Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State, recently hosted a galaxy of Nigerian academia and literati at the celebration of Africa's literary Amazon and feminist theorist, Prof. Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, to the launching of her biography, Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo: Life and Literature, written by Ezechi Onyerionwu. The event was organised by the Faculty of Humanities, FUNAI.
The occasion had in attendance dignitaries from different parts of the country, including former Deputy Vice Chancellor, Imo State University, Prof. Collins Ubochi, President, Association of Nigerian Authors, Mallam Abdullahi Denja, Prof. Ike Elechi Ogba, who represented Sen. Sam Ominyi Egwu, Barr. Victor Onuoha, who represented Chairman of Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) the celebrant's sister, Prof. Stella Okunna and her husband, Prof. Chris Ezigbo. The event kicked off after Rev. Fr. Longinus Chinagorom had said the opening prayers.
In her opening address, Dean of host faculty, Prof. GMT Emezue, expressed gratitude to God for giving the university an academic of such profound knowledge and experience. She also highlighted the need for great African writers like Adimora-Ezeigbo to be accorded the honour due them because it would encourage younger scholars to aim for excellence knowing that they too, someday, would also be celebrated.
After the Royal Father of the day, His Majesty (Prof.) Chukwuemeka Ike (Eze Ikelionwu XI of Ndike Kingdom of Anambra State), blessed the kolanuts, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba, represented by Prof. Matthew Edeoga, formally declared the event open. He expressed delight about the fact that Adimora-Ezeigbo, whom he described as an epitome of the university's creed of excellence and integrity, had become part of FUNAI, the fastest-growing citadel of higher learning in the country. He further charged the students of FUNAI to draw inspiration from the precedence being set by the likes of Adimora-Ezigbo in the nation's literary trajectory.
Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Michael Onuu, noted with delight that the name of the celebrant, Adimora-Ezeigbo, which means 'hand of God,' has played out in her life, as he quoted the relevant section of the bible to support the claim. He described the celebrant, as a positive force and influence on the lives she comes into contact with.
Vice Chancellor of Godfrey Okoye University, Prof. Christian Anieke, was the guest Lecturer in the event. He spoke on 'Language, Literature and Soft Feminism in Akachi Ezeigbo's Works' and observed that the celebrant had, through her literary works, championed the cause of women in Africa. The revered Catholic priest and academic maintained that Adimora-Ezeigbo's works strongly advocate the idea of how giving more power to women can lead to a better world. He recalled that in his village, if they wanted a project to be carried out fast and efficiently, it was given to women. That, he said, is what Adimora-Ezeigbo does in her works. He ended by highlighting some interviews granted by the literary colossus in time past, as a true source of courage even to younger minds across Africa today.
In a citation of the celebrant by Adimora-Ezeigbo's former Ph.D student, pioneer Head of Department, Languages, Linguistics, Literary Studies and Theatre Arts of FUNAI, Dr. B.O Nweke, chronicled an intimidating profile of the accomplished writer, women's right advocate and paragon of an ideal life and wife. The citation highlighted some of the literary awards, which Adimora-Ezeigbo had won, including ANA prize and The Nigerian Prize for Literature.
He concluded by stating that although Adimora-Ezeigbo may be retired, she was not in any way tired.After a well received review of the biography by another former student of the celebrated author and lecturer of English and Literary Studies, FUNAI, Dr. John Otu, the book was officially unveiled. In her remarks, Adimora-Ezeigbo thanked God for her life and family and further expressed deep appreciation to everyone, who graced the event, including her friends and members of her immediate and extended family. She equally appealled for support towards the construction of the faculty's centre for cultural reinvention, to be known as Igbo Village. In response to the call, guests pledged monetary commitment to the actualization of the Igbo Village.The event ended after Rev. Aju said the closing prayers.
Agbo recently graduated first class in English, FUNAI