Literary enthusiasts, writers of all class and intellectuals alike, will this Saturday, 16th November converge again at the Prof. Kenneth DikeCentral E-Library, Awka, the Capital City of Anambra State, Nigeria, for the 2019 edition of the Chinua Achebe Literary Festival.
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The literary festival is an annual literary event organized by the Society of Young Nigerian Writers, (Anambra State Chapter) in honour of Nigeria's Literary Legend and father of the African Literature — Late Prof. Chinua Achebe who died in March 2013, in commemoration and celebration of his immense contributions and legacies in the literary field of life. The literary event which holds yearly on Achebe's date of birth started in 2016, and has remained consistent for the past four years.
The convener of the event and Coordinator of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State Chapter) Mr. Izunna Okafor, in an email, told ACEworld that the 2019 edition of the festival would be 'awesome' 'fecund' and 'sparky'.
He described the 2019 theme of the event — 'Intellectuals And National Development: The Chinua Achebe Approach' as apt, given the rueful position of Nigeria today on the developmental ladder, and the envisaged roles the intellectuals have in fixing it, using Chinua Achebe as a benchmark.
It would be recalled that Late Achebe, until his death, was a die-hard chauvinistic countryman who, with his wealth of knowledge, contributed immensely in propelling the developmental wheel of his country Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. He was also an intellectual with integrity, as evidenced by his two-time rejection of the country's second highest award for intellectual achievement and contribution to National Development —the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic — in 2004 and 2011 respectively, simply because he perceived things were not going the way they should in the country, as under-development, corruption and impunity were the order of the day.
'This auspicious theme,' Izunna says, 'will be further dissected at the literary festival by an international award-winnig actor and author R.C (Reginald Chiedu) Ofodile who will be the lead paper presenter and Guest Lecturer at the event.'
According to him, the 2019 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival will feature: lectures in memory of Achebe, dramatizing of Achebe’s selected books, Open Mic/Spoken Word, Chinua Achebe Essay Writing Competition (for secondary school students, sponsored by the Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation), unveiling and presentation of the Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology entitled "Arrows of Words" (which is the association's newest collection of poems and essays published in honour of Achebe), award presentation, and other literary packages slated for the day.
This literary festival which is done in collaboration with the Anambra State Library Board will be declared open by H. E. Chief Dr. Willie Obiano, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, who will grace the occasion as the Chief Guest of Honour.
Other guests and literary enthusiasts expected at the literary festival include: Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike; the state's Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Hon. C-Don Adinuba; Mr. Oseloka Obaze (author and former guber candidate); Mr. James Ezeh (Chief Press Secretary to the Governor); Sir Chuka Nnabuife, (author of 'Mbize: Rage of Red Earth, and MD/CEO, National Light Newspaper); Chief Uche Nworah (Author of The Long Harmattan Season, and MD/CEO, Anambra Broadcasting Service); Rev. Fr. Ositadimma Amakeze (author of The Last Carver); Okeke Chika Jerry (author of The gods Are Hungry); Odili Ujubuoñu (author of Pregnancy of the gods); Uzor Maxim Uzoatu (author of God of Poetry); Isidore Emeka Uzoatu (author of Vision Impossible), among others.
Participation is absolutely FREE and open to all.
Date: 16th November, 2019
Venue: Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library, Awka, (Beside Aroma Junction).