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Nigerian Writer and Journalist, Izunna Okafor Clocks 27

Posted 10 Months ago · 2 Likes · 0 Comments

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Pita Nwana Prize for Igbo Literature 2015


Society of Young Nigerian Writers Award Nigeria


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


Merit Award from Society of Young Nigerian Writers (2016)


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


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


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


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


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


Inspire Award 2017/Outstanding Youth in Academics


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


Anambra Campus Award 2017/Campus Writer of the Year 2017


Award of Excellence from the Society of Young Nigerian Writers 2016


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


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


Youth Writer of the Year 2016


NAPAS Essay Competition 2017


Starlett Entertainment Award/Creative Writer of the Year 2016


Young Author Award, 2018


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


Anambra Campus Award/Campus Best Writer 2018


Anambra Campus Award/Campus Best Journalist of the Year 2018


Best Secretary General of NAPAS (2018)


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


Joint Winner, ANPC Best Staff of the Year 2019


Recognition Award, Anambra Through A Lens, 2020


Certificate of Award from SprinNG Literary Movement, 2020


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


Certificate of Recognition, from ImpactField Global Initiative, 2018


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


Certificate of Completion for the SprinNG Advancement Fellowship, 2020


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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Posted 1 Month ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments


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

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

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

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

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

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


SUBMISSION GUIDELINES/RULES:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Only ONE entry per person is allowed.

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

10. Entries should be sent to:

achebeanthology@gmail.com 

and copied to:

synwanambrachapter@gmail.com

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

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

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

13. Submission Deadline: 30th SEPTEMBER 2021

Late entry/submission will not be ACCEPTED.

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

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

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

● All successful entrants shall receive Certificate of Participation.

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

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

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

For inquiries or support, contact:

achebeanthology@gmail.com

synwanambrachapter@gmail.com

+2348163938812

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



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Updated 3 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

By Uchem Obi, Awka

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uchem Obi, a lawyer, writes from Awka

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Posted 3 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

By Izunna Okafor

It was an uncommon manifestation of spirit of brotherhood and solidarity, as the executives and members of the People's Democractic Party (PDP) in Nnewi South Local Area of Anambra dumped the party and decamped to Labour Party (LP), in support of the Chief Obiora Agbasimelo, the candidate of the party ahead of the November 6 governorship election in the state.

The well-attended event of decamping and reception held in Ezinifite, Nnewi South, which is also the hometown of the Labour Party's flagbearer, Chief Agbasimelo and his philanthropic brother, Chief Godwin Agbasimelo, popularly known as Oga Ndi Oga. It also had the executives and members of the both parties in attendance.

Announcing the decamping, the PDP Chairman in the Nnewi South, Chief Alphonsus Ofoke, and the PDP Ward Leader in Ezinifite Ward 1, Chief Obadiah Obiaku said their decamping and consequent collapsing of their structure in support of Labour Party was informed by their understanding that voting should be for candidate and not necessarily for party, as they have found a worthy and more prospective and reliable candidate  in Labour Party, who is also from the same local government with them.

They also hinted that their former party, the disorganised People's Democractic Party did not favour or 'do them well' and has no known candidate, thereby making them see more reasons to decamp to the new party and declare their support to a known candidate, rather than wallow in illusion. 

They further declared their loyalty to the Labour Party and its leadership, even as they assured that the entire leaders and members of PDP in all the 20 political wards of the local government area would vote for Labour Party and their brother, Chief Agbasimelo, come November 6, maka na ọ naghị adị mma ịhapụ egwụ n'ụlọ gbaa n'ama. Ọ naghị adịkwa mma a hụchaa ebe a na-echi ọzọ, e jebe ebe a na-arụ agwụ.

Receiving them into Labour Party, the standard bearer of Labour Party for the 2021 Anambra guber election, Chief Obiora Agbasimelo hailed their courage to dump the old party and join the moving train.

He said, "Thank you for coming. You have come to the right place. Labour Party is a safe and peaceful party without any faction. This is the best decision you can make. Thank you for coming. You will see that when you support me, you will get there, and Agu Awka is our own. I welcome you once again and say thank you."

Highpoints of the event include the official reception of the decampees into the new party, as well as gifting them with Labour Party uniforms, and chanting of solidarity songs in support of Agbasimelo's candidacy, among other side attractions.


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Updated 4 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

By IHRAF, US


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Download the book through the link below:

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


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