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In Awka, young writers, literally lovers remember Achebe

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SOCIETY of Young Nigerian Writers, Anambra State Chapter, Friday, marked   the 2018 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival, tagged: “Remembering Chinua Achebe: A Celebration of a Literary Star”.

The event, which took place at Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library, Awka, Anambra State, was attended by some prominent men and women of the state,including Commissioner for Basic Education in Anambra State ,Prof Kate Omenugha, who was represented by the Head of Department, Educational Services in the ministry,

Mrs. Vera Ogbalu and the Public Relations Officer of  the ministry, Mr. Nnaemeka Egwuonwu, the Managing Director band Editor-in-Chief of  National Light Newspapers, KA O DI Taa, and Sport-Xtra Sir Chuka Nnabuife; the Dean, Faculty of Arts Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Prof. Ngozi Chuma-Udeh (represented by Mr. Bryan Udeh);

the author of The Last Carver’, Rev. Fr. Ositadimma Amakeze; the Senior Special Assistant to  Anambra State Governor on Social Orientation, Dr Mitchell Onugbolu, Prof Ifyinwa Ogbazi, Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artwork, Culture and Tourism, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, MD/CEO of Naira Rice Nig. Ltd. Mr. Arinze Omenwa, Student from some of the schools in Awka, friends and well-wishers.

Prof Ifeyinwa Ogbazi, who is also a connoisseur in the literary field, while delivering a keynote lecture titled “Chinua Achebe: The Literary Icon and His Ukụta Azu” went down memory lane on Achebe’s life as a writer, to illustrate his heroic deeds and inputs towards restoring the glory of African continent,

Ogbazi described him as a nationalist who did not only fight colonialism and racism in Africa with his pen as a writer, but also projected the beauty of Africa through his books, and left great legacies; hence worth to be celebrated, as his luminous life and gargantuan vestiges can never be forgotten in a hurry .

However, she enjoined the students to adopt reading culture to be role models worthy of emulation.

The  Commissioner for Basic Education in the state, Prof. Kate Omenugha, said that the event was indeed  worth celebrating, owing to the fact that Achebe was not only a model but also a literary giant whose works brought Igbo Culture to the fore, as well as attempt to solving numerous problems confronting  humanity,

Quoting a National Light Newspaper’s publication of 15th November 2018, Prof. of Omenugha, who was represented by the Head of Department, Educational Services in the ministry, Mrs. Vera Ogbalu and the Public Relations Officer the ministry, Mr. Nnaemeka Egwuonwu, reminded the participants that 16th November is a landmark date in Anambra State, being a day that brings together (by birthday) at least three of the Africa’s most outstanding figures of the 20th century, being late Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe, late Prof. Chinua Achebe and late Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, who all hailed from Anambra State.

In his remark, the Managing Director and CEO of Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation [Publishers of National Light Newspapers, Ka O Di Taa, SportsLight  Xtra], Sir Chuka Nnabuife, appreciated the dignitaries and every one present in the event, for being peaceful, law and abiding and committed to the course of Chief Willie Obiano, the governor of Anambra State.

Sir Chuka also eulogized those who organized the event, for seeing it as a duty to remember Chinua Achebe. He also advised students never to see writing as a challenge, but to love reading and writing so as to be great or even greater than Achebe. ;

In their separate speeches , the Dean Faculty of Arts, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Prof. Ngozi Chuma-Udeh (represented by Mr. Bryan Udeh); the author of The Last Carver’, Rev. Fr. Ositadimma Amakeze; and the Senior Special Assistant to the Anambra State Governor on Social Orientation, Dr. Mitchelle Onugbolu, showered panegyrics on the great star, Achebe, who they described as a blessing to Africa and the world in general, citing the different dimensions in which he and his works inspired them.

The acting director of  Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library, Dr. Nkechi Udeze,said the event was indeed worth celebrating, being the best way to honour and commemorate such a great fallen hero, as well as mold another bunch of intellectuals who will take over.

Coordinator of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers , Anambra State Chapter, Mr. Izunna Okafor, said the primary reason behind the annual event was to celebrate the literary figure and his literary vigour in a literary way, so as to keep his literary deeds ever green, as well as impact on the young ones who would also want to trail his path.

He enumerated some of the leviathan achievements of the great literary star, which he argued was indeed worth remembering and celebrating, hence the initiation of the literary festival which he said started since 2016, and was in its third edition.

Aside poetry performances and other literary activities used to garnish the event, it also featured essay writing competition amongst secondary schools, in which Nwachi Rejoice of Faith Model Secondary School Awka; Obi Amarachi Maryann of St. John of God Secondary School, Awka; Okeke Chito Angel of Nnamdi Azikiwe University High School, Awka;

Eze Emmanuel Chisom of Kenneth Dike Memorial Secondary School, Awka, and Onuekwe Amara G. of St. Lucy International Secondary School, Awka emerged the first, second, third, fourth and fifth prize winners respectively

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