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Updated 18 Days ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

It will be a gathering of writers, intellectuals, literary activists and book lovers from different parts of the world tomorrow, Wednesday  (November 16), at Awka, the capital city of Anambra State, as the 2022 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture holds in grand style.

The Coordinator of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State Chapter), Mr. Izunna Okafor, made this known in Awka while giving update on the association's preparedness for the 2022 edition of the event.

According to him, Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture, initiated in  2016 and currently in its seventh edition, is a literary event the association annually hosts in honour of Nigerian literary icon, Late Prof. Chinua Achebe, in celebration of his life, works and legacies in the literary field and beyond. He added that this year's event will (as usual) hold on Achebe's birthday, November 16, 2022, at the Anambra State Central e-Library-Library, Awka, starting at 11.am; with many dignitaries and participants in attendance.

While revealing this year's theme of the event as “Literature, Intellectuals and National Development: The Achebe Model”; Okafor further disclosed that the 2022 Achebe Lecture will be delivered by the award-winning author, journalist and literary-cum-political activist, Uzor Maxim Uzoatu; while the National Vice President of Ọhaneze Ndị Igbo, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, will Chair the occasion.

In his word, “The event will feature the 2022 Achebe Lecture, drama, spoken word poetry, announcement of the winners of the 2022 Chinua Achebe Essay Writing Competition (for secondary schools), announcement and recognition of outstanding entrants for the 2022 Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology, special reading, award/certificate presentation, among other literary packages slated for the day."

He added that the occasion will feature the unveiling and presentation of the seventh Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology, entitled “Achebe the Soul Brother”, which is the association's newest international anthology of poems and essays, published in honour of Achebe.

The annual international anthology, he explained, is one of the writers' way of immortalizing Achebe, and contains poems, essays, and reviews written and submitted by writers from different countries of the world, in response to the 'Call for Submission' earlier made by the association.

Okafor, a veteran author and journalist, said the 2022 event is expected to be graced by top government functionaries and literary enthusiasts, including the Executive Governor of Anambra state, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, who is expected to declare the event open; and the Traditional Ruler of Obosi, H.R.H. Igwe Chidubem Iweka, who is the Royal Father of the Day; among other dignitaries.

He said the open-to-all event will also be graced by arrays of literary icons from within and outside the country, who will be storming Awka to honour the legendary Achebe.

According to him, some other guests expected at the event include the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) for 2023 General Election, Prof. Peter Umeadi;  former governorship candidate in Anambra State, Chief Valentine Ozigbo; 2023 Labour Party senatorial candidate for Anambra Central Senatorial Zone, Chief Victor Umeh; the senator representing the Anambra Central, Iyom Uche Ekwunife; former Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Oseloka Obaze; among others.

Born November 16, 1930, Prof. Chinua Achebe, who hailed from Ogidi in Anambra State, was a foremost Nigerian writer and critic, and author of Things Fall Apart. He died on March 21, 2013, at the age of 82.

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Posted 21 Days ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

By Ifeanyi Okonkwo

Members of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW) have condoled with Izunna Okafor, SYNW National Secretary and the initiator of the annual Chinua Achebe Literary Festival following the death of his father, Mr. Josephat Okafor Udeze.

SYNW described Mr. Josephat Okafor Udeze’s death as painful and disheartening.

SYNW President, Wole Adedoyin, made this known in a condolence message he issued which was made available to newsmen in Ibadan on Friday, November 11, 2022. 

SYNW prayed for the repose of the soul of the departed and encouraged Izunna Okafor to take solace in the fact that his father led a life worthy of emulation.

According to the Message, “We received the news of the demise of your beloved father, Mr. Josephat Okafor Udeze with sadness, but we are consoled by the fact that he lived a life of dedicated service to humanity. From our research, your father was a strong pillar in his community, a disciplinarian and would be missed by all those whose lives he affected in positive ways.

 “We share in your sorrow and pains at this period and we pray that God will grant you and the family the courage to bear the loss, as we also pray for the repose of the soul of your departed father.

“On behalf of the entire members of SYNW, we mourn with you on the unfortunate demise of your beloved father,” he said.

SYNW also regretted that the unfortunate incident happened just six days to the 2022 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture, which Okafor and his team were already at the peak of its preparation before the sudden news of his father.

Recall that Okafor's father, Josephat Okafor Udeze, died on Thursday, November 11, 2022. He was aged 68, and died after a brief illness, in his hometown, Ebenator, Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State.

SYNW finally prayed God to give Okafor’s family, friends, community and associates the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

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Updated 21 Days ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

By Ifeanyi Okonkwo

The Coordinator of Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State Chapter) and initiator/host of the Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture, Izunna Okafor, has announced that the 2022 edition of the event will still hold, despite losing his beloved father, Mr. Josephat Okafor Udeze, just six days to the event.

Okafor, in an interview with this reporter, described his father's death as his greatest loss and the worst news ever in his life, and said it happened at the unexpected time.

It was gathered that Okafor's father, aged 68, died on Thursday, November 10, 2022, after a brief illness, thereby throwing Izunna Okafor and the entire Okafor Family into an unexpected period of mourning.

While describing his late father as a cheerful, gallant, caring, hardworking, and benevolent man loved by all; Okafor said his Dad (popularly known Joe De Things) meant the world to him, and would be so dearly missed by all who had come across him, as he was a man of the people, always ensuring that anyone who came across him was happy and comfortable. He also attested that his father, a well-known electrician, lived a remarkable and heroic lifestyle; and prayed for the peaceful repose of his soul.

However, when asked whether the 7th Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture, slated for November 16 will still hold this year; Okafor, who is a multiple award-winning author and journalist, said the event will still hold as planned; even though he is in a mourning mood.

“Although I'm mourning my dad, and my entire family is in sorrow; but what can I do? We had begun and gone far with the planning of the event before this unfortunate news came. It is so painful, and happened just six days to the event. I must confess that it truly ‘disorganized’ me. Nevertheless, the event will still hold as planned,” he said.

Okafor further recounted that similar incident also befell him in 2016 when he was planning that year's edition of the event, as his younger brother, Elochukwu Okafor died just few weeks to the event. He, however, said that year's event eventually held as planned, despite the emotional trauma he was suffered as a result of the death of the 16-year-old brother.

“That's part of our selfless services to humanity, and our little contributions to the growth and development of literary arts and the society at large,” he concluded.

The 2021 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture will hold on November 16, 2022 at the Anambra State Central e-Library, Awka, starting at 11.am, with many guests, writers and literary enthusiasts expected from different parts of the world.

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Posted 22 Days ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments


Writers, intellectuals, literary activists and book lovers from different parts of the world will, on Wednesday, November 16, storm Awka, the capital city of Anambra State for the 2022 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture.

The Coordinator of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State Chapter), Mr. Izunna Okafor, made this known in Awka while giving update on the association's preparedness for the 2022 edition of the event.

According to him, Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture, initiated in  2016 and currently in its seventh edition, is a literary event the association annually hosts in honour of Nigerian literary icon, Late Prof. Chinua Achebe, in celebration of his life, works and legacies in the literary field and beyond. He added that this year's event will (as usual) hold on Achebe's birthday, November 16, 2022, at the Anambra State Central e-Library-Library, Awka, starting at 11.am; with many dignitaries and participants in attendance.

While revealing this year's theme of the event as “Literature, Intellectuals and National Development: The Achebe Model”; Okafor further disclosed that the 2022 Achebe Lecture will be delivered by the award-winning author, journalist and literary-cum-political activist, Uzor Maxim Uzoatu; while the National Vice President of Ọhaneze Ndị Igbo, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, will Chair the occasion.

In his word, “The event will feature the 2022 Achebe Lecture, drama, spoken word poetry, announcement of the winners of the 2022 Chinua Achebe Essay Writing Competition (for secondary schools), announcement and recognition of outstanding entrants for the 2022 Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology, special reading, award/certificate presentation, among other literary packages slated for the day."

He added that the occasion will feature the unveiling and presentation of the seventh Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology, entitled “Achebe the Soul Brother”, which is the association's newest international anthology of poems and essays, published in honour of Achebe. 

The annual international anthology, he explained, is one of the writers' way of immortalizing Achebe, and contains poems, essays, and reviews written and submitted by writers from different countries of the world, in response to the 'Call for Submission' earlier made by the association.

Okafor, a veteran author and journalist, said the 2022 event is expected to be graced by top government functionaries and literary enthusiasts, including the Executive Governor of Anambra state, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, who is expected to declare the event open; and the Traditional Ruler of Obosi, H.R.H. Igwe Chidubem Iweka, who is the Royal Father of the Day; among other dignitaries.

He said the open-to-all event will also be graced by arrays of literary icons from within and outside the country, who will be storming Awka to honour the legendary Achebe.

Born November 16, 1930, Prof. Chinua Achebe, who hailed from Ogidi in Anambra State, was a foremost Nigerian writer and critic, and author of Things Fall Apart. He died on March 21, 2013, at the age of 82.

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Updated 2 Months ago · 1 Likes · 0 Comments

By  Ifeanyi Ndukwe, Awka

Nigerian writer and journalist, Izunna Okafor has been awarded the Outstanding Indigenous Language Media Content Creator of the Year in the 2022 Anambra Media/Movie Excellence Awards.

The annual award event, which held in Awka, Anambra State capital on Sunday night, was organized by the Association of Digital Media Core Advocates (ADMCA) and also saw other individuals and media firms emerge winners in different categories.

Speaking at the event, Founder and National President of the Association of Digital Media Core Advocates (ADMCA), Comrade Harris Chuma-Odili said the Association is at the centre of changing the narrative in the media landscape by engaging ethics, transparency and integrity in the media ecosystem; while the Anambra Media/Movie Excellence Awards, which is currently in its 4th edition, recognizes and rewards media professionals who are doing outstandingly well in the media industry.

Earlier speaking, the Director-General of ADMCA, Comrade (Mrs.) Ada Nwanagum, who hinted that media and movie practitioners are respected for the values they add to the society, further explained that awardees for this year's edition were drawn from both media and movie industries, as well as some outstanding individuals who were given Special Recognition awards.

The well-attended event, which also featured a paper presentation by Ostende Udoka, had many dignitaries, top government functionaries, media experts, Nollywood stars, and other members of the public in attendance.

Aside Izunna Okafor, who was awarded the Outstanding Indigenous Language Media Content Creator of the Year 2022; other awardees and awards announced at the event include a federal lawmaker, Hon. Chris Azubogu (Best Media-Friendly Lawmaker of the Year, 2022); Benneth Nwankwo (Outstanding Movie Maker 2022); ABS FM Radio Awka (Best Radio Station 2022); Engr. Dr. Agbili Martin Agbili (Special Recognition Award); TEET Dept. AIRS (Best Online Media Team 2022); Amb. Clemson Cornell (Special Recognition Award); Comr. Onwuzulike John Udemezue (Best Journalist 2022); Innocent Nduanya (Special Recognition Award); Ikeanyionwu Love Nma (Outstanding Social Media Influencer); Emeka McPherson Ernest Maduka (Upcoming Actor of the Year 2022), among others.

Addressing newsmen shortly after receiving the Award, Izunna Okafor, who is also a diglot writer, the 2015 Winner of Nigerian Writers Award and a 2022 Fellow of Ebedi International Writers Residency, said the newest award made it a total of 35 national and international awards he has won in journalism and creative writing.

While appreciating the organizers of the Award, Okafor, who has authored and edited many books in Igbo and English languages, with over a thousand online publications, said the Award would spur him to do more, especially in the area of writing in Igbo language.

Recall that Okafor is the Founder of Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology, which is an international poetry and essay anthology published in honour of Chinua Achebe.

At the Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation where he works as journalist, he is a reporter in both English and Igbo languages, as well as the Anchor of Ka Ọ Dị Taa newspaper, which is the only  Igbo language newspaper currently in existence anywhere in the world.

He is also the Managing Editor of Igbo Radio, an online newspaper headquartered in Canada; and a freelance journalist for many local and international news platforms.


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Posted 2 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

By Chinwendu Uzoatu


The organizers of the Anambra Media/Movie Excellence Awards have unveiled a Nigerian Federal Lawmaker, Chris Azubogu; a Nigerian writer and journalist, Izunna Okafor; social media handle of Anambra State Governor, Soludo TV, and others, as some of the winners of the 2022 edition of the Award.

The National President of the Association of Digital Media Core Advocates (ADMCA), Comrade Harris Chuma-Odili made this known in a full list of the 2022 awardees made available to newsmen in Awka, the Anambra State capital.

According to him, the annual award which is being organized by ADMCA, recognizes and rewards media professionals, and is currently in its 4th edition, having started in 2019 with a plethora of winners and success stories. He further noted that the 2022 edition of the event will hold at Mable Arch Hotel, Awka, on September 25, at 5PM.

Comrade Chuma-Odili, a renowned filmmaker, strategic communications expert and culture exponent, said awardees for this year's edition were drawn from both media and movie industries, as well as some special recognition awards.

The full list of the awardees and their awards, he said, include: Chief Barr. N. Akpudo, Special Recognition Award; Benneth Nwankwo, Outstanding Movie Maker 2022; Izunna Okafor, Outstanding Indigenous Language Media Content Producer; Ikeanyionwu Love Nma, Outstanding Social Media Influencer; Ada Enugwu-Agidi, Outstanding Social Media Influencer; Upcoming Actor of the Year 2022, Emeka McPherson Ernest Maduka; Hon. Chris Azubogu, Best Media Friendly Lawmaker 2022; ABS FM Radio Awka, Best Radio Station 2022; TEET Dept. AIRS, Best Online Media Team 2022; Comr. Onwuzulike John Udemezue, Best Journalist 2022; Obi Dike, Special Recognition Award; and Soludo TV, Special Recognition Award.


Others include: Ohamadike TV, Best Online News Agency 2022; Jenny Dion Nwanegbo, Special Recognition Award; Engr. Dr. Agbili Martin Agbili, Special Recognition Award; Amb. Clemson Cornell Nnonyelu, Special Recognition Award; Oby Okafor, Special Recognition Award; Amaka Obi, Special Recognition Award; Arc. Uganeme Emeka, Special Recognition Award; Maduafor Chidiebere, Special Recognition Award; and Innocent Nduanya, Special Recognition Award.


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Posted 6 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

Three Male Writers Selected for 2022 Ebedi International Writers Residency


The Ebedi International Writers Residency, Iseyin, has received three new male writers for the June residency program.

The three writers, Izunna Okafor, Isaiah Adepoju, and Hassan, arrived the Residency, in Iseyin, Oyo State early this week for a month-long residency stay, replacing the immediate-past fellows, who were all female.

Hosting the new writers to a reception party, alongside other stakeholders from the Iseyin community; the founder and patron of Ebedi International Writers Residency Hon. Dr. Wale Okediran explained that the Residency affords writers comfortable and calm environment to focus on their writing without distraction and also at no cost on the writers.

Hon. Okediran, a former House of Reps member and current Secretary-General of Pan-African Writers Association (PAWA), said while concentrating on their individual works the writers are expected to also interact with selected students of some secondary schools in Iseyin town for about four hours weekly, during which they can teach the students any form of creative arts or writing, as they so desire.

He also revealed that since its inception 12 years ago, the Ebedi Writers Residency has hosted over three hundred writers from different countries of the world.

Below are short biographies of the three new writers for the May 30 — June 30 2022 residency program:


Izunna Okafor

Izunna Okafor is a Nigerian novelist, poet, journalist, essayist, and Igbo language activist who hails from Ebenator in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State. He writes perfectly in Igbo and English languages, and has published widely in both languages, including some books — Ikem's Adventure, The Curse of a Widow, The Faithful Children, Ajọ Enyi, among others.

A Public Adminstration graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka; Okafor's works have appeared in some print magazines, anthologies, journals, etc, both nationally and internationally; while he also has thousands of online published articles/essays, poems and short stories to his credit. He has also edited and co-edited over 25 books and anthologies (published nationally and internationally), as well as served as judge in some national and international literary contests.

Okafor has won and been nominated for some national and international awards which include: Nigerian Writers Award/Indigenous Writer of the Year 2015/2016; Pita Nwana Prize for Igbo Literature, 2015; Nigeria Heritage Icon Award/Young Writer of the Year, Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2016; Nigerian Writers Award/Young Writer of the Year 2015/2016; N.Y.S.C. Essay Competition, 2012; SLAM Hero Youth International Award/Innovative Youth of the Year 2016; First Prize Winner, NAPAS Essay Competition, 2016; The Future Award Africa, 2016; Anambra Exclusive Youth Choice Award/Youth Writer of the Year 2016; Award of Academic Excellence from National Association of Public Administration Students, 2016; Inspire Award/Outstanding Youth in Academics, 2017.

Others include: NAPAS Academic Icon of the Year, 2017; Anambra Campus Award/Campus Writer of the Year, 2017; Anambra Exclusive Youth Choice Award/Outstanding Youth of the Year, 2017; Starlett Entertainment Award/Creative Writer of the Year, 2016; Young Author Award, 2018; Creative Crew Africa/Young Talent of the Year, 2018; Campus Best Writer of the Year, 2018; Campus Best Journalist of the Year, 2018; Young Achievers Award/Best Young Writer of the Year 2019; National Light Newspaper Jounalist of the Year, 2019; Anambra Media Excellence Award/News Reporter of the Year, 2019; Anambra Through a Lens/Recognition Award, 2020; Amazon Publishing Masterclass Award/Most Resilient Male Student, 2021; Anambra Media Excellence Award/Best News Reporter of the Year, 2021; ACORA/Awka Diocese/Media Personality of the Week (November), 2021; among others.

