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By SYNW Anambra


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

 

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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By SYNW Anambra


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


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


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


"Accept the assurance of my warmest regards."



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


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


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


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


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


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


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By Izunna Okafor


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


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

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

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

“The family appreciates your prayers at this time.

Other details will be announced later by the family.”


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

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


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


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


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


Izunna Okafor writes from Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria

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By Izunna Okafor




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


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


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


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


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


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


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



Izunna Okafor writes from Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria

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


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


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


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



SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:


1. Only essays and poems are accepted for the anthology


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


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


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


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


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


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


8. Only one entry per person is allowed.


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


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


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


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


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



BENEFITS:


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


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


● All successful entrants shall receive Certificate of Participation.


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


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


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


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


For inquiries or support, contact:


synwanambrachapter@gmail.com


08163938812

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


07010178124

Maureen Onyinyechi Kenneth

(Secretary)

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Osita Eze, Youth Pastor
Posted 2 Months ago · 0 Likes · 1 Comments


 

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


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

 

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

You can (freely) download the anthology here or here .
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Posted 5 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

Posted By Izunna Okafor



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


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


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


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


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



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



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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

2. Entry must focus on the theme —Coronavirus

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

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

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

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


SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

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

2. Entry MUST be written in English Language

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

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

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

6. Entry MUST be original work of the entrant.

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

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

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


BENEFITS:

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

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

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

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

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

For further inquiries, support or partnership, contact:

writersagainstcovid19movement@gmail.com 

Or, call:

+2348163938812, Izunna Okafor

+2347069085422, Musa Sunusi Ahmad

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Updated 8 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

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


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


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

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

The statement reads in part:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other committee members of the movement include: 

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

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

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

Adebayo Iwalola — (SYNW Coordinator, Adekunle Ajasin University)

Innocent David Chinaecherem — (SYNW Coordinator, Federal University of 

Technology Owerri)

Alabi Matthew — (SYNW Coordinator, University of Lagos)

Luqman Alawode — (SYNW Coordinator, Osun State)

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

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Updated 9 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments
By SYNW Media

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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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 11 Months 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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Posted 11 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

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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Updated 12 Months ago · 1 Likes · 0 Comments

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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Updated 1 Year ago · 1 Likes · 0 Comments

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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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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Posted 1 Year ago · 3 Likes · 1 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Updated 1 Year 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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By Izunna Okafor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Written By Izunna Okafor


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

These pages indeed represent what the year holds for men.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      The most recent of these politicians turned authors include:

H.E. Sullivan Chime who authored

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



About The Author:


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

His awards include:

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

Pita Nwana Prize For Igbo Literature 2015

Society of Young Nigerian Writers Award Nigeria

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

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

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

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

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

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

AEYC/Youth Writer of The Year 2016

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

Inspire Award /Outstanding Youth in Academics 2017.

NAPAS Academic Icon of The Year 2017;

Anambra Campus Award 2017/Campus Writer of The Year 2017

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

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

Youth Writer of The Year 2016 NAPAS Essay Competition 2017;

Starlett Entertainment Award/Creative Writer of the Year 2016;

LitraNation Indigenous Book of The Month (December) 2016

Ambassador TFA in Nigeria

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

Campus Best Writer 2018/Campus Journalist of The Year 2018

Best Secretary General of NAPAS (2018).

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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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