Henry Akubuiro, Lagos
There is something about a habitué that always find us in its warm embrace: not exactly its grandeur but its charm. We easily connect with it and take solace visiting it over and over. Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, has turned out to be such a habitué to Nigerian writers.
Since the ANA/Yusuf Ali Literary Campaign started in 2012, the leadership of the Association of Nigerian Authors has always thronged to Ilorin to brainstorm on the future of the literary enterprise.
This year’s convergence, a two-day programme, in Ilorin, was a capacity building workshop for national and state executive council members on innovations in contemporary literary awareness campaigns. There was a cameo appearance by Justice Mustapha Akanbi (Retd).
To facilitate the workshop sessions were Dr Wale Okediran, former ANA President; Izuchukwu Okeke, writer and scholar based in South Korea; and Funmi Olori, who runs a popular mobile library in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The president of the association, Mallam Denja Abdullahi, set the ball rolling, reminding all that the meeting was organised as part of the ANA/Yusuf Ali Literary Awareness Campaign and making a judicious use of the fund. The two-term president of ANA paid encomiums on the association’s benefactor, Yusuf Ali (SAN) for sustaining the annual 3 million naira grant.
“His gesture has done a lot to stabilising the association. These days, it’s difficult to get financial support, even from government. But, for somebody to be consistent in providing 3 million naira to an association like ours, it calls for commendation.”
Of course, his remarks were greeted with plaudits.
Elaborating further, he said the association embarked on a media campaign to call attention to what the Senior Advocate of Nigeria had been doing for Nigerian writers for seven years. He, therefore, called on public-spirited individuals and corporate bodies to emulate the generosity of the renowned lawyer.
“This is the time for public-spirited individuals in Nigeria to support literature, which impacts on the reading public at all levels. We want corporate organisations to do the same for the growth of reading and writing,” he said.
Mallam Abdullahi said the essence of the workshop was to chart a new way of doing things, especially relating to carrying out literary campaigns nationwide. He expressed optimism that the array of resource persons invited to talk to the gathering were seasoned.
Dr Okediran was the first to do his presentation, which centred on “Managing and Financing Literary Projects and Programmes for Optimum Results: The Practical Realities”.
The Award-winning author said, for an NGO to be healthy, it had to generate sufficient income to ensure stable programming, engage in income-based, rather than budget-based, spending, among others.
He noted that monthly readings by ANA state chapters were a good avenue to keep writers busy, as well as have their works critiqued and edited. It could be sustained by using notable personalities in the state as hosts and guest of honour. He said it would also serve as a source for chap books and anthologies.
Dr Okediran encouraged the publication of anthologies by state chapters, which would spur both published and unpublished writers. The novelist said such publications could be sustained with adverts from local publishers and bookshops.
Seminars and workshops, said the former ANA president, would also help discover new and aspiring authors, especially from secondary and primary school levels. Funding for these, he said, could come from state/local governments, publishers, bookshops and corporate organisations.
He believed that organisations, such as PAWA, Abuja Literary Society, Abuja Writers Forum, Poets in Nigeria, Northern Writers Forum, among others, were meant to complement ANA’s works, and should be appreciated.
“Focus should be on literature and writing, and not on politics or financial and personal self-aggrandisement,” he submitted.
The second presentation by Job Izuchukwu of the Pukyong National University, Busan, South Korea, was entitled “Digital and Literary Culture in Nigeria: Surmounting the Challenge of Disruption and Enhancing the Reach of the Story”.
With the digital media came a plethora of interesting offerings, he said, especially in the social media, which competed with the time of, especially, young people. He explained that, “The digital intrusion into the creative economy is not all about Nigeria. In fact, it is everywhere. All over the world, the digital is forcing change in the creative economy that are positive and negative, depending on how each industry has developed.”
Izuchukwu affirmed that, in the last two decades, the web had changed the world and revolutionalised the culture industry. Thus, “The ripple effect is felt across the spectrum of the creative industry from content production to business approach and consumer behaviour.
“Since the internet is innovation driven, new ideas, programmes and apps become almost daily experience. Among the changes already seen include: the rise in social networking in the digital environment, shift in content creation and consumption. The era of a tribe of writer who write specifically for their audience is gradually phasing away.”
The young scholar argued that “it is the story that makes social media possible, not algorithm”. According to him, “social media is a market of short stories and narratives of everyday experiences”, which could come as short as a word, a phrase, a short sentence, or a long paragraph of even a book-length. It could also come as a text, audio and/or video.
However, for creative writers, however, the problem of the digital/social media age was not the paucity of writing/storytelling, but paucity of the quality of writing “we define as story”. He pointed out, nonetheless, that there were millions of people in the world who would choose Facebook and Twitter any day than read a novel.