He is a Fellow of the SprinNG Literary Movement/SprinNG Advancement Fellowship, 2020, and alumnus of some creative writing workshops, including the Naija Haiku Poetry Workshop, 2020, among others

In April, 2020, Okafor was appointed the Project Coordinator, Writers Against COVID-19 Movement. He also headed the editorial team of the first international anthology of poems and essays ever published on COVID-19 — Ripostes of Locked Down Voices. He also edited ‘The Malady and the Remedy’, an international essay anthology on human rights abuse in Africa.

A literary organizer, Okafor is the Coordinator of Society of Young Nigeria Writers (Anambra State Chapter), National Secretary of Society of Young Nigeria Writers, as well as the organizer of the Chinua Achebe Literary Festival (an annual international literary festival held in honour of Nigerian literary icon, Prof. Chinua Achebe). He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology.

Okafor said during his stay at the Ebedi Residency, he would be working on an Igbo novel and three others books, and would also be teaching the Ebedi students Igbo language, creative writing, poetry and others.


Isaiah Adepoju

Isaiah Adepoju, who hails from Osun State, studies Literature in English at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He writes for Literature Voices Journal, Nigeria; reads for Adroit Journal, UK, and reads for the James Currey Prize for Literature, UK.

He has works in Aster Lit mag, Sterling Notes, Poetica Review, Institute of African Studies Journal Nsukka, and elsewhere. He's the recipient of the 2022 HIASFEST Star Prize, the 2021 Chima Ugokwe Prize for Essay, the 2021 Pengician Chapbook Prize for Poetry; and longlisted for the 2020 Africa Writers Award.

Isaiah said he'll be working on a fiction, and teaching the students poetry during his 4-week stay.


Hassan Muhammad:

Hassan Muhammad is a children’s author, short story writer, and poet. He has a degree in Estate Management from the Federal University of Technology, Minna where he co-founded the Arts Club. He was a two-term Secretary and Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Niger State chapter. An active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), he’s the recipient of multiple scholarships including Highlights Foundation, Authors Publish, SCBWI and GrubStreet. His children’s books are Biribiri Saves Us (2008) and The Empty Cage (2015) which was shortlisted for the ANA/Lantern Prize. 


His works have appeared in ANA Review, Kalahari Review, Authors Publish Magazine, The Writers and Readers’ Magazine, Weekly Trust Newspaper, New Nigerian Newspaper, and the anthologies: Pyramids, Fireflies, Shadows and Dance Steps at Dawn. Other credits include NYSC Merit Award, Northern Nigeria Writers’ Summit Merit Award, Corpers’ Welfare Association Billiri Merit Award, and shortlist for the ANA/Funtime Prize. 


He is an alumnus of British Council’s Writing Workshop, ANA/Atiku Abubakar National Workshop on Children’s Literature, The Writing Barn’s Poetry Class, among others. He enjoys reading picture books, chess, comedy, and combat sports for inspiration and leisure. He writes as NmaHassan Muhammad and resides in Minna.


He will be completing the revision of three children’s manuscripts which were workshopped recently during the GrubStreet’s Picture Book Revision course with Holly Thompson. He dedicates these stories and the residency to the memory of his son Abdullateef Hamood who died in a tragic fire accident on November 3, 2021.

To give back to the host community, he will be facilitating workshops on the craft and business of writing children’s books for the students in Iseyin community. In addition, he would love to form a chess club for the students in the community.



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Somtochukwu Ezeaniomenyi is the Chief Executive officer, CEO, Som-Tee Group, a multilateral cleaning company in Anambra state. He is a young and dynamic Nigerian entrepreneur currently making waves in industrial cleaning business. Born to Igbo parents of Neni extraction in Anambra state,  Somto, in this interview with LAWRENCE NWIMO x-rayed his experiences in the female dominated cleaning business and what triggered his passion to be an entrepreneur. He also spoke on the draw-backs hindering business and what government must do to help young entrepreneurs in the state and country. Excerpts:

 

May we meet you?

My name is Somtochukwu Ezeaniomenyi. I'm a native of Umuabani Village, Neni in Anaocha Local Government Area Anambra State. I am the Managing Director of Som-Tee Cleaning Services Ltd.

 

How was your childhood days and family experience?


My growing up was fun. Though I was not born with a silver spoon, it was not too tough because I am the sixth child out of seven and the second boy out of three so I had siblings that are older, though there were ups and down, you know. I didn't grow up in a first-class family and because of that, it was a tough fight, trying to make it through the primary, secondary and then tertiary institutions.

What was your childhood dream?

My childhood dream was to become an engineer but later switched my desire to becoming a lawyer.

Now, you are neither an engineer nor a lawyer, what happened to the both?

Well. Like I said, when I was growing up, actually, my first dream was to become an engineer because I loved constructing and repairing things. But that dream was shattered in my secondary school because I was bad in physics - so, I switched from Science to an Art class and my interest shifted from being and engineer to a lawyer because I felt I was very good in arguments. I never saw me becoming a professional cleaner or establishing a company for business, laughs.


What drove you into Professional Cleaning?

I started cleaning job immediately after my secondary education. Within the one year I stayed at home waiting for admission; I had a friend of my sister that was into industrial cleaning then. My sister linked me up to him and I was working for him as a laborer; that was in 2014 and I was being paid one thousand naira (N1,000) per day because I did more of the menial jobs. The nature of the job was tough for me at that time. Again, it needed strong hands but I devoted my time with him to learning the craft. I worked for him for ten days before he suddenly stopped calling me for works after he noticed that I was gradually learning the craft indirectly. As a result, each time I called my colleagues to know how far, they would say they went for work. Then when I ask my Oga, he would say ‘work no dey.’

What happened later?

In December 2014, a friend of mine whose uncle just finished building a house, convinced me to go and meet his uncle for the job. I had wanted to link the man to my boss because I was scared to take up the job myself. After much persuasion, I later took up the courage to do the job myself with the little knowledge I gathered while working with my former boss and the rest was history. That was the first contract I got in the cleaning industry and it happened to be the turning point of my life because from that day onwards, God made a way for me. As a matter of fact we have done over 600 cleaning Jobs and have worked for varieties of companies and individuals over the years.

Have you encountered any challenge along the line?

There were many challenges. One of our major challenges was Finance. There was no machine which made the work so hard for me and my Team. We were doing most of the jobs manually. it was so hard purchasing working equipments because I always rely on a job to purchase the materials needed. However, I don’t have a vehicle so I made use of the commercials; it was so hard to transport our working equipments to some locations. Due to some bad road networks in the state, some of our client’s locations are difficult to access. Again, most people in Anambra especially Onitsha where I started perceived cleaning as an ordinary work that can be done by anybody, this has resulted to many rejections from contractors and house owners, but so far we are trying to change the narrative. Also, after I gained admission to study at Federal College Of Education (Technical), Umunze in 2015, I was in constant battle, trying to combine work with Education. You know, my Education usually take all of January to September so, I usually face the heat period of ember months as cover-up for lost times.

Did you envisage continuing the work after school?

No. I wasn't serious with the job in any way because I didn’t see myself continuing with it after school. It was more of part time or casual work.

Were there other things you did to survive in school within the January to September months?

Yes. I could remember I sold face caps and shirts around 2016/17. That aside, I was into interior decorations. I decorate people's house; paintings and the rest. I was also doing some menial labours like job man, site work and even served masons. In 2018, I learnt how to do Sharwama and also ventured into doing that too. I did Hypeman job in clubs too. I was doing anything legal called work and I did all these to survive.

Why did you decide to go into cleaning having been exposed to these numerous jobs?

Well, when I finished my NCE program in 2018, I asked myself: what next? Because I realized I needed something to sustain myself. The works I do then had all been part time and among them all, it was cleaning that gives me the profit to believe in. I found out it is something I do with passion. Cleaning work doesn't come always but when it comes, I take it with love. So, after graduation, I continued with it and was only keen to develop it. At a point, I started surfing the web on industrial cleaning and noticed that it is one of the biggest industries in the world. I noticed it was not too conversant in Anambra state then, I decided to carve a niche for myself in the area.

At what point did you decide to have a Som-Tee as a brand?

In 2020 during the lockdown season, the vision was to build a standard company and not just a one man company in cleaning industry. That’s why I’m building it as a company; a brand in the industry that would be running even in my absence. I did not want the legacies I had set over the years to just die off. So, I had to set it up to a standard with vision of where we are going to.
 

Cleaning is a female-dominated field. How does it feel competing with women?

It has not been an easy task. In fact, you can count the number of men in this industry. Sometimes, you find out that site owners have sisters and female friends that do the cleanings for them. However, what has kept me going is excellence. Because it is usually my clients that recommend me to other clients and it is due to our job quality. Over the years, I have found refuge in recommendations. Most of the big jobs we have done so far were gotten from recommendations and referrals and it is due to the excellence in my work.
 

Are there times you felt like leaving the industry considering its competitiveness?

Of course! There were times I wanted to give up on the industry. It is very competitive and demanding. People outside might not really know these but it is we that are into it that know the level of competition here. You can see people that just started cleaning business yesterday and today, they have all the machines available and you’re still struggling. So sometimes, especially at the initial stage, when the needed finance was not there to acquire certain machines, I felt like dropping back.

Why do you refer your company as a conglomerate?

Som-Tee Group is a conglomerate because we are designed to deal in Everything Cleaning. Som-Tee specializes in all kinds of cleaning ranging from:

1. Domestic/Residential Cleaning which includes Regular Cleaning, Deep Cleaning, Janitorial Cleaning, Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning, Polishing of Tiles and Bricks.

2. Industrial/Commercial Cleaning which includes Post-Construction/Renovation Cleaning, Facility Management/Maintenance, Retainership Services, Training/Mentorship and General Consulting/Contracting.

3. Environmental Cleaning which includes Waste Management and Disposal, Estate/Street Cleaning, Drainage and Sewage cleaning, etc

4. We also have plans of Venturing into Production of Cleaning Substance and also Sales of Cleaning Equipments and Materials. Laundry Hubs, Car Wash are also in the pipeline.

So Som-Tee Group is a Specialized Conglomerate of Everything Cleaning, We are building a company that would be a sort out company when it comes to Cleaning.

What stands your brand out from others?

We offer credibility and excellence. Like I told you before, what has kept us so far over the years is excellence. Our staff works with passion because they see the passion in me. I didn't start cleaning because of the money I was making but the passion I have for it. So, excellence is the watchword and any house we are called to clean, we clean it like our life depends on it.

You established the company even before you graduated from the university, what was the secret behind the feat?

It was Grace from God. I wouldn't have been here as a fresh graduate and an owner of such a brand without His Grace. It was not an easy journey physically but it was His Grace that kept me going. I finished my NCE in 2018, and by 2019, God made this company even grew bigger. In the process of my Degree Education, being able to combine it was a very rough and risky journey but His Grace was there to see me through.

Would you consider going into other sectors if given the opportunity?

Well. Like I said earlier, Som-Tee Group is a conglomerate. We are working towards branching into so many things. We are working towards production of different cleaning materials, sales of cleaning equipments; importation of different kinds of machines for cleaning, procurement services and lots more. Our vision is to build a standout company that can handle anything cleaningIf any opportunity comes aside these; I can grab it as well.

So far, could you name your biggest achievement(s)?

My biggest achievement, so far, is being able to run this company for the past seven years.Som- Tee at seven, many things happened. Building this business up to this level and handling over five hundred jobs alongside going through school and acquiring Two Certificates in Education. That has been the biggest achievement of my life so far.

How many jobs have you been able to create through your conglomerate?

My company has been able to create no fewer than 50 jobs for youths in Anambra state. Both Fulltime and part time.

Where do you see your brand in the next five years?

We should be among the top class cleaning conglomerates in Nigeria because we would be all round in the cleaning industry including environmental, commercial, residential and domestic cleaning. We would also be all round in supplies of cleaning machines and products. So, in the next five years, expect Som-Tee Group to operate beyond the shores of Nigeria by the grace of God.

How well do you think Anambra government has done in creating business opportunities and what is interesting about Anambra man?

Anambra state has done well in all ramifications, such as natural resources, oil and gas, urbanization and structural planning, culture and tourism, religion, education, entertainment, business and politics. Anambra state has improved drastically in all of these sectors over the years. Anambra State has list of notable men and women both old and young in all sectors both in within and outside Nigeria. The people of Anambra are known for being Industrious, hard working and Smart. Despite some challenges they face when it comes to governmental structures and policies, People of Anambra are known for their resilience. They have shown great courage in striving to survive no matter the Economic Situation in the Country. Being Onye Anambra is something one should be very proud of. The people of Anambra are known for their resourcefulness and they are associated with Success and progress Regardless of the conditions surrounding their environment. I am proud of being Onye Anambra.

What triggered your passion to be an entrepreneur and how viable is doing business in Anambra?

To many youths in Nigeria, becoming an entrepreneur might seem like a scary and high risk taking journey, but to me, this unpredictable adventure seems like the perfect path that my life should take. There are many reasons that triggered my passion to be an entrepreneur. I have always admired great and Successful entrepreneurs. Seeing successful people inspire me a lot to become successful. This gives me the hope and makes me believe that becoming an entrepreneur will allow me to network with people who have already built great businesses. I believe that I have enough potential to find the next profitable idea and change the lives of millions of people.

Being an entrepreneur gives me the freedom to explore my creativity. There is a saying that goes thus “Different Strokes for Different Folks”. People have different callings in Life. Being a 9-5er doesn't feed my burning passion for creativity and innovation. I feel like I am simply doing what the society expects of me instead of making a difference in the world. It is through starting my own business that I get to freely express my creative ideas and fulfill my dreams. I became an entrepreneur because I see it as a mandatory journey to take. A strong fire in my heart makes me believe that I have a strong purpose in the world that surpasses the reality of being an employee. As an entrepreneur, I am driven with the need to succeed and control my own destiny. Owning a business gives me no limitations on the profit and opportunities that I can gain.

I look out to manage projects with high stakes because I have enough confidence to execute them. I love the act of betting on an idea and watching it develops, it makes me smile. I have always wanted to use my company to impact people’s lives and also improve the economy with new job opportunities. I am passionate about helping people more than the pursuit of material things, I derive priceless joy when I offer my service to people and see the happiness and joy it creates in them. That is even more than any reward I can get from a Job.

How viable is doing business in Anambra?

Anambra State is one of the fastest growing states in the country. Like many other states in the country, Anambra state is faced with its own unique challenges. However, due to its fast growing economy, doing business in Anambra is rewarding and Profitable. Doing business in Anambra is very promising and I believe that with persistence, perseverance and Consistency which entrepreneurship requires, I will definitely succeed in an economic driven state like Anambra.

Being someone that started from the scratch, would you say government is fair to the youths?

Well. I would say government has been fair to some extent but there are still rooms for improvement. Government still needs to empower the youths because if they are empowered, they would do more. We have lots of youths doing many things. We have youths with visions. If they are empowered with loans and grants, in the next few years, there would be powerful indigenous companies in Anambra state. Again, when youths are empowered, it would reduce the burden of employment on the government.

Aside loans and grants, do you think there are other things youths need to be successful entrepreneurs?

Yes. Youths need to plan. A youth will succeed when he plans himself very well. You must have a mapped out business plan consisting target audience and areas. When you plan yourself very well, work towards it. Have team members on the edge working and doing their specific duties from their own angles. Though there might be setbacks along the way but if you do your risk management very well, you would be able to cope. But you must plan first.


You are a man of diverse skills, you hold TRCN, NCE and B.Ed certificates, and do you see yourself becoming a teacher someday?

Well. I don't know what God has in stock for me but I always hope for the best. I wouldn't say I will not accept it if the opportunity to lecture or teach comes but it would all depends on the condition attached to it. I acquired the certificate quite alright and so if I am meant to practice it, it’s on God.


Would you consider using the skills you acquired as a teacher in training youths on industrial cleaning?

Sorry I didn't mention it earlier. Part of the conglomerate is Som-Tee Training Academy, where all our newly recruited staff is given sound training. Soon we would be organizing seminars to teach people who are ready to learn the craft so as to establish their own company in the future.


Are you single?

Yea! I'm still single.


How do you cope with female admirers?

It is a big challenge anyway but God remains God. I have been in series of relationship in the past but now I'm working on myself and my future. I want to develop myself before thinking anything about relationship again.

Do you have role model(s)?

Yea! My number one role model is Dr. Stanley Uzochukwu, the CEO of Stanel Group. He is my Boss, Father, Mentor and my overall Chairman. Ever since I met him, my vision has widened. I also have the likes of Arc. Chukky Ezenwa, CEO GSS Group, Tony Elumelu,CEO Heir Holdings, Dr Cosmas Maduka, CEO Coscharis Group, and lots more. They are the people I look up to and wish to become like someday.


What is your advice to the youths who may want to toe your path?

In as much as they go to formal schools, every youth should learn a skill no matter how small it is. Having a skill is more or less a second plan. There are skills in writing, producing and even in the tech world. There are many skills that can be acquired in the tech world. It is good to learn and practice a skill. We should also have a vision of growing the skill to make something out of it and above all, always pray to God.

