July 19, 2024

Writers Appeal to President Tinubu to Rename National Library after Chinua Achebe




The Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW Global) has made a formal appeal to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, urging him to honor the late Prof. Chinua Achebe by renaming the National Library of Nigeria after the renowned author. This request comes in recognition of Achebe's immense contributions to literature and his lasting legacy as the author of the bestselling novel "Things Fall Apart" and the winner of the 1987 Man Booker International Prize.

This appeal was articulated in a press release issued by Wole Adedoyin, President of SYNW Global. Adedoyin highlighted Achebe’s profound impact on Nigerian and global literature, noting that renaming the National Library would be a fitting tribute to his memory and contributions.

The Society of Young Nigerian Writers commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his recent decision to rename the National Theatre after Prof. Wole Soyinka in celebration of his 90th birthday. This gesture was warmly received by the literary community, and SYNW Global believes that a similar honor should be extended to Prof. Chinua Achebe.

Wole Adedoyin emphasized that Achebe’s work has not only shaped African literature but has also brought international acclaim to Nigeria. "Things Fall Apart" remains a seminal work that has been translated into numerous languages and has educated readers worldwide about African culture and history.

The writers’ body also expressed its appreciation for the actions of Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, the Governor of Anambra State, who recently renamed the state’s international airport after the late Chinua Achebe. This move was praised as a commendable step in preserving the legacy of one of Nigeria’s greatest literary figures.

SYNW Global noted that the National Library of Nigeria, as a repository of the nation’s knowledge and heritage, would be an ideal institution to bear Achebe’s name. The organization believes that this renaming would inspire future generations to explore Achebe’s works and the rich literary heritage of Nigeria.

In their statement, the writers acknowledged the significance of national institutions being named after individuals who have made outstanding contributions to society. They argued that Achebe's literary achievements and his role in promoting African literature globally make him a deserving candidate for such an honor.

The appeal to President Tinubu reflects a broader desire within the literary community to see Nigeria’s literary giants recognized and celebrated. SYNW Global believes that renaming the National Library after Chinua Achebe would not only honor his legacy but also reinforce the importance of literature in Nigeria’s cultural and intellectual life.

Wole Adedoyin concluded the press release by calling on other literary and cultural organizations to support this appeal. He expressed hope that the government would consider this request favorably and take steps to immortalize the legacy of Prof. Chinua Achebe in a manner befitting his contributions.

The Society of Young Nigerian Writers remains committed to promoting Nigerian literature and advocating for the recognition of the country’s literary icons. The organization hopes that this appeal will mark the beginning of a broader initiative to honor Nigerian writers who have left an indelible mark on the world.


Writers Congratulate Dr. Wale Okediran, Dr. Bukar Usman on Conferment of NAL Honorary Fellowship




The Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW Global) has congratulated Dr. Wale Okediran and Dr. Bukar Usman on their recent conferment of the Nigerian Academy of Letters (NAL) Honorary Fellowship. This prestigious honor celebrates their remarkable contributions to literature and their enduring impact on the literary landscape of Nigeria and beyond.

In a statement issued by Wole Adedoyin, President of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW), the Society commended Dr. Okediran and Dr. Usman for their exemplary dedication and achievements in the field of writing and literary scholarship. Their recognition by the NAL is a testimony to their significant roles in advancing Nigerian literature and culture.

Dr. Wale Okediran, a distinguished figure in the literary world, currently serves as the Secretary General of the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA). His leadership and vision have been instrumental in fostering literary excellence across Africa. Dr. Okediran's tenure as former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) further highlights his commitment to the growth and development of Nigerian literature.

As the Founder and Founding Director of the Ebedi International Writers Residency, Dr. Okediran has created a platform that supports and nurtures emerging writers. His dedication is evident in various literary projects, including the Efuru@50 Celebration, Okigbo@50 Celebration, and Things Fall Apart @ 60 Celebration. These projects not only honor literary milestones but also contribute to the preservation and promotion of African literary heritage.

In 2022, Dr. Okediran organized the African Writers Conference with the theme "Literature Since Makerere 1962: The African Writers’ Pan African Agenda for Peace, Security, and Cultural Development," which drew writers from over 30 African countries. This conference underscored his commitment to fostering dialogue and collaboration among African writers.

