July 15, 2010

Fidelity Bank set to host Creative Writing Workshop

By Michael Eboh
As parts of activities geared towards promoting Nigeria’s literary tradition, Fidelity Bank Plc has concluded arrangements to host this year’s edition of the Fidelity International Creative Writing Workshop.

According to a statement by the bank, the workshop which is scheduled to hold July 16 to July 22, 2010, in Abuja, will feature experts from the international scene, such as US-based Nigerian novelist, Helon Habila and his colleagues, Madeleine Thien and Tsitsi Dangaremgba.The statement said that noted that Habila’s colleagues, Madeleine Thien is a frontline Canadian novelist whose works have been translated into many languages and Tsitsi Dangaremgba from Zimbabwe whose book, Nervous Condition won the Commonwealth Literary Prize in 1989.

The statement reads, “Already in its third year, the Fidelity International Creative Writing Workshop is a corporate social responsibility initiative, through which the bank seeks to return attention to Nigeria’s intangible values and preserve a literary tradition that has brought fame and goodwill to the country.

“Graduates of this revolutionary effort have made rapid progress in their writing careers in the domestic and international arenas. Tolu Ogunlesi, Uche Umez, Eghosa Imasuen, Jumoke Verissimo and Nze Sylva Ifedigbo are a few of the beneficiaries of the workshop who have moved on to higher levels of accomplishment in their chosen career.

“More importantly, Fidelity’s bold involvement in the promotion of the Nigerian letters has served as a catalyst to corporate Nigeria to invest in this important sector of our national life.

“The flury of literary groups sprouting in Lagos and Abuja may have picked courage from Fidelity’s wholesale endorsement of the literary arts. Many Nigerian companies are now looking this direction that had been hitherto neglected.

“The workshop will take place in Abuja in a bid to harness the strong literary energy that has been bustling from the nation’s capital. It is also an attempt to cast a long creative beam on Northern Nigerian writing which Zaynab Alkali and Abubakar Gimba elevated to national consciousness in the 80s.

“Over 1000 entries have been received out of which 20 people whose works show the most promise have been selected for the exercise.”

“The entries consist of mostly quality work samples of aspiring authors and are indicative of the growing interest of Nigerians in literature arising from the recent upsurge in literary activities in the country of which Fidelity Bank has served as a key catalyst.

“Since the workshop was announced in the newspapers and on the internet, it has generated excitement among Nigeria’s large tribe of writers at home and in the Diaspora who are happy that the nation’s cultural sector is finally revving up for a change that will boost the growth and appreciation of Nigerians who have proven to possess the gift of the imagination.”