There is an innate desire for success in every man. Little wonder, many work day and night to achieve success. Probably even more fulfilling than attaining success is being recognized for it. Unfortunately, many don’t attain the level of success they desire. As such, when one comes across someone who has excelled in her chosen career, you can’t help but doff your hat. Such was the reaction of many last week when Professor Akachi Ezeigbo was presented the ANA/Cadbury Poetry Prize at Cadbury corporate office at Agidingbi, Ikeja. With this prize win, Prof. Akachi becomes the first prizewinner to receive USD2,500.00 instead of the old prize of USD 1,000.00.
Born in Eastern Nigeria, Professor Akachi Ezeigbo was raised both in a rural environment and in the city. This, she brings to bear on her work. Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo obtained Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Masters (MA) degrees in English from the University of Lagos. She then proceeded to the University of Ibadan to obtain a Ph.D. She also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) from University of Lagos. She has taught in the University of Lagos, Department of English, since 1981 and was appointed a professor in the same department in 1999. In 1994, she won First Prize in the WORDOC Short Stories competition. Apart from publishing over thirty academic papers, writing feature articles in newspapers and having her short stories appear in five Anthologies, Akachi has published fifteen books among which is House of Symbols which won the 2001 ANA/Spectrum Prize.
She was awarded the prize for her poetry collection, Heart Song, a collection of poems that explores our society through the use of literary criticism and creative writing.
Meanwhile, award winning author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie would be at the Texas Book Festival on Oct. 17 to discuss her short story collection, The Thing Around Your Neck. The Thing Around Your Neck is a collection of twelve short stories that explore the collision of cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them. Asides The Thing Around Your Neck, Chimamanda is the author of two novels, Purple Hibiscus(2006 ), a story of Kambili, a self-effacing, teenage girl who grows up in a sheltered and tyrannical household run by her fanatic father; she escapes to a better life with her aunt and Half of A Yellow Sun(2007 ), an epic story of love and civil war set in Nigeria during the Biafran war.
*All three titles are available at Farafina and leading bookstores nationwide.