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Books are treasure chests for in them are ancient and modern wisdom which can help one become better and achieve more in life. One of the hallmarks of a good book is that the book reads you, that is, it exposes your true self and state to you. Today, Ignatius Obinna Onuoha have given us such a book – one that is not only nicely written, but also has the ability to relate to our circumstances, and advise us as true friends would.

The Model Man is written with such a passion, responsiveness and mastery that you are able to feel the writers’ heartbeats in it. There is a release of energy based on optimism in this book, with stories that will motivate the reader into gaining relevance and building legacy.

Do you truly want your life to change for the better? If  yes! Then buying and reading this book: The Model Man by Ignatius Obinna Onuoha is one of the best investments you can make with your money and time in this season for the reward is beautifully amazing. Get your copy, read it, re-read it and you will be glad you did; I am sure of this.

Book Reviewer: Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha

Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha is an inspirational writer, public speaker, ghostwriter, creative content developer, avid reader, thought leader, idea editor and published author of life-enriching books who helps writers and other creatives in their journey to becoming better brands.

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As Organisers Name Outstanding Authors



Barely six weeks after the 2020 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture held by the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW), Anambra State Chapter; the association has officially announced the release of its fifth edition of the Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology, entitled "Achebe: A Man of the People".


Initiated in 2016 and organised by young writers in Anambra State, Nigeria, Chinua Achebe Literary Festival Festival and Memorial Lecture is an international literary event held in memory and honour of a foremost Nigerian literary legend, Late. Prof. Chinua Achebe, in celebration of his life, works and legacies in the literary field and beyond.


This year's edition of the event, themed "Achebe: Our Heritage in a New Normal" which held on 16th November, 2020, in Awka the Anambra State Capital, was also used to mark Achebe's 90th posthumous birthday as well as and the maiden edition of the Chinua Achebe Memorial Lecture, which was delivered by Mr. Oseloka Henry Obaze (a published Author and Diplomat), to the a large throng of audience and participants who joined both physically and virtually from different countries of the world.


In the word of the Project Coordinator, Izunna Okafor, who is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology as well as the Coordinator of Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State Chapter), the event is an annual ritual, during which they also publish and unveil the annual Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology.


He said, "Every year, prior to hosting this literary festival, we usually open 'Call for Submissions’ online, through which writers from different parts of the world write and submit their poems, essays or reviews (strictly written in honour of Achebe) for the anthology. Those hundreds of entries are what we collate, vet, and publish into an anthology, which we usually unveil on the day of the literary festival.


"We did this in 2016, 2017 and 2018 editions of the event. However, in preparation for the 2019 edition of the event, we decided not to call for submissions for a fresh anthology, but to collate the three previously published collections and publish them as a single anthology, still in honour of Achebe. And that birthed a classic anthology and masterpiece "Arrows of Words" which we published and unveiled last year during the 2019 edition of the Chinua Achebe Literary Festival. 


"This year, 2020, in preparation for the fifth edition of the Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Maiden Chinua Achebe Memorial Lecture, we made another ‘Call for Submissions’ through which we received over a hundred submissions from writers across the world. It was the collation, selection, vetting, editing and the publication of those beautiful poems, essays and reviews that birthed this classic anthology entitled 'ACHEBE: A MAN OF THE PEOPLE'."


This year's anthology, he noted, features works of upcoming voices in the literary world as well as those of already announced writers from different countries of the world, including that of erstwhile winner of the Africa's biggest literary prize, the NLNG Prize, Prof. Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, among other prominent writers across the globe.


On what informed the title, Okafor said, "As usual, this year’s title of the anthology was informed by the contents of the entries (poems, essays and reviews) received and published therein, which do not only portray Achebe as a Savant, but also praise him as “Man of the People”, looking at his personality, works, achievements and legacies."


"Although the title somewhat coincides with the title of Achebe’s fourth novel “A MAN OF THE PEOPLE”; the two books are thematically unrelated. Also, Achebe’s ‘Man of the People’ title here in this anthology is absolutely different from that of Chief Nanga in the 1966 book of his –“A MAN OF THE PEOPLE” –which predicted the first Military Coup in Nigerian," he added.


Edited by Izunna Okafor, this year's edition of the anthology was not officially unveiled at the 2020 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival And Memorial Lecture, which as usual, held on Achebe's date of birth, November 16, as a result of failure and disappointment on the part of the publisher, who Okafor noted, was eventually discovered to have predetermined to 'make a mess of the Literary Festival, by withholding the expected story (the anthology) and telling his own story'.


He also revealed that legal action is being taken to re-write the publisher's story, who, he further noted, is still yet to release the hardcopy of the anthology. Okafor however noted that the softcopy of the anthology has been published, and is now available online here and here; hence this official unveiling and release of the anthology.


According to him, the association is also pleased to announce the names of the authors of outstanding works in this year's edition of the anthology, as it annually does, in keeping with one of the promises it made in the ''Call for Submissions' used to secure the entries, and also in recognition of the ten outstanding authors in the three categories of poetry, essays and reviews.


