Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) has announced the appointment of Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Lagos, as the chairperson of the Advisory Board for the Nigeria Prize for Literature to flag off the 2021 cycle of the competition.
The new board assumed duties on Wednesday, as two hundred and two (202) entries in Prose Fiction carried over from 2020 into the 2021 cycle after the prize’s postponement due to the Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) were handed over to a panel of judges to mark the start of the cycle.
A past winner of the Prize, Professor Adimora-Ezeigbo succeeds Professor Ayo Banjo, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Ibadan, who had served as chairman, since the inception of the Prize in 2004. Prof. Adimora-Ezeigbo, won the Prize in 2007 in the Children’s Literature category, alongside Mabel Segun. She has also served on the panel of judges for the prize.
Other members of the Advisory Board include, Prof. Olu Obafemi and Prof. Ahmed Yerima.
Prof. Obafemi is a playwright, poet and Professor of English at the University of Ilorin. He has served in prominent roles including as President of the Nigerian Academy of Letters and the Association of Nigerian Authors.
Prof. Yerima is a Professor of Theatre and Performing Arts at the Redeemer’s University. He is a playwright, theatre director and a Laurette of the Nigeria Prize for Literature in the Drama Category (2006).
At a virtual ceremony held to introduce the new Advisory Board members and to hand-over the entries, NLNG’s General Manager for External Relations and Sustainable Development, Mrs Eyono Fatayi-Williams, expressed appreciation to Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo and Emeritus Professor Ben Elugbe for their selfless service to the prize, adding that the outgoing board, which included the late Professor Jerry Agada, oversaw the growth of the prize into Africa’s foremost literature competition, best known for its principles of excellence and integrity.
She stated that the change to the Advisory Board was geared towards making the prize’s governance framework and brand stronger. She added that the new Advisory Board members are scholars, who have distinguished themselves in their areas of specialisation and have contributed significantly to Literature in Nigeria. She said the new members will bring an enormous wealth of experience to the prize.
Mrs Fatayi-Williams further stated that the pandemic impacted on the established process of the prize, but that it also presented other opportunities on how literature can be marketed and consumed. She called on writers to seize the moment, stating that it was time to push out creative works as people spend more time at home, reading.
The entries were handed over to the current panel of judges, led by Professor Toyin Jegede, who is a Professor of Literature in English at the University of Ibadan. She is a Fellow of the British Council of Nigeria; Centre for Afro-American Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal; Comparative Literature Association, University of South Africa, Pretoria; among others. She has also served as an international panellist for the Commonwealth Book Prize for Literature.
The other judges are Prof. Tanimu Abubakar and Dr Solomon Azumurana. Professor Abubakar is a Professor of Literature in the Faculty of Arts, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He is also a member of the Nigerian Academy of Letters.
Dr Azumurana is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Lagos.
The Prize runs concurrently with the Nigeria Prize for Literary Criticism (also sponsored by NLNG) for which four entries were received in 2020. The literary criticism prize carries a monetary value of N1 million.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature, Africa’s most prestigious literary award, with a cash award of $100,000 rotates yearly amongst four literary categories – prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature.
The 2022 cycle of the prize, focussed on poetry, will commence in February, 2022 with a call for entries.
Firm Partners Parents Association On Education Plan
Leadway Assurance has partnered with the Association of Parents of Private School Students (APPSS) to launch an education insurance policy plan tagged the ‘Group Education Protection Plan (GEPP)’.
The bespoke education plan, which was launched at the Children’s Day event hosted at Eliud International School in Port Harcourt on Thursday, May 27, 2021, is designed to help parents protect their children’s future from possible socio-economic disruption in schooling due to unplanned or unforeseen events, such as the death of a parent or guardian, life threatening critical illness, total and permanent disability resulting from personal accidents.
With this partnership, the parents are guaranteed the fulfilment of bequeathing their children quality and life-defining education, no matter what life throws at them.
This unique alliance mandates Leadway Assurance to assume the payment of the children’s fees for the agreed remaining school terms from the point the sponsoring parent or guardian dies or contracts a critical illness or disability.
Speaking on the initiative, Head of Life Retail, Leadway Assurance, Bolorunduro Saliu, said, “This policy reflects the organisation’s proactive steps towards mitigating the risk parents face of failing to achieve their dream of bequeathing quality education to their children due to circumstances that are beyond their control, especially death or permanent disability.
