By Chukwuma Ajakah
The French School, Lycee Franca’s Louis Pasteur, LFLP, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria, on Friday, June 25, 2021 presented the first edition of the school’s poetic magazine titled “Anthology of Poetry” and subtitled in French, “Anthologie des poemes’. The event, held at the Main Hall of the school, featured a public recitation of selected poems from the anthology by individual authors comprising primary pupils of LFLP and selected schools in Lagos.
The magazine was compiled and edited by Mrs Ejiro Itua in collaboration with teachers of the French International School and contribution from other pupils such as pupils of Playpen Nursery and Primary School.
Displaying their creative ingenuity and linguistic skills in individual and group presentations, the young poets thrilled the audience as they maneuvered through the lines of the poems.
Speaking at the occasion, the Headmistress, Mme Anne-Laure Leon, said she felt proud watching the brilliant performances of the pupils whose ages range from 5 to 11 as they recited their own poems. She said many of the learners joined the school when they were only three years old and some of the older ones had no knowledge of French when they were admitted.
“We intend to take the project to another level in the next edition of the magazine. By then, each writer must have remarkably improved,” said Mme Anne-Loure, whose poem, “La vie est un train…” was recited by Imam Abimbola and was presented with an award of recognition for her contributions to the actualization of the project and development of the school.
The young poets whose works appeared in the anthology include: Shophie Okeke, Hugo Omoluabi, Keenan Hajjar, Shiloh Ogunwa, Abiola Odedeyi AJ, Youssef Kacha, Odum Jasmine and Kadami Ayam. The 60- page novel magazine is ornamented with pictorial illustrations, depicting the subject matter and central message of the poems.
Acknowledging the contributions of others to the success of the seminal work, the project initiator, Mrs Ejiro Itua, observed: “From the poems put together so far in this book, we have got poetry talents waiting for opportunities and platforms to exhibit them. We therefore must be grateful to all those who have made this possible by providing this desired platform to enable our children to express themselves.”
Events featured include group recitation, featuring the various classes – CE1, CE2, CM1 and CM2 pupils, as well as spoken-word rendition of some dramatic poems contained in the anthology.
Founded in 1958, LFLP has come a long way in providing French education and nurturing young minds from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. According to Mrs Ella Ononiwu, Communications Manager, LFLP, all the pupils speak French although they come from different countries – over 30 nationalities.
Asked how the school accomplishes the seemingly herculean task, she said it is “The power of learning together. The pupils, and even the staff members come from different language backgrounds, but being in a French-speaking community makes learning easy. When everyone around you speaks a particular language, the desire to communicate will be so strong that you learn the language in no time.”