These authors and their works he announced as follows: 

Wisdom Ogbonna Offor (Chinua Achebe); Jimoh Taofik Adekunle (I Say, 'Ndo' Obo Dike); Mwiti Christopher (The Great Manoeuvrer's Oeuvre); Jude Chukwuemeka Muoneke (The Icon of Hope); Athol Williams (His Lines); Enitan Abdultawab (A Man of the People); Ibe, Kelechukwu K. (Achebe's Voice in Historic Nigeria); Ordinary Justice (Ifemelu); Akachi Adimora-ezeigbo (Wisdom of Words); Chidozie Emesowum (There Was a Country); Amaka Oguejiofo (Eagle on the Iroko); Innocent Chiemezie Ohaekwe (Achebe and the African Society); Goodness Chinweoruebube Akubueze (The Impacts of Achebe's Work and Lifestyle on All: A Personal Experience); Samuel Ephraim Edward  (Dinner for Our Hero); Chanima Wijebandara (Chinua Achebe the Eminent Jurist in the Garb of a Novelist); Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha (The Embodiment of a Transgenerational Writer – A Focus on the Life of Chinua Achebe); Christopher Precious (Things Fall Apart); Ayokunmi O. Ojebode (Ájobí And Ájogbé: Fracture and Restructuring of Nigeria in Chinua Achebe's Selected Folktales); Ogonna, Divine Amarachi (How Chinua Achebe's Works Respond to the Question of the Authenticity of African Literature):Tony Oneweek Muonagor (Indelible Marks); Odogwu Emeka Odogwu (A Better Honour Than Gold); Samuel Edet (Marriage is a Private Affair); Obinna Tony-Francis Ochem (Chinụa Achebe's Literary Legacy: Re-examining Chigozie Obioma's Works); Henry Chukwuemeka Onyema ('There Was a Country': Chinua  Achebe's Undying Love for Nigeria that Dealt Him Blows); Anusha Pillay (Love and Free Choice in 'Marriage Is a Private Affair'); Ohita Afeisume (Things Fall Apart: Reflections); Usman Bashir Abubakar (A Sojourn Through Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart': A Literary Criticism); Anodo Rejoice (For Our Sake); Gimbiya Ekene Galadima (Nna Anyị: Our Father); Jesse D. Bitrus (Chinua Achebe: The Father of Modern African Literature); Isah Aliyu Chiroma (The Founding Father of Modern African Literature)

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Osita Eze, Youth Pastor
Posted 6 Months ago · 1 Likes · 0 Comments


For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption (Acts 13: 36)

A vital lesson you need to learn from his life is that each of us is born to serve his or her generation by doing the things God approves. Your service to God is incomplete without your service to men. If David served his generation by doing the will of God, then get ready to do the same.

     What does it mean to serve one’s generation? It is to provide men and women, boys and girls you meet on the earth with something that is necessary or useful through the help of the Holy Spirit. It is to share God’s riches inside you with people that God has predestined you to be a blessing to. It is to meet the needs of people around and beyond you using available resources without seeking to be worshipped by anyone.

 

How Should I Serve My Generation?

1. Serve them your gifts: A gift is a natural ability that you are born with. It is that thing that you are exceptionally good at doing. It includes abilities such as singing, drawing, acting, administration, interior decoration, teaching, event management, painting, creative writing etc.

     God has given you at least one of such gifts and He expects you to use your gifts to make the world a better place than you met it. He has made you His minister and you are to administer His grace and gifts to your generation (1 Peter 4:10-11). You only have the duration of your life on earth to accomplish this task. Wherever you are now, use your abilities for the glory of God.

 

2. Serve faithfully: To serve faithfully is to discharge your duties to the best of our abilities and without murmuring or eye service. David served his generation faithfully and sincerely. He began to serve his generation by serving his father first. He ran errands for his father and took care of his father’s sheep. He protected these animals with everything he had. He also served his generation by running errands for King Saul and fighting wars for Israel. He provided leadership for Israel. Whatever you have been assigned to do in your home, school, workplace or church by your parents or superiors please do it faithfully and sincerely.

 

3. Ask for divine direction and guidance: David never fought any battle without consulting God first. He consulted God for two reasons: (1). To be sure of God’s presence with Israel on the battlefield (1 Samuel 23:1-5). (2). To receive strategies for winning a battle (2 Samuel 5:22-25). He never lost any battle because he followed divine direction and guidance.

     You need to seek God’s direction and guidance on where and how best to use your natural abilities for the growth and development of members of your generation beginning from your immediate environment. If you do this consistently, you will become a solution provider and resourceful person to your generation.

 

4. Pursue personal development: Please pay the price of becoming the best of your God-given abilities by doing the following:

a. Read Inspired Books: Spend your time, energy and resources wisely by buying or borrowing books written by those who have enjoyed a significant measure of success in your area of service. Study and search for the truths in them, meditate on, and practice the truths they contain. You need the instructions and truths in them to succeed in any area of life that you desire to succeed in and serve your generation better.