“We are pleased to work with a forward-looking association that is keen to proactively take smart financial decisions for their children’s assured future.
Our partnership with APPSS provides every parent under the association the assurance that, should the most unnerving life situation occur, there is guaranteed peace of mind regarding the completion of your child’s education”, he added.
He further stated, “The intention of this policy is to have a solution that protects the parents which in turn protects the education of their children in case of any eventuality. This product is designed to provide an actionable and affordable solution to ensuring that our children, being the future of the society, have proactive measures put in place to ensure that their journey to greatness was not halted abruptly.”
Also, commenting on the partnership, National President, Association of Parents of Private School Students (APPSS), Dr Ovy Chukwuma, said, “Leadway Assurance has magnanimously created this programme at a very affordable premium and high sum, assured to cater for the payment of fees for children in private schools nationwide from Nursery to Secondary Levels.
The programme is designed to be driven by our Children Education Promotion and Protection Ambassadors (CEPPA), a project to provide parents, schools, and society at large an opportunity to be involved in the process of quality children education delivery in the country”, he added.
The GEPP partnership was officially inaugurated on Thursday, May 27, 2021, in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, commemorating this year’s Children’s Day.
Leadway Assurance is one of Nigeria’s foremost insurance service companies with a reputation for service efficiency and customer reliability.
The organisation is committed to providing innovative ways to equip every Nigerian with the tools needed to mitigate risks whilst adopting insurance as a top choice for wealth creation.
‘Your Reaction Matters More Than What Happens To You’
Once a time, a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.
Her father, a reknown chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.
He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.
After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the boiled eggs out and placed them in a bowl.
He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. ‘Daughter, what do you see?’
‘Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,’ she hastily replied.
‘Look closer,’ he said, ‘and touch the potatoes.’ She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
‘Father, what does this mean?’ she asked.
He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.
However, each one reacted differently.
The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.
The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.
However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
‘Which are you,’ he asked his daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?’
Why Youths Must Pay A Price For Success
Youths today desire to be like Daniel in the Bible, but they are not ready to pay the price in order to earn a reward.Daniel in the Bible was a successful, wise, intelligent, knowledgeable, consecrated, and a committed person.The Bible records that he was 10 times better than others.
Today, parents name their children, Daniel because of the divine and excellent spirit in him and the way he was successful.We try to be like those who have excelled but we are not ready to do what they did before they succeeded ,we are not ready to pay the price for success.
Life is wonderful but the world itself is “colourful”.
Today, the acronym, “This World No Balance” turns to be a popular slogan of many youths today.They feel relaxing,weak,and tired. When they try and fail, they never try to continue or to keep moving forward,they are discouraged and taken off balance because of little trials, failure, etc.
They forget about the story of Ben Carson who was buried in failure and dullness in his school days,but now he is one of the best medical doctors we have,and they also forget about the story of Michael Faraday who failed 999 times just to bring about the existence of electricity in the world,but he was not shaken, discouraged or stopped trying.
His aspiration, inspiration, dreams and zeal never dried up or died in him,but he consistently persevered and strived to attain to achieve his purpose and goal.
Today,youths shouldn’t just sit back and complain about their backgrounds,level of education, psychological capabilities and abilities,we should not forget that Daniel was a slave but yet was found victorious.Joseph was a slave before he became the Prime Minister in Egypt.We should just try our best,read our books,go for predominant skill acquisition,engage in meaningful things,we should strive, persevere,aspire,inspire and have the zeal for success and goal oriented .We should fight back with success when life offers us failure, fight back with victory when life offers us defeat,and we should fight back with positive when life offers us negative.Then I believe with all these at heart ,the popular slogan will change from “A Disbalance Life To A Balance Life”.
As youths,we should remember that no good thing comes easily,and no good thing comes without paying a price.If youths today can chant their perspectives and believe,then success will be sure and secured for youths and failure will be a thing of the past.Youths today can be successful like David, Job,Joseph, Michael Faraday,Ben Carson and other successful men and women in the world.
See You at throne Of Success!!
By: Wisdom God’swork
God’swork is a student of Community Secondary School,
Kalio-Ama, Okrika LGA, Rivers State.
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