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Posted 3 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments


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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Posted 4 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

*Money Mistake 1* 

Never borrow money that accrues interest to start a business . That is to say, never borrow money to start a business expecting that the business will generate income to pay back the borrowed money plus the interest.


*Money Mistake 2* 

Never spend money you haven't received. Don't even promise someone money based on a promise you have from someone else. If someone tells you: "Ezra, come to my office tomorrow at 9am and pick #30K"don't go out to buy items on credit based on this promise, with the hope that you will pay off your creditor when the promised money comes; it may not come as promised and this will leave you in problems with your creditors.


*Money Mistakes 3*

If you want to save, whenever you receive money, don’t start spending hoping that you’ll save what remains. Normally what remains is zero because as long as money to spend is available, the numerous things you can spend it on are also available. And things to spend on even incite their 'relatives' so that you spend even more than you had planned. When money to spend is not available, we naturally find a way of doing without it. That's why I've learnt to save with an INVESTMENT CLUB. Once I send money there I assume I no longer have it. Before you spend any money, put your savings aside then spend what is left after saving.


*Money Mistake 4*

When you get an opportunity to meet a very wealthy person, never ask for money. Ask for ideas on how to make money. They may even choose to give you money on their own after seeing that your ideas are great, but let getting money from them never be your objective.


*Money Mistake 5* 

Keeping your seed instead of planting it. Many people stop at saving. It's very, very difficult to save and have all you need to maintain your lifestyle especially after retirement. When you save, your savings are seed; plant it. When you just keep the seed (saving money) some seeds begin to die (eaten by inflation and the like). That's why I recommend that you read about the different types of investment vehicles you can use to grow your savings. I am not necessarily talking about putting the money in a business, because you can easily lose money in  business. I am talking about putting it in an investment.


*Money Mistake 6*

Never lend someone money you are not willing to lose. By the time you lend someone money, be contented in your heart that should the person fail to pay, you will not die. You should not even lose that person's friendship if they fail to repay the money you lent them. If you feel the person might fail to pay you and this will not affect your relationship with them, then lend them money. If their failure to pay would make you hate this person’s entire clan, please advise the person to go to the bank.


*Money Mistake 7* 

Never append your signature to guarantee someone on a financial matter if you are not willing or able to pay the money on their behalf. Do I have to explain that one? No, it's self-explanatory.


*Money Mistake 8*

Avoid keeping money you don't intend to use in the short-term within easy reach. For instance, don’t walk with #100K in your pocket when all you plan to do in a day costs #20K. Like I mentioned in Money Mistake 3, there are always expenses available to gobble any money that is within reach, so if you don't want to lose it, put it away in a safe place.


*Money Mistake 9*

Avoid keeping money in inappropriate places e.g. in socks, under the pillow, in a pit, in the sitting room, in the bra, in a travel bag that you will place somewhere in a bus ... impulse buying is a devil that will keep you busy!


*Money Mistake 10*

Spending money on an item that you can do without (at least for the time being). These days when I pick money from my pocket or wallet, before paying for something I ask myself: What would happen if I didn’t buy this? If I find I can live with the consequences of not having that thing, I smile and walk away.


*Money Mistake 11* 

Paying an amount for something that's not the minimum you can get that same value for. In other words, if you are along east Legon road and you pay #5K for a shoe that you can get at #3K at Makola  market, that's a money mistake except for those who have achieved financial freedom.


*Money Mistake 12:* 

Consistently spending all you earn or more than you earn. It's like having a drum where you have an inlet that's smaller than the outlet. It will never get full. And should the inlet ever reduce significantly the drum will run dry. If you do it the other way round and the inlet is bigger, it will get full and even overflow. Hence, we have to always ensure we are widening the inlet while narrowing the outlet – all the time. Your side hustle comes in handy!


*Money Mistake 13:*

Thinking about short-term only and forgetting about long-term or thinking about the long-term and forgetting about the short-term. For instance, Lydia was told that there's money in land. She saved money over a long period of time and bought 30 acres of land. Now she has the land but she is always broke. She is always complaining. She's disgruntled and she doesn't seem to see herself earning from the land in the near future. Now, let's ask ourselves: Having 30 acres of land and no money to feed your family or take a child to hospital, is that wealth or poverty? I think Lydia only looked at long-term needs and forgot that she has short-term needs that require money. What of those who find they are one paycheck away from salary? Are they thinking about the long-term needs?


Let’s take stock of our finances. How many mistakes are you guilty of? Do you now feel better-equipped to do better with these tips? Good luck, savers! Share this knowledge with your friends because it will not benefit you if you are selfish with it. 


God bless you as you work on your financial prudency.

Do you want to connect with me, check here.

Read More
Reply · Share · 263 Views · Report
Posted 4 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

*Money Mistake 1* 

Never borrow money that accrues interest to start a business . That is to say, never borrow money to start a business expecting that the business will generate income to pay back the borrowed money plus the interest.


*Money Mistake 2* 

Never spend money you haven't received. Don't even promise someone money based on a promise you have from someone else. If someone tells you: "Ezra, come to my office tomorrow at 9am and pick #30K"don't go out to buy items on credit based on this promise, with the hope that you will pay off your creditor when the promised money comes; it may not come as promised and this will leave you in problems with your creditors.


*Money Mistakes 3*

If you want to save, whenever you receive money, don’t start spending hoping that you’ll save what remains. Normally what remains is zero because as long as money to spend is available, the numerous things you can spend it on are also available. And things to spend on even incite their 'relatives' so that you spend even more than you had planned. When money to spend is not available, we naturally find a way of doing without it. That's why I've learnt to save with an INVESTMENT CLUB. Once I send money there I assume I no longer have it. Before you spend any money, put your savings aside then spend what is left after saving.


*Money Mistake 4*

When you get an opportunity to meet a very wealthy person, never ask for money. Ask for ideas on how to make money. They may even choose to give you money on their own after seeing that your ideas are great, but let getting money from them never be your objective.


*Money Mistake 5* 

Keeping your seed instead of planting it. Many people stop at saving. It's very, very difficult to save and have all you need to maintain your lifestyle especially after retirement. When you save, your savings are seed; plant it. When you just keep the seed (saving money) some seeds begin to die (eaten by inflation and the like). That's why I recommend that you read about the different types of investment vehicles you can use to grow your savings. I am not necessarily talking about putting the money in a business, because you can easily lose money in  business. I am talking about putting it in an investment.


