Chinua Achebe Comes Alive, Steals Show As Ex-US Presidential Adviser Bags UNN Award
We need Achebe Study Center at UNN - Dean
The legacies and memories associated with the glorious life of late literary Icon and Author of World renowned “Things Fall Apart”, Professor Chinua Achebe came alive at the University Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) yesterday when the Faculty of Arts recognised an Ogidi son and former Presidential Adviser to former President George Bush of United States of America on Science and Technology High Chief Engr Emeka Ken Nwabueze (Ajie Okpala Ogidi) with an Honor as Art Man of Year Award during the Faculty’s ocassion of 2019 Investiture and 3rd Distinguished Personality Lecture held at Alexandra Hall.
Our correspondent reports that the late Ogidi born Author of Things Fall Apart stole the show during the ocasion which started with the unvieling of Achebe’s Portrait at one of the Halls in the University and commissioning of Achebe’s Court where another version of his portrait was sculpted and mounted in giant form was attended by some prominent people of Ogidi led by the President General of Ogidi town union Chief Chuka Onubuogu. Others personalities who witnessed the event where the traditional ruler of Ogbunike His Majesty Igwe John Umenyiora, the traditional ruler of Atani His Majesty Igwe Augustine Azuka Ngoddy, traditional ruler of Obukpa His Majesty Igwe Asadu and many others.
In his address, the Dean Faculty of Arts Professor Nnanyey Okoro said UNN and Faculty of Art in particular are proud of celebrating Achebe and promoting his massive legacies in academic for the benefits of students hence the decision to mount his portrait in places and carving a space to be known and called Achebe’s requesting that a Study Centre to be named after Chinua Achebe as Chinua Achebe Study Center is needed in the University to cap it all.
Professor Okoro said, “We are here to celebrate excellence and our lecturer, the Ajie Okpala Ogidi represents excellence in more ways than one. Many years ago, another excellent giant from Ogidi has passed through the walls of this University. That great literary maestro was no other than Professor Chinua Achebe. His impact on African literature and global letters cannot be qualified and most importantly will ever be remembered.
“As I speak the department of English and Literary Studies of this great University has mounted a course entitled “Studies in Achebe” a course dedicated exclusively to the study of the oeuvre of Chinua Achebe. This is the first time in our history that this kind of recognition is being granted to a non European Autor. That laudable effort will soon be replicated in other Nigerian Universities, for UNN has always been a pacesetter in academy activities in this country. But that is the deserved height attained by Achebe. We are giving honor to whom it is due.
To this end, Professor Okoro said that they are proposing for the establishment of Chinua Achebe Study Center to be domiciled in the University of Nigeria to further complement the efforts and initiatives being made to uphold the legacies of Achebe just as they established Shakespeare Study Center at the University of Leicester. “If they can establish a Study Center for Shakespeare at the University of Leicester why not establish in the name Chinua Achebe at UNN” he asked
In response High Chief Engr Nwabueze who performed both the unveiling of Achebe’s Portrait and cutting of the tape to commission the Court said that Ogidi people will make proper use of the Court and also respond to the call for the establishment of Chinua Achebe Study Center in the University adding that the town union and the traditional ruler of Ogidi and his Council of Chiefs will look into the project.
The Vice Chancellor of the University represented by Deputy Vice Chancellor on Academics Professor James Ogbonna decorated the Ajie Okpala Ogidi with an epron, plaque and certificate as the Art Man of Year during the Investiture and Lecture held at Alexandra Hall.