AE-FUNAI HOSTS 2018 ANA ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
- AE-FUNAI VC receives Award of Excellence
- ANA Donates Books to AE-FUNAI Library
The Alex-Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, recently played host to the 2018 annual international conference of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA).
With the theme, “Expanding Frontiers: Nigeria’s Creative Writing in the 21st Century”, the event drew members of the association from across the country to the university to mark this year’s activities.
Declaring the conference open, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba, acknowledged the creative abilities of Nigerian writers, urging members of the association to always express their imaginative abilities to their readable audience in a manner devoid of ambiguity. He regretted the inability of today’s Nigerian youths to read novels, stating that it would have improved their vocabulary and writing skills.
He also used the occasion to urge the association to sustain their relationship with the university by choosing it as their yearly conference venue. He noted that the conference had not only contributed to the global visibility of the University but also helped in improving the reading, writing and speaking abilities of the students.
Professor Nwajiuba further stated that part of the university’s goal was to turn-out graduates with good command of oral and written English and explained that the introduction of the compulsory zero credit Language Enhancement Programme by the university was to improve the speaking and writing capacities of its students.
He equally stressed that the university was in a hurry to partner with private organisations, corporate bodies and international community to develop professionals that would transform the university in a record time. He noted that the university in partnership with the French Government had begun the training of many academic staff in renowned French universities. And added that in the next academic session, the university is poised to admit candidates from neighbouring Cameroun. He further stated that the university is being built on the culture of authenticity, noting that only serious-minded students excel in AE-FUNAI.
Earlier in his keynote address, Isidore Diala, a Professor of African Literature in the Department of English and Literary Studies, Imo State University, who spoke on the theme of the conference admonished Nigerian writers to always cross fertilize their works with foreign ideas and cultures other than portraying a one-sided and stereotyped Nigerian culture as exemplified by the frontiers of gods, myths, rituals, legends and cultural heritage.
While expounding and expanding the theme of the conference, Professor Sam Okalla, noted with distinction, the difference between Drama, Prose and Poetry. He specifically maintained that drama was an acting word and could best be appreciated when acted on stage.
Professor Emmanuel Egya of the Department of English, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, speaking on “Diaspora Positioning, Identity Politics and the Crisis of Nigerian Literature”, advised Nigerian writers to eschew neo-colonial mentality and inclinations to the North, decrying the use of the media to achieve status other than relying on the content of their works to establish identity. He also called for a stop to the attitude of positioning one’s work abroad for it to be rated highly.
He further observed that, though, many challenges, confront the Nigerian writers such as dis (location), migration, conventional publishing, lack of infrastructure and political subjugations, nevertheless he challenged them not to be deterred but to continue producing quality works that meet international standard.
Professor Oyeniyi Ikunoye of the Department of English, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, represented by Professor Ezeliora Osita, in is presentation on “Toward Anthologizing Third Generation Nigerian Poetry”, posited that third generation Nigerian poets who were mostly born after independence, had fared well over the years, stressing the need for they to be honoured. He advocated that their individual and collective intellectual works be collated and preserved by a regulatory body as a mark of honour for their contribution to the development of the creative industry in Nigeria.
Highlights of the occasion were the presentation of an award of excellence to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nwajiuba for the massive academic and infrastructural development going on in the university and the donation of over 200 books published by members of the association to the university.