By Mokwugwo Solomon
Young authors in Anambra state have been tasked to emulate the likes of China Achebe, Chimamanda Adichie, Wole Soyinka, and other prominent Nigerian writers, who through their literary works, projected the country in good light before the world.
A young writer and prominent lawyer, Jerry Chiemeke, gave the admonition in his lecture titled, “African Writing, Pushing Narratives and Getting our Voices Heard,” on Saturday, May 25, during the 3rd edition of the young authors conference held in Awka, Anambra state.
The conference with the theme, “Bridging the Gap Between Africa and the Rest of the World via Literature,” was powered by Aurick Foundation.
Chiemeke urged young Nigerian and African writers to start telling stories of Africa and Nigeria themselves instead of allowing white people to do so on their behalf.
He said, “It is when we tell our stories ourselves that we’ll be able to change the narrative – how outsiders perceive us as Nigerians and Africans.
“It is when we write our stories ourselves that we’ll be able to change how others see us. Young authors should paint Africa in good colours through their literary works; so that instead of seeing Africa and Nigeria as areas ravaged by war, hunger, corruption, etc, young writers, through their works, should present their country and continent as good destinations for fulfilment of destinies.”
In her remarks, the Honourable Commissioner of Basic Education in Anambra state, Prof. Kate Omenugha, who was a guest of honour at the event, urged young authors in Anambra state to project Nigeria and Africa as beautiful destinations.
The commissioner commended the young writers led by Michael Chinese Ike, stating that their activities complement the efforts of Obiano’s government in promoting scholarship, especially among young people.
In his short remark, another young writer, Kalen Doleman, who attended the conference all the way from the North Carolina, United States of America, shared some secrets tips in writing. He also revealed some secrets on how writers in America succeed.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the chief host and president of Aurick Foundation, Ike Michael Chineme, said that the purpose of the conference was to encourage and empower young people with talents, particularly in Anambra state and Nigeria, to meet and achieve their targets in life.
“Young Authors Conference is an annual event which aims at bringing young writers in Anambra and Nigeria together to share ideas, rob minds and learn from one another, and copy prominent world writers in order to be well equipped to change our world,” he said; adding that since the inception of the conference three years ago, young writers in Anambra have been able to improve greatly, so that majority of them have been able to write publishable books.
He advised the young participants at the conference to work hard and keep to their talents even amidst challenges.
Highpoints of the conference include distribution of plaques (awards) to Prof. Kate Omenugha, Kalen Doleman and Jerry Chiemeke in recognition of their supports and encouragements to young writers in Anambra state.