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By Peace Uchenna Okpalanma



The Society of Young Nigerian Writers, Anambra State Chapter is set to hold her first reading for the year 2022 as one of the literary activities to herald and open the new year.


This was contained in a statement released in Awka on Thursday by the Anambra State's Coordinator of the association, Izunna Okafor.


According to him, the reading is aimed at giving writers (both the burgeoning and the established) a platform and opportunity to read, discuss and analyze their works, other literary works and literature in general with fellow writers, as well as encouraging and promoting reading cultures. 


He noted that the reading, which is slated to hold this Saturday, January, 22, 2022 at the Anambra State Central Library, also known as the Prof. Kenneth Dike State Central E-Library, beside Aroma Junction, Awka, Anambra State capital, starting 10 AM. 


On who and who are invited to the reading, Mr. Okafor noted that the reading, just like every other readings the Society has been holding every month, is open to every writer or literary enthusiast, notwithstanding whether the person is a published author or not.


He said: "Everyone is invited, both old and new members of the forum, writers and literary enthusiasts from any part of the state or the country; as long as the person has interest in being part of it, he is much welcomed.


"Participation is free; all we require is that the person be punctual to the reading and to come with materials (books or manuscript) to read."


Okafor, who himself is a published author, further noted that reading is indispensable and essentially recommended to any burgeoning writer who wants to grow in the literary field, and is equally important to the established writers, if they must maintain and sustain their interest and relevance in the field. 


He then invitingly called on every writer and literary enthusiast from around the state and beyond, to attend and be part of the reading, as the need and the benefits therein cannot be overemphasized.


Society of Young Nigerian Writers is a forum for young/established writers, and literary enthusiasts in Nigeria; and has branches across the 36 states of the Federation. 


The Anambra Chapter of the forum has been the literary body hosting the Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture which holds annually every November 16 (Achebe's date of birth), since 2016.


It also holds her monthly reading every 3rd Saturday of the month at the Anambra State Central E-Library, Awka, the state capital.


According to Okafor, further enquiries on the reading can be made through:

synwanambrachapter@gmail.com

Or 

08163938812

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By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu


The award-winning young Nigerian writer and journalist, Izunna Okafor has clocked 28 years old, with laudable feats, goodwill and achievements.

In an interview with newsmen, Okafor (born January 9, 1994), said his life has indeed been a testimony, looking back to his background, where and how he started.

Recalling and recounting how hideous it was for him in his early years, particularly in his teens; he appreciated God for His marvelous work and infinite mercies.

He went memory lane to narrate how he studied his primary school (at the Community Primary School, Ebenator) and some parts of his secondary school (at the Community Secondary School, Ebenator) barefooted, and with tattered school uniform, to the credit of his family's background.

According to him, being a son of a palm-wine tapper, hunter and electrician in a rural village; he started struggling his way out early in life, precisely during his secondary days when he began to do some handiworks, such as cutting palmnut, hunting, clearing bushes for farmers, tilling the ground/farmland, packing/dumping sands (in rivers), among things.

It was from these, which he said he was doing after school hours, that he saved money to publish his first book, ‘Ikem's Adventure’ back then in 2012 during his secondary school days —a single act that did not only pave way for metamorphosis in the taste of his life story, but also eventually landed him on the track of greatness where he rides and resides till date.

A second son and third child in the family of Mr. Josephat Okafor Udeze and Mrs. Susan Okafor Udeze in Ebenator, Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Izunna Okafor, is an award-winning young Nigerian novelist, poet, essayist, journalist, editor, translator, publicist, Igbo language activist and an administrator.

He graduated from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, where he studied Public Administration. He also holds O.N.D in Public Administration from the same school.

A published and best-selling author, Izunna books include 'Ikem's Adventure' (his first book) published in Nigeria in 2012, during his secondary school; 'The Curse of A Widow' (his second novel), published in 2013; 'The Faithful Children' (his third book), published in 2014 (which received outstanding recognition in the Ezenwa Ohaeto Prize for Young Nigerian Novelists 2015); 'Ajọ Enyi,' his debut Igbo novel and fourth book, published in 2015. 

With 'Ajo Enyi', he became the first person to win the Nigerian Writers Award 2015/2016 as the Indigenous Writer of the Year. Also, with Ajo Enyi, he won the Pita Nwanna Award for Igbo Literature in 2015; and also got shortlisted for The 2015 Young Nigerian Writer of The Year, and the 2017 Nigerian Writers Award.

His other books include ‘Nzúzù M Egbuo M’ (Igbo novel), ‘Educated Illiterate’, and ‘Teach Me Grammar’.

He has been published in many anthologies, nationally and internationally; has thousands of articles/essays as well as poems and short stories published online to his credit. 

A diglot writer, Izunna writes perfectly in Igbo and English languages, and has published widely in both languages. 

He has won and been nominated/shortlisted for a number of awards, which include:

He graduated from Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, where he studied Public Administration. He also holds O.N.D in Public Administration from the same school.

A published and best-selling author, Izunna's books 'Ikem's Adventure' (his first book, published 2012, in his secondary school days) 'The Curse of A Widow' (2013); 'The Faithful Children' (published 2014  and given outstanding recognition in the 2015 Ezenwa Ohaeto Prize for Young Nigerian Novelists); 'Ajo Enyi' (Igbo novel, published 2015).

With 'Ajo Enyi', he won the 2015/2016 Nigerian Writers Award as the Indigenous Writer of the Year; won the 2015 Society of Young Nigerian Writers Award/Pita Nwanna Award for Igbo Literature; and also got shortlisted for the 2015 Young Nigerian Writer of The Year, and the 2017 Nigerian Writers Award.

His other works include 'African Blood' (a short story), 'Nzúzù M Egbuo M' (Igbo novel), 'Educated Illiterate', and 'Teach Me Grammar'.

He has edited and co-edited over 25 books and anthologies (published nationally and internationally).

He has been published in many magazines, anthologies, journals, etc, both nationally and internationally; has thousands of articles/essays as well as poems and short stories published online to his credit.

A diglot writer, Izunna writes perfectly in Igbo and English languages, and has published widely in both languages.

He has won and been nominated for some prestigious awards which include:

The Nigerian Writers Award/Indigenous Writer of the Year 2015/2016

Pita Nwana Prize for Igbo Literature 2015

Society of Young Nigerian Writers Award Nigeria

Heritage Icon Award/Young Writer of the Year Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2016

Merit Award from the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (2016)

Award of Recognition from Students Union Government, Unizik (2017)

Nigerian Writers Award/Young Writer of the Year 2015/2016

N.Y.S.C. Essay Competition 2012

SLAM Hero Youth International Award/Innovative Youth of the Year 2016

First Prize Winner, NAPAS Essay Competition, 2016

The Future Award Africa 2016

Anambra Exclusive Youth Choice Award/Youth Writer of the Year 2016

Award of Academic Excellence from National Association of Public Administration Students (2016)

Inspire Award /Outstanding Youth in Academics 2017

NAPAS Academic Icon of the Year 2017

Anambra Campus Award 2017/Campus Writer of the Year 2017

Award of Excellence from the Society of Young Nigerian Writers 2016

Anambra Exclusive Youth Choice Award/Outstanding Youth of the Year 2017

Youth Writer of the Year 2016

Starlett Entertainment Award/Creative Writer of the Year 2016

Young Author Award, 2018

Creative Crew Africa/Young Talent of the Year 2018, among others

Campus Best Writer of the Year, 2018

Campus Best Journalist of the Year 2018

Young Achievers Award/Best Young Writer of the Year 2019

National Light Staff of the Year 2019

Anambra Media Excellence Award/News Reporter of the Year 2019

Recognition Award, Anambra Through A Lens, 2020

Amazon Masterclass Award/Most Resilient Male Student 2021

Anambra Media Excellence Award/Best News Reporter of the Year 2021

ACORP/Awka Diocese Media Personality of the Week (November) 2021

South East Media Award 2021

He also has some certificates of award, recognition and participation, the most recent of which include:

Certificate of Recognition from the ImpactField Global Initiative (2018)

Certificate of Award from the Applex Art and Creative Crew Africa (2018) 

Certificate of Completion for the SprinNG Advancement Fellowship, 2020

Certificate of Participation, Naija Haiku Poetry Workshop, 2020, among others.

Amazon Masterclass Certificate, 2021, among others


At the age of 21, Izunna was nominated for The Future Award Africa 2016/African Prize For Education, which is one of the biggest and most prestigious African youths awards.

Aside being a creative writer, Izunna is also an Igbo language activist who has played and continued to play great roles in sustaining and promoting Igbo language and culture. He preaches and takes the 'gospel' of Igbo language and the need for its sustenance to every nook and cranny, ranging from schools to churches, radio/television stations, and to other public places, being part if his own contribution and strategic measures to ensure that the language does not go extinct as predicted by the UNESCO in 2012.

He has also been featured in many radio and television stations across the country on this mission.

In addition to these, Izunna is also a renowned journalist and columnist currently working with Anambra Newspaper and Printing Coporation, the publishers of National Light Newspaper, Ka Ọ Dị Taa (which is the only Igbo Language Newspaper in Nigeria) and Sportslight Xtra.

He also writes for Igbo Radio which is an online Igbo language news hub headquartered in Canada, and also freelances for other media/publishing houses, both the online and print media.

Izunna is the Coordinator of Society of Young Nigerian Writers, Anambra State Chapter, which is a literary body that hosts Chinua Achebe Literary Festival, an annual literary event held in memory and honour of Late Prof. Chinua Achebe, since 2016.

He is the Editor-in-Chief of Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology which is an international anthology annually published in honour of Achebe. The most current editions of the anthology include 'Arrows of Words (for Chinua Achebe)', and 'Achebe: A Man of the People', ‘There Was a Man’, among others.

In April, 2020, Izunna was appointed the Project Coordinator, Writers Against COVID-19 Movement. He is the editor of the COVID-19 Poetry/Essay Anthology, titled 'Ripostes of Locked Down Voices', which is the first international anthology of poems and essays on COVID-19.

He has served as a judge in many national and international writing-related competitions.


He is also an alumnus and 2020 Fellow of the SprinNG Advancement Fellowship, being championed by the SprinNG Literary Movement.


He edits and publishes an annual Special Valentine Poetry Collection, which are all available online for free download.


During his undergraduate days, he was also an Editorial Board member of the FAMASSA Magazine.


He is Ambassador of TFA Africa in Nigeria; and Ambassador of Read Across Nigeria in Anambra State.


An alumnus of Unizik, he is also a former Secretary General of the National Association of Public Administration Students (NAPAS), as well as the current National Secretary General of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers.


Today, Izunna Okafor marks his 28th birthday.


Congratulations to him.

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Posted 1 Year ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments




By Chinwendu Uzoatu

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC), Sir Chuka Nnabuife, will, on Tuesday, November 16, deliver the 2021 Chinua Achebe Memorial Lecture, as Anambra young writers set to host the 2021 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival.

This was disclosed by Izunna Okafor, the Coordinator of Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW), Anambra State Chapter, which is the literary body that organizes the Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture 

According to him, Chinua Achebe Literary Festival, which is in its sixth edition now, is an annual literary event held in honour of Nigerian literary icon, late. Prof. Chinua Achebe, in celebration of his numerous accomplishments and great legacies in the literary field and beyond. He further said that the event, which started since 2016, will (as usual) hold on Achebe's date of birth, November 16, 2021, starting at 11.am, at the Anambra State Central E-Library, Awka, Anambra State capital, with many dignitaries in attendance.

While revealing that last year's Achebe Memorial Lecture was delivered by former SSG of the state; he further explained that this year's event will be chaired by former Chief Judge of Anambra State, Prof. Peter Umeadi, who is also a literary enthusiast; while Sir Chuka Nnabuife, an award-winning author and accomplished journalist will deliver the Achebe Lecture.

In his word, "The event will feature Achebe Lecture, dramatizing of Achebe’s selected books, spoken word poetry, announcement of the winners of the 2021 Chinua Achebe Essay Writing Competition (endowed by the Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation, for secondary school students), special reading, award presentation, among other literary packages slated for the day.

The annual event, he noted, will also feature the cutting of Achebe's 91st posthumous birthday cake, as well as the official unveiling and presentation of the Sixth Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology, entitled 'There Was a Man', which is the association's newest anthology of poems and essays published in honour of Achebe. The annual international anthology, Okafor explained, is used to immortalize Achebe, and contains poems, essays, and reviews written and submitted by writers from different countries of the world, in response to a 'Call for Submission' earlier made by the association.

Izunna Okafor, who is also a 2015 Winner of Nigerian Writers Award and brain behind the initiative, further disclosed that the 2021 Literary Festival, themed “REMEBERIG ACHEBE... IN A TIME LIKE THIS” is expected to be graced by many national and international literary figures, and top government functionaries, including the Executive Governor of Anambra state, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano, who is expected to declare the event open, as well as the President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Mr. Camilus Ukah, among others.

Born on November 16, 1930, Chinualumogu Albert Achebe (popularly known as Chinua Achebe) was a foremost Nigerian literary legend and critic, who died on 21st March, 2013  at the age of 82.

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It promises to be another literary reunion for authors and literary enthusiasts from Nigeria and other countries of the world, as young writers in Anambra State, under the umbrella of Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State Chapter), set to host the 2021 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture.

The Coordinator of the group, Izunna Okafor, disclosed this in Awka, the Anambra State capital, while giving update on the association's preparedness for the next-week-Tuesday event.

According to him, Chinua Achebe Literary Festival, which is in its sixth edition now, is an annual literary event held in honour of Nigerian literary icon, Late Prof. Chinua Achebe, in celebration of his life, numerous accomplishments and outstanding legacies in the literary field and beyond. He further said the event, which started in 2016, will (as usual) hold on Achebe's date of birth, November 16, 2021, starting at 11.am, at the usual venue —Anambra State Central E-Library, Awka, with many dignitaries in attendance.

He revealed that this year's Chinua Achebe Memorial Lecture will be delivered by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC), Sir Chuka Nnabuife, who is also a veteran journalist, accomplished author, and 2015 winner of Gulder Ultimate Chase; while former Chief Judge of Anambra State, Prof. Peter Umeadi, will chair the occasion.

In his word, "The event will feature the Achebe Lecture, drama, spoken word poetry, announcement of the winners of the 2021 Chinua Achebe Essay Writing Competition (endowed and sponsored by the Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation, for secondary schools), announcement and recognition of outstanding entrants for the 2021 Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology, special reading, award/certificate presentation, among other literary packages slated for the day."

He also added that the annual event will also feature the cutting of Achebe's 91st posthumous birthday cake, as well as the official unveiling and presentation of the Sixth Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology, entitled 'There Was a Man', which is the association's newest anthology of poems and essays published in honour of Achebe. The annual international anthology, Okafor explained, is the writers' one way of immortalizing Achebe, and contains poems, essays, and reviews written and submitted by writers from different countries of the world, in response to a 'Call for Submission' earlier made by the association.

Izunna Okafor, who is also 2015 Winner of the Nigerian Writers Award and brain behind the initiative, further disclosed that the 2021 Literary Festival, themed “REMEMBERING ACHEBE... IN A TIME LIKE THIS” is expected to be graced by top government functionaries and literary enthusiasts, including the Executive Governor of Anambra state, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano, who is expected to declare the event open; the state's Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. C-Don Adinuba; the state's Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Kenneth Anierobi; the Principal Secretary to the Governor, Sir Willie Nwokoye; as well as the Traditional Ruler of Obosi, H.R.H. Igwe Chidubem Iweka, who will also be the Royal Father of the Day.

While revealing that the National President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Mr. Camilus Ukah, will also attend the event; Okafor further highlighted some of the other literary figures and literary enthusiasts expected at the event, to include: veteran Nollywood actor, Bob-Manuel Udokwu; James Eze (author of 'Dispossessed' and 2020 Winner of the ANA Poetry Prize); Okeke Chika Jerry (author of 'The gods Are Hungry' and 2021 Anambra governorship candidate); Uzor Maxim Uzoatu (author of 'God of Poetry'); Rev. Fr. Ositadimma Amakeze (author of 'The Last Carver'); Isidore Emeka Uzoatu (author of 'Vision Impossible'); and Dr. Paul Ifeanyi (author of 'The Pregnant Virgin')

Continuing, he added that the first female Professor of Mass Communication in Nigeria, Prof. Stella Okunna; the Head of Department, English Language and Literature, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof. Jane Ifechelobi; public affairs analyst, Sir John Ifejika; and international actor/award-winning author, R.C. Ofodile, are also expected, among other dignitaries, young and established writers from within and outside the country, storming Awka, to honour the legend, Achebe.

Asked whether this year's preparation for the event was in any way affected by the recurrent sit-at-home orders in the east and the recent governorship election in the state; Okafor, who responded in affirmation, said their planning was seriously affected and slowed down by the duo, to the extent that they had to pause at a point and wait for the election to come and go, before proceeding with their planning.

He said, "Unlike in 2017 when the governorship election held even very close to the event day (two days after our event), this year's own was very serious, because the environment well charged, coupled with the recurrent sit-at-home, which instilled fear in the people, kept many away from office and even crippled movement and other activities in the state. 