*Money Mistake 6*

Never lend someone money you are not willing to lose. By the time you lend someone money, be contented in your heart that should the person fail to pay, you will not die. You should not even lose that person's friendship if they fail to repay the money you lent them. If you feel the person might fail to pay you and this will not affect your relationship with them, then lend them money. If their failure to pay would make you hate this person’s entire clan, please advise the person to go to the bank.


*Money Mistake 7* 

Never append your signature to guarantee someone on a financial matter if you are not willing or able to pay the money on their behalf. Do I have to explain that one? No, it's self-explanatory.


*Money Mistake 8*

Avoid keeping money you don't intend to use in the short-term within easy reach. For instance, don’t walk with #100K in your pocket when all you plan to do in a day costs #20K. Like I mentioned in Money Mistake 3, there are always expenses available to gobble any money that is within reach, so if you don't want to lose it, put it away in a safe place.


*Money Mistake 9*

Avoid keeping money in inappropriate places e.g. in socks, under the pillow, in a pit, in the sitting room, in the bra, in a travel bag that you will place somewhere in a bus ... impulse buying is a devil that will keep you busy!


*Money Mistake 10*

Spending money on an item that you can do without (at least for the time being). These days when I pick money from my pocket or wallet, before paying for something I ask myself: What would happen if I didn’t buy this? If I find I can live with the consequences of not having that thing, I smile and walk away.


*Money Mistake 11* 

Paying an amount for something that's not the minimum you can get that same value for. In other words, if you are along east Legon road and you pay #5K for a shoe that you can get at #3K at Makola  market, that's a money mistake except for those who have achieved financial freedom.


*Money Mistake 12:* 

Consistently spending all you earn or more than you earn. It's like having a drum where you have an inlet that's smaller than the outlet. It will never get full. And should the inlet ever reduce significantly the drum will run dry. If you do it the other way round and the inlet is bigger, it will get full and even overflow. Hence, we have to always ensure we are widening the inlet while narrowing the outlet – all the time. Your side hustle comes in handy!


*Money Mistake 13:*

Thinking about short-term only and forgetting about long-term or thinking about the long-term and forgetting about the short-term. For instance, Lydia was told that there's money in land. She saved money over a long period of time and bought 30 acres of land. Now she has the land but she is always broke. She is always complaining. She's disgruntled and she doesn't seem to see herself earning from the land in the near future. Now, let's ask ourselves: Having 30 acres of land and no money to feed your family or take a child to hospital, is that wealth or poverty? I think Lydia only looked at long-term needs and forgot that she has short-term needs that require money. What of those who find they are one paycheck away from salary? Are they thinking about the long-term needs?


Let’s take stock of our finances. How many mistakes are you guilty of? Do you now feel better-equipped to do better with these tips? Good luck, savers! Share this knowledge with your friends because it will not benefit you if you are selfish with it. 


God bless you as you work on your financial prudency.

Do you want to connect with me, check here.

Read More
Reply · Share · 263 Views · Report
Updated 5 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

EDITOR'S NOTE:


One can manifest, celebrate or even reciprocate love throughout the 365 days in a year, but it is always nice to do something extraordinary to specially celebrate his or her inamorato on such a special day as the Valentine’s Day, marked globally on 14th February every year. 

Again, buying/giving items like ice cream, chocolates, flowers, jewelries, clothes and other kinds of gifts on such a special Day is also good; however, written words appear to be more special, enduring and memorable than them all.

It is in agreement with the above, that a group of fervent bards, 23 in number, decided to wear this year's Valentine's Day a colourful and poetic garb. This they did, by weaving and sequentially donating some stanzas and lines of carefully crafted words under a single title of “LOVE NWANTỊNTỊ”, in response to an online ‘Call for Stanzas’.

Compiled and edited by Izunna Okafor, this Special Valentine Poetry Collection, also known as World's Longest Love Poem was started in 2019, and is currently in its fourth edition this year, 2022.

It is the collation and editing of these beautiful lines and stanzas from these dexterous writers that gave birth to this masterpiece, ‘Love Nwantịntị’, in which they also explore the theme of a true and mellifluous love, vis-a-vis the Valentine's Day.

They write:


LOVE NWANTỊNTỊ


Stronger than real men

Uncountable as women

Is my true love for you

Love too blue to construe

Love nwantịntị


Deeply rooted beneath the earth

And watered from above the earth

With strands full of fun

Enabling it survive the sun

Love nwantịntị.


Greater than mere words

Truer than any thought

Is your love for me

Love nwantịntị

Nothing can describe this.


Embracing my flaws, and fills

These pores with such bliss

As a freshly breathed mint

Love nwantịntị

Let this be everlasting.


The sky strides red -

Red is a color of love -

Of the sun, setting on

the rivers, I met your love

Love nwantinti


Your love— web tangled with a needle, 

to mend my heart and soul.


This is the love song you yearn to hear.


I will sing it to you

As long as our love lasts

I pray no intruder will alert

To me our bond is beyond death.


If not for anything at least 

i have chiselled your name

at the walls of my heart

eternity with inks of red roses.


Beyond death is the bond 

Only love nwantịntị brings

To them that love simply

Innocently, selflessly,

And those that abhor rituals

Cultism, gangsterism 

And evil means to impress!

Write me love notes, 

Give me flowers laced with love 

And you're my Val

Forever!


Memories...


I was shivering

Holding the debris of my heart

When you watered my soul.


You came to me

A lonely, thirsty soul 

When my nerves dried of sun


The memories of our love

Is such a book I'll never cease to write

Even in the absence of my soul


The memories of 

Our challenges are like a rod

In a pillar

Straight as a ruler


Our union a miracle

Our love a model

Our understanding a dream

Our growth a circle that evolves freshness


At first, I was an old boy

Kissing the heart of nights.

But you dawned on me

Like the sun of a dream.


Let's metamorphose

Into the greenness of eternity.

Together, we will mushroom

Love nwantịntị


Let's transmute union while,

gulping the liquor as my companion, spying the future in oneness.


It tingles me like ice on a bare body

To my void sing the lyrics of passion let the wall of my heart echo.


Your thoughts and the desire for your endearment 

powered my weakened legs 

to seek solace in a safe haven

where you and I can muse together in the cuddling ecstasy of ravenous joy.


