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SQI 2017 National Independence Day Writing Competition

There is always a question on the mind of people during summer holidays. “How best can students spend their time?” SQI has however provided an answer this time. It is really exciting. We are putting students’ writing skills to work.
THEME

THE LAWS OF A NATION AS THE FOUNDATION OF HER FORTUNE
INTRODUCTION

Nations have risen and nations have fallen apart, all in accordance with how the citizens of these nations relate with the constituted laws.
As against the forthcoming 57th independence anniversary of this great nation; Nigeria; on October 1st, Speak Quill Initiative welcomes essay contributions from all young people who are not only the determining factor of Nigeria’s future but are also actors in the Nigerian project.
Secondary school students from all parts of the country are hereby invited to utilize this platform to project their opinions on how the laws of a nation can either influence its growth and development or otherwise.
GUIDELINE/MODE of OF SUBMISSION

*Write and submit an essay between 320 to 500 words on the theme. 

*The competition is open to students in JSS One(1) to SSS Two(2) in registered secondary schools across the country. 

*Entries should be forwarded to speakquillinitiative@gmail.com as attachment in *MsWord document with IDWC2017 as subject.

*Entry opens for submission from 1st of August to 15th of September.

*Entrants should include a cover page containing their name, location, mail address, class, school and telephone contact.
PRIZES

BICYCLE…1ST PRIZE

ELECTRIC FAN…2ND PRIZE

BACK PACK…3RD PRIZE

…and load of gifts to go home with.

Write and win fantastic prizes on independence day.
PS: Parents, Guardians and Teachers can help forward for maximum broadcast.

_Spoils of the War_

_spoils of the war_
*_(An epistle)_*

_Larinnaka !_ 

Come forth,that I might anoint your forehead,

With this palm wine that forsake fermentation,

When the moon walks upon the absence of the sun,

You shall see the crest of the seventh night,

Then you’d be a masquerade of your old self,

For only the brazen endure nights with two faced ancestress in _igbale_,

This is the art of war,the anatomy of valor.
_Larinnaka !_ 

Today,you’re brute but not an ogre,

He that shall learn this art must taste blood,

This blood is the sap of the ancestral tree,

Where _Akara-Ogun_ took shield by the footsteps of an enigma,

He who taste this blood becomes invincible,

For deep in the nights, _Orunmila_ will chant unto indemnified souls..

_A kii mo ori ahun ka pa ahun_

_A kii mo oriki ile,ki o gbe ni de_

_Eni fi ikarahun mu eje s’oogun aiku_

This is the art of war,the anatomy of valor.
_Larinnaka !_ 

The coast is clear,for the sun is in its ripe age

The stallions keep neighing, for souls are soon to be mislaid

I will ride on this stallion, I’d be your stallion

Ride on my very inguen,to learn this art of valor

Today,I will fight and sheathe this sword into its scabbard

Tomorrow,you’ll fight and never sheathe this sword into its scabbard..

This is the art of war,the anatomy of valor.
_Larinnaka !_

No one leaves the shrine without a vanguard,

But heed, _Obatala_

Heed _Olukoso_

Heed _Sonponna_

Heed _Esu Ebita_

Heed the sixteen _odus_ of _Ifa_ the diviner

This impending combat is a junction of blood,

For life and death exists within a thin strand,

But when this strand of hair falls into a flowing river…

Wives shall paint the bones of their husbands in black palette,

Sons shall remember their fathers in the dirge of a quill,

Mothers shall exhume rotten placentas in memories of valiant sons,

Daughters would wish their spouses were their fathers..

But this land,would only wax stronger for a selfless sacrifice,

It is martyrdom…it is a sacrifice !

This is the art of war,the anatomy of valor.
II.

I am _Larinnaka !_

I am not a coward but I would rather take shield under a bamboo leaf,

I am yet but an apprentice who knows not the face of the Grim reaper,

How do I send a soul on an errand to the Elysian fields ? 

If I do learn this art, _Alao_ who purloined my woman will be no more

Even _Tolani_ who fled from my seeds,would go on this journey

But maybe by the setting dawn,I might learn this art

To chant the enchanting chants of _Orunmila_ 

_Kijipa ee se egbe awo maalu_

_Igi ti ara Oshin fojudi lo fo leyinju otun_

_Ete ti o kan aditi Ira,o ni je o kiyesi kurukuru ojo_

This is the art of war,the anatomy of valor.
I am _Larinnaka !_

And my eyes have witnessed terror..

Terror sight of a skull inscribed upon the hills,

Eyes of an innocent lad plucked out by an ogre,

I have witnessed the slain of a merchant,

Who traipsed into the cold hands of death,

On a gory day when his feet should have ceased to walk,

His blood is the liquor for hotblooded swordsmiths,

His blood a shea butter for he who can’t afford Vaseline,

Amidst ignorant wails, came the emergence of frabjous eulogies..

This is the art of war,the anatomy of valor. 
I am _Larinnaka !_

And I have seen gory gore..

