On the 10th anniversary of Chinua Achebe's passing, the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) is set to commemorate the renowned novelist through a series of literary activities. Chinua Achebe, Africa's most celebrated novelist and the pioneer of African fiction, left an indelible mark on the literary landscape with his seminal work, "Things Fall Apart," published in 1958. This novel not only challenged European narratives about Africans but also revolutionized the novel form by combining oral and literary traditions and reshaping the English language to reflect Igbo voices and concepts.
To honor Achebe's legacy, ANA will host a day roundtable discussion with the theme "Re-visiting Chinua Achebe's Position on Colonial Language and Creative Writing in Africa." This event will take place on Saturday, 20th May 2023, at the prestigious Chinua Achebe International Conference Centre (CAICC) located in the Mamman Vatsa Writers' Village in Mpape, Abuja.
The roundtable discussion will feature an international panel of esteemed scholars, writers, and intellectuals who will explore Achebe's views on colonial language and its impact on creative writing in Africa. Panelists include Terri Ochlagha from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, UK; Manfred Metzner from Verlag Das Wunderhorn Publishing in Heidelberg, Germany; Barack Wanderah Oduor, a writer from Webuye, Kenya; Ashraf Aboul-Yazid, a writer and poet from Egypt; and Romeo Oriogun, an author from Iowa, USA.
In addition to the panelists, there will be contributions from notable figures in the Nigerian literary scene, including Denja Abdulahi, Dike Chukwumerije, and Jahman Anikulapo. The discussion will be moderated by Razinat Mohammed from the University of Abuja and Emmanuel Sule Egya from IBB University.
The convener of the event is Professor E.S. Dandaura, who has played a pivotal role in organizing this commemoration. Chidi Ukwu will act as the host, overseeing the smooth execution of the activities throughout the day. The chief host of the event is Camillus Ukah, the President of ANA, who will extend a warm welcome to all participants.
As part of the event's efforts to foster literary relationships and highlight Abuja's pursuit of a UNESCO Creative Cities Network designation in Literature, this roundtable discussion holds significance not only for ANA but also for the literary community at large.
For those unable to attend physically, the event will be accessible via Zoom, with the meeting ID 865 2515 2170 and passcode ACHEBE@10, ensuring a wider audience can engage with the thought-provoking discourse on Achebe's enduring legacy.
This occasion serves as a poignant reminder of Chinua Achebe's profound impact on African literature, and it provides an opportunity for writers, scholars, and enthusiasts to reflect on his contributions, re-examine his views on language and creativity, and carry his legacy forward into the future.