By Sunny A. David, Awka
Young writers have been charged to uphold spirit of hard work and discipline to attain enviable heights of great writers.
The Commissioner for Basic Education, Professor Kate Omenugha gave the charge during the 3rd edition of 2018 Literary Festival tagged, “Remembering and celebrating Prof. China Achebe, a literary giant” held at the Kenneth Dike State Library Awka.
Declaring the event open, Prof. Omenugha represented by the Head of Department, Educational Service Department, Ministry of Basic Education, Anambra State, Mrs. Vera Ogbalu described
Prof. Chinua Achebe as renowned freedom fighter whose works inspired many into people oriented activities and proffered solutions to human problems.
She recalled that the government of Anambra state under Willie Obiano administration has instituted role modeling programmes for young people who have done the state proud, aimed at encouraging young people of the state to emulate worthy role models.
Prof. Omenugha commended the organizers of the event, Society of Young Nigerian Writers and State Library for providing unique platform to honour and celebrates the late icon and called for maximum support and encouragement to the organizers.
Earlier in a keynote address, a Professor of English, Literary and Gender Studies, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Mrs Ifeyinwa Ogbazi who narrated Chinua Achebe’s achievements in the literary world including “Things Fall Apart”, “No Longer at Ease,” “There was a Country” among others as some of his literary works that reflected hard work, native worship practices, wrestling bouts and condemned colonialism, imperialism, nationalism and subjugation in Africa.
Professor Ogbazi said that for one to be a great writer one must accept writing as mission, have passion and profound insight, knowledgeable to read widely, develop analytical and critical mind, possess high sensitivity, uphold the truth, propagate justice and fair play advising students to read extensively to attain greater height.
The Coordinator, Society of Young Nigerian Writers, Anambra State Chapter, Mr Izunna Okafor in his speech said that the programme was organized in memory of the celebrated literary star as part of efforts to perpetuate his legacies and laudable achievements in the literary field of life as well as to impact on young ones who want to trail his path.
In their separate remarks, the Managing Director and Editor in Chief, National Light Newspaper, Sir Chuka Nnabuife, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor on Social Reorientation, Mrs. Mitchelle Onugbolu and the Author of the “Last Carver”, Reverend Father Ositadimma Amakaeze described Achebe as master of knowledge and great intellectual of all ages ,stressing that it requires a lot handwork, sacrifice and energy for one to be a profound writer, urging young ones to cultivate reading culture and always seek the history in gallery work as well as ask questions.
Among the schools that participated in essay competition, Faith Model Secondary School Awka took first position, Saint John of God Secondary School Awka, second position and Kenneth Dike Secondary School third position and prizes were given to them.
The event featured lectures, essay competition, unveiling and launching of the third Chinua Achebe’s poetry, essay, anthology and presentation of Award to Professor Ogbazi.
By Sunny A. David, Awka