Creative Alliance hails Mai Nasara, tasks Jonathan on Bring Back the Book project

Posted: February 22, 2012 in arts/culture

Organisers of Nigeria’s rave short story contest with the N1 million grand prize tag, Literary Star Search, has congratulated Mr. Adeleke Adeyemi winner of last year’s edition of the Nigeria Prize for Literature’s $100,000 Children’s Literature award sponsored by Nigeria LNG.

The group made the gesture at the formal reception in honour of Adeyemi (pen name Mai Nasara) at an award ceremony Monday in Lagos.

Mai Nasara won the award for his book titled; The Missing Clock.

In a statement, spokesperson for Literary Star Search, Mr. Seun Jegede, said Mai Nasara’s win was a further estimony to the creative energy amongst the Nigerian youths that was waiting to be released with the right opportunity as provided by Nigeria LNG-sponsored contest.

Mai Nasara, he added, remains another young Nigerian who has joined the rank of stars via literary creativity, noting that more like him would be made through Literary Star Search competition.

Also, Jegede also used the occasion of the ceremony to urge President Goodluck Jonathan to revive his pet project for the book industry, the Bring Back the Book (BBtB) campaign which he started in December 2010. He said the literary community and the generality of Nigerians were stunned by the loud silence coming from the Presidency over the laudable project, saying it would be the saddest thing to happen to the book industry in the country if the entire campaign had merely been a political gimmick to earn votes from Nigerians who yearn for a fresh breath for books and education for the nation’s development.

Jegede noted that Creative Alliance (parent company of Literary Star Search) was ready to partner with the Presidency on the proposed launch of the Bring Back the Book Foundation as a measure of distancing the project from government interference and bureaucratic red tape that stifle laudable programmes of government.

“It is regrettable that President Goodluck Jonathan had allowed security threats to overshadow such commendable project as the Bring Back the Book project from being pursued with the vigour it deserves. The president must not deny millions of Nigerians the immense gains to be derived from the Bring Back the Book campaign so as to deepen knowledge and the gains derivable from literacy, especially books, an area least patronised but where Nigerian writers have excelled,” Jegede said.

Jegede noted that Nigerian writers must insist on the full implementation BBtB because of the possible gains they stand to get from it. Jonathan had launched BBtB with fanfare in Lagos last year, with literary icon and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka in attendance; he also read along with Mr. President to give a stamp of authenticity to what is fast becoming a mirage for Nigeria’s literati.

In addition, Jegede urged Nigerian writers to take full advantage of the short story contest, Literary Star Search to give expression to their creativity and be rewarded, like Mai Nasara, by visiting for details on how to take part in the short story contest designed to change the fortunes of writers and turn them into true stars worthy of the name.


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