African Writers celebrate the works of Chinua Achebe
Accra, Nov. 6, GNA – The Pan African Writers Association (PAWA) on Friday commended the late Professor Chinua Achebe, a prolific Nigerian writer, for his enormous contributions towards the growth of African Literature across the globe.
The Association noted that the good works of Prof Achebe had gained grounds all over the world, and had been translated into many languages, as well as adopted for movies or stage dramas.
Speaking during the opening of the 22nd International African Writers Day in Accra, Prof Atukwei Okai, PAWA General-Secretary, said the Association decided to dedicate this year’s celebration to Chinua Achebe for all lovers of African Literature to appreciate his works.
“It is a source of great joy that we have gathered here today a whole galaxy of writers and scholars to reflect on the life and works of the grand old man of African Literature, Chinua Achebe,” he added.
The three-day conference would be filled with presentations by dignitaries, friends, philosophers, novelists, and publishers from the Ivory Coast, the United Kingdom, and Gabon, among other countries, as well as movies based on the works of Achebe.
He praised Norway for the yearly adoption of a worthy African book in which its Education Ministry published 2,000 copies and distributed them to libraries in that country. “Throughout the continuous encouragement of the publication of works created by African writers, by the acquisition of certain books approved by the Quality validation Board, such a policy will inure to the benefit of all critical sector in the chain of the African book industry,” he added.
He said such a move would help to fill our libraries with books, and also empower our writers to dedicate their lives to writing more books and desist from other livelihood ventures which sometimes took their time from writing.
Prof Okai expressed his appreciation to the AU Conference of Minister of Education and Culture, which in 1991 established PAWA, and cited November 7, as the International African Writers’ Day to be celebrated throughout the continent to allow Africans celebrate our literature.
In a message read on his behalf by Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Minister of State, President John Dramani Mahama, extolled Prof Achebe for influencing his desire for African Literature, and expressed his love for his novel ‘Things Fall Apart,’ which became fundamental to all young African readers.
“I was deeply honoured when the late Prof Achebe received the manuscript of my first published work titled “My first Coup d’ tat” and other true stories from “The Lost Decades of Africa”.
“The grand old man was not only most gracious in reading the entire manuscript, but he also offered very useful comments which went a long way in shaping my final work”.
He noted that Achebe’s works were not only exciting, but also exhibited self-confidence, cultural sovereignty and promoted good morals.
Mr Henri Lopes, Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ambassador to France, was full of praise to Prof Achebe for his exceptional writing skills, and the use of proverbs which had endeared him to all.
‘He has crossed the barrier of Africa to be an International writer, and that his style of writing gets the reader involved in the novel.’
Dr. Ike Achebe, first son of Prof Achebe, expressed his appreciation to PAWA for the honour done his father and the Achebe family. GNA