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Posted 13 Days ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

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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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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 · 2 Likes · 0 Comments

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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¶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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Posted 3 Years ago · 3 Likes · 1 Comments

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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The the world football ruling body, FIFA, has disqualified Uwa Echiejile as the first goal scorer of the match between Nigeria and Tahiti.

Echiejile was initially thought to have scored the first goal which led to a 6-1 drubbing of the tiny Oceania country yesterday.

However, FIFA technical committee says the goal was in fact an own goal scored by one of tahiti's amateur soccer player, Nicolas Valler.

FIFA released a statement today clarifying the status of the first goal

See full FIFA statement below:

"Following further studies of the video of the match between Tahiti and Nigeria on June 17 in Belo Horizonte, FIFA's Technical Study Group has decided the first goal of Nigeria, scored in the fifth minute, was an own goal by Tahiti number 10 player, Nicolas Valler'

'The goal was initially awarded to Nigeria's Uwa Echiejile but after careful review was credited as an own goal'.

A second player Jonathan Tehau also scored an own goal for Tahiti after scoring the first goal ever in a FIFA tournament for Tahiti, making him the first player in the history of Confederations Cup to score a goal and an own goal.

Nigeria tops Group 'B' of the FIFA Confederations Cup with 3 points, the same as Spain but ahead on goals' difference.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will play against the national team of Uruguay tomorrow Wednesday in Salvador, Brazil.
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The embarrassment of players holding the Aminu Maigari-led Nigeria Football Federation to ransom over their match bonuses is no longer news but the fact that the football managers left the team and went on their merry way to Brazil should be news and it should be of extreme concern to all football lovers in the country.
That it also took the intervention of Fifa to get a commitment from the players that they will be in Brazil is additionally laughable. So Fifa is in control of the Super Eagles now and will be paying their bonuses?

But the first shock is that our football officials left the team in Windhoek for Brazil. What are they going to do there if the team does not go? Will they pull on the Nigerian jersey and confront Tahiti on Monday? The attitude and character of these officials has been exposed to the entire world to see they simply do not understand their roles as football administrators and leaders they are in it for personal gain and glory, put simply.

When the house is on fire, the father abandons his family to go take some shots of rum is not the attitude that needs to be reflected here. While the football authorities laid off some of the backroom staff of the Super Eagles after the Nations Cup win, they followed that up with the employment of the likes of James Peters, Amodu Shuaibu and Kashimawo Laloko on higher salaries than those that were asked to go. So how does that tally with being broke?

The Eagles have also been on a win bonus of $10,000 for over five years and the reward they get for winning the Nations Cup is a cutting of that bonus how does that make sense?

As they are also complaining of being broke, they sponsor the trip to match venues for hangers-on, journalists, family and friends how does this tally to being broke?

The NFF officials should seriously look at the mirror and not at a prism so that they get the image of what they actually look like. Yes, nobody is perfect but the mark of great minds is that they are always striving to get better.

Without the Super Eagles, there wont be any need to be junketing around the place. They should ask the football officials of countries like Benin Republic, Eritrea and the likes what they do the year round as their teams never get to qualify for any tournaments then they will know.

Source: Goal.com
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Heartland players are not happy with the Imo State Government and have vowed that they will look for new clubs when the transfer window opens next week.

The players are owed allowances and sign-on fees since last season and the state government is not bothered about doing something for the players to get their money.

The recent N60 million that the State Government announced which they are yet to see has also spurred them in making the decision to leave.

Some of the players told Goal in anonymity that they have suffered untold hardship since the season started, even though they have made the state proud in recent times.

"There is no need wasting our time, praying and thinking that all will be well when everyday it gets worse. We cannot feed our families.

"The owners of the club also make sure they cajole us to play and win matches. We don't look forward to anything because we don't know where our next meal will come from.

"That is why we have decided that the best thing to do is to look for a club that will appreciate our efforts. Nobody is happy. Nobody wants to remain with the team.

"Already some of the players have started negotiating with other clubs and before the end of next week, they would have moved.

"We learnt the state government approved N60 million recently, but up till now nobody has told us anything about the money.