Let's go riding on the crest of joy

Once more this mo(o)nday

See again the fishlets of love

Swim within the pool of heart.

Dear, the earth is ours

And its fullness is your face

When smile x-rays as moonglow

Firm-flesh supple your skin in my palms

The world is ours alone to own.


The thought of you reinvigorates my heart

Sending shivers down my spine

Your mammary gland as succulent as a ripe pawpaw ready for harvest

The desire to grab you in my warm embrace intensifies by the day.


Open the door of your heart my love

Let me take you to my love garden

Make me your Romeo

And our sweet loving romance would know no bounds.

Love nwantịntị.


Your stares and fixtures

Remind me of a fairy hallucination

Our souls were interchanged

Each painted in same colour of affection

Wonders! and Wonders! of the mind.


You thrust in me a spear of intimacy

I'll always stand by you

To lend and to mend

Trimming our individual excesses

To leave each other better than we met.


You are the miracle that walks me

upon the sea of love

Your face has become mural paintings

on the walls of my heart


Thoughts of you punctuate my activities,

like the distant song of the lyrebird

I have become your match, and yet, your candle


Let this light be a lantern to illuminate our faces,

an aisle to walk upon.

You have become a matchbox,

If you strike, only I'll burn into ashes...


Your love falling and pouring

Like the morning dew 

Cooling my scorched soul

Long dried by the 

harmattan sun.


Now, our love is better and yielding

Like a tree planted

by the river side

Which flourishes in all season


My love, like switches you turn me on,

Like stitches, you mend my life,

Like patches, you cover my emotional holes,

Like matches, you light up my face with smiles.


Be my endless charm,

And I'll bury myself within your arms.

Take me not as you took the rest, 

And I'll be your best.


Let me feel your warm

Embrace on a cold winter night, 

Sing me a lullaby song

To lure me to sleep.


Let me be the light,

That shines

Within your heart;

When the stars are few.


My love, you're a moonflower that blooms by moonlight,

You glint like the yellow sun and your perfectly crafted facade radiates irresistible beauty.

Your perfume which scents like the lily of the valley

Saturates my soul with the undying quest to solidly stand by you.


My love, your alluring smile is the lozenge that soothes the pain of my broken soul,

Your voice piles up the holes in my heart with imperishable particles of hope.

Allow me pluck you out of your garden into mine;

For precious flowers like thee need a soul to stand with.


My love,

Your comeliness alikes a condiment,

That prettifies a mouth-watering delicacy.

Your contagious and confident smile

Is enough to melt a hardest heart.


I can't stop having the penchant

To gaze into your captivating eyes, my love.

Hence they're filled with kindness,

And literally the cutest ever seen.


I stare in awe of thy swaying features

Mind dancing to the labyrinth of thy benevolence

And...nay; the aura irresistible

Like one who rides on the sky


Oh! if thou will bid me, to grace thee a moment.

A thousand much more to be encroached I will take.

A promise to keep I make

Only if thou bidest me come hither.

Thou fairest of all.


With your cupid's bow,

You captured my heart


My warrior, my Love Nwantịntị!

Tie me with your strongest rope in your territory


Be ye mine for ever

Cuddle me with your love

Let us fete together

For it's our day, a season of love

Our ‘love is in the air’

Happy Val to you

My Love Nwantịntị.





THANK YOU FOR READING!


CONTRIBUTORS:



1. Izunna Okafor

2. Divine Ogonna

3. Paul Olayioye

4. Ahmed Aisha

5. Chisimdi George

6. John Chinaka Onyeche

7. Udo Okoronkwo-chukwu

8. Salim Yakubu Akko

9. Obiageli Ezeilo

10. Olusoji Obebe

11. Akeredolu Eniola Zion

12. Ifeanyi John Nwokeabia

13. Nket Godwin

14. Valentine Muoma

15. Nnaji Samuel Chukwuebuka

16. Kelechukwu Samuel Ojile

17. Okoro Kelechi

18. Emenike Christian Chijioke

19. Osazuwa Cynthia

20. Iheke John kelechi

21. Bard Valiant Nwokeoma (Valiant Pen)

22. Ferdinand Miracle

23. Charity Uzoagba


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There was a time when all you needed to earn a high income was a certificate.


But I am grateful for the times that we live in now because all that has changed.


Today, you don't need any godfather or connection with any politician to make it.


The internet has made it possible for you to start and grow a business with very little or no capital and sign your own paycheck.


If the government doesn't employ you, you can employ yourself and employ others.



Even if you’re on paycheck, I know very well your salary won’t be enough to take care of you and the family.


You need to add something to the salary 


You don't need millions to start a business.


You don't need a shop to start a business.


You don't even need a laptop to start one online.


That Smartphone in your hands right now is enough to get you started.


Your Smartphone has the potential to change your life financially within 12-24 months.


The problem is that you are not utilizing it.


Maybe you are still seeing it as just a tool to take pictures and post on social media to gather Likes and Comments.


Of what use is Likes and Comment if you cannot convert it into sales?


Likes and Comment doesn't pay the bills until you're able to convert it into sales.


We are now in the 1st Month of 2022


Don't get to the end of this year and start asking "God When?".


The truth is that money is not made, money is collected.


To collect money you must sell something.


All money is been collected by someone selling something to someone else.


✅ Find a starving crowd with a pressing problem.


✅ Research and find the solution to that problem.


✅ Package that solution, sell it to them and collect their money.


You can create a digital Product and make so much money for your self 


Just make sure the product you're selling is solving people's problems.


People are paying for the solution not the product.


By all means, just make sure you're selling what people want to buy.


You can create a course Online and start teaching people to make your Money.


Learn more here.


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*Why you are broke too* 


You Are Dabbling



*Dabbling is the spirit or habit of doing too many things at the same time.*


It is no longer news that you need a high income skill or a high yielding business to make massive money.


In fact, if you've consumed my contents for a while you must have heard me talk about the importance of high income skills over and over again. I will talk about it again in one of the points on this course.


But the problem today with most people is that they CANNOT STAY in one place.


*The reason most people are broke is because they are not deeply rooted in one thing. Know everything about one thing before you diversify, not one thing about everything.*


They are scratching the surface in a variety of things.


No depth, No roots. Just surface ginger!


