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Judge urges writers to address societal issues in literary works

Justice George Nnamani of the Customary Court of Appeal in Enugu has urged writers to address societal issues of their immediate environment by leveraging on their literary skills and works.

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Nnamani, who is the President of the Customary Court of Appeal in the state, made the call on Wednesday in Enugu while featuring at a reading session organised by the Coal City Literary Forum (CCLF).

He said writers could, as a matter of contributing to the development of their society, address issues of insurgency, kidnap, slavery, injustice, crime and broken marriages.

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“Beyond being a lawyer, I am a writer and also a lover of literature.

“I draw my writing inspiration from the likes of Charles Dickens, James Hadley Chase and I have written books that bear on romance, thrillers, espionage and tradition.

“One message that cuts across all my works is that evil does not pay. If it pays today, it won’t pay you tomorrow. It gives 10 kobo and takes back N10 million.

“How I do this is to make sure my books address contemporary societal issues by adopting a literary genre that will best pass the message.

“For example, my book entitled `The call of the Chief Priest’ addressed the issue of slavery in a modern day society especially in the Igbo culture while another one, `Wrong Neck in the Noose’ addressed injustice that has permeated our society including the justice sector,” he said.

The judge also encouraged writers to write good and interesting books that would provoke the desire to read if they intended to revive the already dwindling reading culture of Nigerians.

He said that the film viewing culture should be de-emphasized and reading emphasized because films had contributed to some of the societal issues the country was grappling with today.

“Films do not paint the true picture of events or issues even. The true picture of an issue is best presented in between letters that make up a book,” Nnamani noted.

Earlier, the President of CCLF, Dr. Adaobi Nwoye, appreciated Justice Nnamani for honouring the Forum’s invite despite his busy schedule.

She said CCLF comprises writers, lovers of literature whose aim was to promote members’ works and help revive reading culture again in Enugu state.

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