 

b. Get mentors: Mentors are influential persons gifted with the ability to impart knowledge on a particular field of life to those who seek it. They are the custodians of knowledge and time-tested truths that had been acquired through prolonged years of studying and practice. They are men and women of deep understanding.

God has placed around you godly persons who have obtained what you are trying to obtain. Intentionally submit yourself to the direct, personal, face-to-face counsel, instruction, corrections and intimate exposure of these successful persons and apply their secrets in your pursuits.

Be like Elisha who learned all that he needed to learn from Elijah. He knew that his stay with Elijah was but for a moment -it will not be forever. He maximized all the moments he had with his teacher. He took nothing for granted. He followed Elijah to the end and obtained what Elijah had to offer-his position and a double portion of his influence.

c. Pursue further studies: Education, either formal or informal will help you to develop your gifts and passions so that they can be used to the maximum. It offers you an opportunity to meet with professionals in your area of interest and rub minds with them. It provides you with a platform to learn from them and be mentored by them. Please go back to school for further studies if you can afford it.

d.Join a club or department in your church that brings out the best in you and allows you to use your gifts freely. Use all the available internet facilities, radio and television networks to showcase the riches of God in you. The whole world needs your gifts, talents and skills. Please do not be stingy with them.

 

Benefits of Serving Your Generation

1. You would be at peace with yourself: You were created with a particular set of talents, passions, and personality traits to fulfill a specific purpose on earth. Life on earth would not be meaningful to you until you discover the virtues that God has placed inside you and use them to serve your generation. The discovery of these virtues and their maximum utilization will help you attain fulfillment in life. You will need it to be an accomplished member of the society.

2.  You will add value to other people's lives: God has blessed you with specific virtues not just for your personal use but to be a blessing to other persons who need your giftings. Your life is not yours. It is given to you so that you can be a blessing to the people around and beyond you (1 Peter 4:10).

      David maximized his gifts. He added value to the people of Israel who were debtors, distressed and discontented and later became their captain. Through the diverse training he gave to them, they became territorial commanders and mighty men of valour (1 Sam 22:2; 2 Sam 18:1). God saw his sincerity and promoted him to become the king of Israel (Psalm 78:70-72).

 3. You will receive commendation and promotion from God and man: David was highly commended by God as a man after His own heart. He was committed to doing God’s will everywhere he went (Acts 13:22). The Lord raised him up to become a replacement for King Saul. He was also commended by the people of Israel who saw his good works (1 Samuel 18:6-7, 14-16). If you serve your generation sincerely, you will be commended and rewarded greatly by both God and man (Matthew 25:20-23). Your good works will outlive you.

 

4. You will enjoy permanent greatness: You cannot be great if you are not willing to serve. The greater the number of people you serve with your gifts, the greater your influence and wealth (Proverb18:16, Matthew 20:26-27). David’s wealth and influence grew from his home to the palace and to the entire kingdom of Israel. Do all you can to serve as many persons as possible with your gifts.

     You can’t serve God’s purpose for your life in any other generation except your own. In all you do in your service to mankind ensure that you use your gifts effectively by doing the things that God approves and your light will shine brighter even to the ends of the earth.  

 

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PROCEDURES TO FINDING A GREAT LIFE PARTNER BY MUOMA VALENTINE CHIBUEZE.


Marriage as we all know is the union between man and a woman to become husband and wife. 


Most persons jump into marriage due to:

A. Peer pressure: they feel all their friends are getting married so they cannot be left behind


B. Family pressure: Nwakaego my son I need to see my grandchildren so you must marry my friends daughter Mgbeke 


C. Money: As a smart girl I  have to accept Obi proposal, he is a big boy at onitsha and I cannot allow this once in a lifetime opportunity of marrying a billionaire pass me by like that. "I be smart babe na I no be mugu"


D. Age: I would be 35 years by January and yet no husband. Is like I would consider Alhaji Bello's marriage proposal I don't mind being his fourth wife


E.  Infatuation / urge for sex: Nna body no be firewood oh, I need a pretty damsel as a wife at least make I use am keep body and soul together.


F. Just to have kids: chai, Mama Ada a lady am 10 years older than urged that mannerless ape she calls a daugher to insult me. Infact I must get married this month if possible tomorrow.


G. The feeling they have made money and must marry immediately


H. To fulfill all righteousness: meeting their target of getting married before the end of a given period



As a man there are certain procedures that should be followed in order to find your soulmate. 

These are my suggested steps that can help you find the love of your life:

1. Acquire formal education and technical skills, develop your intellect

2. Accumulation of wealth: Gather enough money that can sustain both yourself, wife, and children

Acquire properties.