"Somebody in govenment wants a cut from the money before it is released, but would that same person come and help us receive tackles and score goals in matches?

"Inspite of what we are going through, we have done well in the first half of the season. All we need is the state govenment to know that we need motivation to work," the players said.

Heartland are placed fourth on the table with 28 points.
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Jose Mourinho has won multiple league titles (across 4 countries), the Champions League twice, and many other honours that would accumulate to suggest he's one of the best football managers of his generation.

However, his plain arrogance and decision making has prevented him from being placed up there with the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Matt Busby and Bob Paisley.

Mourinho busted onto the stage in an eccentric interview after becoming Chelsea manager in 2004, and after referring to himself as 'The Special One', his arrogance was plain to see.

After talking the talk, everybody in football was intrigued to see whether he was capable of walking the walk. And initially, he did just that- winning Chelsea their first league title in 50 years. However his complete lack of class soon soured his Chelsea success, eventually seeing him leave the club a few years later.

After Chelsea's Champions League tie against Barcelona at the Nou Camp in 2005, Mourinho accused the then Barcelona manager, Frank Rijkaard, of making a suspicious visit to the dressing room of referee, Anders Frisk. Something which was thoroughly denied. In the aftermath, Frisk received so many death threats that he saw fit to retire. Mourinho was branded an 'enemy of football' and handed a two match ban. And so the discourtesy began. Although not confirmed, it's been implied that Mourinho got around this two-match ban by delivering messages to his fitness coach via an earpiece. Whether true or not, Mourinho displayed a complete unprofessionalism in the entire saga, which simply cannot see him as one of the best managers of his generation.

Frank Arnesen, and coupled with the on-going friction with Roman Abramovich, he eventually left Chelsea in 2007. Mourinho became engaged in a power struggle between himself and sporting director,

After a brief spell in Italy, Jose moved onto to manage Real Madrid, where his managerial short-comings were truly exposed. He walked into the Bernabeu with the usual 'Special One' talk, however they needed more convincing. They wanted to see proof. Real Madrid are traditionally a class football club, and Jose Mourinho simply didn't fit that fold, hence his brief stay.

Inheriting a squad including the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Iker Casillas, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso, all things considered, he failed. He was handed the platform to achieve greatness, yet his obsession with beating Barcelona got in the way of what could have been. The first El Clasico of Mourinho's reign ended in a 5-0 defeat. Being an icredibly egotistical man, this crushed him. From then on, he put every effort into beating Barcelona, perhaps refusing to look at the bigger picture, resulting in points being dropped in relatively easy matches, and a complete failure in Europe.

Winning the league in 2012 was enough to convince most that the 'Special One' was as good as he proclaimed to be. However, this was his only real success at Madrid, and so for me the short-comings inevitably overlook this one achievement.

His idiocy continued to prevail. Poking the eye of Tito Vilanova and being sent-off in the 2013 Copa del Rey final for, once again, showing a lack of respect towards officials, serve as two examples.

His fall out with club legend Iker Casillas proved the last straw for Real Madrid fans, making his eventual exit in the summer inevitable. And I'm sure he won't be missed.

Jose Mourinho looks set to return to Chelsea to the utter joy of their fans. And after failing to compete for the league title for a few years now, that's understandable. With Mourinho, immediate success seems inevitable.

However it's only a matter of time before he presses the self-destruct button once more, and leaves the west London club in a worsened state to what they were in beforehand.
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Super Eagles captain Joseph Yobo was like the rock of Gibraltar for his Turkish side, Fenerbahce Wednesday night in their Turkish Cup final game against Trabzonspor at the Ankara 19 Mayis Stadium, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.

Yobo was on for all 90 minutes as Fenerbahce relied on a Moussa Sow's 9th minute goal to emerge Turkish Cup kings, thereby making up for the disappointment of losing the Turkish League title to Galatassaray.

Meanwhile Yobo, who has been declared surplus to requirement by Eagles gaffer, Stephen Keshi, has been named as one of the four best centre-backs in the Turkish Super League in the 2012/2013 season.

Yobo is up for the centre-back honour along with Galatasarays Semih Kaya, 22; Diego Angelo of Eskisehispor, 27; and Aykut Demir of Gençlerbirliği, 24.

