Saturday, 27 October 2012
- Water-tight security in Kano •7 churches, 8 shops razed - Police
- Terror suspect nabbed with N3m •As army uncovers bomb factory
- 2012, deadliest year for journalists - UN
- Court adjourns on missing N12.4bn oil windfall
- Why we cleared Molete under-bridge - Oyo govt
- Court jails courier over $286,400 cash
- Court rejects fridge repairer’s plea to keep Ibori’s bribe money
- Oyo to involve artisans in N.5bn schools rehabilitation contracts
- All set for LG poll today in Benue
- Mrs Braithwaite buried amid encomiums
- Forget presidency, Jonathan’s aide tells ex-military rulers
- FG sends delegation to Onaiyekan’s consecration, Suntai
SEYI GESINDE writes on the achievement of a United Kingdom-based Nigerian writer, Antoinette-Rita Opeyemi, who recently launched her new book in UK.
AUnited Kingdom-based Nigerian writer, Antoinette-Rita Opeyemi , has launched her new book entitled: The Blue Ocean: Peace, Power, Prosperity in the United Kingdom.
The 21-year-old author, Opeyemi, who developed a passion for writing at the age of six when she received her first certificate for her creative writing in primary school, said she was able to realise on time that writing was an essential part of her life.
After this self discovery, six years later, precisely at the age of 12, Opeyemi received an invitation from the International Society of Poets for a convention and poetry competition held in Florida, United States and she won a Young Poet Award.
Narrating her experience to E2E, Antoinette-Rita, made it known that while growing up, she gained most of her inspiration from her mother who supported her passion.
She, however, said that the fact that her father’s presence in her development wasn’t there, gave her more inspiration to follow her dream regardless of the circumstances and challenges she faced when pursuing her career in creative writing.
Her belief is that even as a resident in a foreign land, the colour of her skin cannot deter her from realising her dream. “You can’t use the colour of your skin as an excuse anymore,” Opeyemi said.
In 2008 at age 17, Opeyemi published a book: Purple and Blue – Inspiration Poems. She premised this achievement on the fact that “it is not the age, but the dedication and passion of the individual that allows them to pursue their dream.”
Being a dogged young lady, Opeyemi was able to get the attention of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who wrote the foreword of her second poetry publication, Blue Ocean, which was officially launched in London, on Monday, October 17, 2011.
Consequent upon this breakthrough in her writing career, that same year, she received the Achievement through the Arts Award, presented to her by the Spirit of London Awards, as a mark of recognition for her “phenomenal and talented work.”
Opeyemi is consistent in her writing profession. And to further establish this, just exactly a year after the launch of Blue Ocean, on Monday, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, unveiled Opeyemi’s new book, The Blue Ocean: Peace, Power, Prosperity, in London.
At the event, Obasanjo, who lauded Opeyemi’s achievement and consistency, charged Nigerians living abroad to adopt a more constructive attitude toward the unity, peace and development of Nigeria.
He condemned self-loathing attitude of some Nigerians, especially those living abroad, making reference to a song: Nigeria Jaga-Jaga and Yama-Yama, written by a Nigerian artiste.
“For me, Nigeria is not Yama-Yama; for me, Nigeria is not Jaga-Jaga. If you say your country is Jaga-Jaga and Yama-Yama; then how do you expect others to see it?
“I normally say to Nigerians abroad who will say: ‘well, we will come home when you fix the roads,’ well, you will never come.
“The truth is that we will never fix all the roads we need to fix today in Nigeria, like UK, America and others in your life time. If all you are waiting for is Nigeria to
be fixed, then you are finished because we want you to be a contributor to fixing Nigeria,” NAN quoted Obasanjo as saying.
At the event, Obasanjo praised Opeyemi and lauded her outstanding qualities, describing her as an achiever and exemplary Nigerian.
He thanked her for contributing to Nigeria’s progress by positively projecting the image of the country abroad.
“We must encourage our achievers and appreciate them; I believe for appreciating Opeyemi, we are also encouraging others to strive hard to achieve,” Obasanjo said.
Also at the event, the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK and the Court of St. James, Dr Dalhatu Tafida, commended Opeyemi for her “determination, devotion and discipline.”
He described her as a role model and urged Nigerian youths in the UK to emulate her distinctive qualities.
“They must stay focused on their studies and explore the immense opportunities in the UK which would enable them to realise their full potential,” Tafida said.
Making reference to Opeyemi’s achievement, Tafida called on Nigerian parents, especially those in the UK to rise up to the challenges of bringing up their children.
Refering to the parents, he said: “They must seek to uphold the positive aspects of life in this country without jettisoning Nigeria’s rich traditions and culture, including respect for the family, authority and the fear of God.”
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