Commendations are beginning to pour in for Nigerian Breweries Plc for sponsoring the fourth edition of the Lagos International Poetry Festival (LIPFEST), which attracted Nigerian and foreign poets, writers and artists from 15 countries across the world.
The commendation was showered on the foremost brewing company at the LIPFEST Wide Awake Concert where renowned poets showcased their talents on contemporary issues and moral values at the Muson Centre on Saturday, November 3, 2018.
Niyi Osundare, Professor of English at the University of New Orleans, United States, expressed his delight for the sponsorship of LIPFEST by Nigerian Breweries, stating that it has helped to nurture poetic talent in young Nigerians and stimulate interest in others.
He said that through the sponsorship, the company has paved the way for poets to express their views on social and political issues affecting the citizenry and has drawn concerns on the moral and ethical values that should be upheld.
According to Prof. Osundare, the art of poetry helps to change human perception on social ills plaguing the society and how corrective measures could be adopted.
Julian Heun, a poet from Berlin, Germany, who felt honoured to be at LIPFEST, affirmed that a gathering of poets demonstrated that Nigeria has lots of intellectual potential that could compete with others in the world. He said every poetic performance or expression inspires people to do things better and provokes societal interest.
Heun applauded Nigerian Breweries for promoting talent and for bringing poets together through LIPFEST.
Graciano Enwerem, a poet from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said poets from Nigeria often travel to other parts of the world, telling the African stories outside of the continent, but that LIPFEST has turned the situation around by bringing foreigners to participate in Nigeria and share the African experience.
Logan February, also a Nigerian poet, who performed the poem, I Want to be a Butterfly, said his message is about strengthening the minds of those that are depressed, and that they could get away from it like a butterfly that flies from one place to another.
“LIPFEST is a place where you come in contact with poets with great ideas and also broaden your mind. I commend Nigerian Breweries for the great ideas behind sponsoring an intellectual initiative like this,” he said.
In his remark, the Founder/Director, Lagos International Poetry Festival, Mr Efe Paul Azino explained that LIPFEST, with the theme Wide Awake, has attracted 40 guests which consist of writers, poets and artists from across the world, to share ideas and connect people to humanity.
He said writers have the ability to influence society, by showing a better way of living and also inspiring young ones interested in the art.
“The most important thing about people who want to be poets is to see writers they see and admire, especially at the global level. In the past four years, LIPFEST has had 24 workshops and over 250 guests that have amazed the audiences through poetry,” Azino recalled.
During the opening ceremony, the Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Jordi Borrut Bel said the sponsorship of LIPFEST since its inception in 2015 is in line with the company’s philosophy of “Winning with Nigeria.”
“Through this, we believe we can help to contribute to the breeding of young, emerging talent, engender conversations on critical issues and create a shared performance space for poets across the country and the world,” he said.