heads of Orientation and Cultural Affairs Units, Mrs. Regina Onuoha and Mrs. Francisca Okoro, respectively, and the PA to the ES, Mr. Ebi Asene.