In describing the Nigeria captain, who is the oldest nominee at 32, the website writes: The experienced Nigerian international installed confidence into the back four. When Yobo played Fenerbahçe looked a lot more sturdy in defense. The stats speak for themselves, the Yellow Canaries conceded 19 goals in the 20 games Yobo played in however, conceded 18 goals in the 14 games which he missed. The African Cup of Nations winner also helped guide the Istanbul giants to the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Yobo has had a successful season, captaining the Super Eagles to their first African title in 19 years and playing a key role in his clubs unlikely run to the Europa League semi-finals. Fenerbahce also finished second in the Turkish top flight.

He made 30 appearances for Fenerbahce in all competitions in the just concluded season.
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The Spanish elite will meet the top two in Germany in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals after today's draw paired FC Bayern München with FC Barcelona and pitted Borussia Dortmund against Real Madrid CF.


2013 final: Wembley Stadium


Both first legs will take place in Germany on 23 and 24 April, with the returns in Spain on 30 April and 1 May after the open draw at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, conducted by UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino and former Netherlands striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.

The Bayern v Barcelona tie is a mouth-watering prospect: newly crowned German title holders take on Spanish champions-elect. They have met surprisingly little on the European stage, though their six encounters encompass the 1995/96 UEFA Cup semi-finals which Bayern edged and most recently the last eight of the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League. There a first-half double from Lionel Messi in the first leg meant there was only ever going to be one winner.

Both teams have had their scares this season. Arsenal FC pushed Bayern all the way in a stirring round of 16 comeback while Barcelona were 19 minutes from elimination on Wednesday before Pedro Rodríguez struck against Paris Saint-Germain FC to seal progress to a record sixth straight semi on away goals. Dortmund left it somewhat later against Málaga CF, needing two added-time goals to complete their Lazarus act in a turnaround up there with the best in the UEFA Champions League's 21-year history.

Their reward is a tie with Madrid, who were also their opponents 15 years ago in the last of their three European Cup semi-finals to date. The Merengues proved too powerful, a 2-0 home victory preceding a 0-0 second-leg draw. The Schwarzgelben can take heart from the fact that in the group stage they claimed a 2-2 draw and 2-1 win against Madrid yet the Merengues present a real hurdle.

They may trail Barcelona by 13 points in the Liga with eight games to go but they have measured up with everyone in this competition. Earlier this week José Mourinho spoke of his side having a 25% chance of claiming a tenth European Cup next month, and for many those odds have shortened. It will be a record-equalling seventh semi-final for the Portuguese coach: he has won two out of six so far, though tellingly he has triumphed both times he has made the final.

The draw means there may be a final between two clubs from the same country for the fourth time in UEFA Champions League history and the first since 2008. Madrid were victorious in the first of those, defeating Valencia CF in the 2000 Paris showpiece. AC Milan sneaked past Juventus on penalties three years later and Manchester United FC also needed spot kicks to beat Chelsea FC in 2008.

Semi-finals
FC Bayern München (GER) v FC Barcelona (ESP) 23 April, 1 May
Borussia Dortmund (GER) v Real Madrid CF (ESP) 24 April, 30 April

Final (25 May, Wembley Stadium)
For administrative purposes, a draw was made to determine who will be the designated home team for the final. The winners of the Dortmund v Madrid tie were selected first.

Head-to-head records
Bayern v Barcelona
Bayern W3, D2, Barcelona W1
Bayern's European Cup semi-final record: W9 L5
Barcelona's European Cup semi-final record: W6 A7

Dortmund v Madrid
Dortmund W1, D3, Madrid W2
Dortmund's European Cup semi-final record: W1 L2
Madrid's European Cup semi-final record: W12 L11
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Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo returning to England, the transfer take place at the end of the season. /Chelsea Transfer News.

According to sources close to the self-anointed Special One, Real Madrid Manager Jose Mourinho is once again the chosen one. He is the man Roman Abramovich wants to succeed interim manager Rafa Benitez and a deal, say those sources, is as good as done.