"It happened to the extent that we had to stop at a point and wait for the election to come and go before proceeding with our planning; and you know what that means, because we have just few days left after the election and the supplementary election. But we thank God that we have come a very long way in our preparation, despite the challenges."

"And, judging from what I am seeing," he continued, "I am very optimistic that this year's edition of event will be very much greater than the previous editions. You can see the caliber of people on our guest list. Postponing or suspending the event is not an option, because, for the past six years, we have always hosted it on Achebe's birthday. So, why not this year? Achebe himself wouldn't have done otherwise if he were alive, and you know that. In fact, he is already waiting for us on 16th, and we are very ready for him."

"Achebe must be celebrated, and deserves to be celebrated even on daily basis," Okafor added.

Born on 16th November, 1930, Chinualumogu Albert Achebe (popularly known as Chinua Achebe) was a foremost Nigerian literary legend and critic, who died on 21st March, 2013  at the age of 82.

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SALVAGE NIGERIA FROM RETROGRESSION

By Valentine C. Muoma


Nigeria my country

The giant of Africa

Blessed with natural resources

Free from natural disasters

Colonized and exploited by developed Nations

Finally became sovereign in 1960


Nigeria my country

Presently skewed by modernization theory,

Leading to the politics of retrogression and

Economy of recession


The politics of demagoguery, prebendalism, tribalism and imperialism has become a norm

Paving way for mediocrity, insecurity, inequality, dependency, corruption, bad governance and all forms of malfeasance


Our redemption from retrogression can be actualized by:

Severing foreign relations detrimental to our development

Pursuit of internal growth policy with cognizance to our peculiarities

Political restructuring where mediocrity gives way to meritocracy

An independent judiciary devoid of external interference


Diversifying the economy towards ICT, Agriculture and entrepreneurship is essential

Allocating more revenue to the advancement of our educational sector 

Upholding the principle of equity and respect for human rights

Empowering law enforcement agencies for the fight against corruption and insecurity

Shunning ethnicity and embracing national integration


With these redemption measures in place,

The motto of our Nation "Unity and faith, peace and progress",

Would be seen not just in theory but also in practice

Show quoted text

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Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State Chapter) —the literary body that hosts Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture— is calling for submission of quality poems and essays from writers across the world, for her 6th Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology.

The annual anthology is published in honour and memory of Late Prof. Chinua Achebe, a foremost Nigerian literary legend and father of morden African Literature. The prestigious anthology will (as usual) be unveiled at the 6th edition of Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture, which is slated to hold on 16th November 2021, at the Anambra State Central E-Library (also known as Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library), in Awka, south-eastern Nigeria.

According to the Project Coordinator, Izunna Okafor, who is also the Coordinator of Society of Young Nigerian Writers in Anambra State and Editor-in-Chief of the Anthology, Chinua Achebe Literary Festival is an annual literary festival held by Society of Young Nigerian Writers in memory and honour of Achebe, in celebration of his life, works, contributions and legacies in the literary field. 

The event, he noted, was initiated in 2016, and holds on Achebe's date of birth (16th November) every year since then, with the last edition held in 2020, during which the most recent edition of the Chinua Achebe Essay/Poetry Anthology —'Achebe: A Man of the People' —was published.

"It is with a view to mark this year's edition of the Festival in a more remarkable and memorable way that we are calling on both burgeoning and established writers from different parts of the world, to enter their quality and thematically-written poems and essays for this sixth anthology," Okafor said. 

"The anthology is in honour of Prof. Chinua Achebe; hence, only entries that relate to or revolve around Achebe, his works, his literary prowess and legacies will be accepted for publication," he added.


SUBMISSION GUIDELINES/RULES:

1. Only poems essays/reviews are accepted for the anthology.

2. Entrant must specify the genre of his entry; that is, specify if it is poetry or essay/review. 

3. The poems and essays/reviews MUST relate to or revolve around either Achebe as a person (his personality), his works, his literary prowess/feats, life, legacies or other areas.

4. The essay or poem should be as brief and concise as possible — maximum of 500 words for essays/reviews, and maximum of 30 lines for poetry.

5. Author’s information —location/contact address, phone number, e-mail address, with a short bio of NOT more than 40 words should be included in the submission.

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

7. Entry MUST be the original work of the author/poet. ANY PLAGIARISED WORK WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY DISQUALIFIED.

8. Only ONE entry per person is allowed.

9. Entrant may choose/write on any interesting title of his/her choice.

10. Entries should be sent to:

achebeanthology@gmail.com 

and copied to:

synwanambrachapter@gmail.com

11.  Subject of the mail should read "SIXTH CHINUA ACHEBE ESSAY/POETRY ANTHOLOGY (SPECIFY THE GENRE OF YOUR ENTRY)".

Example: "SIXTH CHINUA ACHEBE ESSAY/POETRY ANTHOLOGY (POETRY)"

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

13. Submission Deadline: 30th SEPTEMBER 2021

Late entry/submission will not be ACCEPTED.

13. Entry may be written in either English or Igbo Language.

● All successful/accepted essays and poetry will be published in the Sixth Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology (soft and hard copies).

● Online promotion of successful/published essays and poems and the entrants.

● All successful entrants shall receive Certificate of Participation.

● Each successful entrant is entitled to author's copy of the published anthology

● Authors/poets of the best ten essays and poems shall be given outstanding recognition and Certificate of Award at the 2021 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture.

● Automatic/free membership and admission into Society of Young Nigerian Writers (for successful/published young Nigerian entrants.)

For inquiries or support, contact:

achebeanthology@gmail.com

synwanambrachapter@gmail.com

+2348163938812

Izunna Okafor (Coordinator, Society of Young Nigerian Writers Anambra Chapter).



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By Uchem Obi, Awka

The trending news that a faceless and unknown group calling itself, Concerned Lawyers In Anambra State, has threatened to report Honourable Justice Nwabunike to the Nigeria Judicial Council, NJC, for hearing a motion ex parte, is a poorly scripted comedy acted by charlatans, who are merely out to exploit the ignorance of desperate and frustrated politicians to make quick money.

Even a fresh law graduate knows, that in civil procedures, ex parte is used to refer to motions for orders that can be granted without waiting for response from the other party. These orders are only in place until further hearings can be held, such as in present matter, a temporary restraining order. It does not stop the other party from challenging the order in court or continuing a substantive matter, and it does not amount to a judgement. In the absence of mischief, no ethical legal practitioner would in the present circumstances question the hearing of a motion ex parte.

Ex parte proceedings are permitted in law when a party needs urgent relief that cannot wait until the other party is informed and given opportunity to respond.

In the instant case, a candidate's right to enjoy the benefits of a fairly won primary election was in danger of absolute infringement, if urgent legal reliefs were not granted. In simple language, Senator Ugochukwu Uba's hard won victory at the PDP's primary election on June 26, 2021 was in danger of being torpedoed  by premeditated efforts that were both illegal and unlawful, championed by unscrupulous individuals.

Given the urgency required to stop the illegal and unlawful attempts to sabotage the Senator's victory, the option of ex parte motion was the most germane legal step to follow.

Moreover,the right to hear an ex parte application is entirely at the discretion of the judge, who is trusted by law to make wise decisions.

How come that this exercise of lawful discretion has come under attack. Are these truly lawyers, "contractors" or outright renegades?

Their threat of dragging the Honourable Judge before the NJC is laughable, infantile and dubious. Sound lawyers do not exhibit such embarrassing ignorance of elementary legal procedure. Their empty threat is more like the Shakespearean tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing.

Uchem Obi, a lawyer, writes from Awka

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By IHRAF, US


As part of her contribution towards curbing the issues of human rights abuse and violation in Africa, the International Human Rights Art Festival (IHRAF) has thematically released a new classic and international essay anthology.

Edited by Nigerian author and journalist, Izunna Okafor, the anthology, entitled "The Malady and the Remedy" is a collection of twenty (20) essays on human rights abuse and violation in Africa, written by essayists, authors and human rights activists from different countries in Africa; as well fifteen (15) inspiring human rights quotes by selected activists around the world.

According to a statement, issued by the Coordinator of IHRAF in Africa, Mr. Wole Adedoyin, who announced the official release of the new anthology, the 20 essays published therein are the essays longlisted in the 2021 human rights essay competition recently organised by IHRAF (African Chapter), captioned "African Human Rights Essay Competition 2021", through which which 45 essays were received from different countries in Africa.

He congratulated all the entrants who participated in the essay competition, and appreciated everyone who contributed in one way or the other to the success of the initiative and the publication of the anthology, particularly the IHRAF founder, Tom Block, who is also an American author and playwright; as well as the editor of the anthology, Izunna Okafor, who is also an award-winning author and journalist.

In his Editor's Note, the editor of the new anthology, Izunna Okafor noted that the publication was a fulfilment of one of the promises made while calling for submissions of essays for the competition, during which only shortlisted entries and entrants were promised publication —a promise that was eventually extended to the longlisted essays and entrants, owing to the quality of their contents.

He wrote, "Although only the shortlisted essays and essayists were promised publication during the 'call for submissions', it became really wise to adjust further to accommodate all the longlisted essays and essayists in this publication, beholding the perceived extraordinary quality, relevance and efficacy of their contents in actualising the overall goal of the initiative, which is to promote human rights values in Africa and positively influence the betterment of the human rights situation in the continent.

"It is the conglomeration, editing and publication of these twenty longlisted essays that gave birth to this classic anthology, entitled "The Malady and the Remedy".

"The essays published herein take both the form of stories/narratives, analyses, etc, to x-ray, bemoan, condemn and challenge the incessant abuse and violation of human rights in Africa, the unsafeness of Africa for human rights activists and freedom fighters, as well as recommend the elixirs to all these ills against humanity.

"Aside its intriguing, thought-provoking, informative, educative and didactic qualities, another most outstanding feature of this anthology is that the essays published therein do not just condemn human rights violations and make recommendations; they are research-based and deep rooted. 

"In other words, these essays experientially and comparably look deep into the history of human rights and human rights abuse/violation in Africa, the causes, the types, what and what have been done so far to better the situation, why those things are not yielding the expected results, and finally propose/present better and more efficacious alternatives to addressing this age-long issue of human rights abuse, borrowing from the experience of yesterday, the situation of today, and the projection for tomorrow.

"Indeed, this anthology is a must-read for everyone who loves human rights and freedom. Every human being deserves to be treated as a human, for his being. Freedom fighting and right activism should be for all and for everyone. Human rights are for every human; and Africans are humans. For every other thing regarding that, flip through the pages of this anthology, and come out a better activist."


Download the book through the link below:

https://ihrafessayanthology.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/themaladyandtheremedyeditedbyizunnaokafor..-1.pdf


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By Izunna Okafor

The award-winning prolific Nigerian writer, Juliet Chudie, has thrilled and wowed the literary world again, with another upcoming masterpiece, which she co-authored with some foreign authors.

Chudie made this known on her Facebook wall and other social media handles, where she notified her teaming fans of the new book, and also shared her joy of being a co-author of the book.

According to her, the book, titled "The Black and African Guide to Moving to the UAE", was co-authored with 19 other brilliant amazing black expats from different industries with experiences in living, working and investing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) powered by @findblackexperts .


Chudie, who salivated her fans with the book cover further noted that, as her respect for human resilience had grown, she was trusting and hoping that her chapter would inspire, answer and bring the readers' hopes alive, when finally released in few months time.


She wrote:

"I am indeed excited to announce my participation as a co-author of the book "The Black and African Guide to Moving to the UAE" with 19 other brilliant amazing black expats from different industries with experiences in living, working and investing in the UAE, powered by @findblackexperts.

"This book will be out in a few months and in it, I will share my personal experience and as well as the rest of the team .

"The vision of the book is to inspire the world with our stories, transcend them and use them to make a difference in the world, to broaden other diasporas’s perspective of the UAE and help provide answers to any future or already existing questions anyone might have about moving or living in the UAE .

"When I first heard about the book and it’s vision to help create opportunities for black people, I knew for a fact that this was an opportunity I wouldn’t afford to miss.

"And as my respect for human resilience has grown , I’m trusting and hoping my chapter inspires , answers and brings your hopes alive."

A member of Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State Chapter), Juliet Chudie is a native of Agulu in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria, as well as the Founder of Juliet Chudie Foundation (founded in 2015) and Great Igbo Women, UAE.

She is the author of 'A Mother's Heart Bleeds' and the winner of the CSA Award as the Creative Writer of the Year 2018. Chudie has, through her foundation and writing, touched many lives, empowered many youths, restored many hopes in diverse ways, and contributed meaningfully to general societal development.

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The Society of Young Nigerian Writers, Anambra State Chapter is set to hold her first reading for the year 2021 as one of the literary activities to herald and open the new year.


This was contained in a statement released in Awka on Wednesday by the Anambra State's Coordinator of the association, Comrade Izunna Okafor in Awka.


According to him, the reading is aimed at giving writers (both the burgeoning and the established) a platform and opportunity to read, discuss and analyze their works, other literary works and literature in general with fellow writers, as well as encouraging and promoting reading cultures. 


He noted that the reading which is slated to hold on Saturday, 23rd January 2021 at the Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library, beside Aroma Junction Awka, Anambra State capital, will kick off at exactly 9 AM. 


Responding to the question of who and who are invited, Izunna noted that the reading, just like every other readings the Association has been holding every month, is open to every writer or literary enthusiast who wants to participate in it, notwithstanding which part of the state or country the person is coming from. 


He said: "Everyone is invited, both old and new members of the forum, writers and literary enthusiasts from any part of the state or the country; as long as the person has interest in being part of it, he is much welcomed.


"Participation is free; all we require is for the person to be punctual to the venue and to come with materials (books or manuscript) to read."


Izunna, who himself is a published author, further noted that reading is indispensable and essentially recommended to any burgeoning writer who wants to grow in the literary field, and even much more important to the established writers, if they must maintain and sustain their interest and relevance in the field. 


He then invitingly called on every writer and literary enthusiast from around the state and beyond, to attend and be part of the reading, as the need and the benefits therein cannot be overemphasized.


Society of Young Nigerian Writers is a forum for young/established writers, and literary enthusiasts in Nigeria; and has branches across the 36 states of the Federation. 


The Anambra Chapter of the forum has been the literary body hosting the Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Memorial Lecture which holds up annually every 16th November (Achebe's date of birth), since 2016.


The chapter also holds her monthly (every 3rd Saturday of the month) at the Anambra State Central E-Library, Awka, the state capital.


According to the statement, further enquiries on the reading can be made through:

synwanambrachapter@gmail.com

Or 

08163938812

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It is with a thankful heart of joy that young Nigerian Writer and Journalist, Izunna Okafor excelled unto his 27th rung in the ladder of years.

This was contained in a statement issued by the celebrant, Okafor, who celebrated his silver jubilee last year, being a fellow of January 9th 1994.


Recalling and recounting how hideous it was for him in his early years, particularly in his teens; Okafor, an award-winning said his life was indeed a testimony, and also appreciated God for His marvelous work and infinite mercies.


He went memory lane to narrate how he studied his primary school (at the Community Primary School, Ebenator) and some parts of his secondary school (at the Community Secondary School, Ebenator) barefooted, and with tattered school uniform, to the credit of his family's background.


According to him, being a son of a palm-wine tapper, hunter and electrician in a rural village; he started struggling his way out early in life, precisely during his secondary days when he began to do some handiworks, such as cutting palmnut, clearing bushes for farmers, tilling the ground/farmland, packing/dumping sands (in rivers), among things.


It was from these, which he said he was doing after school hours, that he saved money to publish his first book —Ikem's Adventure— back then in 2012 during his secondary school days —a single act that did not only pave way for metamorphosis in the taste of his life story, but also eventually landed him on the track of greatness where he rides and resides till date.


Born (9th January 1994) to the family of Mr. Josephat Okafor Udeze and Mrs. Susan Okafor Udeze in Ebenator, Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Izunna Okafor, is an award-winning young Nigerian Novelist, Poet, Essayist, Journalist, Editor, Translator, Publicist, Igbo Language Activist and an Administrator.


He graduated from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, where he studied Public Administration. He also holds O.N.D in Public Administration from the same school.


A published and best-selling author, Izunna books include 'Ikem's Adventure' (his first book) published in Nigeria in 2012, during his secondary school; 'The Curse of A Widow' (his second novel), published in 2013; 'The Faithful Children' (his third book), published in 2014 (which received outstanding recognition in the Ezenwa Ohaeto Prize for Young Nigerian Novelists 2015); 'Ajọ Enyi,' his debut Igbo novel and fourth book, published in 2015. 


With 'Ajo Enyi', he became the first person to win the Nigerian Writers Award 2015/2016 as the Indigenous Writer of the Year. Also, with Ajo Enyi, he won the Pita Nwanna Award for Igbo Literature in 2015; and also got shortlisted for The 2015 Young Nigerian Writer of The Year, and the 2017 Nigerian Writers Award.


His other books include "African Blood" (A Short Story), "Nzúzù M Egbuo M," (Igbo novel), "Educated Illiterate," and "Teach Me Grammar."


He has been published in many anthologies, both nationally and internationally; has thousands of articles/essays as well as poems and short stories published online to his credit. 


A diglot writer, Izunna writes perfectly in Igbo and English languages, and has published widely in both languages. 