Today you hear of bitcoin, you run to bitcoin. Tomorrow they say recharge and win, you run there, mini importation is paying, you've ran to mini importation.


You are just everywhere. You want to try everything.


You are a scalar quantity, you have magnitude but no direction.


Most people want to know one thing about everything but I tell my students in my personal mentorship class, *"Know everything about one thing"*


I will repeat it again... *Know everything about just one thing first.*


If it's Copywriting you want to learn, bury your head and learn it until you become a master.


If it's mini importation, network marketing, affiliate marketing, real estate, focus on that one.


If it is consulting, master it.


Just pick one business vehicle and learn it deeply. As I always tell those in my inner circle, No business vehicle is good or bad, we only have good or bad drivers (people).


What that means is, people are making massive money from every business. Those who know their onions.


Sir, if you know your onions, you will always eat your money. *This is financial confidence*


You can't make money doing everything that comes into your mind.


You have to stay focused or you will soon end stranded.


How can you catch 3 rats at the same time? It's nearly impossible to chase all three and catch them.


*Pick one skill or business and bury your head into it.*


What most people don't know is, the deeper you get inside a business, the more avenues for making money you will get to see just by being inside.


Mastery doesn't happen in one week. Not even in one month.


*Stay on one course.* 


Focus until you see results coming!

Do you want to start something new this year and have more freedom by been your own Boss? 

*Do you need a coach? You can book an hour with me this week here*

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Posted 6 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments


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 8 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments


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

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

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

 

How Should I Serve My Generation?

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Benefits of Serving Your Generation

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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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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So many people live in the illusion that when they get to the top that everything will be easy and rosy but on getting to the top, it is not really what they thought. The freedom myth is the mentality that when you get to the top, that you are no longer limited - no more problems, worries or someone to answer to.

Some folks have a wrong idea about leadership. They see it to be a ticket to an easy life, the magic that will make them popular, solve all their needs and problems, but when they finally get to the top, they are surprised that it is not how they pictured it.

If you have been at the top in an organization - family, school, workplace, church, etc., you will agree with me that the top is not a bed of roses. There's a saying that, "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." The truth is that when you move to the top of the leadership ladder in any organization, your responsibility increases. As you rise higher, more is expected of you. At this stage, you cannot live or do things anyhow, the impact of your actions and inactions are very glaring.

Leaders who truly want to make positive difference don't sleep at the top, they wear their thinking caps, looking for ways to fulfill their mandate and leave great legacies. The top is not crowded because at this stage, more is required of you.

The essence of this treatise is not to scare you from aiming for the top but to get you set for the challenges that comes with being at the top. The best way to prepare for the top, handle it demands efficiently and effectively is by taking the initiative and responsibility to improve yourself today. Self-improvement is one of the greatest investment you can make because it's ROI (return on investment) is life-enriching. The best time to get ready for tomorrow is today...no more delay. See you at the top!

I remain yours truly,

Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Six sure ways to avoid procrastination


1. Do it scared

2. Do it now

3. Do it scared

4. Do it now

5. Do it scared

6. Do it now


Remember that action is what separates dreamers from achievers.


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


Val Okafor

Effective Leadership and Productivity Strategist 

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Book Title: Verdict of the Gods

Playwright: Iwu Jeff

Publisher: Transconventional Publishers

Date Published: July, 2020

ISBN: 978-978-979-443-0

Number of Pages: 84

Reviewer: Nwokeabia, Ifeanyi John.



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

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

In page 9 of the play: 

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

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

In pag 77, he has this to say:

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

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

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

In page 20;

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

NWOKEOCHA [scornfully] Madman!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Playwright 

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

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

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AN UNPALATABLE PANDEMIC HITS HUMANITY 

BY MUOMA VALENTINE CHIBUEZE 

An unpalatable pandemic hits humanity,

Causing pandemonium

Ravaging nations of the world

Has succeeded in holding us apart

in the name of social distance

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


Those who are sick now fear going to the hospital

For fear of being suspected of COVID-19

Even those with the virus are scared of opening up

For fear of being segregated

Thereby infecting others

Increasing the spread the virus.


The pandemic has become a throb in our neck

Its tremulous beats wake trenchant

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

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


The social media has become agents of adulterated news

Bringing forth absurd means of combating the virus

Propagating outrageous number of cases

Creating panic, fear and chaos in the land.


Observing safety tips is the only panacea to contending the virus

Anything contrary exacerbates the pandemic

Continuous public health enlightenment Should be accessible to everyone.


Corrections of fallacies on the spread of the virus 

Is our collective responsibility

Looking out for one another is imperative

With all these measures on ground

We can successfully overcome this unpalatable pandemic.


ABOUT THE POET

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

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Posted 1 Year ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

Posted By Izunna Okafor



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


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


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


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


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



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



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


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


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Osita Eze, Youth Pastor
Posted 2 Years ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

     Sometime ago, I attended a youth programme and overheard one of the high-ranking priests lamenting that many of the youths in the Anglican Church are breaking their (spiritual) fathers’ hearts by relocating to the Pentecostal circle especially after they had invested so much virtues in them.  Several questions came up in my mind when I heard this statement. (1). Is it really compulsory for a Christian youth to remain permanently in the church/ denomination he was born into? My answer to that question is “No”. If God is leading a Christian youth to relocate to another church especially if he or she is no longer enjoying spiritual balanced diet, he or she should by no means move on to another church.

(2). Must all outstanding Christian youths become members of the hierarchical pastoral order of a church? My answer is “No”. If God has not called a youth into the ministry let no pastor or priest ‘call’ him into any of the five-fold ministries.  He or she should not be cajoled or pressurized into accepting such ‘call’. Otherwise that would amount to asking the young man or woman to take on more responsibilities than he or she was created/destined to handle.

(3). Is it really wrong for a member of a church or denomination to attend programmes of other churches or denominations? My answer is “No”. It is quite alarming that several Christian leaders had promoted and are still promoting disunity by discouraging their younger followers from attending meetings or fellowship organized by other church leaders or even interact with other Christians no matter how spiritual or godly they are.  Some of them even go to the extent of suspending those who attended such programmes from their responsibility (ies) in church. Let us stop the hypocrisy. Pray for unity in the Body of Christ, preach unity in the Body of Christ and practice unity in the Body of Christ.