Before my blurry eyes,a maiden has won an epitaph,

Her appealing hair now scraped off,the shadow of _Ajirebi_,

Her inguen unveiled by hungry soldiers who haven’t seen their wives in seasons,

This is a story that must not be told,

But an art that must be bequeathed like _ajogunba_,

This is the art of war,the anatomy of valor.
But then.. I surged up from this mental state,

Prying through roots and stems for my father,

But all the earth could give was his amulet

And a sheathed sword in its now bloodstained scabbard,

This must be the art of war,

For no anatomy of valor proves supreme than this..

_©BALOGUN YUSUF GEMINI._

Balogun Alabi Yusuf,popularly referred as Gemini,is a novelist,playwright,poet,author and a teacher. Most of his writings are known for idiosyncrasy as he appreciate traditions and culture. His works have featured on several blogs and he’s currently a resident of Lagos,where he writes. He could be reached via +2348181400105 or yusufbalo15@gmail.com

Examination Hall by Ezeali Testimony

​Examination hall

        By Ezeali Testimony

In an examination hall

I am left alone in the wilderness

A hall where no one accompany me. 

A jungle where its path leads me to face its king.

A hall where there’s no time

to rest, except my residual knowledge

wins with absolute understanding…

Its road, so wide but passage tight

Left with me would eyes read me

Amidst success; my utmost goal.

©Ezeali Testimony (12years)

Ezeali Testimony is a young girl of twelve who is currently in Junior Secondary 3 Class in Oshboug Modern Secondary School, Ogba Lagos. Her first poem caught my attention while I was having a creative class with them and I think it worth sharing on my blog. Will like more of her works and other young writers, poets and creative mind published on my blog to improve African Re-creativity. This is my first post of this year, I think you will love it!

Not A Season of Songs by Ridwan Adelaja

this heart

tonight 

sing not of love 

for the door that 

leads inside is broken 

and the hinges in between 

growing gaps like 

rusted fetters. Don’t ask

who -my brothers broke 

it: a tale of cock-lords

in cockroach den.

*

this heart

tonight

no longer feel 

at home at home

for the suffering of my people

drum thunders to my ear.

*

I am a widow 

married once again to 

aloneness, watching the 

sweep-change-finger of 

the clock from a 

distance.

*

this blow is heavy,

this wound is 

eating in; will

time ever a-flesh 

my bone?

POET ADELAJA RIDWAN OLAYIWOLA is the founder of SPEAK QUILL INITIATIVE, a youth led organisation for peace, science and national development in the country using education as a formidable tool. As a poet, his works have been published in numerous poetry websites, book anthologies and magazines. Mr Adelaja Ridwan is a dynamic multi-talented personality. He is a versed speaker, writer (poet), journalist and social media savvy. He currently serves as social media manager for the GREENBLES NETWORK.​

STOP POINTING ACCUSING FINGERS: we all contributed to the nuisance after all. 

STOP POINTING ACCUSING FINGERS: We all contributed to the nuisance after all -Ogunleti Azeezat.

The world can only be a better place if we learn to accept one another as family and learn to fulfil our responsibilities (be it to another or to our nation) as faithful citizens. This, however, will never be possible if we fail to recognize and design measures towards safe coexistence.

It is quite unfortunate and regrettably shocking that we have gotten to a point whereby love for another no longer has a definition in our individual minds. A point where nobody truly cares about his associate, friend, colleague or fellow country man. 

Just last week, I witnessed another gory event here in Ikorodu. The sight of this scene left me wondering how we got this far in greediness and sheer wickedness. On that spot, I had to ask myself how we got this blind and what exactly is the problem?

We are a community that shifts blames. Everybody points accusing fingers. We busy ourselves seeking out whose table to land the blame of our collective sociopolitical mishaps. Yes, collective, if you ask me. We point at the government. The government points at institutions. We all forget that we make up the institutions. My dad, your dad, my uncle, your uncle all serve in these government places. And who knows, myself or yourself will be there serving someday?

In the awareness of this, I think we are only being hypocritical whenever we point those silly accusing fingers. And that the better thing to do instead is for us to start accepting those blames and finding solutions, not faults! This, for me, is the one sincere and only true way out of this mess if you ask me!

Imagine how we blame the government for all our woes yet our relationship with one another (within the masses circle) is on the other side of the fence of equality, love and justice. Patriotism, if you ask me, in this clime died a long time and the stench smell is in the air. I feel very sad about the state of our people, and I don’t seem to understand our problem. Why will a man act so unruly and wicked at the cost of others lives. This Ikorodu’s incidence brings one to tears on our collective failure in providing security and safety for another in times of serious need. It is even more sadden to note that some of us contribute to the unease in the land. Yes, we do!

A good instance is the Ikorodu fracas that I witnessed where one driver of a tricycle (keke napep) nearly lost his life at the refusal of paying a traditional 50 naira which was claimed to be a compulsory due for “agberos” on the highway. The first question is, who made this compulsory; the Constitution or the government? What sort of shameful extortion is this? And, when is this going to stop?

