By Prisca Sam-Duru

It was an interesting moment in the life of university lecturer and a writer per excellence, Professor Akachi Adimora Ezeigbo, as friends, family and academics gathered at the Afe Babalola Hall, University of Lagos (UNILAG) Akoka, Lagos for the public presentation of “New Perspectives On A Literary Enigma (A Festschrift in Honour of Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo).

Prof. Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo(First right) with other dignitaries during the presentation of the book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The book event which held last week was organised by the English Department, UNILAG, in recognition for her years of immense contributions to the academia as well as the literary industry in the entire African continent.

Edited by the duo of Dr Emmanuel Adedun, Head, Department of English, UNILAG and Dr Onuora Nweke, a Senior Lecturer and acting Head of Department of Languages/Linguistics/Literary Studies/Visual Arts of the Federal University, Ndufe-Alike, Ebonyi State, “New Perspectives On A Literary Enigma (A Festschrift in Honour of Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo), comes as “Tribute to Professor Theodora Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, a woman who has kept faith with her literary imagination and creativity.”

With contributions from over twenty literary critics, the book features critical readings of the literary representation of the three-time Head Of the English Department and writer described as a literary icon in the whole of Africa.

The Festschrift offers new insights of her fascinating creativity by reappraising, re-examining and re-critiquing a select fraction of the literary universe of Akachi Ezeigbo, a great narrator, poet, playwright, essayist, critic and social crusader.

The book Reviewer, Prof Vicky Sylvester of the University of Abuja described Akachi as a woman seen from many perspective hence, a literary enigma. The Festschrift she pointed out, celebrates her as one who has a wonderful career, loves and appreciates her husband and family. Prof Sylvester further described the book as very intimidating.

According to her, “As a teacher, writer, Akachi Ezeigbo has mastered her audience and touches social life. All the contributors in the book agreed that Ezeigbo’s works have imparted individuals positively.” The Festschrift she declared, is appealing and focuses on her literary output adding that it proved the point that women are vital part of development in the country.

The occasion featured songs that extolled the virtues of the celebrant, performed by women representing her community in Anambra State who came all the way from their home state, to felicitate with her.
There was soul inspiring poetic gospel rendition by Dr Adeshina which elicited so much applause from the audience.

Another poetry performance was done by Penny International College, Coker, Lagos. The students performed 2 poems written by Ezeigbo. The students also presented a cultural dance which they said was a dance to celebrate a high achiever like the celebrant.

Eminent Nigerians who were present, took turns to shower encomiums on Ezeigbo whom they noted had in so many ways, contributed to their successful careers as well as the students endowment.
Professor Duro Oni, who served as Chairman of the launch described the book presentation as very timely in the literary industry in Nigeria and Africa. He described the celebrant as an Award winning multi-talented writer, covering children’s stories, poet, novelist etc.

He noted that the honour accorded her was a timely ovation and would serve as an encouragement to people to do well in their chosen professions. Prof Oni who commended efforts of the editors for a job well done, also encouraged those present to get copies of the book.

The Chief Host, Prof. Yomi Akinyeye, Dean, Faculty of Arts, on his part, described Ezeigbo as a big masquerade in the literary world. He said that the celebrant is a great Alumni of UNILAG and Senior colleague in the Faculty of Arts.

He noted that it was only proper for such gathering in her honour to take place. He wished her more fruitful years of sound literary production.

The celebrant who appeared radiant in her beautiful gown, with her mien showcasing someone poised to negotiate old age, only succeeded in expressing appreciation to the guests and organisers of the event as she became emotional and excused herself from the podium.

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