(4). Is it compulsory for a Christian youth to remain bounded to his or her church/denomination by marrying a fellow believer from his or her church? Marrying a believer from your church/ denomination is a good idea but it is advisable that a Christian marries a man or woman that fears God, irrespective of his or her denomination.

     Please do not get me wrong. It is not that I do not care about the emotional pains pastors go through each time their followers relocate to another church for whatever reason. I do but the best bet is that pastors and priests should learn to release people from their hearts when they leave the churches they oversee without hurting themselves or anyone. It is also important for a pastor or priest to identify and discover the departments or units of his church where more hands are needed and personally ask the Lord of the harvest to send more labourers to meet those specific needs in the church he pastors.

                                                                                                        

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Osita Eze, Youth Pastor
Posted 2 Years ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Editor's Note:

Out of their ardency, eighteen poets and poetry lovers identified with the need to give the 2020 Valentine celebration a poetic taste glamour.


With a view to harvest and immortalize this zeal, each of these bards donated a tranche of poetic condiment in response to a call for submissions made in that regard.


The fabrication of these romantic lines of epopees, as was edited by Izunna Okafor, gave birth to this panoramic poetic montage —My Love My All.


Here in this second edition of this journey, these poets explore the theme to register what love holds for them and their inamoratos in its various dimensions.




They write:



My love my all

In whose heart my treasure grows

From whose spine my pleasure flows

Nigher oh my love for in you I repose my all


Where is the inamorata who chained my treasure

She whose smile holds my pleasure!

The time fast approaches,

With its augur on rose hedges..


Where are you, my love, my all.

You whose love tower, I grow tall.

The field of love is verdant with hue;

My heart wanders for nothing, but you!


Give me the love that leads the way

And the kiss that heals the pierced heart

The faith that nothing can dismay

Lest I sink to be a clod.


Stretch your loving hand to me my love

The hand which comforts beyond measure 

In the midst of adversity  

You shall forever be my treasure.   


Come to me my love. 

And feel me all as my heart trembles for your love 

Out of my loneliness  

Heal me and hold me closer to thee.


Loneliness becomes an unbearable sickness

Every second your absence is felt

Storms trouble my sailing heart

In every flash of our last romance.


Never will the world ever be sweet

If not with you reposing on my laps

In you alone

I found meaningless of life without a woman.


You are my all and true love

Both far and near

For in you, I felt what Nnewi's progenitor felt for Nnobi damsel

That made him start a religion deifying her


Your love tastes like abacha 

And Nwoke Udi special palm-wine

joined together

My love my all

Ị sọgbuo m!!!


The smile on your face is sun

The only thing that stands when everything becomes dark.

Your smile is a map directing men of goodwill

I will camp you in my heart forever.


For you are my salt

That flavors the taste of my love.

And you are my light,

That brightens my darkest plights.


For God's love to all,

He gave His only Son.

But for His love for me,

He gave a precious gift of you

my heart's key.


You pick the lock

Oh! You do it all over again

My heart, creaking, opening its arms to you

You, gliding in with a fragrance of warmth.


Your visits leave me nimble

Your sweet perfume arouses my soul

And when you sway, that liquefied sublime motion

My brain falls into oblivion.


Deeper in your veins my love flows

Beckoning you closer to my sinews 

Peak me to the point my love temper swells

For in you all trust I my all


Your love and touch are sensational

They give this feeling of nostalgia

And make me feel like an infant

Please let me be your boo just for a day or two.


Thy love is better than wine

Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels

As the lilly among thorns

So is my love for you!


As the apple tree among trees,

So are you before me always.

Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet,

Onitemi! kiss me, with the kisses of your mouth.


Clothe my heart with your love,

For its own love is dead.

Toss off one bit of it,

And the garden would be finer than Eden.


Hold my lips, let's make it last,

Now I am seconds closer to you.

Let it be a thing they could jot down,

Knowing well how much we love each other.


Youare my love my all, 

On this beautiful island of scented glory, surrounded by the emerald sea 

Under the blue sky and crescent moon of passion

And blessed with the sweet serenade of nightingales. 


I crave to dwell in the freshness of your presence

Which is as pure as a lily;

As rare as a blue rose 

And as lovely as venus.


I only desire company of you

To better express the freedom

Found in our affection

For you are my all.


In sincere confession of this,

I beseech God to marry us

In timeless matrimony of divine and infinite love

Beneath the twilight of cupid's divinest dreams.


My love you’re my all

My forever Valentine 

My giant for eternity you make me feel secure even when all around me is chaos!

Your imperfections are nature's reward to me.


They define your humanity, 

In that man who is perfect lies all the deceit in the world.

My love you’re my all


While we fold and drink from each others' lips

And as moon lends a scenting aroma to our eyes

At this love station, countless for the trip,

Then I hear a voice pouring from the skies:


"This liquid love will soon solidify

Only take your sleep gently and watch tears dry

For I shall be coming by,

Yes, I."


How can I make you see what I feel

When love is blind? 

When I push hard

You might think love is wicked 


Here you are staring at me

The only thing I want is to deep my lips into yours

And our love will be unbreakable 

Don't call it magic, it's a miracle!


With you, it's like honey and bread

Sweet to the body and blessing to the soul

My love, with you I know we will reach for the stars and even beyond

With you, I have no cause to look elsewhere, cause I am at rest.


With you, I feel complete

You make me see the beauty in my imperfections

Your love gives me room to live and truly live

With you, I am a giant with great strides.


Give me your love, and I will give you my all

Kill me with love, and resurrect me with love

For it's a season of love

Oh! Valentine is here again.





Contributors:



Izunna Okafor

Nket Godwin

Odinaka Nworie

Innocent Chikodiri Paul

Nwokeabia, Ifeanyi John

O'star Eze

John Chizoba Vincent

Stanley Ezechukwu

Rosemary Nwadike

Dishon Obok

Gloria Oluchi John

Kayode Awojobi

Chidiebere Ezekwesili

Marcel Ike Okonkwo

Dayo Ayila

Maureen Onyinye Kenneth

Udo Okoronkwo-chukwu

Michael David Ogbonnaya.



Compiled and Edited by Izunna Okafor

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Updated 2 Years ago · 1 Likes · 0 Comments


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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Writing a book review can be a blessing, and it can be a disaster. You may like a particular book extremely, but still make many mistakes in reviewing it. We, of course, can't oversee all the potential errors a student can make when dealing with this writing assignment, but here will cover ten most common mistakes to avoid.

