The Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has commended the efforts of young poets in Nigeria and South Korea over the compilation of a Korea-Nigeria cross-cultural poetry anthology, titled, From Here to There.
Ayakoroma, who was fielding questions from journalists on the occasion of the 4th Korea-Nigeria Poetry Feast in Abuja, on Tuesday, 25th March, 2014, a programme organised by the Korean Cultural Centre in collaboration with Arojah Concepts to commemorate the World Poetry Day 2014, admitted that the reading culture in Nigeria is going down and is already a cause for concern, noting that it is when people read that they can improve themselves.
Expressing pleasure over the “Bring Back the Book” initiative of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Ayakoroma noted that NICO, on its part, had organized a roundtable on the Book Culture, which exposed participants to the understanding that reading is not only about writing examinations but to improve one’s self, stressing that by the time people read, they will improve their horizon and equip themselves to be able to discuss intelligently.
The ES, who maintained that the book, From Here to There, which is a mixed grill of young poets from South Korea and Nigeria, and edited by Jerry Adesewo, Kwon Yong-Ik and Denja Abdullahi, will not just be of interest to the educational system in South Korea and Nigeria, but will further sustain the cultural diplomatic ties between both countries.
His words: “The young poets from Nigeria who have works in the book will want to read what their counterparts from South Korea have done; and, of course, go on to look at other works by South Koreans. So, I think it will go a long way because I am aware that they also have a similar project as regards dance. Things like this should continue to grow by the day.”
Similarly, the Honourable Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke, in a Foreword to the book, commended the initiative of a cross-cultural compilation of a hybrid collection of poems, describing the anthology as a tool for fostering cross-cultural co-operation, international understanding and worldwide culture-centred development.
For the Ambassador of Korea to Nigeria, Jong Hyun-Choi, Korea and Nigeria are two countries with rich oral tradition and the collection of poems is an extension of the bilateral relationship and a window into the ways of lives and beliefs of the two countries.
It will be recalled that the Korea-Nigeria Poetry Feast debuted in March 2011 and since then it has been held every year while the anthology is a product of the best entries from the past three editions of the feast.