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Which is better between Science and Art

Updated 1 Year ago · 3 Likes · 0 Comments

Art, Science and Technology are as important as air on earth.  I remember when we were in secondary school and we all thought only the smart ones deserve to study science courses.


Alas, we were wrong. Good music has been able to cure several mental illnesses just like medicine. Technology has reached great heights, but what's the use of a great flat screen TV without a good movie to watch alongside.


Appreciate arts, appreciate science, appreciate technology, for they all require creativity and hardwork, and our lives depend on them all. The people good at art are smart too. Not just the science and tech guys.

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Is Pantothenic Acid a Magic Cure for Acne?

In 2014 a study was published that reported success treating acne using a high dose of pantothenic acid, also known as Vitamin B5.   As you can imagine, as a Naturopathic Doctor specializing in acne I was immediately all over this study.

Could there really be a magic pill for acne?  It seemed too good to be true.  After digging into the study, trying the protocol with my patients and investigating pantothenic acid a bit more I decided to drop pantothenic acid from my acne protocol.  Here’s why.

The Study

One small study is not usually conclusive, and this holds true for the research paper published in 2014 suggesting that pantothenic acid could reduce acne lesions.  More research needs to be done – but it did spark so many questions and interesting insights!

The study was conducted with 40 patients (mostly women) over the course of 12 weeks.  Patients were given 2.2 grams of pantothenic acid daily, and at the end of 12 weeks the number of blemishes on the skin was compared with their baseline (the number of blemishes on their face at the beginning of the study).

The chart of results is shown below:

zdffd

The blue bar represents the number of acne lesions at baseline and week 12 in the patients taking a pantothenic acid supplement.  The red bar represents the number of acne lesions at baseline and week 12 in the patients taking a placebo, which means participants THINK they are taking an active medication, but they are not.

As you can see, even though there are some significant results with pantothenic acid, there is also a tremendous result with the placebo – when the study subjects just THINK that they are taking a remedy.  This is called the placebo effect, and it demonstrates that our mind is incredibly powerful – when we think we are taking a remedy we will experience healing.

My question is – even though the study claims that pantothenic acid reduces acne lesions by 67% – how much of that improvement is actually attributed to the placebo effect?

The other interesting thing about the study is that almost all the improvement in acne was seen in non-inflammatory acne, which is blackheads and small whiteheads.  

Acne that was more inflamed, red and cystic did not see the same improvement as milder acne.  This suggests that pantothenic acid is more effective against mild acne.

What is Pantothenic Acid?

Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is converted in the body to Coenzyme A (CoA).  The  functions of CoA include converting fats, proteins and carbohydrates into energy, regulating skin function and cortisol production.

These functions are especially important in acne pathogenesis because pantothenic acid can affect fat and oil production in the skin, regulate keratinocyte proliferation, and moderate our stress response – all factors in acne pathogenesis.

For years we thought that pantothenic acid was delivered to our body solely through our diet.  Many food sources contain pantothenic acid, and it is highly bioavailable and absorbable.  It is found in eggs, meat, poultry, lentils, broccoli, cabbage, potatoes, while grains, nuts, and beans – basically most of the foods that are included in a healthy diet! 

Why does pantothenic acid help some mild cases of acne?

If you eat a diet composed mainly of processed foods, you may not get the amount of pantothenic acid required to keep your body healthy.  A daily diet of processed cereals, peanut butter sandwiches, sodas and pizza is void in all nutrients (not just vitamin B5)! 

But it turns out that a pantothenic acid deficiency has less to do with diet, and more to do with the microbiome.

More recent research has revealed that B vitamins are not only acquired through our food but also produced by our microbiome.  In fact, studies are suggesting our most important source of pantothenic acid and other B vitamins is actually from our intestinal microbiome.

This means that if your gut is not healthy and balanced you could be experiencing a deficiency in pantothenic acid, regardless of how much you eat in your diet.  And this is why high-dose supplementation of pantothenic acid is able to positively affect mild acne in some people.  It is thought that a high dose is able to flood the pantothenic acid receptors temporarily to produce CoA in the body.  As discussed before, CoA helps regulate lipid metabolism, keratinocyte turnover and the stress response.

