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NB commits to development of writing skills among Nigerians

JOSEPH UNDU

As the 7th edition of the Nigerian Breweries (NB) and Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop comes to a grand close last week Friday in Lagos, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of NB, Mr. Nicholas Vervelde has reiterated the company’s desire to encourage the development of literary writing skills as part of its strategic corporate initiative for talent development and youth empowerment in Nigeria.
Mr. Vervelde who stated this while delivering a welcome address at the Literary Evening  held at Oriental Hotel, Lagos  said, he has no doubt that the Creative Writing Workshop has help to fine-tune the skills of Nigerian writers as well as encourage potential writers to fulfill thir desire for self expression.
He said, “Since the Creative Writing workshop has become a major item in their corporate social responsibility calendar, it has helped to discover and nurture literary skills in Nigeria.
“I thank Nigeria’s international award winning writer and Director of Farafina Trust, Chimamanda Adichie and her Farafina Trust team for their contributions to make many writers’ dreams come true.
“As a social responsible company, NB remains committed to winning with Nigeria by championing causes that add value to the society. This is in  line with our belief that, business should operate as an integral part of the community where it exists.
“Our company has over the years partner with government, communities and various  non governmental organisations through her corporate social responsibility activities which is defined by its Brewing a Better World strategy.”
Adding that, the company has just recently executed the “Beyond the School Initiative,” a career counselling programme for senior school secondary students in Lagos and the “Martina Teacher of the Year Initiative aimed at recognising and celebrating exceptional public secondary school teachers around the country. And so many other wonderful projects executed by the company for the betterment of Nigerians.
Mr. Vervelde expressed optimism that, the presence and active participation of this year’s participants in the workshop would help to give birth to a new generation of Nigerian writers to step into the shoes of world renowned writers.
“It is our collective hope that the writers chosen for the workshop this year will have the potential to become future best sellers in literature as they make a commitment to the lessons learnt during the workshop.”
He also thank the media for their unwavering support which he said has made their mutual objective realised as the Creative Writers’ Workshop continues to attract huge interest within and outside Nigeria.
The 2015 edition of the workshop which commenced on Tuesday June 16, 2015 trained 25 aspiring writers on different perspectives to the art of storytelling.
The annual workshop took the form of a class where participants were assigned a wide range of reading exercises, as well as daily writing exercises by facilitators led by Nigeria’s celebrated international writer, Chimamanda Adichie and co-facilitated by Kenya’s Caine Prize winner Binyavanga Wainaina and Norway’s culture administrator and director of the Oslo House of Literature, Aslak Sire Myhre.
Since its inception in 2009, Nigerian Breweries has sponsored the Creative Writing Workshop in partnership with Farafina Trust. The Workshop has helped to discover and sharpen literary skills in Nigeria. It has trained over 120 creative writers and has featured several international writers.
The list of international writers include; Jeffery Allen, a Professor of English at Queens College of the City University of New York and an instructor in the Writing Program at The New School. Robert Spillman, Editor of Tin House, a ten-year-old bi-coastal (Brooklyn, New York and Portland, Oregon) literary magazine that has been honoured in Best American Stories, Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, O’Henry Prize Stories, the Pushcart Prize Anthology and numerous other anthologies. Amah Ata Aidoo, award winning Ghanaian writer, Chika Unigwe and Binyavanga Wainaina have also been part of the literary workshop since its inception.
Participants were presented with certificates of participation by the organisers while the public were given the opportunity to interact with the facilitators on issues bothering on literature in Nigeria.
Nigeria rave making musician, Kiss Daniels stole the show as he thrilled audience at the event with his recent smash hit songs.

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