Wednesday, 17 August 2016

EFURU BY FLORA NWAPA THE PIONEER OF AFRICAN LITERATURE SET TO BE CELEBRATED @ 50



2016 marks the golden anniversary of the publication of the novel Efuru by Flora Nwapa. A National Conference is slated to hold because of the global acceptance of the book and its author. Efuru was published in 1966 as number 26 in Heinemann's African Writers Series, making it the first published book by an African woman writer.

The book centres around Efuru, an Igbo woman who lives in a small village in colonial West Africa. Throughout the story, Efuru though an independent-minded woman and respected for her trading ability wishes to be a mother. The book is rich in portrayals of the Igbo culture and of different scenarios which have led to its current status as a feminist and cultural work.

ABOUT THE WRITER
Flora Nwapa was born on January 13th, 1931 in Oguta in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria.

She attended Oguta CMS Central School, Archdeacon Crowther Memorial Girls School, Elelenwo, Rivers State; CMS Girls Grammar School, Lagos, and Queens College, Yaba, Lagos in 1951-52. She proceeded to the University College Ibadan (University of Ibadan) in 1953 where she graduated with Bachelor’s Degree in Art (BA) in 1957.  The next year, she went to the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and finished with a Diploma in education.
 

Upon her return to Nigeria in 1959, she became an educational officer in Calabar, Cross River State. She later taught English and Geography at Queens School, Enugu. Between 1962-1964, she became the Assistant Registrar (Public Relations) at the University of Lagos. In 1965, she went into professional career in writing which projected her and Igbo women in international scene when her first novel Efuru was in published in 1966.  When the Nigerian Civil War over Biafra broke out, Flora and her family fled Lagos for East Central State and from 1970-1971, she was appointed the first female Commissioner for Health and Social Welfare for the East Central State under the leadership of Ajie Ukpabi Aska (1970-1975), with that position, she was the first Nigerian woman to be so appointed.


 MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL ORGANISING COMMITTEE DR WALE OKEDIRAN, SALAMATU SULE, CHINYERE OBI-OBASI, ISAAC OGEZI, IKEOGU OKE WITH UZOMA NWAKUCHE(FLORA NWAPA’S SON) SITTING SECOND LEFT




THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE
The Conference is proposed to be a 4 City national event with a number of activities ranging from symposia to a children’s carnival, writing competitions, drama sketches of Efuru as well as a Grand Finale with a Night of Tributes. The above named activities will be situated in Lagos, Abuja, Maiduguri with the Grand Finale in Enugu.

Some Local and Foreign writers will be invited to deliver papers on the Conference Theme. In addition, there will be a call for papers to engineer lively discussions  around the book.

ADMINISTRATION
The National celebration will be coordinated by National Organising Committee and Local Organising Committees. It will be centred around Writers and Academicians.

NATIONAL ORGANISING COMMITTEE (NOC)
A 5 man National Organising Committee made up of Dr. Wale Okediran, Chinyere Obi-Obasi, Ikeogu Oke, Salamatu Sule and Isaac Ogezi to be headed by Dr. Wale Okediran, former National President, Association Of Nigerian Authors will oversee the organisation of the National Conference.  

The LOCAL ORGANISING COMMITTEES
The NOC will work with the LOCs in the following centres who will in turn work closely with the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Chairmen and members in the respective states.

Lagos- the LOC Chairman is Prof Hope Eghagha, the current Head of Department of English at the University of Lagos.
Abuja centre will be manned by Prof Vicky Sylvester, the HOD English at the University of Abuja.
Maiduguri where Flora Nwapa was a visiting professor will be headed by Dr Razinat Mohammed at the University of Maiduguri.
The grand finale in Enugu and Oguta will be coordinated by Prince Paschal Mebuge- Obaa.

ACTIVITIES IN THESE CENTRES
There will be literary competitions on the book Efuru, a children’s literary carnival in Abuja, colloquiums between November 29 and December 11, 2016.

Events are billed to hold in many places including the universities namely University of Lagos, University of Abuja, University Of Maiduguri as well as the University Of Nigeria, Nsukka. 
1.    Lagos; Tuesday Nov 29 2016; Symposium, Finals of School Competition and Drama.
2.    Maiduguri; Thursday Dec 1 2016; Symposium, Finals of School Competition and Drama.
3.    Abuja; Saturday December 3 2016; Children’s Carnival and Stage Play by Secondary School Students at NTA arena.
4.    Enugu; Sunday, December 11 2016; Symposium and Night of Tributes/Dinner

FUNDING
The organisers have proposed a modest budget in line with economic realities. They hope to get financial support and other kinds of non-monetary awards from government agencies, Local and International literary and cultural agencies, publishers, Universities and friends of Literature.

Already Management of Literamed Publications gave its Board Room at no cost for press conferences while NTA will cover the event at the arena.

COMMUNICATION
For the purpose of communication, we have opened our website www.efuru50.com  while email address is info@efuru50.com

Enquiries are to be directed to Dr Wale Okediran on telephone number 08035765553.



                           

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