Taking the Tone of a Professional Critic

You are writing a college or university book review, you are not a professional, highly esteemed Critic, and it is good to humble yourself and remember it. Your professor will be irritated if you don't do it. The fact that this book made it to your program means that it is worth something, so treat it with enough respect. Even if you address a professional writing service with your write my book review for me request, and it will surely be written by an expert, the tone still will be very moderate, calm, not a snob.

Repeating the Same Thoughts Numerous Times

You have some brilliant ideas, we get it. However, it is not good to repeat them again and again during the review. Even if something impressed you beyond belief it is better not to emphasize it more than twice in your text. You have read the whole book at least twice, you should have fresh ideas to put in your writing.

Retelling the Plot

When in high school, you had assignments which implied that you should retell the story the way you understood it. Your ability to remember and later retell what you have remembered in a concise way was checked. Writing a book review is entirely different. You don't have to explain plot lines, give many quotes, or elaborate on each important character before you actually get to the review part.  

Emotionally-Driven Uncalled for Arguments

Good books provoke emotions. It is good if you feel emotional while and after reading a book assigned in class, as it is often that students stay completely cold regarding things they need to read. However, you should be very careful not to make that book review of yours a blog post more suitable for Facebook discussion, not a class. It is accepted to express your sympathy to heroes in a correct manner, but you can't "hate," "love," "detest" heroes. You can, though, use phrases like "I suppose the author used these means to make readers sympathetic to this character."  

Excessive Length

When you just start writing, you feel like you will never be able to write that book review, that the needed number of pages is too much, and there is just nothing to say. However, soon you may notice that you've almost exhausted the allowed number of words and still didn't express yourself enough. Start editing. Don't hope that your professor will be impressed by two extra pages, he or she will just cross them away or won't accept your paper at all.

Too Many Extra References

You like to read, we got it. Still, it is not the best idea to put all the books you've written recently into your paper to boast and show off. Be humble, include only references and allusions which are truly relevant. You are also not supposed to include every book of the same author into comparison, that is too much.

Lack/Excessiveness of Originality

This one is good, and that one is bad, the narration is long, and the ending is sad. This is a short description of most of the reviews written by not enough diligent students. Such analysis is boring and predictable; you should do better than this.

Not Enough Criticism

Even if you like the book entirely, you should find something to criticize in a professional, well-thought-out way. Remember, criticism is not actually about saying mean or even harmful things. It is more about spotting some questionable places and elaborating on them.

Ignoring the Author or Focusing Only on Him/Her

Some students solely focus on the author; some overlook the author and only analyze the Plot. Both strategies will lead you to failure, as the book and its author are genuinely interconnected, but assessing this connection, you should not put the Plot and the artistic means behind.

Broken Logic

This mistake is inherent to texts written either in a hurry, or part by part with long pauses. For example, you received this assignment weeks ago, wrote third, later gave up and finished writing two hours before the submission, not even reading much what you have written before.


Writing a book review, don't neglect following rules for this task stated by your professor and in your handbook for this course. Step-by-step guides are truly useful in such situations.

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Posted 3 Years ago · 3 Likes · 0 Comments

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

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

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

1.

Knowledge

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

2.

Reduces stress

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

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

3.

Vocabulary building

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

4.

Improves writing skills

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

5.

Improves communication skills

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

6.

Improves focus and concentration

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

7.

Motivation

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

8.

Improves memory

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

9.

Improves imagination

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

10.

Makes you smarter

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

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Updated 3 Years ago · 2 Likes · 1 Comments

The traditional African religions are a set of highly diverse beliefs that include various ethnic religions. Generally, these traditions are oral rather than scriptural, include belief in a supreme creator, mythology gods and goddesses, belief in spirits, veneration of the dead, use of magic and traditional medicine. 

There are African writers, who invest their energy to make sure these African myths and folktales never die.

Here's why we have compiled this short list of African mythology novels about myths, folktales, king gods and spirits from Africa.


  1. Children of blood and bones

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Children of Blood and Bone is a 2018 young adult fantasy novel by Nigerian-American novelist Tomi Adeyemi. The book, Adeyemi's debut novel and the first book in a planned trilogy, follows heroine Zélie Adebola as she attempts to restore magic to the kingdom of Orïsha, following the ruling class kosidáns' brutal suppression of the class of magic practitioners Zélie belongs to, the maji.


Writing the book over 18 months and 45 drafts, Adeyemi drew inspiration from novels like Harry Potter and An Ember in the Ashes as well as West African mythology and the Yoruba culture and language.


 The hopelessness she felt at police shootings of black Americans also motivated her to develop the story of Children of Blood and Bone. The book received one of the biggest young adult publishing deals ever, including preemptive sale of film rights to Fox 2000



Blurb:


They killed my mother.

They took our magic.

They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.


Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.


This book was published by: Henry Holt and company

https://us.macmillan.com/henryholt/



2. Akata Warriors









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Nnedi Okorafor (full name: Nnedimma Nkemdili Okorafor; previously known as Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu; translated from Igbo into English as "mother is good", born April 8, 1974) is a Nigerian-American writer of fantasy and science fiction for both children and adults. She is best known for Binti, Who Fears Death, Zahrah the Windseeker, and Akata Witch.



Blurb:

A year ago, Sunny Nwazue, an American-born girl Nigerian girl, was inducted into the secret Leopard Society. As she began to develop her magical powers, Sunny learned that she had been chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert an apocalypse, brought about by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu. Now, stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny is studying with her mentor Sugar Cream and struggling to unlock the secrets in her strange Nsibidi book.


Eventually, Sunny knows she must confront her destiny. With the support of her Leopard Society friends, Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha, and of her spirit face, Anyanwu, she will travel through worlds both visible and invisible to the mysteries town of Osisi, where she will fight a climactic battle to save humanity.

Much-honored Nnedi Okorafor, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, merges today’s Nigeria with a unique world she creates. Akata Warrior blends mythology, fantasy, history and magic into a compelling tale that will keep readers spellbound.

This book was publsihed by :

Penguine random house









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3. Children of vengeance and virtue


Blurb: After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari's right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy's wrath.