He has won and been nominated/shortlisted for a number of awards, which include:


The Nigerian Writers Award/Indigenous Writer of the Year 2015/2016


Pita Nwana Prize for Igbo Literature 2015


Society of Young Nigerian Writers Award Nigeria


Nigeria Heritage Icon Award 2016/Young Writer of the Year, Federal Republic of Nigeria


Merit Award from Society of Young Nigerian Writers (2016)


Award of Recognition from Students Union Government, Unizik (2017)


Nigerian Writers Award/Young Writer of the Year 2015/2016


SLAM Hero Youth International Award/Innovative Youth of the Year 2016


Anambra Exclusive Youth Choice Award/Youth Writer of the Year 2016


Award of Academic Excellence from the National Association of Public Administration Students (2016)


Inspire Award 2017/Outstanding Youth in Academics


Academic Icon of The Year 2017 (from National Association of Public Administration Students, NAPAS)


Anambra Campus Award 2017/Campus Writer of the Year 2017


Award of Excellence from the Society of Young Nigerian Writers 2016


The Future Award Africa/African Prize for Education, 2016.


Anambra Exclusive Youth Choice Award/Outstanding Youth of the Year 2017


Youth Writer of the Year 2016


NAPAS Essay Competition 2017


Starlett Entertainment Award/Creative Writer of the Year 2016


Young Author Award, 2018


Creative Crew Africa/Young Talent of the Year 2018, among others


Anambra Campus Award/Campus Best Writer 2018


Anambra Campus Award/Campus Best Journalist of the Year 2018


Best Secretary General of NAPAS (2018)


Young Achievers Award/Best Young Writer of the Year 2019.


Joint Winner, ANPC Best Staff of the Year 2019


Recognition Award, Anambra Through A Lens, 2020


Certificate of Award from SprinNG Literary Movement, 2020


Young Achievers Award/Most Influential Young Writer of the Year, 2020 (though yet-to-be awarded, due to COVID-19)


Certificate of Recognition, from ImpactField Global Initiative, 2018


Certificate of Award from Applex Art and Creative Crew Africa, 2018


Certificate of Completion for the SprinNG Advancement Fellowship, 2020


Certificate of Participation, Naija Haiku Poetry Workshop, 2020, among others.


At the age of 21, Izunna was nominated for The Future Award Africa 2016/African Prize For Education, which is the biggest and most prestigious African Youth Award.


He has been published in many literary magazines, websites, and blogs.


Aside being a creative writer, Izunna is also an Igbo Language Activist who has played and continued to play great roles in sustaining and promoting the Igbo Language and culture. He preaches and takes the 'gospel' of Igbo language and the need for its sustenance to ever nook and cranny, ranging from schools to churches, Radio/Television Stations, and to other public places, being part if his own contribution and strategic measures to ensure that the Igbo Language does not go extinct as predicted by the UNESCO in 2012.


He has also been featured in many radio and television stations across the country on this mission.


In addition to these, Izunna is also a renowned journalist and columnist currently working with the Anambra Newspaper and Printing Coporation, the publishers of National Light Newspaper, Ka Ọ Dị Taa —which is the only Igbo Language Newspaper in Nigeria —and Sportslight Xtra.


He also writes for Igbo Radio which is an online Igbo Language news hub with its headquarter in Canada, as well as freelance for other media/publishing houses, both the online and print media.


Izunna is the Coordinator of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers q (Anambra State Chapter), as well as the initiator, "Chinua Achebe Literary Festival," which is an annual literary event organized in memory and honour of Late Prof. Chinua Achebe, under the umbrella of Society of Young Nigerian Writers, Anambra Chapter. 


He is the Editor-in-Chief of Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology which is an anthology annually published in honour of Nigerian literary star, Late Prof. Achebe, and which attracts entries and submissions from different countries of the world. The most recent of these anthologies is the "Achebe: A Man of the People" which was published in 2020, during the year's edition of the Chinua Achebe Literary Festival.


Izunna is the Chairman, Project Coordinator, Writers Against COVID-19 Movement, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of the "Ripostes of the Locked Down Voices" which is an international anthology of poems and essays on Coronavirus.


During his undergraduate days, Izunna was part of the editorial team of the FAMASSA Magazine.


He is Ambassador of TFA Africa in Nigeria, and the Ambassador of Read Across Nigeria in Anambra State.


An alumnus of Unizik, he is also a former Secretary General of the National Association of Public Administration Students (NAPAS), as well as the current National Secretary General of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers.


In 2019, Izunna met and discussed literature with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, at a literary evening that climaxed the 2019 Purple Hibiscus Creative Writing Workshop, organized by the international literary figure, Adichie.

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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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MY EULOGY TO AN EPITOME OF EXCELLENCE BY MUOMA VALENTINE CHIBUEZE.

Achebe, A true leader
Whose utterances were truth bound
Counteracted racism and oppression
Detested corruption
Fought to elevate his people from mental slavery
Unlike some eccentric leaders
Corrupt masters of the economy
Pursuing their selfish desires

Achebe, the literary icon
Who showcased our rich cultural heritage to the world
A true son of ogidi
Who took pride in his cultural values
Used his write-ups to promote Igbo culture

Achebe, the pride of African literature
Who proved "the pen is mightier than the sword"
An intellectual
Whose impact motivates the youths to acquire formal education
Thereby reducing the Nation's level of illiteracy
Promoting civilization
And the prestige of our educational sector

Achebe, the literary prophet

Through his fourth novel in 1966
Depicted political instability and corruption
Which resonates with contemporary Nigerian reality

Achebe, the protest writer cum activist
Who portrayed African writers as protest writers
Counteracting the ills of the society through write-ups
Spurring the strive against insecurity, assault, corruption and other vices in the society
In a bid to restore the dignity of an average Nigerian.

Oh! How we yarn for another literary icon
A man of the people
With divine inspiration
Who would go further to fight corruption and insecurity to a standstill
Salvage us from the scourges of neo- colonialism
Foster international relations
Promote peace and unite the nation
Restructure our Nation for good.


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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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History will again be made on Monday, the 16th day of November, 2020, as young writers in Anambra State, Nigeria, set to mark Achebe's 90th posthumous birthday with a literary festival and maiden memorial lecture.


The event, Chinua Achebe Literary Festival And Maiden Memorial Lecture, is organised by the Society of Young Nigerian Writers, Anambra State Chapter, in memory honour of Chinua Achebe, a renowned Nigerian literary icon, also reputed  to be the Father of African Literature.


According to the Coordinator of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers, (Anambra State Chapter), Izunna Okafor, the Maiden Chinua Achebe Memorial Lecture, which is the first of its kind, will be delivered at the 2020 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival. 


He noted that the Chinua Achebe Literary Festival which started in 2016 and which is in its fifth edition now, will feature, lectures in memory of Achebe, dramatizing of Achebe’s selected books, open microphone/spoken word poetry, announcement of the winners of the 2020 Chinua Achebe Essay Writing Competition (sponsored by the Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation, for secondary school students), art exhibition, award presentation, among other literary packages slated for the date.


The annual event, he noted, will also feature the official unveiling and presentation of the Fifth Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology entitled "Achebe: A Man of the People" (which is the association's newest collection of poems and essays published in honour of Achebe). The annual international anthology which is used to immortalize Achebe, Okafor says, contains poems and essays and reviews written and submitted by writers from different countries of the world, in response to a 'Call For Submission' earlier made by the association.


Izunna Okafor, who is also the initiator of the Chinua Achebe Literary Festival, further disclosed that the 2020 literary festival, themed "Chinua Achebe: Our Heritage In A New Normal" which is done in collaboration with the Anambra State Library Board, will, as usual, take place on Achebe's date of birth (16th November) at the State Library, in Awka, Anambra, Achebe's home-state, starting at 10:AM.


In his word, "The Maiden Chinua Achebe Memorial Lecture will be delivered at the event by Mr. Oseloka Henry Obaze who is a very good friend of Achebe, a writer, art enthusiast and former Secretary to the State Government in Anambra State; under the distinguished chairmanship of the MD/CEO, Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation, Sir Chuka Nnabuife, who is also an author, art curator and veteran award-winnig journalist."


The 2020 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival And Maiden Memorial Lecture is expected to be declared open by His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano (the Executive Governor of Anambra State) who will grace the occasion as the Chief Guest of Honour; while Prof. Peter Umeadi, art enthusiast and former Chief Judge of Anambra State will be a Special Guest of Honour.


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (award-winnig global literary icon), Prof. Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo (NLNG prize-winning author), Uzor Maxim Uzoatu (author of "God of Poetry"), Odili Ujubuoñu (author of "Pregnancy of the gods"), Isidore Emeka Uzoatu (author of "Vision Impossible"), Okeke Chika Jerry (author of "The gods Are Hungry"), Rev. Fr. Ositadimma Amakeze (author of "The Last Carver"); James Eze (author of " Dispossessed"), Paul Ifeanyi (author of "The Pregnant Virgin") among others, are expected at the event.


The 2020 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival will be transmitted live by DigiTV, and will also have the presence of the State's Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Christian Madubuko; veteran Nollywood Actor, Bob-Manuel Udokwu; the Director General, Digital Entrepreneurship Office, Ifeanyi Anagoh, among other dignitaries, young and established writers from within and outside the country.


Born on 16th November, 1930, Chinualumogu Albert Achebe (popularly known as Chinua Achebe) was a foremost Nigerian literary legend and critic, who died on 21st March, 2013  at the age of 82.

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By SYNW Anambra


Prof. Justice Peter Umeadi is set to grace the 2020 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival And Maiden Memorial Lecture, as a Special Guest of Honour.


Prof. Umeadi, FCArb, who is a former Chief Judge of Anambra State and Life Bencher, confirmed this in his acceptance letter to the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW) Anambra State Chapter, which is the literary body that organises the November 16 event. 


The letter succinctly reads in parts, "I gladly accept to be the Special Guest of Honour at the 2020 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival and Maiden Memorial Lecture slated for 16th November 2020 at Awka, Abambra State.


"Accept the assurance of my warmest regards."



On his own part, the Coordinator of Society of Young Nigerian Writers Anambra State Chapter, Izunna Okafor, said the Chinua Achebe Memorial Lecture, which is the first of its kind, will be delivered at the 2020 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival, which is a literary event annually hosted in honour of Nigerian Literary Icon, Late Prof. Chinua Achebe in celebration of his life, works and legacies.


In his word, "The Chinua Achebe Literary Festival which started in 2016 and which is in its fifth edition now, will feature drama, open microphone, announcement of winners of Chinua Achebe Essay Writing Competition, award presentation, unveiling of the Fifth Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology, “Achebe: A Man of the People” published in honour of Achebe; art exhibition, entertainment, and other literary packages slated for the day."


Izunna Okafor who is also the initiator of the Achebe Literary Festival further noted that the Memorial Lecture will be delivered by Chief Oseloka Henry Obaze, who is a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG) in Anambra State and Keynote Speaker at the event themed "Chinua Achebe: Our Heritage In A New Normal".


He also revealed that the 2020 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival And Maiden Memorial Lecture will hold on 16th November (Achebe's birthday) 2020, at the Anambra State Central E-Library, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria, starting at 10:AM.


The event, according to him, will be chaired by the MD/CEO, Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC), Sir Chuka Nnabuife, who is also an author, art curator and veteran award-winnig journalist.


Prof. Akachi Adimora-Ezigbo, Odili Ujubuonu, Maxim Uzoatu among other prolific Nigerian writers are also expected at the event.


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By Izunna Okafor


Another great loss hit the Nigerian literary community in the early hours of Tuesday, as Prof. John Pepper Clark (popularly known as J.P. Clark) joined his ancestors at 85.


His death was disclosed in a statement signed by Prof. C. C. Clark (for the family) and Mr. Ilaye Clark (for the children), and which was made available to newsmen on Tuesday morning. 

The statement reads, “The Clark-Fuludu Bekederemo family of Kiagbodo Town, Delta State, wishes to announce that Emeritus Professor of Literature and Renowned Writer, Prof. John Pepper Clark, has finally dropped his pen in the early hours of today, Tuesday, 13 October 2020.

“Prof. J. P. Clark has paddled on to the great beyond in comfort of his wife, children and siblings, around him.

“The family appreciates your prayers at this time.

Other details will be announced later by the family.”


Until his death this morning in an undisclosed Lagos hospital after a brief illness, Prof. J.P. Clark was a professor of English and renowned poet and playwright. His outstanding works include: Poems (poetry, published 1961), 

The Raft (drama, published 1964), A Reed in the Tide (poetry, published 1965), Ozidi (drama, published1966), The Boat (drama, published 1981), A Decade of Tongues (poetry, published 1981), State of the Union (poetry, published 1981), Mandela and Other Poems (poetry, published 1988), among others.


1991, Clark received the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award for literary excellence, among other recognitions that define him as one of Africa's pre-eminent and distinguished authors.


J. P. Clark hailed from Kiagbodo, Burutu council area of Delta state, and was a younger brother to elder statesman and Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark.


It is worthy to note that J.P. Clark died an octogenarian, which was also same for Nigeria's Chinua Achebe, Nigeria's Chukwuemeka Ike, Cameroon's Ferdinand Oyono, South Africa's André Brink, Kenya's Grace Ogot, Nigeria's Elechi Amadi, Malawi's David Rubadiri, among other great writers who were obviously of the same generation in the field of pen, including Nigeria's Gabriel Okara and Buchi Emecheta who died a nonagenarian and a septuagenarian respectively.  


Izunna Okafor writes from Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria

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By Izunna Okafor




It was indeed a blend of tears, encomium and fanfare as Nigeria's multiple award-winning author and literary crackerjack, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie buried her father, Late Prof. James Nwoye Adichie.


The burial ceremony, held in Adichie's hometown, Abba in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra, began with a Holy Mass presided over by Auxiliary Bishop Jonas Benson Okoye of the Awka Catholic Diocese, and drew the attendance of Ex Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, the Vice-Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Professor Charles Esimone, among other intellectuals and personalities, including the members of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State Chapter) who went to commiserate with the Adichie Family.


In his homily, Bishop Okoye described Prof. Nwoye as a hardworking man who used his wealth of knowledge, intellect and finance to serve the humanity, looking at his past records and legacies. He thus urged Christians to always show love to anyone they come across and live a worthy life that will not only give joy to humanity, but also earn them eternal repose at last.


On her own part, Chimamanda Adichie, who read the scriptures (both in Igbo and English languages) during the pontifical burial mass that held in St. Paul's Catholic Church, Abba, said her father lived an examplary life and was the kind of man everyone would love to have as father.


"My father was a very remarkable, kind and loving father. He was also a patient and honest man of integrity. He always had time for his children. In fact my father was the bedrock of whatever I am today. So I don't think I could have had a better father than him. I love him, and I will miss him so much," she said.


Contributing, former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State who was also the Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 Presidential Election recounted his encounters with the deceased, and attested that he was an iconic man of peace who left enduring peace and legacies for his children and the society.


Popularly addressed by his chieftaincy title of 'Odelọra', Late Prof. James Nwoye Adichie who died on Wednesday June 10, 2020 at the age 88, was the first professor of Statistics in Nigeria. He is survived by Mrs. Grace Ifeoma Adichie (wife); Ijeoma Adichie, Uchenna Adichie, Chuks Adichie, Okey Adichie, Chimamanda Adichie, and Kenechukwu Adichie (children), as well as many grandchildren and other relatives.



Izunna Okafor writes from Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria

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The Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State Chapter) is seeking submissions of quality poems and essays from writers across the wolrd, for her 5th Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology.


The annual anthology is published in honour and memory of Late Prof. Chinua Achebe, a foremost Nigerian literary legend and the father of morden African Literature. The prestigious anthology will (as usual) be unveiled at the 5th edition of Chinua Achebe Literary Festival which is slated to hold on 16th November 2020, at the Anambra State Central E-Library (also known as Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library), in south-eastern Nigeria. 


According to the Project Coordinator, Izunna Okafor, who is also the Coordinator of Society of Young Nigerian Writers in Anambra State, Chinua Achebe Literary Festival is an annual literary festival held by Society of Young Nigerian Writers in memory and honour of Achebe, in celebration of his life, works, contributions and legacies in the literary field. The event, he notes, was initiated in 2016, and holds on Achebe's date of birth since then, with the last edition held in 2019, during which the most recent edition of the anthology Chinua Achebe Essay/Poetry Anthology —"Arrows of Words" —was unveiled.


It is with a view to mark this year's edition of the Festival in a more remarkable and memorable way that the organizers are calling for quality poems and essays from burgeoning and accomplished writers to enter their thematically-articulated essays and poetry in memory of Achebe for the fifth anthology. The anthology is in honour of Prof. Chinua Achebe; hence, only entries that revolve around Achebe, his works, his literary prowess and legacies will be accepted for publication.



SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:


1. Only essays and poems are accepted for the anthology


2. Entrant must specify the genre of his entry, that is, specify whether it is Poetry or Essay


3. The essays and poems MUST be in the memory of Chinua Achebe, and may focus on his life, works personality, writing style or other areas.


4. The essays or poems should be brief and concise —a maximum of 500 words for essays or reviews, and a maximum of 30 lines for poetry.


5. Author’s information —location/contact address, phone number, e-mail address, and a short bio of no more than 40 words should be included in the submission.


