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Honour for Things Fall Apart, Achebe in Ibadan…

Posted by By Johnson Ndukwe on 2008/05/11 | Views: 688 |

Honour for Things Fall Apart, Achebe in Ibadan…


The Things Fall Apart (TFA) @ 50 train entered Ibadan penultimate Saturday with important scholars of the University and city gathering to celebrate in what Femi Osofisan, chairman of the Nigerian version of PEN termed as ”unprecedented celebration for a book”.

• Igbo states plan reception for novel

The Things Fall Apart (TFA) @ 50 train entered Ibadan penultimate Saturday with important scholars of the University and city gathering to celebrate in what Femi Osofisan, chairman of the Nigerian version of PEN termed as ”unprecedented celebration for a book”.

The TFA train which is organised by the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) kicked off in Lagos on April 12, 2008, at the National Theatre, an interactive programme with writers.

On Thursday, while the University of Ibadan marked its own celebration of TFA, ANA was in Abuja with children at the NTA and on Friday was at the Ekwensi Cultural Centre, Abuja, for a Night of Tribute on TFA. The Ibadan event was the third leg of the ceremony. The ceremony continued in Awka, Ogidi and Nsukka for grand finale.
Meanwhile, information reaching us has it that Things Fall Apart celebration will be marked all over Igbo states. Preparations are already on to see that this happens.

Osofisan was speaking at the Trenchard Hall luncheon venue of the second session of the conference of the ceremony tagged Things fall apart @ 50 Telling the World African story.

At the ANA Ibadan event were Chief Aigboje Higo, chairman of the Heinemann Educational Books Nigeria (HEBN), which reprinted a Nigerian anniversary copy of TFA, Prof. Nwachukwu Agbada of the Abia State University, Uturu who gave the keynote speech, Eze Ndigbo Ibadan, Chief Anozie, along with his red cap chiefs, Dr. Folake Oyeweni, Dr. Tony Marihno, Iguedu Osarubo, Jare Ajayi, Kunle Okeshipe, Dr. Nelson Fashina, Malam Denja Abdulahi, Anthony Ebika, Hycinth Obunse.

For Higo, no politician, head of state or any other has done for this country what TFA has done for Nigeria. Higo was a penultimate student at the University College, Ibadan when TFA was published in 1958. The book was not in the reading list of the university. “It was an unknown baby”, by the time he graduated from Ibadan in 1959, he told the audience. But by 2008, 50 years after, the whole world has risen up to celebrate the book.

“What you are doing today is a worldwide celebration,” he announced. Higo was happy with the honour, reminding the audience that in 2006, when Ekwensi was 85, and there was the event to mark his birthday at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, he had said that national honours were given to rogues and crooks who helped to rob the country. But people like Ekwensi were left out in the honours’ list.

“Now, a cultural centre has been named after him in Abuja. He added that God hopefully will heal those wounds so that people would be honoured for what they had done for the country.
He went on to remark that the culture minister for Brazil is a musician. The president had picked him up for that when they met in a party. The man plays his guitar still, even as minister.

“I hope that one day; the president will read because they say they don’t read newspapers. Culture is very important,” he said, adding that there are bundles of talents in the country.
Higo also said that when people study TFA, they forget the man that recommended that good is good for publication, though they remember the title, author and publisher. Still, Higo also did not name the person, but he argued that if the person did not recommend the book for publication the book would not have seen the light of day.

“We must acknowledge the judgement of that person,” he added.
While noting the pre-eminent position of Ibadan in culture, naming Achebe, Okigbo, Tess Onwueme, Osofisan, etc, Higo said it was about time the University did something to show some “kind of recognition that we produced these people.”

PEN, Osofisan said, is very much involved in the celebration all over the world. “I am not sure what people are celebrating,” he said, adding that no book has ever been celebrated as TFA.
“It is quite unprecedented for a book to be celebrated like this.” No book, he said has recorded such feat in the world.

He however noted that some people he has talked to confess they have not read the book... but the book and author of the book are well known. He then proceeded to tell a humorous story.
Folurunsho, of Educatrust told the audience that the educational outfit is part of the TFA celebrations with ANA and HEBN. He noted other relationships it has with ANA, including its office which also serves as ANA Oyo’s secretariat reading sessions.

It also said that the organisation provides book to schools and that it has reading centres across the country.
There were readings for TFA excerpts by the MC, Al Kassim, ANA PRO North and Daggar Tola, the radical looking poet. The reading, beautifully done, vividly portrayed, realistically, the Igbo setting of the book.

Okediran, in a speech, had told the audience how tired the executive was from traversing round the country for the celebrations. The celebrations were staggered round the country due to demands. But plans to celebrate the book were made since last year with Nsukka as the only venue.

He noted the celebrations that took place in Lagos, Abuja and Ibadan as ell as the various competitions organised for the event. At the NTA venue in Abuja, children were exposed to the rudiments of TFA in order to encourage them in the art of writing. Other activities were poster competition, playwriting for adaptation I to stage drama, for the discovery of arts and literature. Okediran also paid tribute to Agbada, Prof. Kayode Soremekun and Dr. Nelson Fashina as well as Miss Tayo Ajayi as well as the state governor, Chief Christopher Alao-Akala for their supports.

Agbada’s paper, Nothing Fell Apart: Irony and surprise of Order on TFA. He used the paper explore the various ways ironies are used in the paper.0 meaning, attack on point of view of if one says yea, his chi affirms, exposition of follies in cultures, exploration of the flux at the wake of foreign intrusion and that things are not as simple as they may appear. Example, though the society encourages manliness, it also extols mothers and maternity as acolyte of the major god.



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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.