Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, Mrs Sally Mbanefo has said, apart from the refreshing experiences gained from embarking on tourism, it can be a source of inspiration for new ideas especially for creative minds.
The DG who spoke at the 5th edition of the Korea-Nigeria Poetry Festival at the Korean Cultural Centre Abuja to commemorate the 2015 World Poetry Day explained that it was in view of the many advantages of tourism that the corporation was encouraging Nigerians to move around and explore different parts of the country.
‘Travelling is an inspiration for poetry, literature, and creativity. This is why we are encouraging Nigerians to travel. Travelling helps artists to think properly, share experience in songs, writing, drama and other artistic expressions.
‘God has endowed humans with what we called imagination, and once you can use your imagination you can be creative and once you can be creative you can communicate.
“You can communicate beauty, sadness, love, appreciation of nature, and that is poetry,’’ she said.
“I think that the literary community, entertainment artists and all the people in the creative industry have a major role to play in turning around the state of affairs, the emotions of people. They need to make Nigerians appreciate and celebrate Nigeria, make them feel pushed to move around and explore different parts of the country. With that, domestic tourism promotion comes in.” Mbanefo noted.
According to her, “poetry and writing have the ability to change someone’s character and mindset because poetry is an avenue through which one can express himself and what he feels without any hindrance in terms of language of expression and imagination.”
She further stated that the federal government has done a lot in terms of roads construction and maintenance to open up the numerous tourist sites in the country for easy access for both local and international tourists.
The DG also revealed that the corporation has also compiled a calendar of cultural festivals around the country and also launched information help desk at airports to ensure that the would be tourist is not short of information on tourism activities.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Director Korean Cultural Centre, Mr Kwon Yong, said that he was impressed with the passion Nigerians had on culture and literature.
“I have seen many Nigerians enthusiastically participating in the monthly reading parties and other related events relating to reading and writing of poetry.
“I am confident that the country will continue to produce great writers comparable to Wole Soyinka,’’ he said.
Yong said that culture had developed invaluable heritage in different parts of the world of which literature had always been a key part in promoting mutual understanding between peoples.
He said that poetry was a window through which all humans around the world shared their aesthetic sensibility and understand each other better.
Yong said that the event orgainsed by the centre in collaboration with Arojah Concept was aimed at making great contributions to the consolidation of friendship of both countries.
“The subject of this year’s poetry contest is “Travel”. I believe that travel and poetry are closely connected in that their key value is freedom.
“The diverse travel experiences beautifully depicted in the prize-winning poems aroused a special feeling in me, urging me to forget all about daily life and to go travelling,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the Founder and artistic director, Arojah Concept, Mr Jerry Adesewo, said the desire to promote poetry moved him to partner with the centre.
“ I discover that our poets don’t have as much promotion as they should have, we celebrate poets only when they win international prizes’.
He said that the event was a platform to start promoting and identifying our poets from home.
The event featured recitation of poems from renowned and young poets including NTDC DG, whopresented a poem entitled: “Eradicating poverty’’.
High point of the event was presentation of prizes to winners

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