Enugu, the Coal city, will be agog once again, with another bumper literary fiesta, when the Coal City Literary Forum, CCLF, with critical support from the Enugu state Government, rolls out the drums to celebrate one of Nigeria’s finest writers of fiction, Prof. Anezi Okoro.
The literary event tagged ‘Celebrating the Works of Professor Anezi Okoro’, is billed for Thursday, October 29 at Ofuobi Africa Centre, Off Umuoji, Independence Layout, Enugu, at 11am.
President of Coal City Literary Forum, CCLF and arguably the leading female writer from Eastern Nigeria presently, Mrs. Adaobi Nwoye, shedding more light on the historic event, noted that the celebration of Prof. Anezi Okoro as a living icon of Nigerian literature was long overdue and this event was just a modest reminder to Nigerians that a prolific writer in the stature of Prof. Okoro deserves to be celebrated with pomp and ceremony.
Mrs. Nwoye, who further affirmed that this event was part the group’s efforts to recognize writers and personalities from and in Enugu state, who have distinguished themselves in the promotion of literature and the reading culture in the country, added that Prof. Anezi Okoro had already distinguished himself in the pantheon of Nigeria’s greatest writers with his very popular and famous books for teens and young adults.
Eulogizing the prolific output of Prof. Okoro, the CCLF President reeled off his works, including One week One Trouble, Village Headmaster, Village Boy and Double Trouble, the Febechi advenuture stories in two volumes and New Broom at Amanzu, among others, as well as his ground breaking translation of four of Shakespeare’s novels into Igbo language titled ‘Akuko Shakespeare kofoduru’, adding that his works formed part of the literary texts of Nigerian public schools for many years and were part of the literary influence of many writers today.
Mrs. Nwoye, who hailed Prof. Okoro for writing “the proposal for the citing of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja in 1976,” assured that most of Prof. Okoro’s famous books have been re-printed and will be on display at the event as the group’s contribution towards ensuring that these great classics and literary standards are brought back into our schools and libraries once again.
Special Guest expected for this fantastic day of literary celebration include former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who is the Father of the day and Prof. Okoro’s personal friend, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremmadu, Senators Chris Ngige and Chimaroke Nnamani, who were Prof. Okoro’s students, the literary icon, Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike, as well as distinguished scholars, academics, top government funtionaries and literary patrons.
The Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, will be the special guest of honour and the occasion will be chaired by Elder K. U. Kalu while the former Vice Chancellor, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and former Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo will deliver the key-note address.
High-points of the event will include a dazzling cultural performance from Arondizuogu, Prof. Okoro’s home town and awards presentation to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuayi as Patron of CCLF, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, as Grand Patron and a distinguished award of excellence to Prof. Anezi Okoro for his outstanding contributions to the growth and promotion of Literature and Education in Enugu state and Nigeria.