But think about it – in our diet we need approximately 5mg of pantothenic acid per day.  It takes 2.2 grams of synthetic pantothenic acid daily to trigger the response that should be happening naturally in our body.   As a Naturopathic Doctor, I want deeper healing for my patients.

Why do I not recommend high-dose pantothenic acid for acne.

1. As a Naturopathic Doctor I am always investigating the underlying cause of a condition so I can solve the problem for good. Taking high dose pantothenic acid daily does not solve the root issue.  It masks an underlying problem.  Once you stop taking the supplement, the acne will come back.

2. One of the root problems of acne is an imbalanced microbiome. This is what leads to a deficiency of endogenous pantothenic acid in the body, which can negatively affect lipid metabolism and epidermal regulation which can lead to acne.  Instead of targeting the pantothenic acid deficiency by flooding the body’s receptors with synthetic pantothenic acid, my goal is to re-regulate its natural production in the body.

3. When the microbiome is balanced, not only will the body produce adequate amounts of pantothenic acid, but many other imbalances in the body will also improve. Digestion will start to work optimally, inflammation will decline and hormones will start to naturally balance.  Supplemental pantothenic acid will not affect any of the other imbalances caused by an unhealthy microbiome.

4. Supplemental pantothenic acid only affects mild acne, and often my patient population have moderate to severe acne – which means that deeper and more complete healing is required.

5. High dose pantothenic acid works for some people, and not for others. I like to eliminate guesswork as much as possible which is why I choose not to use it in my patient protocols.

The Bottom Line

Supplemental pantothenic acid is a band-aid solution for a much more serious problem – an unbalanced microbiome.  In my practice I choose to solve the underlying issues and get rid of acne for good.

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Updated 1 Month ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

Book Title: Verdict of the Gods

Playwright: Iwu Jeff

Publisher: Transconventional Publishers

Date Published: July, 2020

ISBN: 978-978-979-443-0

Number of Pages: 84

Reviewer: Nwokeabia, Ifeanyi John.



When gods choose not to let the rain drop, the effort of a rain maker is in vain. The birds of the air always feel betrayed and confused when a thunderous fart is released in the air by an unknown spirit. The land, water and the entire space of Achara which has experienced in the past, peace and transquility, turns into a mourning zone. Night visited Achara community in a broad daylight.Iwu Jeff's play, Verdict of the Gods is an epic tragedy. It exposes a land in turmoil. But the big question is: can sins of fathers be visited on their children?

Sleep has become a stranger to the eyes of the citizens of Achara. Eze Obioha, the traditional ruler of the community is disturbed;  his emotions restless. An elder cannot fold his arms and watch a goat suffer in parturition. He seeks measures to dispel the spell wreaking havoc in his land as a leader who has the well being of the people at heart, and consequently, his family suffers the same endemic,. He's traumatised and unrelentingly quests for answers and solutions to the plight of his people.

In page 9 of the play: 

EZE OBIOHA : My daughters are down, they can no longer speak...we have followed every smell our nose can perceive, yet we have not seen any rotten thing. Where is the smell of evil coming from? Oh! My ancestors, please give us another eye, another nose, another ear and mouth. The ones we are wearing have no use ... Our gods are silent my people. I am not spared from this calamity. The spell is everywhere...

Eze Obioha being a leader who feels the pain of his people, he continually summons his cabinet members to put heads together to find lasting solutions to their problems. The cry of his people has become a thorn on his fresh and he sometimes laments to the gods questioning them on the ways his community or himself has wronged them.

In pag 77, he has this to say:

EZE OBIOHA: ...my son died two nights ago; before he died, an extra hand came out through his chest. My daughter was suddenly struck with imbecility... Who did my fathers offend?

Countless questions are asked and ountless visitations, made to the shrine of different Dibias but all efforts prove abortive. The gods remain remain 'mute' and 'tongue-tied', refusing to draw humans to the closer view of their boiling angers. Drought and famine become two beautiful maid married without a bride price, gummed like bedbugs to their land and refusing to leave. Death toll keeps multiplying on daily basis. The living prefers death as solutions are not in sight. Who will save the dying land?

Amidst the seriousness of the play, Iwu introduces two characters: Ezemma and Nwokeocha, who are members of the cabinet to ease the tension arouse by the unfolding events. These two revered men help to crack the ribs of the readers with comic banter.