3. Start preparing yourself for marriage physically, emotionally, psychologically, etc.   Start adjusting your lifestyle from that of a bachelor to a family man ( most people take this for granted)


4. Then you can start looking for your soulmate. Start by being close friends


5. Tell her everything about your past, your likes, dislikes, religious beliefs, tradition, while she does same


6. Conduct a thorough research and find out the culture of the village she is coming from and how they behave. (Your family members can help you with that)


7. Meet with her family (parents) while she meets yours. After studying them rigorously If you don't flow well with them after sometime then you can consider ending the relationship (you don't just marry a lady you also marry her family as well)


8. After running your own compatibility tests, ensure you also go for medical tests ie Genotype, STD tests(HIV, etc)


9. After passing through these processes then you can propose to her


10. Discuss with her on how you want to both of you to live as husband and wife (your expectations) while she does same.

11.  Seek God's guidance, approval and direction on how to go about your marriage 


12. Marriage proper: Traditional and white wedding.

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By SYNW Anambra


It was a moment of encomium and a gathering of 'who is who' in the creative and literary arts, as young writers in Anambra State hosted the 2020 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival And Maiden Memorial Lecture, in honour of a foremost Nigerian literary icon, Late Prof. Chinua Achebe.


Organized by the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State Chapter), the literary event themed "Chinua Achebe: Our Heritage In A New Normal" and which held at the Anambra State Central Library, Awka, also was also used to mark Achebe's 90th posthumous birthday.


Delivering the Chinua Achebe Memorial Lecture, titled "If the Dead Could Speak, What Would Achebe Say of Present Day Nigeria?", the Keynote Speaker at the event, Mr. Oseloka Henry Obaze, described Achebe as "The Unacknowledged Nobel Laureate” and a legend, who will eternally be known simply his surname –ACHEBE, just like Shakespeare, Yates, Dickens, Shaw and Byron, and other great intellectuals and legends.


He said, “Achebe, as we all know, wrote extensively about Nigeria. At times, he did so presciently. In one instance, he correctly predicted a military coup. Though that happenstance was an inexplicable coincidence, he almost got himself into trouble with Nigerian authorities. In two other instances, 2004 and 2011, he rejected high national awards in protestation of the squalid “bankrupt and lawless fiefdom” Nigeria had become.


“At another time – in 1983 – Achebe wrote a pithy little seminal book, wherein he dissected with surgical precision, The Trouble With Nigeria. As they say, great things come in small sizes. There was perhaps a reason why Achebe wrote that small but mighty book.


“Before then, another pithy book, by Peter Pan Enahoro titled, How to Be Nigerian had given a unvarnished glimpse into the mindset of the true Nigerian; the mindset that led us to our present new normal and conundrum- a nation of severe and deep-seated paradoxes – where we know what is good for us, but refuse to do it; a nation where we have the best world class players in politics and sports, yet frequently elect and select Third-rate teams to represent us; a nation endowed with riches in human capital and natural resources, yet one that earned the dubious distinction of being the poverty capital of the world."


Further dissecting Nigeria's situation and challenges, Obaze who himself is an author, poet, and former Secretary to the State Government, added, "Were Achebe to speak to us from his grave, I suspect that against the backdrop of the Nigeria I have just narrated, he would say the same thing over and over."


"...In his lifetime Achebe spoke Truth to Power. Today, can those in power find it within their grasp to understand the Power of the Truth Achebe told Nigeria?" he rhetorically asked.


Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Occasion, Sir Chuka Nnabuife, who is also an author, art curator, veteran award-winning journalist, and MD/CEO of Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation, noted that Achebe was not only a great writer but also a great sage, and "a man who was to some extent of his age, a vendor of knowledge of the ages before him but also a harbinger of wisdom of the age before him."


He lauded the organizers of the event, which he described as worth sustaining, as, according to him, Achebe is worth celebrating for life.

 

In his address of welcome, the initiator of the event and Coordinator of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State Chapter), Izunna Okafor noted that Chinua Achebe Literary Festival which started in 2016 is an annual literary they host in honour of Achebe on his birthday (every November 16), and through which they call for Achebe's immortalisation, immortalize him in their own way (through annual publication of Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology), and also promote creative writing and literary arts in general.


He explained that the event was previously being hosted only as Chinua Achebe Literary Festival, but in this year's edition, being its fifth edition and anniversary, they introduced the Chinua Achebe Memorial Lecture into it, which is the first of its kind hosted anywhere in the world in honour of the legend.


He called on the Anambra State Government, private individuals and corporate bodies to recognize, reward, encourage and empower young writers in the state, and also  pleaded with them to undertake the annual sponsorship of the event, in honour of Achebe the legend, who he said, till date, is yet to be befittingly immortalized with any ‘structure'.


On his own part, the Special Guest of Honour at the event, Prof. Peter Umeadi, who is also an art enthusiast and former Chief Judge of Anambra State, urged young writers to keep writing, and never get discouraged. "Before you can put anything out, you must be courageous. You don’t have to think 'Oh! What will people say about what I have said or written',” he advised.


Others who graced and spoke at the well-attended event included the state's Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. C-Don Adinuba; the Chairman of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo (Anambra State Chapter), Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene; veteran Nollywood Actor, Bob-Manuel Udokwu who is also the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on Creative Media; the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Obiano on Secondary School Education, Dr Paul Ifeanyi, multiple award-winning author, Mr. Odili Ujubuonu.