Among the problems associated with the digital environment, said Izuchukwu, was the creation of much distraction for reading, for reading demands great discipline. Sadly, social media had become a new hobby, gradually displacing literary activities of reading, writing and debating. “Young people find emotional satisfaction reading their timeline than book,” he said.
The third presenter, Funmi Ilori, spoke on “Innovation and Creativity in Child-Centred Literary Campaign”. The founder of 1st innovative mobile library for children in Nigeria said, “Activating communities to improve access to literacy certainly takes manpower.” Hence, her outfit, “iRead engages youth volunteers to lead the mobile libraries and build advocacy efforts to private schools and communities.”
For iRead, “the key to activating communities is to mobilise resources from business community…We also work directly with non-governmental organisations who support with expertise and their network.”
She added that ‘iRead’s E-library “aims to enhance reading, blend learning and leverage on educational technology.”
ANA President briefly commended Justice Akanbi (Ret) for providing a free venue (a resource centre) for the workshop. He commended his foresight in equipping the resource centre, thereby making the youths to be engaged and trained.
Justice Akanbi, in his response, encouraged Nigerians to form the habit of reading, for reading was an easy route to make an impression on the world. He was delighted that ANA had been able to attract funding from Yusuf Ali to run the annual reading campaign.
Sequel to the presentation of certificates to participants, ANA’s Vice-President, Camillus Ukah, said the pilgrimage to Ilorin was made possible because of the generosity of Yusuf Ali and the goodwill of Justice Akanbi. Above all, “Books are very important, and those who write books are also important.”
28th June 2018
25th May 2018
10th May 2018
Jude Okoro, Calabar The Federal Government has decried the incessant communal clashes between Ukelle community in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State and their Izzi neighbours in Ebonyi State. The government said crisis has not only affected the farming communities, but has far-reaching consequences on food security in the country. Read also: Anambra…
— 17th July 2018
Rivers State Government has challenged the Lagos State All Progressives Congress (APC) Publicity Secretary, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, to name the Supreme Court justices he said Governor Nyesom Wike bribed. In a Facebook post on Monday, July 16, 2018, Igbokwe wrote: “Wike will not have the audacity and the temerity to kill again in Rivers State…
— 17th July 2018
Joe Effiong, Uyo Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, has said the party platform on which he will contest for his second term ticket for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District in 2019 will not matter much. Speaking at an endorsement rally in his honour and Governor Udom Emmanuel by Ikot Ekpene senatorial district yesterday, Akpabio said he…
— 17th July 2018
Tony John, Port Harcourt Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) has condemned the activities of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to end military occupation of Ogoni farmlands. Read also: Mitee, others petition Osinbajo over planned resumption of oil exploration in Ogoniland MOSOP also condemned alleged continual violation…
— 17th July 2018
President of Academic City College, a private university in Accra, Ghana, Dr. Fred McBagonluri, has said training and manpower development would take Africa to the next level in technology and other aspects of human development in the coming years. Read also: Training, re-training key to service delivery – NAFDAC McBagonluri, who is on a four-day…
Entertainment— 15th July 2018
Christy Anyanwu Model, entrepreneur, former Miss Face of Nigeria and reigning Miss Africa World, Uche Umeagukwu recently returned to Nigeria from her base in the United States, garnering honours and accolades in droves. Read also: Miss America beauty pageant no longer judges on beauty, scraps swimsuit While in Nigeria, the queen and her team toured…
South-West Report— 11th July 2018
… As 192 Battalion officers clean up Ogun community Laide Raheem, Abeokuta In commemoration of the Nigerian Army Day celebration on July 6, men and officers of 192 Battalion (Rear), Owode-Yewa, recently embarked on a massive environmental sanitation exercise at Atan Junction, along Sango-Owode-Idi-Iroko Road in Ogun State. The soldiers, who were led by their…
Abuja Metro— 11th July 2018
Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja The sleepy Kpeygi village lies along the road to Orozo and Karishi before the vast Post Army Housing Estate Kurudu, and the newly constructed Police Housing Estate. Before now, motorists and commuters could pass through the village without noticing the area but the story is not the same now because of the…
Oriental News— 15th July 2018
Peter Anosike The President of United Igbo Traders of Nigeria (UNITRAN), Chief Chris Eberego Ezeh, has given reasons why Enugu State is relatively peaceful. According to him, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has created a new phenomenon in governance that has engendered peace. Speaking in an interview with Sunday Sun, the Ukehe-Igbo Etiti, Enugu State-born business mogul…
Features— 15th July 2018