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


7. Entry MUST be the original work of the author/poet.


8. Only one entry per person is allowed.


9. Entrant may choose/write on any interesting title of his/her choice.


10. Entries should be sent via: synwanambrachapter@gmail.com , with the subject "FIFTH CHINUA ACHEBE ESSAY/POETRY ANTHOLOGY (SPECIFY THE GENRE OF YOUR ENTRY)"


11. 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.


12. Submission Deadline: 20th October 2020. Late Entry will not be accepted.


13. Entries could be written in either English or Igbo Language.



BENEFITS:


● All successful/shortlisted essays and poetry will be published in the Fifth Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology (soft and hard copies).


● Online promotion of successful/published essays and poems and the entrants.


● All successful entrants shall receive Certificate of Participation.


● Each successful entrant is entitled to author's copy of the published anthology


● Authors/poets of the best ten essays and poems shall be given outstanding recognitions and Certificate of Award at the 2020 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival.


● Entrants (if present at the event) shall be allowed to present their essays/poems at the event.


● Automatic/free membership and admission into the the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (for successful/published young Nigerian entrants.)


For inquiries or support, contact:


synwanambrachapter@gmail.com


08163938812

Izunna Okafor (Coordinator, Society of Young Nigerian Writers Anambra Chapter)


07010178124

Maureen Onyinyechi Kenneth

(Secretary)

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Osita Eze, Youth Pastor
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     Permit me to begin by commending the efforts of Senator AbiodunOlujimi for initiating the Gender Equality Bill recently rejected by members of the house of Senate. An erudite person may want to find out what the bill is all about. The bill proposed by Senator Abiodun Olujimi on the 15th of March, 2016 was to guarantee gender equality in politics, education, employment and marriage. The bill also seeks to protect the female gender against gender discrimination. The bill was rejected by a larger number of Senators in Nigeria because an aspect of the bill does not agree with what our traditional and reIigious institutions preach.

In my opinion, the bill is worth the consideration of members of Senate for many reasons.

     Firstly, I believe that there would be no meaningful development in every sector of Nigeria’s economy without the maximum involvement of the female gender in nation-building. The female gender is capable of increasing the financial, intellectual and technological base of Nigeria if given equal opportunities and rights as given to their male counterparts.

     Secondly, the rejection of the bill will never makeNigeria achieve conformity with the United Nations Conventions on gender issues. The poor representation of female gender in Nigeria in workplaces, educational institutions and governmental agencies will continue to negate international, regional and national benchmarks of at least thirty percent representation of the female gender generally agreed upon by members of the United Nations of which Nigeria is an active part of.

     Furthermore, everybody in spite of gender is created with specific talent and skill which needs to be expressed. Equal rights and opportunities to employment and education will provide an enabling environment for the female’s personal development and give them a senseof belonging to a nation which has their interest at heart. The female constitutes about sixty percent of Nigeria’s population, yet they occupy less than fifteen percent of the political postsin the national, state and local government levels-a trend which does not speak well of Nigeria as the most populous black nation on earth. The female gender must be given their place of pride in the scheme of things. The law will serve as the template to achieve this. The bill must not be delayed but immediately passed into law.

     Lastly, the rejection of the bill will only continue to promote gender discrimination and this will continue to make women insecure, deny them meaningful employment, expose them to exploitation and sexual violence and encourage other discriminatory practices against women. To avoid all these, the Nigerian Senate must therefore wake up to its task of making credible laws and accept the Gender Equality Bill presented before it. Its failure to do this would simply mean one thing: hatred for their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters.

    However, while the above-listed reasons may be valid, I have a few reservations on the aspect of the bill that emphasizes gender equality in marriage. I am of the opinion that a woman may not enjoy equality with her husband in the true sense of the word.This is because our traditional and religious institutions do not preach gender equality in marriage. The men have always been the leaders of their various families and have always been responsible for their welfare. Their authority to lead is believed to have been bestowed on them by God Almighty.No one dare alter this natural order.

    In addition, male and female were created with physiological and behavioural differences. They were never created to be competitors-they have their areas of strengths and weaknesses. Each of them must discover and learn to cherish these differences in their own interests.While it is true that men and women were created to play different but complementary social roles, it is important that men should stand and speak up for the women in their lives. Defensive mechanisms that would promote the welfare of their female counterparts should be put in place.

    In the interim, it is advisable that Senator Abiodun Olujimi should take into consideration some of the sentiments expressed by her colleagues especially on issues pertaining to gender equality, make basic amendments on the bill and re-present it to the Senate.

    In conclusion, I want to state this clearly that the Gender Equality Bill is not a battle of the sexes; it is not a bill that removes the submissiveness of women to their husbands neither is it a bill that seeks to erode the responsibility of the women in her home. It only seeks to give the woman more opportunity to assist herself and the man in the home. It is a bill that will benefit the men andthe society at large.

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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 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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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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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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By SYNW Media

As the world celebrated the 2020 World Poetry Day, young writers in Anambra State, under the umbrella of Society of Young Nigerian Writers have reiterated call for immortalization of Chinua Achebe, one of Nigeria's foremost literary figures.


The Coordinator of the association, Mr. Izunna Okafor announced this during a one-day literary event organized by the association, in commemoration of the day in Anambra State.


The event which held at the Anambra State Central E-Library, Awka on Saturday, was also used to mark the association's March monthly reading, and also for remembering seven years of Achebe's exit, who coincidentally died on World Poetry Day (21st March, 2013).


He disclosed that the association has been in the forefront in celebrating the legend, Achebe,  and his works, through the annual 'Chinua Achebe Literary Festival'; through publishing of annual poetry/essay anthology in his honour; and through organizing annual secondary school essay writing competition in his honour, which he said, was recently endowed by the Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation, among other numerous ways they keep Achebe's memory alive.


According to him, the 2019 edition of the Chinua Achebe Literary Festival birthed a world class anthology —Arrows of Words; and also birthed a six-point communiqué and recommendation, which the association sent (with accompanying letter) to the State Governor, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano, and other concerned ministries and agencies of the State Government, for implementation.


He disclosed that the number-one item in the six-point communiqué (which he said they deliberately did not publish online for public consumption, until one month after the event) was the call for Chinua Achebe's immortalization, as well as suggestions/recommendations on how that could be best done.


Okafor, an award-winnig author and journalist, however, further regretted that, up till today, the State Government is yet to commence implementation of any of the items contained in the communiqué.


"The State Government needs not ignore or allow such a wonderful communiqué as that to die a natural death, as that would not be fair or encouraging who aspire to toe Achebe's path," he added.


He therefore reminded the State Government and other concerned authorities of the need to productively utilize the communiqué and immortalize Chinua Achebe, who he said is overdue for the that, owing to his great contributions and legacies in the literary field of life, before bowing out seven years ago. 


Others who spoke at the event, including the author of "Pregnancy of the gods" and Managing Director/Chief Creative Officer of Brande Aristotle Limited, Mr. Odili Ujubuońu; award-winnig Journalist, Dr. Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, among others, tasked the young writers on creativity, and further re-emphasize the inestimable importance of such literary gatherings to those who truly want to excel in the literary field.


The three-in-one event featured readings (both in honour of Achebe and the World Poetry Day), literary appreciation, observance of a minute silence in honour of Chinua Achebe's soul, among other literary packages slated for the day.

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By Izunna Okafor



It was Haruki Murakami who once said that death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it —an aphorism buttressed strongly by George Eliot's apothegm that "Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them."


It is on these long-standing witty sayings that the Nigerian literary community received the her first shocking news of 2020, that foremost Nigerian novelist, who was also the Traditional Ruler of Ndikelionwu Kingdom in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra, Eze Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike has gone asleep.


The news which ushered in the dawn of the second Thursday of the year was hitherto faulted and scored a grapevine, to the credit of two points —the source from which it came, and the terminology with which it was broken. 


By way of reaction to the news, it was rightly argued that, in Igbo land, Traditional Rulers do not die. In other words, in Igbo land, it is wrong for one to say that a Traditional Ruler is dead; instead, one could say that the king has joined his ancestors, is sleeping, is resting, or has fallen asleep.


Secondly, no one is authorised to disclose such information (that the king is sleeping) except the affected community's cabinets or Council of Elders, in agreement with the members of the royal family or the ruling dynasty, as the case may be. 

Although, people, especially the closest relatives or community members may be aware that the king has fallen asleep, they won't dare disclose it or tattle over it, pending an authorised disclosure by the right source.


Little wonder why, when interviewed on the hideous development, a stakeholder from the Ndikelionwu Community, Prince Emma Okoli-Ijeoma said, “'As far as I am concerned as a member of the ruling house in this Ndikelionwu Ancient Kingdom, I am saying that Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike Eze Ndikelionwu, the 11th of Ndikelionwu is not yet dead!

In our tradition, nobody opens his mouth to tell outsiders that the Traditional Ruler is dead. You don’t say it because according to the customary law of Anambra state, king doesn’t die!


"If at all there is anything of that nature, one would say the king has joined his ancestors. It is not the duty of anybody to tell outsiders that the king is dead. It is after the royal family has met and agreed before such thing would be announced. Not just a rifraf would come and say what he doesn’t know!


"So I am saying that as far as the royal family is concerned, we have not announced anything to the public, that is, if something really happened."


Also, in most cases, the Elder In Council may not even announce the news, except a replacement or heir is found, especially in a situation where the crown is rotational.


These formed the basis upon which the news of Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike joining his ancestors was held in the air on arrival.


Be it as it may, succeeding sunset and sunrise have unmasked and unearthed the rock.


As Nze Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike rests on in his ancestral home and palace, Ndikelionwu, literary enthusiasts, fans and some other stakeholders in the country have continued to register their feelings and pour their tributes to the legend.


Breaking the news, the Anambra State's Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr.  C-Don Adinuba said, "Goodnight, Prof Chukwuemeka Ike. We all drank from the fountain of The Bottled Leopard as students to assuage our curiousity for mystery. We were stunned by the shenanigans of Expo ’77 and thrilled, to no end, by Sunset at Dawn.


“As you join your ancestors, let’s pray you never stumble from The Chicken Chasers or undone by Conspiracy of Silence. Adieu, a great man of letters, a king who wore humility like a robe.”


On his own part, the Executive Governor of Anambra, H.E Chief Willie Obiano said, "I am saddened by the death of HRM Eze Chukwuemeka Ike. He was always a regal presence around us here, bringing his wealth of experience to bear on the deliberations of the Traditional Rulers Council. We shall sorely miss him. But we shall also find strength and consolation in his exemplary life and the legacies he left for mankind through his literary works and stellar contributions to the traditional institution in Anambra State.”


Former PDP Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar said, “I mourn one of Nigeria’s prolific novelists and traditional ruler of Ndikelionwu in Anambra State, H.R.H. (Prof.) Chukwuemeka Ike.


“He will be remembered for his classics: "Toads for Supper" and "Sunset at Dawn" among others. May he rest in peace."



In similar tones, other literary enthusiasts and concerned Nigerians have also bared their minds thematically on the development, ruefully registering their reactions to the news and their tributes for the legend, as collated below:


Denja Abdullahi, immediate past President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) says:


"Prof. Ike's death was sad all the same but it was not a shock because he was an old man. He was a contemporary of all other first generation of Nigerian writers and his death was like the end of an era. We could say that the last of the titans has gone home.  


Tributarily, Abdullahi said, "Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike was a productive writer of several novels with interesting stories and catchy titles. You could locate his works between the popular and literary fiction genre. He was a very good satirist of the human condition.I feel that he was not celebrated enough like some other people feel. It may be because of his self-effacing nature and unwillingness to indulge in needless literary and critical controversies.


"He has gone beyond just being a writer to contribute to the development of the Nigerian Book Industry through his Nigerian Book Foundation. He was always there anywhere you invite him to if it had to do with writing,writers and the books. 


"Prof Chukwuemeka Ike will live eternally in the minds of all of us through his evergreen stories of the foibles of man."



Mr. Oseloka Henry Obaze, a published author, poet and literary enthusiast says:


"The passing of HRM Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike, Eze Ndikelionwu is numbing.   He was an exceptional, gifted, resolute and most unassuming person.  I was privileged to be considered his friend and welcomed freely into his palace. He was chair of my book presentation in 2018. 


His tribute: "Eze Chukwuemeka Ike lived life fully and made enduring contributions to our educational system, literature, cultureand traditional institution. He motived many writers, even those who never met him personally. 


"He has immortalized his name and his footprints will linger for years to come.  May God grant him eternal rest and his dear wife HRM Bimpe Ike, the fortitude to bear the loss."



Okeke Chika Jerry, an author, publisher and literary arts promoter says:


"I was in deed shocked when I heard the sad news over the radio. I wished he stayed a bit longer so that this generation of ours will have tapped a lot more from his wealth of wisdom. 


"But I believe Professor Ike is not totally dead and he will never die completely because all his works are still breathing all over the world. "Rest in peace Papa ndi authors."



Odili Ujubuońu, award-winning author and literary enthusiast says: 


"This is a huge loss. Chukwuemeka Ike was a great inspiration to a lot of writers who came after him. The choice of subject matters he treated in his novels spoke a lot about the kind of man he was and the whole essence of his writing.


"He was never complex in his style and or his plot and that led us easily into the wonderful worlds he created. These worlds would live forever with us. Through them, we would keep remembering him. May his gentle and kind soul find eternal peace."


Reginald Chiedu Ofodile, author and international award-winning actor says:


"I received news of his demise with sighs. I'm told Professor Ike is asleep, which is a correct phrase to apply to a traditional ruler. His subsiding into sleep did not shock me. He lost his only child three years ago. It must have been a massive blow, and he was also in his late 80s."


Tribute: "Eze Ike was an engaging, fluent and satirical writer. He created fascinating characters and witty, wicked situations. I remember 'Sweetie' in TOADS FOR SUPPER, 'Peace Bozo' in THE CHICKEN CHASERS, 'Mrs Ikin' and 'Dr Okoro' in THE NAKED GODS... and many others.  I recall his books appeared under the FONTANA imprint, not the AFRICAN WRITERS' SERIES."



Prof. Sam Uzochukwu, Igbo Poet and Novelist says:


"Prof Ike's death is indeed a loss to the nation, particularly to the literary class.Though he lived to old age, death, particularly of an icon always evokes shock to the living; so I feel shocked by his death as his other admirers .


"Prof. Ike was among the respected writers, in the same class as Chinua Achebe, for which Umuahia Govt college was renowned. He produced novels that dealt with topical issues of his time. 


"Above all, Prof. Ike was a man imbued with tenacity of purpose. He never wavered on any issue he was convinced about. This quality of his was manifested when I worked with him, a few years ago, on an Igbo project for which we were appointed by the Anambra State Govt.

May the Lord grant him eternal rest, amen."





Untill he slept off, Eze Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike (born on April 23, 1931) was award-winning and pioneer Nigerian writer, known for a mixture of lampoon, humor and satire, a writing style believed to be tied to his Igbo cultural upbringing.


He attended the Government College, Umuahia, where he started writing for the school magazine, The Umuahian, which published his first ever written story —‘A Dreamland,’ a work which set his foot on the literary space.

Some eminent Nigerian writers who attended the school include Chinua Achebe, Christopher Okigbo, and Ken Saro Wiwa, among others.


A graduate of the University College, Ibadan, Prof. Ike made a plethora of impacts and left great legacies in the literary and academic fields, and was conferred the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) Award which is Nigeria's highest and most prestigious national prize for academic and intellectual attainment, making him the second Novelist to receive the award since its inauguration in 1979, the first being Prof. Chinua Achebe.


Prof. Ike's works include Toads for Supper (1965), The Naked God’s (1970), The Potter’s Wheel (1973), Sunset and Dawn (1976), Expo ’77 (1980), The Bottled Leopard (1985), Our Children are Coming (1990); Conspiracy of Silence  (2001), among other publications.


Away from the literary flank, Prof. Ike served as an academic in different roles such as a lecturer at the University of Ibadan, registrar at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), and visiting professor at the University of Jos.


He was also the President of the Nigerian Book Foundation, as well as the first Nigerian to be the registrar of the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC).


Ike slept at 88.


As Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike peacefully joined his ancestors, Nigerian literary community, fans, and the world at large heartily bid him farewell and wish him eternal repose in the world of immorality.

Goodnight great man.





About the Author:


Izunna Okafor is an award-winning Nigerian Novelist, Poet, Journalist, Essayist, Editor, Translator, Publicist, Igbo Language Activist and Administrator who hails from Ebenator in Nnewi South L.G.A of Anambra State Nigeria. He writes perfectly in English and Igbo languages, and has published several books in both languages.

Izunna has received over 25 awards, and has over 2000 articles published online, both nationally and internationally. 

He can be reached via: izunnaokafor70@mail.com


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Written By Izunna Okafor


It was indeed a festival words and  dulcet epopees at Awka, the capital city of Anambra State, as Opinions From Africa for (OFA) rocked the state with first made-in-Anambra Poetry Concert, which held amidst cultural displays and musical pantomime.

Speaking at the event, the state's Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha described the event as apt and impactful, and further maintained that it was in line with the policy and programs of Governor Willie Obiano, who she said, is greatly committed to discovering, empowering promoting, enhancing and encouraging creativity among the youths in the state.


Prof. Omenugha, who was represented by the Public Relation Officer of the ministry, Mr. Nnaemeka Egwuonwu, expressed satisfaction with the presentations by the young talents, and argued that there were lots of lessons to be learnt from them.


