In preparation for the 2019 edition of the Chinua Achebe Literary Festival, the members of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State Chapter) today, visited the Anambra Newspapers And Printing Corporation (ANPC), publishers of National Light Newspaper, Ka O Di Taa Igbo Newspaper and the Sportslight Xtra. This is the sole print medium of the Anambra State Government and also the longest-thriving state-owned newspaper in Nigeria.
Speaking at the Courtesy Visit which took place at the ANPC complex Awka, the State Coordinator of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers, Mr. Izunna Okafor said the visit was to identify with the firm as a media organization, as well as seek her partnership and collaboration to ensure a successful Chinua Achebe Literary Festival this year.
Going down memory lane, he said the annual event which started in 2016 is organized in memory and honour of Late Prof. Chinua Achebe, a great literary crackerjack of international repute, in commemoration and celebration of his immense contributions and legacies in the literary field of life.
He lamented that Achebe, who was born on 16th November, 1930 died on 21st March, 2013; and ever since then, nothing has been done to immortalize him, nor any single monument erected anywhere in his honour, not even in his own state, Anambra.
Divulging further details about the 2019 edition of the festival, Izunna disclosed that the event is, as usual, slated to take place on Achebe’s date of birth (November 16th), at the Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library Awka, Anambra State, being the usual venue it has always held since 2016.
In his word, “This year’s Chinua Achebe Literary Festival themed ” Chinua The Savant: An Epistle For The Leaving” will feature: lectures in memory of Achebe, dramatization of Achebe’s selected books, Open Microphone/Spoken Word Poetry, quiz competition based on Achebe’s works and life, announcement of winners of Chinua Achebe Essay Writing Competition (for secondary school students in the state), unveiling and launching of Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology entitled “Arrows of Words” (which is our newest collection of poems and essays in honour of Achebe), entertainment and other literary packages slated for the day.”
Concerning the Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology which is an annual publication of the SYNW Anambra, Izunna disclosed that there will be no ‘Call For Submission’ this year, as the association will combine the three previous anthologies already published in the past three editions of the event, and publish them together as a single book/anthology, which will also be unveiled on the day of the festival.
While commending the National Light Newspaper for being a major partner in the event for the past three years; the SYNW helmsman therefore sought the continuous support, encouragement and collaboration of the firm in this year’s edition of the festival, both before, during and after the event.
Responding, the MD/Editor-in-Chief of the ANPC, Sir Chuka Nnabuife described the Chinua Achebe Literary Festival as a great honour done to the blessed memory of the literary savant, Achebe, who he said, indiginized foreign language and also achieve a plethora of magnanimous feats through his writing.
He appreciated the young writers for always identifying with the organization in hosting the annual event, and also commended them for remaining consistent in hosting the festival since 2016, despite all odds or challenges that may have surface or still surface in doing that.
Sir Nnabuife who himself is a renowned Journalist, published author and art enthusiast shared some of his experiences in the writing field with the young writers, dating back to the year 1993 when he founded Oshogbo Writers League in Osun State, and which he said has produced a plethora of public and literary figures in the country.
Avowing his support and that of the firm to the festival, Sir Nnabuife also charged them to remain resolute in the pursuance of their career or passion in the creative writing field, even as he urged them to always make quality their watchword, and never to relent or be demoralized by any challenge that may surface in the course of hosting the literary festival.
The Courtesy Visit was joined by some top members of the SYNW in Anambra State, including the Secretary General, Miss Maureen Kenneth; Dr. Emeka Odogwu Emeka, who is also a veteran Journalist and author; Miss. Cynthia Igbokwe, a published author; and Mr. Chinonso Okafor, a bourgeoning poet.
In a vote of thanks, the editor of the National Light Newspaper, Mrs. Rose Oranye, appreciated the young writers body for the visit, and assured them that the organization would always be there to support them and their activities in any possible way they can, while also wishing them a successful 2019 Chinua Achebe Literary Festival.
As reported By Izunna Okafor, from Awka.
Izunna Okafor is a novelist, poet, essayist, journalist, publicist, columnist, editor, Igbo Language activist, and public affairs analyst; also the author of the books: Ikem’s Adventure, Ajo Enyi, The Faithful Children, The Curse of A Widow, Nzúzù M Egbuo M, Educated Illiterate, African Blood.