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Anambra endows Achebe Prize for Nigerian writing

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TO MARK the 40th anniversary of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) which was founded in 1981 as Africa’s greatest raconteur at University of Nigeria at Nsukka, Anambra State Government has endowed N1million Chinua Achebe Prize for Nigerian Writing.

  The Prize is to be administered by ANA.

  Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, made the endowment known in Awka, the Anambra State capital, while speaking to journalists today.

  According to Adinuba, Gov. Willie Obiano approved the endowment to demonstrate his love and flair for liberal arts and commitment to immortalising famous fathers of the state among whom Achebe deserves celebration not only in his native Anambra State but also all over Nigeria, Africa and the world as the globally acclaimed Father of African literature.

  Explaining that the prize will be awarded to the best novel published by a Nigerian writer in each calendar year, Adinuba stated that it will be distinctive from the usually awarded ANA Fiction Prize, ANA Poetry Prize, ANA Drama Prize etc in that it will draw entries from distinguished publishers in Nigeria, Africa and the world.

  Commending the endowment, a professor of literature at Imo State University and ANA president, Camilus Uka, said that Gov. Obiano has showed the way to tother governors of South East to follow.

  “By instituting the Chinua Achebe Prize for Nigerian Writing, the Anambra State Government has written its name in history as the first state government in Nigeria to honour a writer. In an era of crass philistinism in Nigeria”, he declared in a telephone conversation with Commissioner Adinuba this morning, “it is reassuring that there are top government officials like Chief Obiano who appreciates ideas, letters and culture,” Professor Uka said.

  It will be recalled that Achebe blazed a trail in world literature when he published the classic Things Fall Apart on June 17, 1958 at barely 27 years of age. The novel has since been translated to well over 60 languages and ignited a boom in African writing. The other novels of Achebe are No Longer At Ease, Arrow of God, A Man of the People, and Anthills of the Savannah.

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