In page 20;

EZEMMA: what am I saying? Wisdom! Wisdom! Igwe, I am full of...[Nwokeocha intrudes]

NWOKEOCHA [scornfully] Madman!

EZEMMA: will you shut up and listen to...

NWOKEOCHA: What wisdom can one possibly get from a lunatic? I do not blame you; a child that suckled a goat's milk will definitely act like a goat even in his old age. You need to return to your mother in her grave so you can have a taste of her breast milk.

EZEMMA: [Rises and faces Nwokeocha] How dare you call my dead mother into this? I see, you have really want to show me that you have grown enough hairs around your manhood.

ELDERS: Chai! [Elders exclaim, laughing and turning left and right] Enough!

NWOKEOCHA: [Stands up, pointing a finger at Ezemma] And you whose hairs are now overgrown into a forest, you need to be weeded...

This play is both revelational and revolutional. On the former, Iwu reveals that there's more to scapegotism as a concept. Some great African writers Wole Soyinka, Femi Osofisan and a host of others in their various plays, but Verdict of the Gods introduces a new scapegotism. However, on the latter, it demolishes the stereotype created  in most African writings, where the  God of the new religion is often given ultimate power of purifying African lands of its mess. In Verdict of the Gods, it is different as the  African gods reign supreme in sanctifying their people and their lands of sins.

The masterful ink of the playwright is laudable in his ability to select suitable words for his characters. The social standing of his characters are discernable through the quality of their language. Every scene in this play is opened with a beautiful African proverb dancing into your eyes and the use of African proverbs by the characters show the rich culture of Achara community.

The cover design of the play has great significance in the over development and arrangement of the play. Its from cover has the head of three gods joined together in a threesome unity. However, the play is not arranged in Acts and Scenes but it's divided into three - Beginning, Middle and End. The use of three gods has Biblical allusion of God the Father, Son and HolySpirit. That's, the Trinity in one God. In this play, one discovers that these Gods are one and their verdict is equally one. Despite the deviation from play's convention of Acts and Scenes, the play maintains the three unity of place, time and event which solidifies its beauty as a play. Although some might raise alarm on his use of uppercase in 'Gods' but I don't think he has committed as grammatical blunder on that. I think, it's a question of choice.


The Playwright 

Iwu Jeff ( Iwuchukwu Jephta) is an award-winning writer who has written in the three genres of literature - poetry, drama and prose. His works have gained homes in different Anthologies and online publication.

From the beginning, through the middle and to the end, the play is suspensely decorated and readers won't have any reason to drop it for a moment until one gets to the very end. Are you ready to discover the verdict of the gods for Achara people? Are you equally ready to discover how a wounded lion got its healing balm? Grab your own copy of Verdict of the Gods.

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Muoma Valentine
Updated 1 Month ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

AN UNPALATABLE PANDEMIC HITS HUMANITY 

BY MUOMA VALENTINE CHIBUEZE 

An unpalatable pandemic hits humanity,

Causing pandemonium

Ravaging nations of the world

Has succeeded in holding us apart

in the name of social distance

Isolation, quarantine, lockdown, sickness, fear, panic, hunger has become the order of the day


Those who are sick now fear going to the hospital

For fear of being suspected of COVID-19

Even those with the virus are scared of opening up

For fear of being segregated

Thereby infecting others

Increasing the spread the virus.


The pandemic has become a throb in our neck

Its tremulous beats wake trenchant

Its stings becoming catastrophic to the well-being of the nation

The number of cases keep raising daily and has become a plethora


The social media has become agents of adulterated news

Bringing forth absurd means of combating the virus

Propagating outrageous number of cases

Creating panic, fear and chaos in the land.


Observing safety tips is the only panacea to contending the virus

Anything contrary exacerbates the pandemic

Continuous public health enlightenment Should be accessible to everyone.


Corrections of fallacies on the spread of the virus 

Is our collective responsibility

Looking out for one another is imperative

With all these measures on ground

We can successfully overcome this unpalatable pandemic.