Others were the Special Assistant to the Governor on Communications, Mr. Maxim Uzoatu; the Director, Anambra State Library Board, Dr. Nkechi Udeze; author and literary enthusiast, Mr. Isidore Uzoatu; and Architect Chinelo Ofoche, among others.


The event featured lectures, award presentation, Chinua Achebe Essay Writing Competition (sponsored by National Light Newspaper, for the participating secondary schools); art exhibition, discussion on the Fifth Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology, entitled "Achebe: A Man of the People"; cutting of Achebe's 90th posthumous birthday cake, among others.


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As a handsome and visionary young man, I wanted to marry the only beautiful daughter of a farmer.


I went to the farmer to ask for permission to marry his daughter.


The farmer looked at me and said, “I will allow you to marry my daughter but you have to fullfill one condition.”


The farmer told me the condition, “Son go out and stand out in the field. I'm  going to release three bulls one at a time and you have to grab the tail of any of the three bulls. if you can catch the tail of any one of the three bulls, then you can marry my daughter.”


Ahhh just that, I happily went to the field and stood there waiting for the bulls to be released.


The barn door opened and then came out one of the biggest bull i have ever seen.


Haaa I cannot come and kill myself ooo,  I decided to let this one go and wait for the second bull.


I went over to the other side and let the bull pass through. Again, the barn opened for the second bull. This one was bigger and even more fierce than the previous bull. This time again, I thought that may be the next one could be a better choice so i ran to the other side and let the bull pass through. This man wants to kill me ooo 


Now the door opened for the third bull. I had a big smile on my face. This was the weakest bull I've ever seen. So i positioned myself and was all set to take on the bull and grab his tail.


As the bull came running by, I jumped at the exact movement. As I  threw my hands to grab his tail, to my greatest surprise, this bull had no tail. 


Wooooooo so I've lost my chances of marrying this beautiful girl.


The farmer turned to me and said " Don't say till tomorrow to the things you can achieve today. your breakthrough was just an action away from you, but you missed it twice. I'm sorry, you can't have my daughter." Na so I take go house empty handed oo. 


How many times have you said " I'll do it tomorrow to the things you can do today"?


Six sure ways to avoid procrastination


1. Do it scared

2. Do it now

3. Do it scared

4. Do it now

5. Do it scared

6. Do it now


Remember that action is what separates dreamers from achievers.


It's another beautiful week, let's choke procrastination starting from now, today and everyday.


Val Okafor

Effective Leadership and Productivity Strategist 

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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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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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Updated 1 Year ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

Society of Young Nigerian Writers, (SYNW), which is a national umbrella of young writers in Nigeria, has joined in the global fight against coronavirus, by launching and championing a new movement — 'Writers Against Covid-19'.


This was disclosed by Chairman and Coordinator of the movement, Izunna Okafor, through a release he jointly signed with the Secretary of the movement's committee, Musa Sunusi Ahmad who also doubles as the National Public Relation Officer of the SYNW.


According to the release, the movement was primarily formed to integrate writers in the ongoing  fight against COVID-19 pandemic, and to give them platforms to employ their pen, creativity and dexterity towards combating and winning the war against the novel virus, which is currently 'harassing' the world in all ramifications.

The ideation cum formation of the movement is more or less corroboratory to Edward Bulwer-Lytton's age-long pithy saying, that 'pen is mightier than sword'; and is also in keeping with the fact that writers have a plethora of roles to play in this global fight against the novel virus, and to which many of them are very ardent to give their best, if given a platform.

The statement reads in part:

"The pursuit of this new movement is tripartite in nature, with regards to the (equally new) projects it has been launched to undertake.

"One of these is administration of the association's newly launched online certificate course on coronavirus, called 'SYNW Covid-19 Correspondence Course' (which could be taken at:  www.https://covid19correspondencecourse.blogspot.com ). 

"The correspondence course has been rightly renamed after Menegian Saro-Wiwa, son of late playwright, Ken Saro-Wiwa, who recently died of COVID-19 in London.

"The movement is also charged with managing and regularly updating the SYNW COVID-19 Information Hub —

www.https://synwcovid19informationhub.blogspot.com (which is a new site exclusively created by the association, for publishing news relating to coronavirus).

"Lastly, the movement is to publish an electronic anthology on the COVID-19 pandemic (which is expected to be out by May, featuring literary works on coronavirus, from writers across the world)."

Izunna Okafor further noted through the release that, "aside publishing of successful writers' works in the anthology, certificate(s) of participation and automatic membership into the association will also be given to the successful participants in each of the projects."

He also appreciated the President of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers, Mr. Wole Adedoyin, and other National Executive Members of the association for coming up with such an apt movement.

He called on both bourgeoning and established writers from different parts of the world to identify with, and take part in the projects; even as he solicited the support of goodhearted individuals, private and public organisations, as well as government, to support the movement to achieve its reputable objectives.