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4. Black panther


Ta-Nehisi Coates is a senior editor for The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues for TheAtlantic.com and the magazine. He is the author of the 2008 memoir The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood. His book Between the World and Me, released in 2015, won the National Book Award for Nonfiction. Coates received the MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" in 2015.



Blurb:


Klaw stands supreme! The Black Panther's greatest foe has returned, ready for war! Can T'Challa finally defeat Ulysses Klaw, the man who killed his father, while his country threatens to rip itself apart? To make matters worse, Wakanda's gods disappear - and the Originators return! The former gods are back, but what are their intentions for a land that has forgotten them? And all this is only the beginning, as a cadre of villains returns, monsters pour through strange gateways and Wakanda is brought to its knees! T'Challa must defend his country from within - but with his hands full, who will come to Ayo and Aneka's aid? And as Klaw steals the very lifeblood of Wakanda, the Panther turns to unlikely allies. Who will join the king's ill-fated crusade? The answers will surprise you!


This book was published by Marvel.









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5. Fib and the axe of fury


Esosa Kolawole (a Nigerian) is already making waves in respect of creative writing. She is mostly conspicuous on the internet, and has already published some tentative works and books.


Yes she loves ‘spooky’ stories about magic, myths etc! She has written a number of thrilling short stories, and at least a novella titled Tella. She's a big fan of Percy Jackson series and Cupid's Match.


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 an exciting heroine and a twisting, imaginative story line, Fib and the Axe of fury is a strange African mythological story.


This book will be publsihed by Zuma Publishing

https://zumapublishing.com





6. Anansi the Spider




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Gerald McDermott is an award-winning children’s book illustrator and an expert on mythology. His work often combines bright colors and styles with ancient imagery.


He has created more than 25 books and animated films. His first book, Anansi the Spider, was awarded a Caldecott Honor, and he’s since won the Caldecott Medal for Arrow to the Sun and another Caldecott Honor.


Anansi the Spider is one of the great folk heroes of the world. He is a rogue, a mischief maker, and a wise, lovable creature who triumphs over larger foes.


In this traditional Ashanti tale, Anansi sets out on a long, difficult journey. Threatened by Fish and Falcon, he is saved from terrible fates by his sons. But which of his sons should Anansi reward? Calling upon Nyame, the God of All Things, Anansi solves his predicament in a touching and highly resourceful fashion.


In adapting this popular folktale, Gerald McDermott merges the old with the new, combining bold, rich color with traditional African design motifs and authentic Ashanti language rhythms.



7. Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters


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John Steptoe was an award-winning author and illustrator of children's books from New York City. He began working on his first children's book, Stevie, while still a teenager and achieved great success during his tragically short career, encouraging the advancement of African American culture by producing work about the African American experience that children could appreciate. 



Blurb:


A Caldecott Honor and Reading Rainbow book, this memorable retelling of Cinderella is perfect for introducing children to the fairy tale as well as the history, culture, and geography of the African nation of Zimbabwe.


Inspired by a traditional African folktale, this is the story of Mufaro, who is proud of his two beautiful daughters. Nyasha is kind and considerate, but everyone—except Mufaro—knows that Manyara is selfish and bad-tempered.


When the Great King decides to take a wife and invites the most worthy and beautiful daughters in the land to appear before him, Mufaro brings both of his daughters—but only one can be queen. Who will the king choose?


Award-winning artist John Steptoe’s rich cultural imagery of Africa earned him the Coretta Scott King Award for Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters. The book also went on to win the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. This stunning story is a timeless treasure that readers will enjoy for generations.




8. Precious and the Monkeys




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Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and he was a law professor at the University of Botswana. He lives in Scotland.



Blurb:


Well before Precious Ramotswe founded her Number One Ladies Detective Agency, as an eight-year-old girl she was already solving mysteries. Here we find out just who has been stealing her schoolfriend's snacks and how the young Precious became the crafty and intuitive private investigator we all know and love



9. Zoo City



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Lauren Beukes


She is the author of Broken Monsters, about art, ambition, damaged people and not-quite-broken cities, The Shining Girls, about a time-travelling serial killer, the nature of violence, and how we are haunted by history, Zoo City, a phantasmagorical noir set in Johannesburg which won the Arthur C Clarke Award and Moxyland, a dystopian political thriller about a corporate apartheid state where people are controlled by their cell phones. Her first book was a feminist pop-history, Maverick: Extraordinary Women From South Africa’s Past, which has recently been reprinted.


Blurb:


Zinzi has a Sloth on her back, a dirty 419 scam habit and a talent for finding lost things. But when a little old lady turns up dead and the cops confiscate her last paycheck, she’s forced to take on her least favourite kind of job – missing persons.


Being hired by reclusive music producer Odi Huron to find a teenybop pop star should be her ticket out of Zoo City, the festering slum where the criminal underclass and their animal companions live in the shadow of hell’s undertow.


Instead, it catapults Zinzi deeper into the maw of a city twisted by crime and magic, where she’ll be forced to confront the dark secrets of former lives – including her own.






____________________________________________



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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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Tech giant, Google will make available free Wi-Fi facilities in about 200 sites in Lagos and five other states in Nigeria between now and 2019.


Within this period, about 10 million Nigerians, including Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are expected to benefit immensely from this project. The other states are Kaduna; Port Harcourt (Rivers state); Ibadan (Oyo state); Enugu and Abuja.


The project, which comes as Google Station, is in partnership with 21st Century, a leading ISP in Nigeria. Four of the Stations, including Local Airport, Landmark; The Palms and Ikeja City Mall, went live on Wednesday.


Nigeria is the fifth country to launch Google Station, following India, Indonesia, Mexico and Thailand.



Google Station is a service that allows Google partners to roll out Wi-Fi hotspots in public places by providing software and advice on hardware to turn fibre connections into Wi-Fi.


Speaking with The Guardian and some five other select media houses on Wednesday, in Lagos, Google’s Vice-President, Product Management, Anjali Joshi, said the service, which is targeted primarily at countries, where the next-billion Internet users are set to come from, aimed to give users fast, secure, and easy-to-use Wi-Fi experience.


Joshi explained that in order to provide the service, Google offered fibre carriers, the companies, which build software for Internet-connected hardware, and venues a cloud-based platform and devices, which make it easier for them to provide, manage and monetise the Station hotspots.


