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When Writers Gather To Celebrate ANA At 40

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For four days, November 3 to 6 2021, the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) held its 40th anniversary in Abuja the nation’s federal capital. The event took place at the Chinua Achebe International Conference Center. The new edifice was built inside the Mamman Vatsa Writers’ Village, bequeathed to the association by the poet/soldier.


This was the first time ANA would hold its national convention at the Chinua Achebe Center, to celebrate the importance of writers in the society.

ANA prides itself as the biggest in Africa, and this year, singlehandedly sponsored its convention for the first time. At the convention, issues relating to Nigeria and the African continent were discussed.

Nigeria’s foremost playwright and emeritus professor at the University of Ibadan, Prof. Femi Osofisan gave the 40th anniversary lecture. In his address, he charged Nigerian leaders to come up with concrete plans that would lift the country from its present security challenges. Professor Osofisan expressed concern over the present formation of leadership, which he said comprises elite that have been at the corridors of power since independence.

He quoted from the words of Chinua Achebe, rating the storyteller above all others because of the role the writer played in the society whether by writing about the past or event that pronounce the future.

President of ANA, Camilus Ukah in his address said the 40th convention of ANA was built on commitment and hard work, noting that Nigerian writers have continued to put the national flag where it matters in the comity of the world’s best at every opportunity.

At the convention, ANA also relaunched the ‘One book a child week project’ which was done across ten cities by the association earlier this year.

Fourty schools were given 1,000 classical books to encourage the reading culture amongst children. The schools were chosen from all parts of Nigeria as some of them made it to the Chinua Achebe international conference center where the books were presented to them.

In her keynote address titled; “Creativity, Literacy, Advocacy and Nation Building: The Role of Nigerian Literature”, Professor Akachi Ezeigbo emphasized the role of culture in literature, noting that while the first and second generation of Nigerian writers like Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Femi Osofisan, Flora Nwapa, Zainab Akali and many others dwelt more on Nigerian Culture in their works, the third and fourth generation of Nigerians are more in tune with satisfying the western world in their literature which she called Afropolitan.

She noted that many of the third and fourth generation of Nigerian writers may not have the charm in their writings like the first and second generation writers.

Professor Ezeigbo further stated that the literary history of Nigeria has been driven by resilience, courage, commitment and the will or determination of the writers to guide, lead and direct the developing and evolving nation along the path of unity, accountability, positive social change and reorientation.

The Personal Assistant to the late Mamman Vatsa, Mamman Hassan spoke about his late boss at the event. He said the late Vatsa had a foresight when he acquired the land at Mpape for ANA, noting that the idea was first conceived when he and Vatsa visited Bulgaria on a short trip.

Hassan also recited a poem for his late boss at the convention.

General Secretary of Pan African Writers Association, PWAN and former President of ANA, Dr Wale Okediran, who cut the tape of the Chinua Achebe International Conference Centre, declared the edifice for use.

Okediran praised the past and present administration of the association for making sure that the long dream of ANA had come to a reality.

The developer who is in charge of the Writers Village, Colonel KK Shaw, Managing Director of KMVL properties thanked the administration of ANA for their cooperation.

Colonel Shaw noted that he has over the years had smooth cooperation with ANA executive to make sure that the assignment given to him is delivered.

The event ended with awards of fellowships to Profesor Joe Ushie, Professor Mabel Evwierhoma, Professor Sonny Ododo, Mallam Denja Abdullahi, Mr. Chukwudi Eze, Bina Nengi Ilegha and Hajiya Hafsat Abdulwaheed.

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