Okafor, who himself is an author and equally the National Secretary of the young writers association, advised that further enquiries about the movement could be directed to the committee via: writersagainstcovid19movement@gmail.com .

Other committee members of the movement include: 

Angelica C. Uwaezuoke — (SYNW Coordinator, University of Nigeria Nsukka) 

Abdulrazak Denja Balema — (SYNW Coordinator, Federal University Lokoja)

Sakinah Yusuf — (SYNW Coordinator, Bayero University, Kano)

Adebayo Iwalola — (SYNW Coordinator, Adekunle Ajasin University)

Innocent David Chinaecherem — (SYNW Coordinator, Federal University of 

Technology Owerri)

Alabi Matthew — (SYNW Coordinator, University of Lagos)

Luqman Alawode — (SYNW Coordinator, Osun State)

Henry Ndifreke Precious — (SYNW Coordinator, University of Abuja)

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As Christians who believe in God, we are channels of God’s power to the outside world. God’s power is a spiritual liquid formula that serves as a deposit of His presence in every believer. It is a life-giving power that flows from within thus bringing healing and divine health to the church and conviction in the hearts of those who hear us. Unfortunately, we have lost it. We no longer preach to the peoples of the world by the assistance of God’s tangible power. The church has become entangled with worldliness and is struggling to come out of it.

     What can be the probable factors responsible for this? There are four basic factors responsible for the seizure of God’s power in our generation. They are:

1. Lack of focus: A lot of times, we, the church has failed to take the river of God’s powerto places where it is needed. We only concentrate it on our church or denomination activities and programmes. We have become too self-centred to the extent that we no longer care to do something positive about reaching out to those outside the four walls of our church building and denomination. We now give priority to building of cathedrals and raising of millionaires instead of preaching and teaching the whole counsel of God to our hearers. We are divided by our various church doctrines rather than the finality of the Scripture.

2. Because there are holes in the riverbeds: Oftentimes, when there is a heavy downpour from the sky, water does not always flow easily to places where it is needed because of the presence of potholes.These holes serve as a limit to the flow of the deluge of water.

We are the channels through which God demonstrates His mighty power to the world. When there are holes in our lives as a church, the river of His power sinks without flowing. For instance, many people go for ordination into any of the five-fold ministries of Jesus Christ-Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher without being adequately prepared for this spiritual assignment. Many of them do not submit themselves to godly discipleship. They have become spiritual bastards and have thus taught their followers to be same with them. They are without spiritual guide and mentoring.

     Some churches and para-church organizations are employing poor individuals and young unemployed graduates as pastors in their denomination for the sake of God’s kingdom and their denomination’s expansion. Some don’t even have well prepared follow-up outlines for their converts. They simply leave and expose them to greater influence of the world and the devil.

3. Because too many people depend on our river: Pastors with experiential daily knowledge of God are the most strategic change agents to deal with the problems in our society. Many church attendees look up to their pastors for help and solution to their spiritual problems. They see him as a person without weaknesses and problems.They throng into his office and home even at odd hours for counseling and prayers. They don’t do this with the intention of wearing out the pastor. But in actual sense, every true pastor called of God will always want to help their members because it is his responsibility.

     When people draw too much virtue from the pastor without him going back to God to be refilled with spiritual strength, God’s power will not flow to other people’s direction. Jesus understood this fact. And the scriptures records that each time He ministered healing to the sick andoppressed, virtues flows out of Him. He returned to God to be filled with new power and anointing. He did not rely on yesterday’s revelation and anointing for today’s ministration. It was each day, new revelation. He was always retreating from activities and from the multitudes to regain new strength. The reverse is now the case with many pastors and Christian leaders who have become empty cisterns because they no longer go on spiritual retreats.

4. When there are limitations: Sin and inconsistency in observing our consecration are limiting factors to the flow of God’s power. When a minister does not pay proper attention to his strengths and deal with his weaknesses, there is the tendency for him to see more of his weaknesses than his strength.

     A lot of times when God speaks or instructs us to deny ourselves of certain pleasures so that we can be more sensitive to Him, we see Him as a wicked God who forces His will on us. As a result, we begin to rely more on our strength rather than on our God. Samson, in the Bible at a point was no longer committed to his consecration. He reliedon his physical strength rather than God. He almost lost out of God’s plan for his life if not for the mercy of God that prevailed over him. The lesson here is this: Sin is a reproach and it has the capacity to block the flow of God’s power to our generation.

     To clear the blocked channels of God’s rivers of living water, Christians must have faith in Christ and obey His teachings. Jesus said: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38, NKJV). Prompt obedience to the words of Christ is the secret to blessing our generation with the rivers of living waters which is evidently needed in our world today. 

 

As Christians who believe in God, we are channels of God’s power to the outside world. God’s power is a spiritual liquid formula that serves as a deposit of His presence in every believer. It is a life-giving power that flows from within thus bringing healing and divine health to the church and conviction in the hearts of those who hear us. Unfortunately, we have lost it. We no longer preach to the peoples of the world by the assistance of God’s tangible power. The church has become entangled with worldliness and is struggling to come out of it.

