Get Nigeria Reading Again 2007 With James Ene Henshaw

On the invitation of the First Lady of Cross Rivers State, Mrs Onari Duke, the Rainbow Book Club (RBC) annual reading campaign took place in  Calabar, Nigeria’s tourism capital from 23rd to 30th April 2007.

RBC founder, Koko Kalango welcomed the Calabar-based 83-year old writer James Ene Henshaw and his fellow writers Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike, Prof. Femi Osofisan, Mr Odia Ofeimun and Dr Wale Okediran (National President of the Association of Nigerian Authors) who participated in the 2007 ‘Get Nigeria Reading again!’ campaign.

The programme had kicked off with a poetry competition facilitated by the Child Support and Development Organisation (CD-Don) Nigeria, which was assessed by the Association of Nigerian Authors. The winners of the competition were (1st place) 17-year old Ubong Michael Akpan of Government Technical College, (2nd place) 16-year old Antigha Mary Eyo of Pinn Margaret School, (3rd place) 13-year old Bassey Oza Vanseh of Pinn Margaret School. The writers interacted with a hall full of students from 20 schools at the State Library where a book fair also took place.

{gallery width=150 height=100}GNRA/Gallery_07{/gallery}This event was followed by a visit to the newly opened Tinapa Business Resort. Later that day the First Lady hosted the writers and winning students to a literary evening/dinner at the Governor’s lodge where students of the West African Peoples Institute Calabar performed an excerpt from Henshaw’s This Is Our Chance. Celebrity compere Dayo Benjamins-Laniyi anchored the evening. This year’s campaign was endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Education. Support was received from Virgin Nigeria and This Day Newspapers. The ‘Get Nigeria Reading again!’ campaign, now into its third year, has had as guest writers Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka (in 2006) and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (in 2005).

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