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Leading in literally, entertainment world



ANAMBRA State has no doubt given the world a dazzling array of creative writers, musicians, artists, actors and actresses of great distinction.
Fundamentally, the state which was carved out from the old Anambra (which comprised the present Anambra, Enugu and some parts of Ebonyi State) was created on 27th August, 1991, by the then Military Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida,
Like it was when the old East-Central State was split into old Anambra and Imo States, there was an overwhelming celebration by the remnants of the old Anambra State, while gloom was written all over the faces of the departing Anambrarians.
The reason was not far fetched. Before the creation of the new Anambra, the citizens of the state occupied majority of the civil service slots in the old Anambra State.
Again, the state lacked land mass that would conveniently accommodate efficient government offices.
It is not an overstatement to say that the area called Anambra today was indeed the ‘light’ of the then Eastern region, East Central State and old Anambra State in many aspects. It has greatly played a pace setting role in the creative industry-politics, business, arts and culture.
In the world of literature, the area was a nest of icons, prominent art marshals and a home of the Igbo cultural heritage and preservation.
Anambra has given Nigeria, Africa, the international literary market place, and the world an impressive array of creative writers, prominent among whom are Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi, Christopher Okigbo, Chukwuemeka Ike, Onuora Nzekwu, Obi Egbunam, Nkem Nwankwo, Ifeoma Okoye, Nathan Nkala, Akachi Ezeigbo, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, to mention but a few.
When one mentions African Literature, their names competitively come among such great African writers like Elechi Amadi, Wole Soyinka, John Munonye, Buchi Emecheta, Flora Nwapa, Ngugi Wa’thiong, Camara Laye, Aykwei Armah, among others.
It is not an over statement to say that Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’ stands out among the old series of African Literature. Till today, it occupies a top place in Nigeria’s and West Africa’s Schools and colleges curricular, and remains a household novel all over the world.
As well, Cyprian Ekwensi’s ‘African Night Entertainment’ remains an expository of African lifestyle among children.
The poetic prowess of Chris Okigbo of Ojoto, in Idemmili South Local Council of Anambra State, still echoes across Africa and around the globe. His poems still stand out as one of the best arrangement of poetic lines and verses in Africa’s modern literature. He had 72 published Anthologies that are widely read across Africa and beyond, some of which include: Heaven’s Gate (1962), Limits (1964), and Silences (1965).
In 1966 in Daka,r Senegal, he won the best African poetry award in the Festival of the Negro Arts.
Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike is a renowned Nigeria writer reputed for his skillful use of lampoon, humour and satire. He will forever be remembered for his great works: Expo 77, a novel which critically looked at academic examination abuses in West Africa, Toads for Super, The Potter’s Wheel, Sun Set at Dawn, among others.
Also on the list is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a prominent fictionary writer from Abba, Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State, who has been described in The Times Literary Supplement as “the most prominent” of a “procession of critically acclaimed young Anglophone authors (who) is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature”.
This woman of dignity has authored so many books, some of which include Purple Hibiscus (2003),Half of a Yellow Sun (2006),Americana (2013), the short story collection, The Thing Around Your Neck (2009), the book length essay We Should All Be Feminists (2014) and Dear Ijeawale, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, published in March 2017. She had appeared for over 35 times for international awards in literature. She won in 16 and was nominated in others. Popular among her numerous awards was MacArthur Genius Grant (2008).
Cyprian Ekwensi MFR, who hailed from Nkwelle Ezunaka in Oyi Local Council, Anambra State, was one of the acknowledged fiction writers of his time. His African Night Entertainment remains an expository as part of African lifestyle among children.
His other works that still speak volume today include: People of the City (1954) Drummer Boy (1960) Jagua Nana (1961), his first published novel &Jagua Nana’s Daughter (1987).
Though some of these great writers have gone to the great beyond, their names and footprints remain indelible on the sands of history. To cap it all, Anambra State possess some of the prominent publishing houses in Nigeria. Some of them include: Heinemann African writers Series (AWS), Pace Setters, Africana, Learn Africa, to mention but a few.
In the field of entertainment, many sons and daughters of Anambra origin also occupy large spot. Nollywood, the home of Nigeria movie industry cannot be mentioned and also cannot be relevant without such names and performances of such people as Pete Edochie, Jerry Amilo, Jim Iyke, among others.
The fun and fame of Nollywood were the handiwork of Stephen Anajemba with his co-traveler, Uwaezuoke and Chief Kenneth Nnebue. The film, ‘Living in Bondage’ of 1992 is still a household fun film in the entire Southern Nigeria particularly.
This discourse will not be complete without mentioning great musicians of Anambra origin. When African high life music is mentioned, minds would swiftly clique to such names as Stephen Osita Osadebe, Oliver D’ Coque, Ali Chukwuma, Morroco Mmaduka, Onyeka Onwenu, the list is endless.
Following the footprints of the great highlife superstars are the young voices of Ike Mazi, Flavour, MC Loph, Slow Dog, P-Square, Phyno, among others.
These names have made great landmarks in the world of Afro beats to the pride of Anambra State. Such great artists and painters as Okwui Enwezor and Uche Okeke, to mention but a few are worth recognising.

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