Dreams came to reality when you work towards achieving them. An ancient dream I had became true when I embarked on a journey to the closing ceremony of the Jewel Writing Workshop in Gombe state.
On my arrival in the city, the environment was new after dreaming to have seen myself in the serenity of the land. I reached out for my phone to speak with one of the bards. Without hesitation, I found myself standing in front of the door to the location sent to me upon my arrival.
Opening the door was Mujahid Ameen Lilo. A masterpiece and an intellectual giant at the Literary space. We shook hands warmly smiling from ear to ear, and that was the beginning of the dream becoming reality. As expected, when you come in contact with creative minds, there are a lot to discuss and the limited time might not allow you to discuss to your satisfaction. I found Alee Maman Lawan, the author of Tears On A Red Rose, waiting for my arrival. We once had an encounter with him in Abuja in constraints of time. Here we are again in the city of dreams that flash through the invisible mirrors in the sky. We all joined the discussion with full potentials, our feelings for the moment was endless as if we should continue all day and night without stopping. Before we could notice it was already time for us to move down to the venue for the closing ceremony of the event.
On our arrival at the National Library Gombe state, the environment was cool and calm, a good learning atmosphere. I was eager to see the curator of the program, Adamu Usman Garko, the man behind our gathering in this beautiful city of Gombe. On stepping into the library complex, he appeared like a full moon with full radiation before us, welcoming our presence with warm handshake and a glooming smile. The curator is not someone new in the Literary space, but a well recognized voice that echoes the literary space. Seeing him was strange, I kept thinking is this the Garko I had been communicating with for all this while and today he is standing in our midst like a rock. I float in the cloud of surprise and happiness to witness the moment and the encounter with the bards.
He directed us to the home of great minds, the collection of great men from the past centuries and the present arranged in shelves. We searched through them to have a conversation with them before the closing ceremony commenced.
Unfortunately, we could not see a lot of those great men, it was a new environment and a lot of the books are yet to be arranged in the shelf. We silently came out with curiosity to find a garden, a garden with beautiful trees of different species sprouting out warm regards for our presence. It was a young man at his thirties, the president of Gombe Jewel wr Writers and also a mentor, Muhammad Isah Gaude Nectarine who have been nurturing young minds at the literary space just like his Galdimari garden of wonders. But I felt worried because I could not visit to see the garden. He introduced us to some of his friends, but the one in particular that stick to my memory most was a journalist, Muhammad Abdulrazaq. A man with full courage in his journalism work. He interviewed me with some good questions that are hard to answer, but hopefully I escaped his questions. He troubled us a lot with questions, but that is how it should be and expected as a journalist.
After Asr prayer, it was few minutes away for the closing program to commence. Mujahid Ameen Lilo made a call and we went out to welcome the Poet of Light, Naseeba Babale. We exchanged kind regards and moved into the venue. Soon, the event started. The keynote speaker, Dr. Y.Z Ya’u delivered his address on the theme “Digital Opportunities for Young Writers”. It was a deep speech given on how to utilize the modern technology in transforming writing and how the technology made it easy to access books and easily reach out to a lot of mentors from your fingertip.
Dr. Yunana Ahmad one of the guest speakers spoke on the topic “Creativity, a Man’s Field”. An interesting teacher with good teaching method but the time was limited.
Ahmad Musa Hussaini was given little time to speak on the topic “Self Development; a key to Unlock 21st Century’s Fortunes.” Usman Nurain Muhammad, the Northern coordinator of Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange (WSICE) delivered an encouraging speech for young writers. A memorable moment to celebrate budding writers that were mentored , nutured and welcomed to the Literary space. Most of the participants were teenagers built strong with a mind that knows how to think and know how to do it. After closing from the event, we waved goodbyes to the library and the creative minds. We caught the glimpse and beauty of the city on our way back to our accommodation. It looks like a full moon shining in the darkness.
After returning to our destination, we continued with our discussion, floating through the world of creativity. We heard a knock at the door, it was Garko himself. We shared some moments and have ourselves intact in pictures for memories and history. Encounter with the bards is like flipping through the pages of books, you discover a lot and find peace and happiness to see you in their midst. We shall remember the moment that keeps flashing timely on our vision.
Isah Aliyu Chiroma is apoet, short story writer and essayist from Bauchi State. He’s a student of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. Isah is also a member of Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation, Association of Nigerian Authors (Bauchi chapter), Bauchi Young Writers, Poetry Club UDUS and Caliphate Arts and Literary Forum.