Association of Nigerian Authors,ANA, has secured funding for the 8th year towards the ANA/Yusuf Ali nationwide literary awareness campaign. The Association received the sum of three million naira on the 7th of January, for the 2019 project from the donor, Yusuf Ali(SAN), an Ilorin-based renowned legal practitioner, author and dedicated philanthropist, whose son Dr Yusuf Olanrewaju Ali recently wedded Barrister Hasiya Altine Nagode in a well-attended Nikkah wedding ceremony in Ilorin on the 29th of December,2018.
The Grant was first secured by the National EXCO of ANA in 2012 and all state chapters of the Association received sub-grants of N150,000 at various times between 2012-2014 for local literary awareness campaigns involving secondary schools across the country. In 2015, the grant was applied by the then National Executive Council of ANA to host a workshop on fiction writing in Abuja in which about 25 students, drawn from tertiary institutions across the country via a competitive process, participated.
In 2016, the Denja Abdullahi-led National Executive Council of ANA took the literary awareness campaign a notch further by focusing on innovative literary awareness campaign among tertiary institutions across the country through the States’ chapters. Chapters submitted proposals on envisaged activities based on which they were assessed and sub-grants finally awarded to 16 Chapters that met the provisioned requirements. The competitive process was introduced to ensure greater compliance to the overall project vision and to improve on the process of monitoring, evaluation and reportage of the implemented activities. The grant was used in 2017 to publish three children’s literature titles under the Nigerian Writers Series(NWS) which have been distributed to chapters of ANA Nationwide to power ANA ‘s A-Book-A-Child nationwide project that was flagged off at the ANA ‘s 36th International Convention which held in Makurdi, Benue State in October,2017 and the phase two of it launched by the wife of the Governor of Ekiti State,Erelu Bisi Fayemi, at the 37th International Convention of the Association held in Ikeja, Lagos in October,2018.
For the year 2018, the Yusuf Ali grant was deployed to facilitate a comprehensive media supplement on the projects executed with the yearly grants over the years since 2012 to date and an intensive workshop for 15 selected chairmen of ANA chapters focusing on ‘innovations in contemporary literary awareness campaigns’ to deepen the execution of the project in the coming years.
This year 2019 grant will be devolved to selected State Chapters of the Association to carry out innovative and cutting edge literary awareness campaigns in their domains as learnt in the capacity building workshop held in Ilorin in 2018 .
Yusuf Ali, who in 2015 promised to sustain the annual grant to ANA for life, is a Nigerian lawyer who received the highest honour available to practicing lawyers in 1997 when he was called to the inner bar as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. He attended the University of Ife [now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife] and is the Principal Partner at the Law Firm of Yusuf O. Ali & Co in Ilorin. His reputation in the Bar has been balanced by a deep interest in literature which has seen him supporting the Kwara State Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors as well as serve as an Editor-in-Chief of the Nigerian Bar Journal. He is also an associate lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ilorin.
Yusuf Ali in 2017 presented a book “ Anatomy of Corruption in Nigeria” to the public in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja . He has also been consistently hosting the National Executive Council members of ANA and chairmen and secretaries of chapters in his office during their annual meeting in Ilorin since 2012.
ANA is grateful to Yusuf Ali(SAN) for his consistent and yet-to-be matched generosity in supporting literary awareness in the country and they call on other well meaning Nigerians to emulate his gesture of support for the literary arts.