In order to sustain the efforts of the founding fathers in Nigerian, in indeed African literature, the leadership of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) has vowed to intensify efforts to sustain the potentials built 35 years ago, when the body was founded.
The National President of ANA, the umbrella body of writers in Nigeria, Mallam Denja Abdullahi, stated this in his welcome address during at opening ceremony of ANA 2016 Conference at the Main Auditorium, National Centre for Women Development, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, saying that the Association has really contributed in solving Nigeria’s problems in all ramifications.
His words: “I welcome all the dignitaries across the world who have gathered here to celebrate the 35 years of this great body founded by our world renowned and famous authors, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, J.P. Clark, etc. I am happy that we have come this far. I must say that the spirit with which they started has been sustained over the years. We have been making efforts to contribute to the Nigerian society through various genres of writing we belong. I urge us all to keep it up, so that we can write Nigeria into more fame.”
The ANA National President added that the Association has played vital roles through promoting the interest of writers, encouraging and building a reading public, encouraging young talents through ANA Literary Prizes in all genres of writing, and making efforts to develop the Mamman Vatsa Writers’ Village in Mpape, Abuja.
Abdullahi also said that part of the efforts so far in his administration as the president was setting up Strategic Plan Development Committee led by Professor Sunnie Ododo, the National President of Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA), disclosing that, the Committee was charged with the responsibility of developing a plan that will enable ANA consolidate on the efforts of the founding fathers and past executives in the next five years.
The 35th ANA Conference, with the theme, “Re-contextualizing African Literature for the African Renaissance: Emergent Realities, Trends and Strategies for the 21st Century,” had Her Excellency Mrs. Nneoma Nkechi Rochas Okorocha, Wife of the Executive Governor of Imo State, as the Special Guest of Honour, Senator Shehu Sani as the Host, while Prof Isidore Diala of Imo State University, Owerri, delivered the keynote lecture.
The event was graced by many personalities, including, three former National Presidents of ANA: Prof. Femi Osofisan, Prof. Jerry Agada and Dr. Wale Okediran; the Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Assoc. Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma; the Director-General, National Council for Arts & Culture (NCAC), Mrs. Dayo Keshi, represented by Dr. Lizzy Ben-Iheanacho; a renowned scholar of Gender Studies, Prof. Akachi Ezeigbo; former, Dean Faculty of Arts, University of Abuja, Prof. Mabel Evwierhoma; the African President of International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC), Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura; President of Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA), Prof. Sunday Ododo; and Prof. Idris Amali of Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, among others.
Nwagbo Pat Obi
NICO Training School
Abuja Study Centre