5 aircraft ready for takeoff Dec 19 Operators decry secrecy in deal Louis Ibah An air of excitement mixed with anxiety is currently blowing across the Nigerian aviation airspace following announcements last week that the country would be taking delivery of five new aircraft by December 19, 2018 in readiness for the launch of a…
Literary Review— 7th July 2018
Gold rush and a bucket of tears Henry Akubuiro The last thing I imagined when I saw Ambrose Madu’s book, Raising the Dust Crime: Who is Involved? was a work of fiction. It didn’t sound like one. I thought it was a book on either law, criminology or psychology, not until I leafed through the…
Lifeline— 13th July 2018
Tessy Igomu With a scowl on his face, Elendu Uche, a businessman, shook his head slowly, letting out a deep sigh. Sitting behind the wheel of his Honda Camry, he was soaked to the skin with sweat as the afternoon sun bared its fangs ferociously. His frustration was palpable and he was not making an…
Education Review— 16th July 2018
Fred Ezeh, Abuja The Federal Government has confirmed that, barring any last minute change, it will host regional conference on education, in Abuja, later this year. The conference would afford all stakeholders the opportunity to showcase success story in the development of education in their respective countries. Government said a desk office had been raised…
TSWeekend— 6th July 2018
Tosin Ajirire Lagos came to a standstill on Tuesday, as Afrobeat king, Femi Anikulapo-Kuti, hosted President Emmanuel Macron of France to an epic show at the Afrika Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos. In this exclusive interview conducted shortly before the show, the musician opened up on why the French president’s visit has vindicated his dad, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti….
Opinion— 16th July 2018
Ebere Wabara Early in March, the “people of Ukwa Ngwa”, according to this medium’s report, unanimously adopted Governor Okezie Ikpeazu as their consensus candidate for the 2019 governorship election in Abia State. Just one germane question: who are the constituents of this fabled “Ukwa-Ngwa people” phraseology? Read also: 2019: Ukwa Ngwa adopts Ikpeazu for second…
“Until we ask questions of men and women who live above their means, in and out of office, the youths of this beleaguered country would continue to seek avenues of easy wealth…” Tony Iwuoma Just last week, my younger cousin’s wife was snatched with her three little children by kidnappers around Irete in Imo State….
Imagine running for governor in 2023, you won’t like it (would you?) if someone serves you from the Ita Enang book of insults. Dear Distinguished I don’t do this, always. In fact, I never do this, and you know it. But, I know because you know me, you would understand why I have elected to…
Like Fayose, our democracy has serious neck pains. It needs urgent treatment. One of the maladies happens to be the security agencies. They tend to show bias for the government in power. Casmir Igboke The build-up to the just-concluded Ekiti governorship election was highly dramatic. Act One, Scene One: Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris…
“My mandate will be to set up an interim government, which I have christened government of national reconciliation and reconstruction…” As we approach another election cycle, the prognosis for a national crisis coveys a reality of frightening proportions. We are confronted by existential threats that seek to engender the fragmentation and disintegration of our nation…
“We have repeatedly elected clowns and political merchants as lead- ers. In 2019, the outcome of the elections will signal what lies ahead.” Fred Itua Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, one of Africa’s finest writ- ers, published a book, Weep Not, Child, in the ear- ly 1960s. As a young univer- sity undergraduate, I briefly became a…
I saw it in its dour state, void of grandeur. And last week, I saw it in its new splendour, full of radiance. The Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State now wears a new look, a befitting status for a man we call Skippo. Keshi was Nigeria’s most benevolent footballer and easily the most…
Political corruption has violated public trust and the social contract that underpin our democratic existence as a nation. The creation of a functional and balanced human system is largely dependent on in-built mechanisms and processes that serve as necessary architectural framework for self regulation. These instilled checks and balances avert exploitations, despotism and totalitarianism while…
World Cup 2018 has come and would end later this evening. It has lived up to expectation. For over three weeks the world has been entertained. It has been a world cup of surprises; the traditional football masters like Brazil, Argentina, and Spain, were sent packing early in the competition and for most fans that…
When the duo finally arrived at the other end of the bridge and the ant had alighted from its ‘carriage’, it announced with a smirk on its little face: ‘We shook the bridge.’’ Funke Egbemode It was time for the masquerade festival again. Not the annual one, it was the big masquerade festival where the…
A few days ago, a young man took to his social media handle to narrate how he mistreated his ex-girlfriend who stood by him even while he misbehaved. Even though their relationship ended in 2013 when he dumped her, he chose to give her a Mercedes Benz to thank her for her love and loyalty…