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Izunna Okafor

Izunna Okafor (born 9th Jan. 1994) 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.
Izunna Okafor (born 9th Jan. 1994) is an award-winning 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 had his secondary school at Community Secondary School Ebenator. He is graduate from Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, where he studied Public Administration. He also holds O.N.D in Public Administration from the same school.

A published and best-selling author, Izunna has written globally applauded books. He is the author of: '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, and won Outstanding recognition in the Ezenwa Ohaeto Prize for Young Nigerian Novelists 2015; 'Ajo Enyi (his debut Igbo novel)' his fourth book published in 2015.

With 'Ajo Enyi', he won the 2015/2016 Nigerian Writers Award/Indigenous Writer of The Year; the 2015 Society of Young Nigerian Writers Award/Pita Nwanna Award for Igbo Literature; and also got shortlisted for The 2015 Young Nigerian Writer of The Year).

His other books include African Blood (A Short Story), Nzúzù M Egbuo M, (Igbo novel), Educated Illiterate and Teach Me Grammar. He also has numerous articles/essays, poems and short stories to his credit, most of which are published online, nationally and internationally.

Izunna is a diglot writer who writes perfectly in Igbo and English languages, and has published has published numerously in both languages.

Aside being a talented award-winning young creative writer, Izunna is also an Igbo Language Activist who has played and continued to play great roles in ensuring sustenance and promotion of 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 been featured on many radio and television stations across the country on this mission.
Some of his debut articles like 'Say No To Igbo Extinction' and 'Asụsụ Igbo Amaka' have also contributed immensely in the cause and in peaking the clarion call for Igbo Language sustenance. He also has other numerous initiatives through which he plays the roles.

With his fourth Igbo novel 'Ajo Enyi' he became the first Nigerian writer to win the Indigenous Writer of the Year in the Nigerian Writers Award, just as he was also the first Indigenous writer to win the Pita Nwana Prize for Igbo Literature.

Izunna Okafor, as young as he is, started pursuing his writing career during his secondary school era. Izunna Okafor has featured and participated in so many writers seminars, workshops, conferences and writers awards. He has also been featured in the literary programme called Literary Forum, being anchored by the Anambra Broadcasting Service.

He has won and been nominated for a plethora 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

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

Ark Foundation Quiz Competition 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

Young Author Award, 2018

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)

LitraNation Indigenous Book of The Month (December) 2016

He also has numerous Certificates of Merit, Award, Recognition, the most recent of which include:

Certificate of Recognition From The ImpactField Global Initiative (2018);

Certificate of Award from the Applex Art and Creative Crew Africa (2018) among others.

At the age of 22, 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 so many magazines, websites, literary blogs and journals, nationally and internationally.

In addition to these, Izunna is also a renowned journalist and a columnist currently working with the Anambra Newspaper and Printing Coporation, the publishers of National Light Newspaper (www.nationallightngr.com) and Ka Ọ Dị Taa, an Igbo Language Newspaper (www.kaoditaa.com). He also writes for and works with the online Igbo Radio (www.igboradio.com), with has its headquarter in Canada, as well as numerous other media/publishing houses, both the online and print media.

Izunna is the coordinator of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers Anambra State Chapter as well as the brain behind “Remembering Chinua Achebe: A Literary Icon” which is an annual literary event he organizes in memory 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 periodically published in honour of Nigerian literary star, Late Prof. Chinua Achebe, and which attracts entries and submissions from countries across the world. During his undergraduate days, he was part of the editorial team of FAMASSA Magazine.

He is an ambassador of TFA Africa in Nigeria; the ambassador of Read Across Nigeria in Anambra State. As an alumnus of Unizik, he is also the immediate past Secretary General of National Association of Public Administration Students, as well as the current National Secretary General of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers.
January 9, 1994 MALE
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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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