The poor man and his passengers nearly lost their lives. This evil genius agbero forgot that the driver is part of the masses who is going around to fend for himself. He forgot that recession is a song that everyone is currently dancing to. He forgot his responsibility of being his brother’s keeper. This time, he didn’t bother about love or kindness to others, instead, he went the other way, at the cost of irreplaceable lives. This Agbero was so mean and mad, he got hold of the steering of the cart and contested it with the driver. The light tricycle swayed, from left to right, losing control before later managing to maintain balance again.

As if that was not enough, other ‘agberos’ joined in. They got hold of the driver, dragged him out (not mind if his cart has been properly brought to halt) to deal with him mercilessly. You can imagine how heartless. Where is Love? Many thanks to the gentle man sitting next to the driver who saved the day. It could have been another story.

Flashing back at this incident, a question popped up. Of what use is the money they collect to have almost claimed lives of innocent commuters? Funny as it may, this is exactly what our big brothers in blacks (Police men) do, too. We hear of stories of whoever dares deprive them of their traditional 20 naira highway due could get shot.

This is where hypocrisy comes in, we point accusing fingers, to the government most times. We say the government is corrupt, wicked and inhuman. But how true is this? My fellow country men, maybe we need a rethink at this point. Is the governing body really responsible for all these?

From this, I draw my conclusion. We ourselves are our greatest problem! Everyone has different mindset and motives, not minding who gets hurt. This exactly is our problem and it is really sadden! We seriously need to correct this thinking.

Once again, the world can only be a better place if we learn to accept one another as family and learn to fulfil our responsibilities (be it to another or to our nation) as faithful citizens. And as a matter of fact, we need to change our thinking and become more considerate to our neighbours, co worker and associates. Only then, only then would the world be a better place.

The change definitely begins with myself and you, or, what do you think?

-Ogunleti Azeezat Aderonke,

Secretary General, TCA LAUTECH,

Youth Leader and Peace Advocate.​

+2347056660449, +2348147220614

INDEPENDENCE DAY WRITING COMPETITION 2016

Goodnews to all secondary school students. Thank God it’s Summer break. Invest big this holiday. Here is a great opportunity to get your voice registered as a young patriot of your country. You never can tell how far this will take you.

This time, Speak Quill Initiative, Nigeria is helping you join the network of other smart and vibrant young minds across the country towards sharing ideas in areas of leadership and civic responsibility while giving you a sense of patriotism. 

Your participation will also give you an opportunity of participating as a delegate and ambassador of your school in the coming Youth Leadership Summit in October to celebrate Independence. More so, your entry will be featured alongside in our coming eBook which will be made available on the internet for downloads.  

Read through for more details. 

SPEAK QUILL INITIATIVE 

Presents 

2016 Independence Day Writing Competition

FOR

Secondary School Students

Categories:

ESSAY WRITING

Write and submit an essay between 320 to 500 words with the title “THE NIGERIA OF MY DREAM” to describe the type of Nigeria you ever dream of.

LETTER WRITING

Write and submit a letter between 320 to 500 words addressed to the President of the federation availing him with the present state of the country while expressing your wishes as a young and concern Nigerian to rebuild the nation.

POETRY

Write and submit a poem not more than 40 lines on the theme NIGERIA.

GUIDELINE/MODE OF SUBMISSION:

 The competition is open to students in JSS One(1) to SSS Two(2) in registered secondary schools.

 Entries should be forwarded to speakquillinitiative@gmail.com as attachment in MsWord document with IDWC2016 as subject.

 Entry opens for submission from 15th of August.

 All entries should be sent before 20th of September, 2016 for evaluation.

 Entrants should include a cover page containing their name, location, mail address, class, school and telephone contact.

PRIZES AND REWARD:

Cash Prize, Medals, Book Prize, Certificate of participation and chances of getting published in our coming eBook collection.

Aside prizes, honorable mention and certificate for Top Ten in each writing category;

>>>the SCHOOL with the highest number of participants wins DR RAPHAEL JAMES LIBRARY PRIZE.

>>>and the GIRL with the most outstanding submission (essay, letter or poetry) wins the NANCY E. BIDDLE GIRL PRIZE.

For more enquiries:

Stephen: 08139798998(Southwest)

Asma:

08099414182 (North)

Goodnews:

08063562857 (Southsouth)

Ridwan:

07069615548 (North Central)

Write and win fantastic prizes on independence day. 

Good luck guys, looking forward to reading your wonderful entries. 

Announcer: 

Adelaja Ridwan Olayiwola_,

Director of Operations, sQi Nigeria.

_Oladehinde Olayiwola_,

Ass. Director of Operations, sQi Nigeria. 

ORCHID by Rujeko Moyo

So elegant

So fragile

So fragrant

So beautiful

She blooms in the sun

She blooms in the rain

She thrives in the open air

She thrives in walls’ confines

Abounding in summer’s warmth 

Prevailing through winter’s cold

No matter what comes her way

She re-emerges, re-blooms

Again and again and again

An orchid is who she is

2016©​
Happy Mother’s Day South African 🌞