ABOUT THE POET

Muoma Valentine Chibueze is a poet, essayist and motivational speaker. He is currently a student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

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Teo Han Siang
Updated 1 Month ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

Financial reports are critical since they contain significant information about the financial health of a business. These reports allow business owners to make an informed decision as they highlight which companies’ areas offer the best return-on-investment. Unless exempted, companies in Singapore are mandated to file their financial reports or statements with ACRA. The reports must abide by the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards or SFRS that the Accounting Standards Council issued.

Other benefits of financial reporting include:

  • Enhanced debt management: Regardless of the business sector, debt can cripple the company’s development all the same. Financial reports allow companies to track their current assets divided by their current liabilities on their balance to help gauge their liquidity and handle their debts accordingly.
  • Identification of trend: Financial statements allow business owners to spot trends, both past and the present, which empower them to overcome potential weaknesses while assisting them in making improvements that will be beneficial to their business’s overall health.
  • Real-time tracking: By getting access to centralised, real-time insights, business owners would be able to make informed business decisions swiftly, hence, preventing any possible hurdles while keeping their financial fluidity all the time.
  • Liabilities management: Proper liabilities management is a vital part of the ongoing financial health of the company. Examples of integral liabilities include business loans and credit cards. The financial statements allow business owners to determine whether they need to decrease existing liabilities before making an official business loan application.

Business entities exempted from the financial report filing are as follows:

  • Partnerships, including limited partnerships
  • Sole proprietorships
  • Solvent EPCs or Exempt Private Companies. While solvent EPCs are exempted, they are encouraged to file their financial statements.
  • Dormant unlisted companies, which are dormant from their establishment’s time or since the end of the past financial year.

To ensure accurate and legally compliant financial reporting, business owners should seek assistance from reputable Singapore accounting services. When selecting accounting services in Singapore, be sure to consider factors like the agency’s credibility, reliability, industry expertise, pricing model, and extra services.

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In a bid to contribute her own tranche in the fight against coronavirus, the Society of Young Nigerian Writers which is a national umbrella of young writers in Nigeria, has unveiled a new classical anthology on COVID-19.  


This was contained in a statement signed by Izunna Okafor who is the National Coordinator and Chairman of the Writers Against COVID-19 Movement, —a broad project under which the anthology was birthed —as well as the Editor-in-Chief of the anthology.

 

According to the statement, the journey to the anthology began in April, following their announcing of a 'Call for Submissions' to that effect, in response to which over 200 writers from different countries of the world submitted 'pretty' poems and essays.


The statement reads in parts, "The fight against the novel coronavirus has become a global affray that requires the collective effort of every creature –writers inclusive –and the application of every efficacious weapon at man’s disposal– pen inclusive. This is buttressed by Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s age-long aphorism that ‘pen is mightier than sword’.


"Unarguably, this basically informed this journey to this classic anthology – the quest to employ the weapon of pen in the fight against coronavirus.


"In response to our Call for Submission which lasted for 30 days, a total of 249 beautiful poems and essays were received from writers from different countries of the world, jostling for space in the anthology. However, after a series of vetting, the editorial team found 97 entries worthy for the anthology, particularly with regard to adherence to the theme. 


"These writers, employing the tool of creativity, and toeing the path of experience and art diversity, masterfully dissect the theme, unleash their ripostes and make headway towards defeating the world’s latest enemy – coronavirus. It was the conglomeration of these ninety-six classical works of these writers that gave birth to this masterpiece – Ripostes of Locked Down Voices, which is a must-read for everyone.


"Obviously, with this publication, another feat has indeed been recorded in this global fight against the monstrous virus christened ‘COVID-19’. And this will hauntingly stand as global writers’ common ‘voice’ and ‘punch’ in this universal fight, even for generations to come. 


"My appreciation and congratulations to this troop of writers who identified with this noble cause, including those whose works could not make it to the anthology. As I always say, keep writing, for writing is part of life. 


"I must also appreciate the indefatigable National President of the Society of Young  Nigerian Writers (SYNW), and initiator of Writers Against COVID-19 Movement, Mr. Wole Adedoyin, for this wonderful initiative, which has indeed offered writers the opportunity to contribute their pencraft and creativity towards winning this battle; and also for giving us the wonderful opportunity to steer this worthy journey. 