This is not something anyone can confirm. Not when Jose Mourinho remains the manager of Real Madrid, and the Spaniards remain in the hunt for the Champions League championship this season. But Jose Mourinho has made no secret of his desire to return to England and the pouting Portuguese coach rarely speaks without an agenda.

I cannot deny what is clear in my mind, Mourinho said recently. After Real Madrid, England, thats for sure. I keep saying the same, I know clearly.

He said he could manage everyone. That he is a professional who would have to consider offers from other English clubs should they come.

Manchester City have been linked with a move for Mourinho, while Sir Alex Ferguson has made no secret of his admiration for his close friend.

When Ferguson does eventually retire, Mourinho would certainly be among the leading candidates to replace him, but a move to Manchester now looks extremely unlikely.

The only area in which Roman Abramovich has shown any consistency since taking over at Chelsea is in his ability to surprise.

Initially, the billionaire owner did want someone else this summer. But when Pep Guardiola resisted Abramovichs advances and opted to take charge at Bayern Munich for next season , the Russian oligarch was forced to think again.

Mourinho, he now realises, is his best option. A manager who is as close as it gets to someone who can guarantee success. He is a serial winner, having lifted the league title in all four countries he has worked Portugal, England, Italy and Spain and led Porto and Inter Milan to the Champions League crown.

Chelsea Boss Roman Abramovich knows Mourinho is capable of rebuilding a squad boasting some tremendous talent in players such as Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard, but which still requires an overhaul.

And the Portuguese has dropped the biggest hint yet hes keen on a return to Stamford Bridge when his time at the Bernabeu comes to an end.

I have an adventurous spirit and do not know what will happen next season, Mourinho said. Its not easy to choose a new destination after working in England, Portugal, Italy and Spain.

Maybe I could return to somewhere Ive already been. Watch out for surprises.

Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez has confirmed he will not be staying beyond the end of this season, with Mourinho and a number of other high-profile managers continuously linked with the role.

The 50-year-old could yet remain in Madrid, particularly if he guides the Spanish giants to an unprecedented 10th European Cup crown.

The old guard, players who served Mourinho with such distinction when they won back-to-back Premier League titles, needs replacing, even if there would probably be a renewed desire to see Frank Lampard extend his stay at the club. But what of the problems of the past? What of the clash of egos namely between Abramovich and Mourinho that led to their split in 2007?

According to those same sources, Abramovich and Mourinho have settled their differences. Chelseas owner speaks fondly of his former manager in the company of friends and associates and stories of gifts that the Russian has sent to Mourinho are presented as further evidence.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Co are among the favourites for the title after knocking out Manchester United to reach the quarter-finals, where theyll face Galatasaray.

Mourinho was spotted house-hunting in London last week and he has already stated his his intention to return to the Premier League.
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THe Zambian government has put an attractive package on the table for the national soccer team to take if it retains the African Cup of Nations.

Zambia is in Group C with Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Nigeria and the countrys Minister of Sports and Youth Chishimba Kambwili said Nigerias offer of US$100,000 each to the Super Eagles players is a sign of panic.

Nigerian players have been promised US$100,000 (about N1.6m)) each if they win the championship slated for January 19 to February 10 in South Africa. This is the same amount the Zambian government gave the Chipolopolo players for winning the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

The stage has been set for our team and I can assure the nation that the players have been given good bonuses. For Nigeria, they are just playing mind games with the money strategy because they are scared, he said.

Kambwili said the government is confident the championship will return to Zambia and the players will get the cash bonanza, whose value he declined to state.

He also disclosed that through the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ), the players have already been told the monetary gain if they win.

He however stated that Zambia would not make public what each player would get because the government and FAZ do not want to put undue pressure on the team.

Kambwili is confident that Zambia will retain the Africa Cup.

He said he sees no reason why the Chipolopolo cannot follow in the footsteps of Egypt who won the Africa Cup in 2006, 2008 and 2010, Cameroon who won it back-to-back in 2000 and 2002 and Ghana who were champions in 1963 and 1965.

Our expectations are high and we do not expect anything short of retaining the title. What can stop us if Egypt managed? Kambwili asked.

The Chipolopolo boys who will be based in Nelspruit will play their opening game on January 21 against Ethiopia.
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