She said, "I cannot fully express how excited I am, seeing these well talented youths come and talk about very serious issues in the society with carefully chosen and artistically designed poetic lines and words, and give us food for thought on what is happening in the society today, thereby giving us hope for Africa, for the Black Race, for Nigeria and for the society in general. 

"So I feel highly delighted being part of this program; and I also commend the organizers for the wonderful work they have done."


Earlier in his opening remarks, the convener of the event, Mrs. Jidechukwu Angela Nwabueze said the event tagged "African Sensation," was aimed at celebrating Africa, telling the Africa's story, and proffering solutions to Africa's problems through poetry, as well as featuring young poets from various parts of the country.

She appreciated individuals and organisations who contributed in one way towards the success of the event, including the Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC) which is also one of their media partners 


On his own part, the founder of Opinions From Africa (OFA), Mr. Kaosisochukwu Nwagboso said the association founded in 2017 is a non-governmental organization with the objective of gathering poets, creative minds and intellectuals from different a academic fields, to utilize their skills, talents and brain power in rebranding and making Africa great. 


Some of the participants at the event, including Maryjane Onyekaba who presented a poem entitled "Good Morning Africa;"  Ibiam Ude Ufiem who presented "Ozoemena;" Cynthia Ekeka who presented "The Voice of Africa;" and Raymond Mimi who presented "Africa Who Are We?" among others called on Africans, particularly the youths to wake up, hold tight their heritage as Ndi Africa, and also contribute to the development of Africa and promoting her identity.

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By Izunna Okafor 


Writing has once again been described as the king of all arts, and the indispensable route to the bottom line of every art destination.

This made the idea for discussion at the grand finale of the 2019 Purple Hibiscus Trust Creative Writing, organized by award-winning Nigerian literary figure — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which she held in Anambra, her home state, for the first time.

The interactive event which ended with fanfare and literary communion tagged "A Literary Evening With Chimamanda" aimed at inspiring and raising a brand of creative writers of African descent who will not only tell African stories, but also utilize their writing prowess in solving societal problems.

Speaking at the event, the convener, Adichie who hails from Abba in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State asserted that  every nation needs storytellers without whom humanity will be diminished, and further maintained that there are many yet-to-be-told stories about Africa, which should not be left for non Africans to tell; as, according to her, stories of Africa can only be best told by Africans themselves.


She said, "If we don't tell our story as Africans, somebody else would tell it for us; and if we don't take responsibilities for supporting our storytellers, other people would tell our story, but in the way it suits them."


While decrying the poor reading culture in the society today, the international literary icon charged the participants to hold reading to a high esteem, as that is a prerequisite for anyone who must excel in the literary field or contribute intellectually to the growth and development of his society.


Contributing, the MD/CEO of Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation, Sir Chuka Nnabuife appreciated Adichie for bringing the workshop down to her homestate this year, and eulogized on her great feats in the literary field, which he said has helped to project the image of the state in the international community; even as he suggested to her, the need to  articulate and come up with a book that conglomerates her works in activism and advocacy so far, which he said her millions of fans all over the world would be very eager and happy to welcome on arrival.

Among other climax, the event featured premiering of video clip that biographically highlights excerpts of some recent feats attained by Adichie; as well as an interactive session with her, during which questions, opinions, suggestions, and observations were sourced from the participants and fans, all of which she perfectly and consummately reacted to.

Others who graced the literary evening included the state's Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. C-Don Adinuba; the founder of JohnBosco Onunkwo Foundation, Engr. JohnBosco Onunkwo; former media aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Reuben Abati; the Dean, Faculty of Arts, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Prof. Ngozi Chuma-Udeh, as well as Adichie's parents, among others.

Sharing their views earlier, some of the successful entrants who were selected for this year's writing workshop, among whom were Kasimma Chinelo Okani from Achina, Anambra state, Anthony Nonso Dim from Imo state but lives in Germany, and Gloria Mwaniga Odary, a teacher from Kenya, all confessed that the workshop offered them golden opportunities to tap from Adichie’s wealth of knowledge in literary arts, even as they urged the government and other wealthy individuals to assist in sponsoring and providing the needed logistics to sustain the exercise in subsequent years.

Formerly known as the Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop with previous editions in Lagos, the 2019 workshop marked its 10th year.

Adichie's remaining of the workshop after her debut novel "Purple Hibiscus" was explainable, as she had earlier left her longtime Nigerian publishers, Kachifo Limited—the parent company of Farafina Trust—for Narrative Landscape Press, co-founded by her friend, Eghosa Imasuen, author of Fine Boys, and the editor Anwuli Ojogwu.

Izunna Okafor, a young Nigerian writer and Coordinator of young writers in Anambra State used the platform to identify and familiarize with Adichie, and also told her about the Chinua Achebe Literary Festival which the young writers are organizing annually in honour of Chinua Achebe, and presented her with a copy of "Arrows of Words" which is an anthology of poems and essays published by the young writers in this year's edition of the event.

He also discussed the non existence of writers residency in Anambra State with Adichie, an idea which she swiftly subscribed to and promised to do something about.


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By Izunna Okafor


It was Antoine De Saint-Exupery who once said "Love does not stop at gazing at each other, but involves looking outward together in the same direction, and taking a mutual stride thereto."


It is on this age-long dictum that the award-winning Nigerian author, Godwin Cornelius Udagbor sets to walk down the aisle with Marygina Akan Owan.


In an interview with our reporter, Godwin, who, together with his spouse, hails from Bekwara Local Government Area of Cross River State, said the traditional marriage will hold on 30th November at Ochagbe in the Bekwarra Local Government, while the white wedding will hold on 7th December at Christ the King Catholic Church, Kubwa, Abuja.


Disclosing how he found his inamorata, the scribbler explained that Marygina found her way into his life through the Facebook window, following a post about his classic short story — Cry of the Forest — which is an epic story that looks at the place of polygamy in civilization. 


Godwin had, through the book, proved his worth in the field of pen, following its shortlisting in the first ever Dusty Manuscript Contest in 2018, and consequent panegyric showered on the book by literary doyens and savants, including award-winning authors, critics and publishing companies, both nationally and internationally.


It was Marygina’s fecund inquisition to know the author of the Cry of the Forest, which is a story about Ochagbe, her home town, that birthed  love. The 'cry' attracted her attention to the forest, and in rummaging the forest, she found smile, which at last birthed their love.


"In tightening this nut of everlasting affection," Godwin says, "I and my heart throb therefore, joyfully invite writers, readers, publishers, friends, well-wishers and other literay enthusiasts to join us in these epoch-making events and conviviality." 

 

In his words, "The traditional marriage will hold on 30th November, 2019 at Akan Owan Compound, Afrike Ochagbe in Bekwarra Local Government Area of Cross River State, while the white wedding will be on 7th December, 2019 at Christ the king Catholic Church Kubwa FCT, Abuja, Nigeria, starting at 9.am."







A bright and ardent young Nigerian Writer, Godwin Cornelius Udagbor started his writing career back then in his university days which earned him the highly contended opportunity to serve as a PRO to the Federation of Catholic Medical and Dental Students(FECAMDS).


In 2010, he received a diplomatic certificate from World Bank for International Essay Competition.

He has published a plethora of articles about critical issues bordering on the affairs of Nigeria as a country.


His debut novel, "Bena's Dream Comes True" was published in 2014, and was indeed a worthy contender at the 2015 NLNG prize.


As a fast rising author, Godwin has helped upcoming writers in a plethora of ways, to find their feet in the literary field. Some of his mentees, Omeiza, the author of "Cry of An Orphan" and Queen Easter Ashim, the author of "Friends Forever" stand out as quintessential testimonies of his mentorship, as some of their books are currently used as literary texts in all schools in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.


He is a member of over 40 literary organizations online.

Currently, he is the Coordinator of Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW) Abuja Chapter.

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By Izunna Okafor


History will make itself again on Sunday November 24 2019, as the Christ the King College Old Boys’ Association, Abuja branch sets to join the Catholic faithful across Nigeria in the annual celebration of the feast of Christ the King, with a Pubic Presentation of a CKC new book — "Sons of a Priest" by a CKC old boy and multiple award-winning author, Odili Ujubuoñu.


This was contained in a statement issued by the President of CKC Onitsha Old Boys’ Association Abuja Branch, Chief Emeka Eriobuna, in which he disclosed that the day is also the feast day celebration of the Christ the King College, Onitsha, which is one of the foremost secondary school schools in Nigeria.

He said this year’s event, which would involve old boys of the college with members of their families, will commence with a High Mass at the Holy Cross Catholic Church, Gwarinpa Abuja by 9:00 a.m. 

According to him, the book is a collection of testimonials of past students of the longest serving and first black principal of the college, the late Very Reverend Fr. Nicholas Chukwuemeka Tagbo OON. 

These past students, he said, include: Governor Willie of Obiano of Anambra State, Dr. Peter Odili former Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Peter Obi former Governor of Anambra State, Senator Mike Ajegbo, His Lordship Archbishop Valarian Okeke–Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Onitsha–Hon. Justice P.N.C Umeadi former Chief Judge of Anambra State, among others.


The statement reads in part: "The book project began in 2016 shortly before the death of the old priest, Fr. Tagbo at the age of 87 years.

"Sons of a Priest is a strong emotional statement by over a hundred past students, united in their voices in proudly telling the world how a simple and humble priest sacrificed his life so that tens of thousands of ordinary boys could become leaders, influencers of society and very remarkable successes in different walks of life and around the world. When our branch saw the great work the author, whom we are very proud of, was embarking on we decided to partner with him.

“Rev. Fr. Tagbo was a man of quality and everything that bears his name goes with quality that is why we are making this a very quality event.”

"The Public Presentation would be done by another distinguished old boy Mr. Cecil Osakwe an Abuja based Lawyer and Luxury Property Developer."


Speaking further, Chief Eriobuna, an Estate Surveyor, opines “This event would be attended not just by CKC greats but captains of industry, the diplomatic community, members of the media, political and party leaders and members of the clergy –who form the primary constituency of our late principal, priest, father, mentor and friend. The Book event would take place by 4.00pm at the Sandralia Hotel, Jabi, Abuja, FCT.”


He concludes “In order to make the fame of our college last forever, we must keep ensuring that Christ the King College stands head and shoulders above its contemporaries in academics, sports, discipline and morals. The book event, apart from celebrating our former principal, will enable us pay attention to the immediate and remote needs of our alma mater."


Christ the King College was founded in 1933 by Irish missionaries led by the then Archbishop of Onitsha, Archbishop Charles Heerey. Among the eminent products of the school are the late Rev. Fr. N.C. Tagbo himself,  late Justice Chukwudifu Oputah, Justice Chuba Ikpeazu, Dominic Cardinal Ekandem, Prince Felix Esayande Akenzua, Chief Chike Ofodile, SAN, Dr. Ibe Nwoga, Justice Allagoa, Dr. Ene Henshaw, the great novelist John Munonye and a host of countless others. 


Rev. Fr. Nicholas Chukwuemeka Tagbo OON was born in 1929 in present day Anambra State. He graduated from the college in 1949 and was first appointed the first black principal of the Christ the King College, Onitsha in 1963. Under his tutelage, Dr. Peter Odili served as a senior prefect and several other great men earned their early leadership formation. During the war, Rev. Fr. Tagbo preserved CKC’s rich archives and tradition and was able to return the school to its early glory immediately after the Nigerian Civil war. 


This culminated in the school winning, for Nigeria, the nation’s first ever world football trophy by bringing home from Dublin-Ireland, the World Schools’ Soccer Cup in 1977. Tagbo  died in July of 2016 after a protracted illness. He received a grand burial from Christ the King College Onitsha, Old Boys. It was reported that at his burial, thousands of his former students besieged the commercial city of Onitsha from every corner of the earth to pay their last respects to him. Among N.C. Tagbo’s exceptional past students was the world renowned Computer Scientist, Philip Emeagwali and Dr. John Agwunobi who was once the Secretary of Health, the State of California, U.SA. 

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¶Unveil New Anthology For Chinua Achebe


It was a fecund and commemorative gathering yesterday as literary enthusiasts and writers converged in Awka, the Anambra State Capital, to mark the 2019 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival organized young writers in the state.


The event which is a literay festival held annually in honour of foremost Nigerian literary champion, Late Prof. Chinua Achebe in celebration of his worthy life, works and legacies in the literary field.


Delivering a lead paper on the event's theme — ''Intellectuals And National Development: The Chinua Achebe Approach,'' the Guest Lecturer, at the event, RC (Reginald Chiedu) Ofodile described Achebe as a great intellectual and patriot whose commitment to national development was uncommon, being a man who placed his nation’s advancement above his personal glorification, as evidenced by his two-time rejection of the honour of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Going memory lane through Achebe's works and life, Mr. Ofodile, an international award-winning writer and actor said "In his approach as an intellectual striving for national development, abjuring art for art’s sake; Chinua Achebe walked his talk, and posterity gives him credit for that."


Describing the event as auspicious, the Chairman of the occasion who is also an award-winning poet and author of 'Pregnancy of the gods' Mr. Odili Ujubuońu noted that Chinua Achebe was not only a great writer but also a cultural activist who through his pen and mastery of art, exposed to the world, the real beauty of Igbo culture and that of Africa at large.


Earlier in his address of welcome, the convener of the event and Coordinator of Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra Chapter), Mr. Izunna Okafor said the primary aim of the event was to celebrate Achebe as a hero and eagle on the Iroko of African Literature, immortalize him in their own way as young writers, and also remind the concerned authorities to immortalize him the best way he deserves.

He said "Aside these, we also, through this event, promote, encourage and reward creative writing and reading culture among our youths and students; discover and harness the hidden but amazing talents among our young ones, in the literary field; and also present writers and readers (intellectuals) as the elixirs to the country's ailments, among other objectives we pursue through it."


Acknowledging that Anambra State has given the world arrays of writers, Izunna who himself is an award-winning author and journalist also called for public and private support for the subsequent editions of the event, even as he urged the  state government to appoint aide(s)  (Special Assistant or Senior Special Assistant or even both) on literary matters, who will stand as a bridge between the government and writers in the state, both young and established.


Responding, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano, represented by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. James Ezeh extolled the young writers for initiating and sustaining the literary festival in honour of Achebe the legend, and also avowed the state government's continuous support to the young writers and youths in the state, being a youth friendly Governor.


The Governor was thereafter presented with a gift of pictorial artwork containing a sonnet, creatively crafted by one of the young writers, Mr. Chinonso Okafor.


The 2019 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival featured, among other literay packages, the unveiling and official presentation of Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology, entitled "Arrows of Words" which is a new (85-paged) anthology of poems and essays, published by the young writers in honour of Achebe.

The event also featured presentation of awards to some deserving personalities and organisations in the state, as well as presentation of prizes to the winning schools and students in the Chinua Achebe Essay Writing Competition, which is an essay writing competition for secondary schools in Anambra State, endowed by the Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (publishers of the National Light Newspaper, Ka O Di Taa Igbo Newspaper and Sportslight Xtra).


Others great writers and literary enthusiasts who graced the occasion included the Traditional Ruler of Obosi, H.R.M Igwe Chidubem Iweka, represented by Chief Okey Mgbemena (Uzzi Obosi); Sir Chuka Nnabuife (author of 'Mbize: Rage of Red Earth, and MD, National Light Newspaper); Mr. Uzor Maxim Uzoatu (author of  God of Poetry, and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Communication); Rev. Fr. Ositadimma Amakeze (author of The Last Carver); Mr. Okeke Chika Jerry (author of The gods Are Hungry); Mr. Isidore Emeka Uzoatu (author of Vision Impossible); the Director of Anambra State Library Board, Dr. Nkechi Udeze, and MD/CEO of Naira Rice industry, Comr. Arinze Omenwa, among others.


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All is now set for the 2019 edition of the Chinua Achebe Literary Festival which will hold this Saturday in Akwa, the Anambra State Capital.


This was contained in a statement issued by the State Coordinator of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers, (Anambra State Chapter), Mr. Izunna Okafor who is also the convener of the event.


He said the event will draw the participation of literary enthusiasts and figures, writers of all class, and intellectuals from different parts of the country, and will feature, among other literay packages: lectures in memory of Achebe, dramatizing of Achebe’s selected books, Open Mic/Spoken Word, Chinua Achebe Essay Writing Competition (for secondary school students, sponsored by the Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation), unveiling and presentation of the Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology entitled "Arrows of Words" (which is the association's newest collection of poems and essays published in honour of Achebe), award presentation, and many more...


According to him, the literary festival which holds annually since 2016 is organized by the Society of Young Nigerian Writers, (Anambra State Chapter) in honour of Nigeria's literary legend and father of the African Literature — Late Prof. Chinua Achebe who died in March 2013, in commemoration and celebration of his immense contributions and legacies in the literary field.

While unveiling the 2019 theme of the event — 'Intellectuals And National Development: The Chinua Achebe Approach' Izunna described it as apt, given the rueful position of Nigeria today on the developmental ladder, and the envisaged roles the intellectuals have in fixing it, using Chinua Achebe as a benchmark. 


It would be recalled that Late Achebe, until his death, was a die-hard chauvinistic countryman who, with his wealth of knowledge, contributed immensely in propelling the developmental wheel of his country Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. He was also an intellectual with integrity, as evidenced by his two-time rejection of the country's second highest award for intellectual achievement and contribution to National Development —the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic — in 2004 and 2011 respectively, simply because he perceived things were not going the way they should in the country, as under-development, corruption and impunity were the order of the day.


