Wednesday, 7 December 2016

FLORA NWAPA’S EFURU CELEBRATED IN MAIDUGURI



On December 1, 2016, the University of Maiduguri was agog with excitement as the Elkanemi Hall was filled in honour of Flora Nwapa who was a one-time visiting professor in the university. It was also an occasion to celebrate Efuru by Flora Nwapa which was published 50 years ago.


The event was a huge success on many levels. The attendance was beautiful as El Kanemi Hall where the event held was filled to capacity with students of the University, secondary school students, teachers, lecturers, administrative staff and members of the Local Organising Committee led by Dr. Razinatu Mohammed and the National Organising Committee led by Dr. Wale Okediran.

The Vice-Chancellor who was unavoidably absent, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

The event was well coordinated as there was no dull moment and activities.

There were two interludes which were by students of Federal Government College Maiduguri. The first was singing and dancing to Igbo folk songs and second was dramatization of the book- Efuru.

The welcome address was delivered by the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Dr. Razinat Mohammed.

The keynote address was given by Prof. Zainab Alkali. Whereas Flora Nwapa was the first published African female writer, Prof. Zainab Alkali is the first published Northern female writer.

During her address, Prof. Zainab mentioned a lot of personal details of Flora Nwapa and spoke extensively on their relationship. She stated that she was instrumental to Flora Nwapa coming over to University of Maiduguri as a visiting professor. That they met at many seminars and conferences outside the country.

She described the book Efru as one that stands as the value of African womanhood. The value of the book and the message contained therein also transcends time. Flora Nwapa was a bridge builder and defender of the African womanhood. She dispelled the notion that Flora Nwapa was a feminist because in Flora Nwapa’s own words, she was not one.


Subsequently there were paper presentations from Paula Uimorem, Salamatu Sule, Razinat Mohammed, Safiya Yero and others.

There was an intensive quiz competition among 6 schools at the end of which Federal Government College, Maiduguri and Ruby Springs came first!

Everyone was treated to refreshments.

The family of Flora Nwapa thanked everyone who has turned out to honour their mother.


The members of the National Organising Committee (NOC) led by Dr. Wale Okediran and the children of Flora Nwapa were later taken on a guided tour round the vast school by the Local Organising Committee.
They learnt that the university;
·       Has 5 gates
·       Has over 40,000 students population
·       Has a zoo with wild animals outside the school
·       Has a printing press
·       Has a poultry farm
·       Married women’s hostel where they can bring their babies to be taken care of.
·       A hostel named Aisha Buhari which she commissioned
·       The children of all the military heads of state, passed through the school.
·       Sports Centre
·       Lawn tennis court
·       Students Union Government Office which they name SUG Presidential villa.
·       SSS University of Maiduguri Office
·       Wuse Market (where things are sold)
·       Chapel of Grace for Christians
·       Mosque built by students
·       Centre of Arid Zone Studies
·       Faculties of Law, Enginerring, Arts, Social Science, geology and many others.
·       Just outside the gate were houses erected for all displaced Chairmen of Local Government Areas.
At the end of the tour, Isaac Ogezi who attended University of Jos declared that he was humbled while Chinyere Obi-Obasi another member stated she would have made efforts to attend the school if she had an idea of how beautiful the school was. She particularly loved the carefully planted and well-arranged trees that beautified the environment.

The guests were taken to UNIMAID Commercial Guest house to freshen up for the night dinner party.

The dinner party was well attended with the DVC, Members of the NOC, LOC, paper presenters and the keynote speaker, Prof. Zainab Alkali.

There was MC/Comedian to anchor and add spice to the event. There were also two traditional dances that thrilled the audience.

Ikeogu Oke performed two pieces of poetry while Chinyere Obi-Obasi performed some comedy.

There was enough food to go round the guests and carefully selected students.

At the end of the evening, everyone agreed that LOC Maiduguri did not leave any stone upturned in its quest to have a wonderful presentation.

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