"My appreciation also goes to my highly-talented and hardworking editorial team members – Musa Sunusi Ahmad (National PRO, SYNW, and Sec. Gen., Writers Against COVID-19 Movement ), Luqman Alawole (SYNW Coordinator, Osun State), Angelica C. Uwaezuoke (SYNW Coordinator, University of Nigeria, Nsukka),  Alabi Matthew (SYNW Coordinator, University of Lagos), and Abdulrazak Denja Balema (SYNW Coordinator, Federal University Lokoja) – and other Committee Members of the Writers Against COVID-19 Movement – Innocent David Chinaecherem (SYNW Coordinator, Federal University of Technology, Owerri), Henry Ndifreke Precious (SYNW Coordinator, University of Abuja), Sakinah Yusuf (SYNW Coordinator, Bayero University, Kano), Adebayo Iwalola (SYNW Coordinator Adekunle Ajasin University) – who all gave their best in every ramification towards the success of this project. 


"It was nice working with you bards. May your pen never run dry. Thanks also to everyone else for being part of this.

To you all, I say, let’s do it again next time."

You can (freely) download the anthology here or here .
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Posted 2 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

Posted By Izunna Okafor



"Cry Of The Forest", a popular short story by award-winnig Nigerian writer, Godwin Cornelius Udagbor, has been translated into Hindi, an Indian Language. The translation was carried out by an Indian writer, Mrs Rukiya Begum, a poet, famous for works in her country, India.


Earlier in 2018, Cry Of The Forest received powerful recommendation from two Indian Literary giants; Professor Sahjahan Ali Ahmed and Dr Rajdeep Chowdhury. Udagbor’s work has been flying since its publication in 2018.


It has been revealed that Rukiya Begum began the translation in March 2020 and finished it in June of the same year.


Information has it that a mass production of the newly translated work is in progress, following useful negotiations between the author, Godwin Udagbor, his legal team, and the translator, Mrs Rukiya Begum.


The translator has been an avid (online) admirer of "Cry Of The Forest" and its author, an admiration that eventually culminated to such an intellectual relationship. Their online discussion invariably centered on  Polygamy.



Polygamy has two faces however; and in Africa, it implies a man marrying more than one wife simultaneously. In India it is Polyandry, that is, a woman marrying more than two husbands, to contrast with the popular African notion of Polygamy.



Presumably, it was this shocking contrast that magnetized Mrs Rukiya Begum that she decided not to let it go unattended to; hence, she decided to translate, from English to Hindi, Godwin Cornelius Udagbor’s bombshell as far she is concerned.


On his part, the author, Godwin Udagbor wishes that he could speak and write Hindi to enable him know and feel the emotions of a Hindi reader who has just discovered that, on the same planet earth, lives another version of the Polygamy their tradition has always fed them with.


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Osita Eze, Youth Pastor
Posted 3 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

 

     According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, a slave is ‘a person that is controlled by another person or thing’. He does not have an independent mind-his decisions are strongly influenced by another person or thing.

     A slave to sin is a person who is controlled by the force of sin. He cannot do without committing sin. He is strongly bonded to the yoke of sin no matter how much he tries to break free from it.  

 

WHAT IS SIN?

     Sin is the transgression of the law. It is an act of disobedience to God’s established laws and commandments. Anyone who lives with the habit of breaking God’s laws is a sinner.

 

CONSEQUENCES OF BEING A SLAVE TO SIN

      There are six main consequences of being a slave to sin. They are:

1. He is an alien to God: Anyone still living in sin is a stranger in God’s house. He does not have a permanent residence in God’s kingdom. “The slave does not continue in the house (God’s family) for ever… (John 8:35a, words in bracket mine). He cannot have access to God’s kingdom riches unless he repents from sin.

 2. He is the devil’s possession: Anyone who has the devil’s property (sin) in him is automatically a toy in the hands of the devil. “He who commits sin is of the devil” (1 John 3:8a). The devil uses him to fulfil his whims and caprices.

3. His prayers are unanswered: A sinner’s prayer is an abomination before God (Isaiah 59:1-2). God doesn’t hear such prayer. The only prayer of a sinner that is acceptable to God is the prayer of genuine repentance.

4. He is a victim of God’s wrath: God’s face is against anyone who does evil (1 Peter 3:12b).  His wrath rests evidently with sinners daily (Psalm 7:11b, John 3:36b).  