'This auspicious theme,' Izunna says, 'will be further dissected at the literary festival by an international award-winnig actor and author R.C (Reginald Chiedu) Ofodile who will be the lead paper presenter and Guest Lecturer at the event.'


He further disclosed that the literary festival which is done in collaboration with the Anambra State Library Board will be declared open by H. E. Chief Dr. Willie Obiano, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, who will grace the occasion as the Chief Guest of Honour.


The statement reads in part: "Other guests and literary enthusiasts expected at the literary festival include: Senator Uche Ekwunife (Senator, representing Anambra Central); the state's Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Hon. C-Don Adinuba; Chief Oseloka Obaze (author and former guber candidate); Mr. James Ezeh (Chief Press Secretary to the Governor); Sir Chuka Nnabuife, (author of 'Mbize: Rage of Red Earth, and MD/CEO, National Light Newspaper); Chief Uche Nworah (Author of The Long Harmattan Season, and MD/CEO, Anambra Broadcasting Service); Rev. Fr. Ositadimma Amakeze (author of The Last Carver); Okeke Chika Jerry (author of The gods Are Hungry); Odili Ujubuoñu (author of Pregnancy of the gods); Uzor Maxim Uzoatu (author of  God of Poetry); Isidore Emeka Uzoatu (author of Vision Impossible)"


Furthermore, it enumerated the Royal Fathers of the day to include: 


H R.M Igwe Alex Uzor Onyido


(The raditional Ruler of Ogidi Kingdom)



H.R.M. Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike


(The Traditional Ruler of Ndikelionwu)



H.R.M. Igwe Chidubem Iweka


(The Traditional Ruler of Obosi)



The statement reads: "Participation in the 2019 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival is  absolutely FREE and open to all.



Date: 16th November, 2019


Venue: Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library, Awka, (Beside Aroma Junction).


Time: 10.am


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Zuma is set to publish debut novel, Fib and the Axe of fury by Esosa Kolawole in 2019. 

Fib and the Axe of fury is a young adult story of Fibikemi Adeosun, a determined, girl of St. Martha’s school.

Here’s the blurb: Aaron Oni has just two more months to live.

When Fibikemi lost her eyeglasses, a magical barrier protecting her from herself, she encounters something strange.

It’s only the beginning of a weird and terrifying journey and in a matter of time, someone dangerous will come for her.

Her obsession with saving Aaron pushes her to do the unimaginable and eventually, she discovers exactly why she must never take off her eyeglasses outside her home.

Brilliantly paced, with a young, exciting heroine and a twisting, imaginative story line, Fib and the Axe of fury is a strange West African mythological story.

This story sheds light on the Yoruba gods/ goddesses and more will be established in the spin off. It also deals with mental issues and how people handle it differently.

“I wanted to write a book that touched some social issues, but still have some fun. I’m glad I was able to do that. Even though some of my characters were quirky and fun to relate with, I was able to  delve into what  loss of loved one can cause, rape and the resulting effect. Even boys are not safe too.”

Esosa Kolawole first wrote a novella titled Dear Dave in 2017, but developed a strong connection with paranormal stories. Some of her short stories includes: Asákè and the goddess of death, The house of tiny people, The Ant Queen, Portal of Faili and many more.

Esosa’s writings have appeared in Fiction magazines  including the 81 words and 101 fiction.She holds a degree in Estate management. When not working, she plays adventure games on her play station.

Fib and the Axe of fury will be available in retail stores in Nigeria in 2019Esosa Kolawole author of Fib and the Axe of fury

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By Izunna Okafor

Based on the agelong apothegm that a dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement, Comrade Okechukwu Onuegbu has been appointed as a  Sole Administrator of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Anambra State Chapter.

      This was contained in a letter of appointment released by the National Executive Council of the association, informing the appointee of the new gig, which was part of the association's resolves in her recent National Executive Council meeting held in Abuja on the 26th of January, 2019.

        The letter dated 7th February, 2019 and signed by the National President of the association, Mr. Denja Abdullahi reveals that the appointment was premised on the recognition of Okechukwu's person as a long-standing committed member of the association at both the national and state levels.

      Consequent upon this new mandate, among other functions and activities Okechukwu may perform or initiate to resuscitate ANA in Anambra state; he was also charged to: build a consensus among the members of the association in the state, ascertain the authenticity of the membership structure of the chapter for future reference, and to arrange (in close liaison with the National Executive Council), the conduct of a fresh election for the chapter within the stipulated period of his sole administration, which is three months only in the first instance from the reception of the letter. 

        Conclusively, the letter reads: "...you can co-opt neutral people of integrity to assist you in the discharge of the above tasks. We are of the opinion that you will bring your years of experience to bear on this onerous task of maintaining peace and restoring harmony to ANA Anambra. While we look forward to the attainment of the objectives of the set out tasks, please accept our esteem and due regards".

        Prior to his appointment, Okechukwu Christopher Onuegbu has been a published author of many books, a poet, a journalist, a publicist, a blogger and a longstanding member of ANA, Anambra Chapter.

      Owing to Anthonie De Saint's epigram that "the time for action is now, and it's never too late to do something"; it is believed that with the experiences gathered so far as a deep-rooted ANA member, and as an apostle of creative arts in general, Okechukwu will promptly reinvigorate and move the ANA Anambra to a greater and enviable height, in an expected swiftest pace. 

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Written By Izunna Okafor


It is no longer a novelty that every calendar year wakes up and sleeps off with a natural book of many pages. Pages of dreams and visions, pages of imaginations and realities, pages of successes and failures, pages of joy and sorrow, pages of progress and regress, pages of victories and losses, pages of smiles and tears, among many others. 

These pages indeed represent what the year holds for men.

       Among many others, Nigerian Literary Industry has been a silent character that has tasted a paragraph in virtually all the pages of the natural book in the year 2018. That is to say that a lot of pages have opened and closed to the literary industry as the year 2018 blinks away.

       Nigerian Literary industry has been one of the most highly revered industries in the country, owing to her gargantuan contributions towards the development of the country, coupled with the venerable caliber of people therein.

     Analytically speaking, the year 2018 was neither all white nor all black for the industry, as many writers recorded while many others were recorded in different books in the year.

For Nigerian writers, the year 2018 began with good news, following the long listing of a 30-year old Ayobami Adebayo in the 'Wellcome Book Prize' on 9th February, for her debut novel “Stay With Me” published in 2017, making her the only African Writer that made it to the list of the highly competitive annual British Literary Award.

      Shortly after this, sad news crawled in, following the shocking news of Akinwunmi Ishola's demise on Saturday, 17th February, being the first global sad news to surface from the corner of literary industry across the world in 2018. Prof. Ishola was a Yoruba literary scholar, novelist, playwright and culture icon whose works: Oleku, Efunsetan Aniwura, Koseegbe, Saworoide, Agogo Eewo and Campus Queen were widely regarded as among the best literary works produced by writers of his generation.

       This was followed by the death of Mr. Elizabeth Fagunwa, a renowned literary promoter and wife of foremost writer and author, late Chief Daniel O. Fagunwa. Her death was described as a great loss for the Nigerian literary community, owing to the great roles she played in advancing, peaking and championing the cause of literary activities in the country, especially through the Fagunwa Literary Foundation. 

Among these, the most recent and most unsavory of all the ugly news that elicited tears from the eyes of Nigerian writers in 2018 was the announcement of Ikeogu Oke's fall on 24th November. 

       Oke was a great Nigerian bard who, with his classic poem “The Heresiad", won the Africa’s biggest literary prize, the Nigerian Prize for Literature 2017, sponsored by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) at the tune of $100,000 (N37m).

       On the laudatory flank of the journey, Nigerian creative industry recorded leviathan feats in the year 2018, as many Nigerian writers, both burgeoning and established, proved their worth in the field of pen this year both nationally and internationally, thereby emblazing and embellishing the hope for the advancement of literary arts in Nigeria. 

      If there is any set of people that have kept Nigeria's image alive and shinny for decades in the international community, it is Nigerian Writers. And this year is not an exception.

Several Nigerian writers toed their foot in the literary field this year while many others advanced in their echelons. 

          In her corner, a leading character in the Nigerian literary scene, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie indeed recorded some of her greatest achievements in the literary field this year, following her prodigious victories in various international and globally acclaimed literary contests, awards, coupled with other noble honours she received in the year.

      Adichie opened the award year with the 2018 Barnes & Nobel ‘Writers for Writers’ award which she received in the fall of the quarter of the year. Shortly after that, the literati has, within couple of months clasp several other awards and Honorary Degrees among which are: the 'Shorty Award 2018', Pen Pinter Prize 2018; 2018 Action Against Hunger Humanitarian Award; 2019 Everett M. Rogers Award; Thought Leadership Award from the Global Hope Coalition (GHC); 

Honorary Doctor of Literature (DLit) degree, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS); University of London, UK; Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree, Duke University, North Carolina, USA;

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree, Amherst College, Massachusetts, USA;

Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree, Bowdoin College, Maine, USA, among others. 

      Other great and upcoming writers who recorded great feats with their pen in the year include: Anietie Isong whose debut novel "Radio Sunrise" won UK’S biggest literary prize, the 2018 McKItterick Prize; Nigerian-German Efua Traoré who emerged the African regional winner in the world's most global literary prize, the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize; Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto who won the New Hampshire Institute of Art’s 2018 Writing Award, and the Castello di Duino Poesia International Prize 2018; Abimbola Dare who won the 2018 Bath Novel International Award among others. The highly coveted 2018 NLNG Prize for Literature which is the Africa’s biggest Literary Prize (worthing $100,000) went to Soji Cole for his drama 'Embers’. Be it as it may, this year's Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature went to an Ugandan writer Harriet Anena making her the first Ugandan to win the prize, while, with her 'Fanta Blackcurrant', a Kenyan writer Makena Onjerika won the 2018 Caine Prize, in which three Nigerian writers: Nonyelum Ekwempu, Olufunke Ogundimu and Wole Talabi were shortlisted out of 147 entrants from 20 African countries. 

     It is also worthy to recall that two Nigerian authors: Chimamanda Adichie and Nnedi Okorafor were this year 2018, nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature, for the first time in 36 years, after Wole Soyinka became the first black person to win the world's most coveted literary prize. 

Though, due to some circumstances challenging the public confidence in the members of the Swedish Academy hosting the award; the winner of prize was no longer announced this year, but postponed to next year. Nevertheless, one of the Caribbean most renowned authors, Maryse Conde was said to have won an alternative prize created to replace this year's Nobel Literature Prize. Hence, according to the organizers, who were being torn apart by kerfuffle evolving from certain claims and accusations, two Nobel Laureates will be announced next year, being for 2018 and 2019 respectively.

      Aside awards and recognitions, many Nigerian writers, especially the young ones published internationally acclaimed books this year. Nigerian literary industry  also welcomed new members this year, among whom were topnotch politicians who decided to 'test' their 'fortunes' in creative writing, and hence now wear the badge of 'author'.

      The most recent of these politicians turned authors include:

H.E. Sullivan Chime who authored

"An Honour to Serve: Enugu State in the Sullivan Years" and

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, who authored 'My Transition Hours'. Professionally as it may have been written, president Jonathan's book surprisingly made it to the list of 15 best books published in the year 2018. Other newly published books and Nigerian  authors who made it to the prestigious international list include: ‘Devil’s Pawn’ by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson; 'When Trouble Sleeps' by Leye Adenle; ‘When Day Breaks’ by Adamu Usman Garko (a secondary school student); ‘Children of Blood and Bone’ by Tomi Adeyemi ‘Embers’ by Soji Cole among others.

       Nnedi Okorafor, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Tochi Onyebuchi, Tomi Adeyemi, Lola Shoneyin, Roye Okupe, and Chika Unigwe had earlier in the year been listed by Pulse as among the authors currently setting the pace in the literary field.

      However interesting these may be, it is also more interesting to puff the sore truth that book piracy and plagiarism received great boost in Nigeria in 2018, as reports reveal several cases of the ugly act carried out this year. Even President Jonathan's new book was said to have been pirated by an unknown malignant, in just less than 48 hours after its launching.

     However, a number of individuals, groups and nongovernmental organizations in the country played great roles in waging war against this old-centuries global issue which has pauperized many writers across the world. A most recent of this brawl was the one waged by the Anti-Piracy Society of Nigeria in her 2018 annual convention in which the MD/Editor-in-chief of the National Light Newspaper, Sir Chuka Nnabuife, who is also a renowned author and poet lectured on: "Evolving Challenges-Innovative Responses".

It is generally believed that piracy and plagiarism trailed in the year despite the fierce campaigns truculently championed against it.

      On the aspect of activities, 2018 recorded the celebration of numerous literary events and activities by Nigerian writers. The outstanding among these literary activities and events include: the 37th Annual National Convention of the Association of Nigerian Authors; 2018 CORA Book Party; NSPP Awards Ceremony hosted by  Poets In Nigeria (PIN); Lagos Book and Art Festival 2018; Return To Idoto 2018 (in honour of late Poet Christopher Okigbo), hosted by Awka Literary Society; the 2018 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival, hosted by the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra Chapter); Northern Nigerian Writers’ Summit 2018; the 2018 Ake Arts and Book Festival; Anambra Book and Creativity Festival (ANBUKRAFT) 2018; first Poetry Slam in Anambra, hosted by Poets in Nigeria (PIN), Awka Connect Centre; 2018 Carter Literary Festival, Enugu; 2018 admission of writers into the Ebedi Writers Residency, Iseyi, the only writers residency in Nigeria; among other literary activities.

     Indeed, 2018 has been a historic year for the Nigeria's literary industry, given the bizarre feats and achievements recorded by the members/ Nigerian writers in the year in their quest to advance globally in the field promote Nigerian Literature and Nigeria's image in the international community. In fact, the industry is believed to be among the few sectors that have consistently projected and upheld the image and dignity of the country till today. Ipso facto, it is optimistically believe that the sector and the actors will take even more historic dives and achieve more selcouth feats before the fall of 2019.



About The Author:


Izunna Okafor is an award-wining creative Young Nigerian Novelist, Poet, Essayist, Journalist, Editor, Translator, Publicist , Igbo Language Activist and an Administrator who hails from Ebenator in Nnewi South L.G.A of Anambra State Nigeria. He has published seven novels, won over 25 awards, and has over 800 articles published online.

His awards include:

Nigerian Writers Award/Indigenous Writer of The Year 2015/2016

Pita Nwana Prize For Igbo Literature 2015

Society of Young Nigerian Writers Award Nigeria

Heritage Icon Award/Young Writer of the Year Federal Republic of Nigeria 2016;

Merit Award from The Society of Young Nigerian Writers (2016);

Award of Recognition From Students’ Union Government, Unizik (2017)

Nigerian Writers Award/Young Writer of The Year 2015/2016;

N.Y.S.C. Essay Competition 2012;

SLAM Hero Youth International Award/Innovative Youth of the Year 2016;

AEYC/Youth Writer of The Year 2016

Award of Academic Excellence from The National Association of Public Administration Students (2016);

Inspire Award /Outstanding Youth in Academics 2017.

NAPAS Academic Icon of The Year 2017;

Anambra Campus Award 2017/Campus Writer of The Year 2017

Award of Excellence from The Society of Young Nigerian Writers 2016;

Anambra Exclusive Youth Choice Award/Outstanding Youth of the Year 2017;

Youth Writer of The Year 2016 NAPAS Essay Competition 2017;

Starlett Entertainment Award/Creative Writer of the Year 2016;

LitraNation Indigenous Book of The Month (December) 2016

Ambassador TFA in Nigeria

Creative Crew Africa/ Young Talent of The Year 2018, among others;

Campus Best Writer 2018/Campus Journalist of The Year 2018

Best Secretary General of NAPAS (2018).

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The controversy surrounding the release of the highly anticipated movie, Half of a Yellow Sun (HOAYS), in Nigerian cinemas is yet to end as the Nigerian movies Censors Board is yet to approve it.
Half of A Yellow Sun did not premier at Nigerian cinemas in April 25 due to the producers inability to obtain public viewing certification from the Censors Board.
The Board has, however, said it has not banned the movie, but is yet to approve it for public viewing in Nigeria.
One of the media handlers of the movie, Bigsam Media, assured that a new cinema date will be announced as soon as regulatory issues are sorted out.
The $10 million movie has made history as the first African movie to get international release dates in the U.K., U.S., Australia, Portugal, Middle East and New Zealand. It is also the first Nigerian movie to be premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada. It is already showing in the U.K.
The HOAYS Movie is an adaptation of Chimamanda Adiches bestselling and award winning novel of same title. It stars OSCAR nominee and BAFTA award winner, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Onyeka Onwenu, Genevieve Nnaji, OC Ukeje, Anika Noni Rose, Joseph Mawle, John Boyega, Wale Ojo, Tina Mba, Zack Orji and Hakeem Kae-Kazim.
It was directed by U.K.-based Nigerian playwright, Biyi Bandele, and was produced by winner of an OSCAR and three BAFTAs, Andrea Calderwood, and Yewande Sadiku, an investment banker.

Source: http://www.premiumtimesng.com/arts-entertainment/160050-nigeria-entertainment-roundup-release-date-half-yellow-sun.html
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