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As Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike Joins His Ancestors...... By Izunna Okafor

Updated 1 Year 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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Updated 2 Months ago · 1 Likes · 0 Comments

LOVE IN LOVE



(A 2021 Special Valentine Poetry Collection)



Editor's Note:


In the word of Robert Frost, we love the things we love for what they are. 

In consummate concordance with this age-long apothegm, a group of poets decided to give the 2021 Valentine Day a poetic essence, literarily out of their love for what it is. 

Exploring the theme of Love, these eight poets and poetry lovers, in pursuance of their ardency, lent their voices, by donating stanzas of poetic condiments, which congealed into a concise masterpiece, entitled "Love in Love"

In its third edition now, this Special Valentine Poetry Collection which started in 2019 contains these romantic lines of epopees by these muses and inamoratos.

Compiled and edited by Izunna Okafor, this (though very concise) collection also holds the message and unfold the expressions of these gallant poets to and for the world, the lovers and the Love itself, as the 2021 Valentine Day stages.


They write:


Pure as crystal

Mature and unskeptical

Love beyond love

Love in love


And like a molten gold

My love oozes warmth

Even in the cold we are

Love in love!

 

Life they say is a proverb

Master this verb, it's an action

Echo in echo out

Love is a lieutenant 


Love is also natural

It comes from any direction

Waters the hearted 

Renders the powerful powerless

Love in love


Love is life

In its season, all thrive

When it seizes, there's strive

Love is when you lend a helping hand


Like Italian fine wine

You taste sweeter with age

I look at you, and with praise

My heart is filled


Grateful to the Great Universe for the gift of you

Soothing gaze of the moon...you

Fresh like the morning dew

Soft work, this, Love in Love is! 


Hence on this lonely path

May we cling softly to ourselves

And make peaceful vow

Of everlasting bliss


May the rain and sun

Water & shine on this garden of love

Gently, as it grows like a nation


When we sing of love... 

we sing of a mother and her child

we sing of a book and its reader

we sing of a child and his toy;

we sing of God and mankind

We sing of many things that have feelings,

we sing of hearts and prayers,

flowers, wishes, Aspirations and Lovers...

Because love has a different name to different

people,

But it goes with the same language everywhere.


Love in love

White, red, green, colourless...

Its colours and symbols

Love in Love


Love afresh, love in the air

Love above, love in the under

Love beyond love

Love in Love.




Contributors:

Izunna Okafor

Udo Okoronkwo-chukwu

Ibiam Ude Ufiem

Nnadiekwe Chinweike

Divine Ogonna

O'star Eze

Nwokeabia Ifeanyi John

John Chizoba Vincent



(Compiled and Edited by Izunna Okafor)



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Updated 3 Months ago · 0 Likes · 1 Comments

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

synwanambrachapter@gmail.com

Or 

08163938812

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Pita Nwana Prize for Igbo Literature 2015


Society of Young Nigerian Writers Award Nigeria


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


Merit Award from Society of Young Nigerian Writers (2016)


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


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


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


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


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


Inspire Award 2017/Outstanding Youth in Academics


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


Anambra Campus Award 2017/Campus Writer of the Year 2017


Award of Excellence from the Society of Young Nigerian Writers 2016


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


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


Youth Writer of the Year 2016


NAPAS Essay Competition 2017


Starlett Entertainment Award/Creative Writer of the Year 2016


Young Author Award, 2018


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


Anambra Campus Award/Campus Best Writer 2018


Anambra Campus Award/Campus Best Journalist of the Year 2018


Best Secretary General of NAPAS (2018)


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


Joint Winner, ANPC Best Staff of the Year 2019


Recognition Award, Anambra Through A Lens, 2020


Certificate of Award from SprinNG Literary Movement, 2020


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


Certificate of Recognition, from ImpactField Global Initiative, 2018


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


Certificate of Completion for the SprinNG Advancement Fellowship, 2020


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

Book Reviewer: Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha

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

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Updated 4 Months ago · 0 Likes · 1 Comments

As Organisers Name Outstanding Authors



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


These authors and their works he announced as follows: 

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

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Osita Eze, Youth Pastor
Posted 4 Months ago · 1 Likes · 0 Comments


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

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

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

 

How Should I Serve My Generation?

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Benefits of Serving Your Generation

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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


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


Most persons jump into marriage due to:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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

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

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

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

Acquire properties.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


12. Marriage proper: Traditional and white wedding.

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

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

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

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

Achebe, the literary prophet

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

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

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


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