She disclosed that the initiative is a long term project and that the security aspect has been fortified and encrypted to guard against any breaches.


Joshi said Google was doing this because the Internet has the potential to completely transform Africa. “Across the globe, countries which have invested in nurturing digital and innovation-based cultures not only enjoy extraordinary wealth (and job creation), but have also transformed the way people live and do business. That positive change can only happen, however, if everyone can access the Internet,” she stressed.


Speaking in the same vein, Google’s Country Director, Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, who said the move was to ensure that more Nigerians participate in the digital economy, noted that the technology firm hoped to roll out Station to as many public locations as possible, including markets, malls, bus stops, city centres, and cafés, universities so that people can have a consistent Wi-Fi experience during their daily routines.


On the choice of Nigeria now, Ehimuan-Chiazor said the country is an important market for Google and the largest market in Africa, saying that the target was to develop the technology ecosystem and later scaled to other part of Africa.


Silent on the amount gone into the investments, she disclosed that the initiative was targeted at a populated area, with the hope that by 2019 about 10 million Nigerians must have benefitted.

According to her, there are huge possibilities of the initiative helping the country to leapfrog the 30 per cent broadband target set by the Federal Government for this year, “knowing full well that a World Bank report claimed that there is direct correlation between broadband and GDP growth. That is a 10 per cent increase in broadband correlates to 1.38 per cent increase in GDP growth.


“Even beyond GDP growth, the Internet provides opportunities to pursue social and developmental objectives. So we expect this to fuel some changes, especially in creating jobs, helping the SMEs, among others.


“We have believed since the very beginning of Google that when more people have better, more dependable and secure access to the Internet, everyone in the entire Internet ecosystem benefits. Google Station will work to this mission by bringing more people fast, reliable, quality Wi-Fi to more places.”

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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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Chinua Achebe, who died in Boston today at the age of eighty-two, was a few weeks shy of thirty years old when Nigeria was granted independence from the British Empire, on October 1, 1960, and he was already acclaimed, worldwide, as the preëminent novelist of black Africa. The British publisher Heinemann had brought out Achebe's first novel, Things Fall Apart, only two years earlier, and it had to have been the first African novel that many of his admirers on the continent and off had read. The sure tragedian's authority with which Achebe tells the story of Okonkwo, an Igbo elder of immense strength and pride, a figure of heroic qualities within the traditions of his culture, who is ill-served, brought low, and undone by those same qualities in his first violent encounters with colonial power, has ensured that still today, with more than ten million copies sold, Things Fall Apart remains the best-known work of African literature.
The great African novel? The book could as truly be called a great novel, period. Many writers would prefer to carry that badge of universality, but Achebe who has gone to his grave without ever receiving the Nobel Prize he deserved as much as any novelist of his era has said that to be called simply a writer, rather than an African writer, is a statement of defeat. Why? Because his project has always been to resist emphatically the notion that African identity must be erased as a prerequisite to being called civilized. Growing up as what he called a British-protected child in the colonial order, the young writer came to see that the Empire's claim that Africans had no history was a violent, if at times ignorant or unconscious, counter-factual effort to annihilate the history of his continent's peoples.
Achebe made his case in many forms essays and lectures, interviews and acts of protest, and as an ideologue and propagandist for the failed Igbo-nationalist secessionist state of Biafra but he made it most cogently on the final page of Things Fall Apart. With the reader in the full emotional grip of the many dimensions of Okonkwo's epic fate, the author boldly and deftly adds another, shifting to the perspective of a colonial governor who considers Okonkwo's story good material perhaps not a whole chapter but a reasonable paragraph for the book he is planning to write:  The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger.
Having, with his first effort, created a permanent place for the African novel in the world literary canon, Achebe continued to be a prolific imaginative writer, producing novels and stories that evoked, in a range of voices, the trials of Nigeria's pre-colonial and colonial history, and the traumas of its post-independence ordeals: from No Longer at Ease and A Man of the People in the sixties to Girls at War and Anthills of the Savannah in the aftermath of the Biafran war. But the fact that he must be remembered as not only the father but the godfather of modern African literature owes at least as much to the decades he spent as the editor of Heinemann's African Writers Series. In that capacity, Achebe served as the discoverer, mentor, patron, and presenter-to-the-world of so many of the now-classic African authors of the latter half of the twentieth century. The series's orange-spined, generously inexpensive paperbacks carried a stamp of excellence that drew readers everywhere to essential works by writers as varied as Kenneth Kaunda, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Dennis Brutus, Tayeb Salih, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Ousmane Sembène, Wole Soyinka, and Nadine Gordimer, to name but a few: it is an extraordinary legacy.
As a storyteller, as a voice of his nation, as a cultural impresario, an intellectual combatant and provocateur, Achebe gained with age the status in Nigeria of a bard and a sage that the modern world rarely affords to writers. After suffering terrible injuries in a car crash, he spent much of his time in the last decades of his life in America, where he settled into long-term professorships at Bard College and Brown University. But when he returned to Nigeria he was received as a national hero. Crowds of thousands sometimes tens of thousands gathered to pay tribute to him. The adoration hardly softened him, though. He was, in his old age, as much a scold to his compatriots as he had ever been in his youth.
I met Achebe a few times in his wheelchair-bound American years. When he gave you his hand it was at once firm and soft and notably warm. He had a gentle presence a man fully capable of wit and mischief and open laughter, but whose default expression, at ease, was one of sympathetic melancholy. His voice was another matter: low-pitched and rich and adamant. When he spoke, it was with great command and unmistakable music. In Boston, in 1999, at a celebration of the centennial of Ernest Hemingway s birth, I had the honor of sitting on a panel with Achebe, on the subject of writing about Africa. He was as cogently withering about Hemingway's Africa a place he could not recognize because there were no speaking Africans there as he was, in one of his most famous essays, about Joseph Conrad s. At the end of the session, the floor was opened to questions. An evidently confused woman in the audience took the opportunity to ask In what sense are you writers about Africa? The other panelists Nadine Gordimer and Kwame Anthony Appiah were too baffled to respond. Not Achebe. He leaned into his microphone, and very slowly and melodically, with rolling Rs and drawn out Os, roared: Read. Our. Books. The woman said, But I'm asking you. And Achebe said, I'm telling you: Read. Our. Books. 
What better epitaph for the man, and what better way to remember him today: read his books.
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