BY CHARLES KUMOLU
An artist, Mr. Archibald Etinkerentse, has said that he decided to write a second encyclopaedia on Itsekiri in order to document its traditional history which is largely oral.
He described the book as a multi-ethnic encyclopaedia which will serve as a souvenir that will help to rebuild Warri.
Etinkerentse, who said this in an exclusive chat with Sunday Vanguard, explained that another reason for writing the second edition is to ensure that latest information about the Itsekiri is included.
He said: ‘’I published the first book on Itsekiri history which sold out. The title of the book is `Quincentenary Souvenirs from the Warri Kingdom, 1480 – 2012′.
‘’We are writing a second edition that will contain more information than the first edition. I am an artist who trained at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. What I am doing is to preserve our history because it is not everything about our history that is recorded.
“I illustrated Itsekiri history in pictures. The history of Itsekiri is among the oldest in the country. The first book took me 11 years to publish and I brought to bear the people involved in Itsekiri history from the period of the first Olu of Warri. This book will feature prominent Itsekiri people, who have distinguished themselves.
“The book on Warri is a multi-ethnic encyclopaedia which will serve as a souvenir to celebrate the end of hostilities. It will help to rebuild the town which was almost crippled by Warri crisis.
“It will cover the three Local Government Areas in Warri and other places which share common boundaries with Warri. One of the cardinal objectives is to record our traditional history which has been largely oral. The book hopefully would cover the period of Atlantic civilization. It will capture professionals, corporate organisations, and the role of Warri in national development in terms of human and capital development.
“More than 500 years of Warri Kingdom in pictures was published in May 2013 and it sold out. The encyclopaedia that is being compiled now would be an expanded edition of the Itsekiri history book.
“The encyclopaedia takes care of other professionals and corporate organisations which may be multinationals operating in Warri and people who have added value to the town either by schooling there or having other forms of contact with Waffi.
“There will be a national touring exhibition which would take place later this year to show that Nigerians have been living together without rancour.”
Etinkerentse further said another book he authoured entitled: Encyclopaedia Africana 2018, would boost the visibility of corporate organisations and top entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
The author explained that the information in the book would further make business transactions easy for the organisations featured in it.
In addition, he said the marketing of the book would provide employment for youths, who would sell it across the country.
Consequently, Etinkerentse urged the youths to embrace the project, in order to benefit from the advantages it offers.
He said the Encyclopaedia Africana focuses on Nigerian professionals, adding that more than 250, 000 entries are contained in the book.
The author said the book is an appreciation of the role of education and professionals in the development of the country.
His words: “I am doing this to promote brands and prominent business owners in Nigeria. This is a novel project which seeks to document our professionals and their brands. It is about people, events, tribes, kingdoms and families. Youths can join us by indicating interest in the project so that we can make them our marketers. They will be paid based on what they are able to sell. This is another form of job creation. Companies that want to be featured should also indicate interest.’’