Earlier this year, Dr. Okediran hosted the World Organization of Writers Conference in Abuja, further demonstrating his dedication to advancing literary discourse on a global scale. His extensive body of work includes novels, short story collections, biographies, and travel stories, many of which have garnered both national and international literary awards.

Dr. Bukar Usman, a retired Permanent Secretary in the Presidency, Abuja, is renowned for his expertise in Nigerian folktales. His contributions to preserving and promoting Nigerian oral traditions are noteworthy. Dr. Usman's published works include more than ten folktales in both English and Hausa languages, which have played a crucial role in documenting and celebrating Nigeria's rich cultural heritage.

In addition to his work on folktales, Dr. Usman has authored several other significant books, including "Hatching Hopes," an autobiography, and "Voices in a Choir," a collection of essays on national stability. His publications provide valuable insights into various aspects of Nigerian society and culture.

The investiture of Dr. Wale Okediran and Dr. Bukar Usman as Fellows of the Nigerian Academy of Letters (NAL) will take place on August 8, 2024, at the J.F. Ade Ajayi Auditorium of the University of Lagos. This prestigious event will honor their remarkable contributions to literature and their enduring impact on the literary community.

The Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW Global) celebrates this recognition of Dr. Okediran and Dr. Usman, acknowledging their dedication to advancing literature and cultural scholarship. Their accomplishments continue to inspire young writers and contribute to the vibrant literary tradition of Nigeria.


African Human Rights Spoken Words Contest 2.0: IHRAF Calls For Entries




The African Secretariat of the International Human Rights Art Festival (IHRAF) is excited to announce the launch of the "African Human Rights Spoken Words Contest 2.0." This innovative contest aims to provide a platform for poets, artists, and activists across the African continent to creatively express their perspectives on critical human rights issues. With a submission deadline of October 30, 2024, this contest invites all passionate advocates of social justice, environmental sustainability, and gender equality to make their voices heard.

In a statement, Wole Adedoyin, the Director of IHRAF in Africa, emphasized the significance of the contest as a crucial opportunity for marginalized voices to rise and be heard. By harnessing the power of spoken word, participants are encouraged to explore and address pressing issues such as climate change, immigration, police brutality, and gender inequality.

This artistic initiative aims to engage individuals in meaningful dialogue and inspire positive change through creative expression. The contest offers attractive prizes for outstanding contributions: the first-place winner will receive $100, the second-place winner $75, and the third-place winner $50. Additionally, five honorable mentions will be acknowledged for their exceptional submissions.

Selected entries will be showcased at the prestigious International Human Rights Art Festival, scheduled to take place from December 9 to 15, 2024 in New York, USA. These thought-provoking pieces will highlight the impactful role of spoken word in advocating for human rights and fostering positive change.

In alignment with its commitment to inclusive dialogue, the contest invites entries from individuals worldwide, provided their submissions address human rights issues specific to Africa. Entries should reflect the core values of human rights, offering innovative perspectives on themes such as government violations, gender inequality, and terrorism.

Participation is straightforward: entrants must submit a captivating 1-minute video showcasing an original spoken word poem. Participants are encouraged to create unique pieces that delve into their chosen human rights theme while adhering to contest guidelines. These include filming in a quiet environment, ensuring stable camera work, and submitting original, unpublished content.

The African Human Rights Spoken Words Contest 2.0 stressed its commitment to nurturing emerging talents by awarding Certificates of Participation to all entrants and Certificates of Excellence to shortlisted participants. The contest seeks diverse, untraditional, and unheard voices to join the conversation and contribute their unique perspectives.

Entries can be submitted via email to wole@humanrightsartmovement.org and copy ihrafafrica@humanrightsartmovement.org, with the subject line "AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS SPOKEN WORDS CONTEST 2.0." Alongside the 1-minute video, entrants are requested to provide their name, age, gender, country, address, phone number, and a brief profile. It is essential to confirm the originality of submitted work and accept the Conditions of Entry as outlined by IHRAF.

For more information and inquiries, interested parties can contact Wole Adedoyin at +2348072673852 or woleadedoyin@gmail.com.

The African Human Rights Spoken Words Contest 2.0 is an initiative of the International Human Rights Art Festival (IHRAF), USA, dedicated to amplifying voices, sparking dialogue, and promoting the realization of human rights across the African continent.