Mawuli Senior High School has won the ‘Ehalakasa poetry slam competition’ held in Ho in the Volta Region to mark this year’s World Poetry Day.
OLA and Mawuko Girls’ Senior High Schools had second and third positions, while Taviefe Senior High School and Sokode Senior High Technical School placed fourth and fifth respectively.
The competition was organised by the Ghana Library Authority (GLA) in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Ghana and Ehalakasa Community.
It was dubbed; “Ehalakasa Senior High School Poetry Slam Competition” and aimed to whip up the interest of poetry in the students and also serve as avenues to revive and sustain poetry in the Region.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) adopted March 21, as World Poetry Day to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and engender languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.
Mr Prosper Pi- Bansah, Ho Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), speaking at the event said, poetry was one of the major ways of preserving and passing on the nation’s cultural heritage to the next generation.
He said it was therefore imperative for the country’s poets to endeavour to familiarise themselves with the various rich cultural values of the land to enable them pass on the correct heritage without distortions.
The MCE said most indigenous languages were gradually becoming unpopular, requiring urgent action to address the problem, urging the country’s poets to craft their art works in the local languages.
He said the younger generation would be motivated to speak the local languages, when the country’s poets continued to use them in their work, and this would also help control the situation.
Mr Pi-Bansah said poetry was a lucrative business that one could consider and venture into to earn a living, adding “it is for this reason the Creative Arts Council has been established to support in that regard.”
Mr Yibor Kojo Yibor, Co-founder of the Ehalakasa Community, speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after the event, commended the students for distinguishing themselves excellently.
He said the brilliant and excellent creative skills exhibited by the students were indicative of a brighter future for the country’s younger generation in the area of oratory.
The programme was touching, inspiring and encouraging, he said, urging stakeholders in the educational sector and other sectors in the Region to develop ways to ensure its continuity.
“We have presented this to the Region and we hope the Region will pick it up and sustain it… but when they need us to come again, we are available, we will come,” he added.
The Co-founder said poetry was making a great impact across the globe, shaping lives and bringing positive transformation, calling on all to embrace it and give it the needed attention it deserved.
Madam Meli Mansu, Head of Library and Information Service at Geothe-Institut Ghana, told GNA the younger generation had a lot of potential, which had to be properly nurtured to help enhance the growth of the nation.
Geothe-Institut Ghana is interested in literature and the literary world, she said, and therefore working to promote the habit of reading and literature in the African system.
She called on relevant stakeholders to support the GLA in its quest to cultivate the habit of reading in children to enable them excel to become responsible future leaders of the country.
Some participating students told GNA the programme gave them a good feeling and had motivated them to learn and build on their vocabulary and were thankful to the organisers.
Miss Mawufemor Nyave, a student of Mawuli Senior High School, appealed for the programme to be held annually, saying it would help them nurture and develop their potentials.
Prior to the competition, a poetry workshop was organised for the participating schools aimed at building their capacity and equipping them with some poetic skills.