5. He is spiritually separated from God: Sin separates a man from God because His eyes are too holy to behold iniquity (Isaiah 59:2). It makes a man to be far from God. It is the cry for mercy that brings him close to God.

6. He has an eternal home in hell: A sinner has a permanent home in hell, a place that burns with fire and brimstone eternally if he fails to repent from his sins (Revelation 21:8). No unrighteous person will enter into heaven, the eternal home prepared for the saints.

 

THE WAY OUT OF SLAVERY

     Living a life that is free from the bondage of sin is a choice to be made by those who are tired of being the devil’s captive. 

     The first step to living a sin-free live is to hate sin, confess your previous sins and forsake them (Proverb 28:13).

     Secondly, you must invite Jesus into your heart by faith now that He can still be found. When He comes in, He will break the yoke of sin in your life and give you the power to become God’s child (Matthew 11:28-29, John 1:12).

   Thirdly, you must make a permanent commitment to Jesus to serve Him as your Lord and Saviour all the days of your life. Living a sin-free life comes with its own special demand and package-a life of total surrender to the Lordship of Jesus now and forever.

     Lastly, learn everything you need to know about Jesus by attending a church where God’s words are taught with sincerity. Study and meditate on His actions, teachings and commandments. Ensure that you obey Him every time and everywhere. Regular obedience to God is the surest way to maintaining your liberty in Christ Jesus. Make the decision to obey Him today. Shalom.

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Posted 5 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

The Society of Young Nigerian Writers, through her newly launched 'Writers Against COVID-19' movement invites writers to submit poems and essays on COVID-19 for her upcoming COVID-19 Poetry/Essay Anthology.

The proposed anthology is in reaction to the novel COVID-19 pandemic currently 'harassing' the world; and it offers writers copious page to register their views on the pandemic, as well as contribute their pencraft towards winning the war against the virus.


In the words of the project's Coordinator, Izunna Okafor, "the maiden anthology will feature 'responsive' and 'bang-up' works on COVID-19 by ardent writers from different parts of the world, and will hauntingly stand as global writers' common 'voice' and 'punch' in the fight against coronavirus."

The anthology which is expected to be available by the fall of May exclusively focuses on 'CORONAVIRUS'. Thus, only works  written on the theme will be accepted for publication therein.

Before submitting your entry, here are few THINGS TO NOTE:

1. Submission is FREE and open to writers from any part of the world.

2. Entry must focus on the theme —Coronavirus

3. 'Coronavirus' is NOT the title of the anthology, neither must it be the title of your entry. It is only but a theme, and must be adhered to while writing.

4. Entrant can give their work any interesting title of their choice.

5. There is NO monetary prize attached. The cause being championed by the movement and the anthology is a worthy one, and thus requires ardency, volunteerism and sacrifice.

6. Only works that 'comply' to the submission guidelines will be selected and published.


SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

1. Only ONE entry per entrant (poem or essay).

2. Entry MUST be written in English Language

3. Entry should be brief and concise —a maximum of 500 words for essays, and a 30 lines for poetry.

4. Author’s information —location, contact details, and a short bio of no more than 40 words should be included in the submission.

5. Entry MUST be type-written and sent in the body of the mail; NOT AS AN ATTACHMENT. Entries sent as attachment will be automatically disqualified.

6. Entry MUST be original work of the entrant.

7. All entries should be sent on or before 23rd May, 2020. Late entry will not be accepted.

8. Entries should be sent via mail to writersagainstcovid19movement@gmail.com 

9. The subject of mail should be 'COVID-19 ANTHOLOGY'.


BENEFITS:

1. All successful and shortlisted entries will be published in the COVID-19 Poetry/Essay Anthology.

2. Online promotion of the successful/published entries and entrants.

3. All successful/published entrants are entitled to e-copy of the published anthology.

4. All successful/published entrants will be given Certificates of Participation.

5. Automatic/free membership and admission into the the Society of Young Nigerian Writers will be given to successful/published young Nigerian entrants.

For further inquiries, support or partnership, contact:

writersagainstcovid19movement@gmail.com 

Or, call:

+2348163938812, Izunna Okafor

+2347069085422, Musa Sunusi Ahmad

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