     What can be the probable factors responsible for this? There are four basic factors responsible for the seizure of God’s power in our generation. They are:

1. Lack of focus: A lot of times, we, the church has failed to take the river of God’s powerto places where it is needed. We only concentrate it on our church or denomination activities and programmes. We have become too self-centred to the extent that we no longer care to do something positive about reaching out to those outside the four walls of our church building and denomination. We now give priority to building of cathedrals and raising of millionaires instead of preaching and teaching the whole counsel of God to our hearers. We are divided by our various church doctrines rather than the finality of the Scripture.

2. Because there are holes in the riverbeds: Oftentimes, when there is a heavy downpour from the sky, water does not always flow easily to places where it is needed because of the presence of potholes.These holes serve as a limit to the flow of the deluge of water.

We are the channels through which God demonstrates His mighty power to the world. When there are holes in our lives as a church, the river of His power sinks without flowing. For instance, many people go for ordination into any of the five-fold ministries of Jesus Christ-Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher without being adequately prepared for this spiritual assignment. Many of them do not submit themselves to godly discipleship. They have become spiritual bastards and have thus taught their followers to be same with them. They are without spiritual guide and mentoring.

     Some churches and para-church organizations are employing poor individuals and young unemployed graduates as pastors in their denomination for the sake of God’s kingdom and their denomination’s expansion. Some don’t even have well prepared follow-up outlines for their converts. They simply leave and expose them to greater influence of the world and the devil.

3. Because too many people depend on our river: Pastors with experiential daily knowledge of God are the most strategic change agents to deal with the problems in our society. Many church attendees look up to their pastors for help and solution to their spiritual problems. They see him as a person without weaknesses and problems.They throng into his office and home even at odd hours for counseling and prayers. They don’t do this with the intention of wearing out the pastor. But in actual sense, every true pastor called of God will always want to help their members because it is his responsibility.

     When people draw too much virtue from the pastor without him going back to God to be refilled with spiritual strength, God’s power will not flow to other people’s direction. Jesus understood this fact. And the scriptures records that each time He ministered healing to the sick andoppressed, virtues flows out of Him. He returned to God to be filled with new power and anointing. He did not rely on yesterday’s revelation and anointing for today’s ministration. It was each day, new revelation. He was always retreating from activities and from the multitudes to regain new strength. The reverse is now the case with many pastors and Christian leaders who have become empty cisterns because they no longer go on spiritual retreats.

4. When there are limitations: Sin and inconsistency in observing our consecration are limiting factors to the flow of God’s power. When a minister does not pay proper attention to his strengths and deal with his weaknesses, there is the tendency for him to see more of his weaknesses than his strength.

     A lot of times when God speaks or instructs us to deny ourselves of certain pleasures so that we can be more sensitive to Him, we see Him as a wicked God who forces His will on us. As a result, we begin to rely more on our strength rather than on our God. Samson, in the Bible at a point was no longer committed to his consecration. He reliedon his physical strength rather than God. He almost lost out of God’s plan for his life if not for the mercy of God that prevailed over him. The lesson here is this: Sin is a reproach and it has the capacity to block the flow of God’s power to our generation.

     To clear the blocked channels of God’s rivers of living water, Christians must have faith in Christ and obey His teachings. Jesus said: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38, NKJV). Prompt obedience to the words of Christ is the secret to blessing our generation with the rivers of living waters which is evidently needed in our world today. 

 

As Christians who believe in God, we are channels of God’s power to the outside world. God’s power is a spiritual liquid formula that serves as a deposit of His presence in every believer. It is a life-giving power that flows from within thus bringing healing and divine health to the church and conviction in the hearts of those who hear us. Unfortunately, we have lost it. We no longer preach to the peoples of the world by the assistance of God’s tangible power. The church has become entangled with worldliness and is struggling to come out of it.

     What can be the probable factors responsible for this? There are four basic factors responsible for the seizure of God’s power in our generation. They are:

1. Lack of focus: A lot of times, we, the church has failed to take the river of God’s powerto places where it is needed. We only concentrate it on our church or denomination activities and programmes. We have become too self-centred to the extent that we no longer care to do something positive about reaching out to those outside the four walls of our church building and denomination. We now give priority to building of cathedrals and raising of millionaires instead of preaching and teaching the whole counsel of God to our hearers. We are divided by our various church doctrines rather than the finality of the Scripture.

2. Because there are holes in the riverbeds: Oftentimes, when there is a heavy downpour from the sky, water does not always flow easily to places where it is needed because of the presence of potholes.These holes serve as a limit to the flow of the deluge of water.

We are the channels through which God demonstrates His mighty power to the world. When there are holes in our lives as a church, the river of His power sinks without flowing. For instance, many people go for ordination into any of the five-fold ministries of Jesus Christ-Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher without being adequately prepared for this spiritual assignment. Many of them do not submit themselves to godly discipleship. They have become spiritual bastards and have thus taught their followers to be same with them. They are without spiritual guide and mentoring.

