In a country where the arts and creativity is given the back seat in most secondary schools, Whitesands School, Lekki is making a different statement. The school unveiled the second edition of its literary/art Publication titled The sail on Monday. The Sail received entries in Fiction, poetry, visual arts and essay writing from students of the school.
Editor of the Publication, Mr Kola Tubosun said “All the entries were judged blind -that is, without the names of the entrants written on them. This helped assure that the ratings given by the judges are without prejudice, and arrived at, solely on the strength of the work. For this reason, all the winners, runners-up and mentioned writers should be very proud of their achievements.”
Whitesands did not stop there, but went on to send the entries to award winning writers; Rotimi Babatunde and Nigerian poet, Dami Ajayi, who assessed and commended the works by the students.
Rotimi Babatunde, winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing 2012, said “The stories submitted for fiction, and for the publication in The Sail should be commended for their diversity in matters of theme and style. Ranging from the contemporary to the historical, from the realistic to the fantastic, from pieces sufficed with social commitment to rollicking adventure yarns, the stories in The Sail provides us with striking glimpses of what the literary voices of the future are already capable of in the present.’’
For Author of Clinical Blues, Dami Ajayi, “The ease with which poetry is styled on the page might be one of its allure…the quality for this year’s The sail competition is impressive and the selection process was not an easy one, requiring reading, re-reading and reflecting.”
The winning entry was a visual art piece, titled Shattered, by SS3 student Oselumense Osagie Ebadan which was used as the cover of the publication. Anthony Ifechukwude Azekwoh won the fiction and poetry categories with his Beginnings and The Art of Why respectively, while Deforestation by Jesse Chiwenkene was announced winner of the essay category.
Proud Principal of the school, Mr Lorenzo Manuel David said the school was committed to developing students in all aspects of life, from sciences to sports, arts and creativity. He went on to tell journalists that three of Whitesands students got full scholarships to study in US universities. On the publication of The sail, he said “We have nursed this initiative for a while now. Our aim was to encourage the creative ability of our student, while we immortalise their works. It is the first in Nigeria and we have received commendations from observers and institutions from all over the world.”
The Presentation of The Sail was attended by students, teachers and parents of the school including journalists. The Sail is a welcome and commendable development by Whitesands, which every secondary school n the country should be encouraged to adopt.