     Some churches and para-church organizations are employing poor individuals and young unemployed graduates as pastors in their denomination for the sake of God’s kingdom and their denomination’s expansion. Some don’t even have well prepared follow-up outlines for their converts. They simply leave and expose them to greater influence of the world and the devil.

3. Because too many people depend on our river: Pastors with experiential daily knowledge of God are the most strategic change agents to deal with the problems in our society. Many church attendees look up to their pastors for help and solution to their spiritual problems. They see him as a person without weaknesses and problems.They throng into his office and home even at odd hours for counseling and prayers. They don’t do this with the intention of wearing out the pastor. But in actual sense, every true pastor called of God will always want to help their members because it is his responsibility.

     When people draw too much virtue from the pastor without him going back to God to be refilled with spiritual strength, God’s power will not flow to other people’s direction. Jesus understood this fact. And the scriptures records that each time He ministered healing to the sick andoppressed, virtues flows out of Him. He returned to God to be filled with new power and anointing. He did not rely on yesterday’s revelation and anointing for today’s ministration. It was each day, new revelation. He was always retreating from activities and from the multitudes to regain new strength. The reverse is now the case with many pastors and Christian leaders who have become empty cisterns because they no longer go on spiritual retreats.

4. When there are limitations: Sin and inconsistency in observing our consecration are limiting factors to the flow of God’s power. When a minister does not pay proper attention to his strengths and deal with his weaknesses, there is the tendency for him to see more of his weaknesses than his strength.

     A lot of times when God speaks or instructs us to deny ourselves of certain pleasures so that we can be more sensitive to Him, we see Him as a wicked God who forces His will on us. As a result, we begin to rely more on our strength rather than on our God. Samson, in the Bible at a point was no longer committed to his consecration. He reliedon his physical strength rather than God. He almost lost out of God’s plan for his life if not for the mercy of God that prevailed over him. The lesson here is this: Sin is a reproach and it has the capacity to block the flow of God’s power to our generation.

     To clear the blocked channels of God’s rivers of living water, Christians must have faith in Christ and obey His teachings. Jesus said: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38, NKJV). Prompt obedience to the words of Christ is the secret to blessing our generation with the rivers of living waters which is evidently needed in our world today. 

 

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When was the last time you read a book, or an informative magazine article? Do your daily reading habits center around tweets, Facebook updates, instagram or the directions on your instant noodles packet?

If you’re among the group of people who don’t make a habit of reading regularly, you might be missing out.

Reading has a significant number of benefits, and here’re 10 benefits of reading:

1.

Knowledge

One of the biggest reasons why we read books is to gain knowledge. Books are a rich source of information. Reading books on varied subjects imparts information and increases the depth about the subject as well. Whenever you read a book, you learn a new information that otherwise would not have known.

2.

Reduces stress

Reading has a positive effect on the body as well. Reading a book can relieve stress better than taking a walk or listening to music. According to studies who read more tend to have lower stress levels.

Zuma set to publish Esosa Kolawole’s Fib and the Axe of fury

3.

Vocabulary building

Reading improves your vocabulary and command on the language. As you read, you come across new words, idioms, new words, phrases and writing styles.

4.

Improves writing skills

Reading a well-written book affects your ability to become a better writer. Just like artists influence others, so do writers. Many successful authors gained their expertise by reading the works of others. So, if you want to become a better writer, start by learning from previous masters.

5.

Improves communication skills

Improving your vocabulary and writing skills goes hand in hand with developing your communication skills. The more you read and write, the better you communicate. Increasing your ability to communicate, improves your relationships and even makes you a better employee or student.

6.

Improves focus and concentration

In our busy lifestyles, our attention is drawn in different directions each day as we try to multi-task through each day. For example, you may find yourself dividing your time between working on a task, chatting with people via Skype, checking email, keeping an eye on Facebook and interacting with your colleagues. All this multi-tasking can lead to high stress level and low productivity. When you read a book, all your attention is focused on what you’re reading. Your eyes and thoughts are immersed in the details of the story. This improves your concentration and focus. Read a book at least 20 minutes a day, and you will be amazed at how much more focused you will be.

7.

Motivation

Life is full of challenges. As we move through different phases in different, a little motivation can be of great help. Reading inspirational books about life experiences can change our lives. Reading a good book, such an autobiography keeps you encouraged and you also learn tips to help you achieve your personal goals. Basically, you get inspired to become a better husband, wife, daughter, son, mother, father or even employee.

8.

Improves memory

Every time you read a book, you have to remember the setting of the book, the characters, their backgrounds, their history, their personalities, the sub-plots and so much more. As your brain learns to remember all this, your memory becomes better. What’s more, with every new memory you create, you create new pathways and this strengthens the existing ones.

9.

Improves imagination

The more you read, the more imaginative you become. Whenever you read a fiction book, it takes you another world. In the new world, your imagination works at its best as you try to see things in your own mind.

10.

Makes you smarter

With so much to learn from books, people who read regularly tend to be smarter than those who don’t. They tend to have an open mind and are more aware of their surroundings.

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