CALL FOR PAPERS: CHUKWUEMEKA IKE – 50 YEARS…
CHUKWUEMEKA IKE –50 YEARS AS A TRAIL BLAZING NOVELIST & GLOBAL ICON ( 1965 – 2015 ).
Chukwuemeka Ike’s first novel, Toads for Supper, was published in London in April 1965. 2015 marks his Golden Jubilee as a published Novelist ( or storyteller). During this period, Chukwuemeka Ike established himself as a RELEVANT NOVELIST, as the late Prof. Ezenwa Ohaeto described Ike.
His novels beam the Searchlight on various facets of life: child upbringing (The Potter’s Wheel, Anu Ebu Nwa – in Igbo); life in a secondary school ( The Bottled Leopard, Expo ’77); life on the university campus ( Toads for Supper, The Naked Gods, Toads for Ever); the generation gap (Our Children Are Coming!); the Nation/State (The Search, Conspiracy of Silence); Nigeria’s Civil War (Sunset at Dawn); a multinational organization (The Chicken Chasers).
As Professor Chinua Achebe stated in Lagos at the presentation of Chukwuemeka Ike’s Expo ’77 on 28 April 1981 – Ike’s 50th birthday – “Chukwuemeka Ike has explored a wider spectrum of Nigerian life than any other novelist. Each of his six novels takes a different perspective in our story, drawing its material from a different facet of his own rich and diverse experience.”
Ike published a collection of short stories (The Accra Riviera) and a fictional US based travelogue (To My Husband, From Iowa) in which he sees the US, Latin America, South-East Asia through the eyes of a Nigerian female creative writer. His book The Bottled Leopard was reproduced for the French as Fils De Panthere,adding a few million readers to his global audience.
As a non-fiction writer, Ike wrote a scholarly book (University Development in Africa: The Nigerian Experience) and a do-it-yourself book (How To Become A Published Writer). He co-editedUniversity of Nigeria 1960-85: An Experiment in Higher Education,and edited six books related to book publishing and the reading culture. He also wrote four monographs.
Professor Kanchana Ugbabe, in her introduction to the book, Chukwuemeka Ike: A Critical Reader (2001) said the following about Ike: “Ike’s work…serves an important bridging function between serious and popular literature…..Ike’s primary concern has been to communicate with his audience through the storyteller’s art…He is an engaging writer whose thematic range and innovations in style….have kept his works continually in the public eye. Though the world Ike deals with is a small one, the village…the boarding school, the university campus, Ike cannot be accused of provincialism. His insights into envy, jealousy and power struggles in this small world, leads us to an understanding of similar issues in the world at large. Ike is also one of the strong voices in urban literature in Africa.”
Professor Ugbabe regrets that “a writer who has made such an impact on the reading public….has not to date received much critical acclaim.” That was in 1991.
The situation has since changed. In April 2008, the U.S. based African Literature Association (ALA) conferred on Ike its 2008 Fonlon-Nichols Award for Excellence in Creative Writing and outstanding contribution to the struggle for human rights and freedom of expression.
At home in Nigeria, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria conferred the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) Award on H.M. Eze Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike, OFR. NNOM is Nigeria’s highest and most prestigious national prize for academic and intellectual attainment.
Ike became the second Novelist to receive the award since its inauguration in 1979, the first being Professor Chinua Achebe.
The 2015 Golden Jubilee will be a golden opportunity to celebrate the elder statesman Chukwuemeka Ike’s achievements as a leading, internationally acclaimed Novelist of Nigerian birth. It should also be the catalyst for establishing the infrastructure for sustainable literary creativity in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, readers, critics and scholars who have indicated the intention of writing on Ike’s numerous books and his style and global impact, have been encouraged to send their contributions to the landmark book on Ike not later than
FEBRUARY 28, 2015 to enable the editors to ensure it is published in the first quarter of 2015.
CALL FOR PAPERS: SCHOLARS, CRITICS, STUDENTS AND INFORMED FANS/READERS OF IKE’S BOOKS:
You are all invited to send in papers written on any of Ike’s fiction AND non-fiction books for the forthcoming landmark book titled:
Chukwuemeka Ike- The Leopard Unbottled: 50 Years as a Trail Blazing Novelist and Global Cultural Icon.
Papers may also examine any or all of the following:
Moulding the Child for Responsible Citizenship: The Potter’s Wheel– the first novel on the Nigerian Child.
Moulding the Teenager for Responsible Citizenship: The Bottled Leopard.
Expo ’77 – the first Nigerian detective novel.
Moulding the Undergraduate for Responsible Citizenship: Toads for Supper, The Naked Gods, Our Children Are Coming, Toads For Ever.
Closing the Generation Gap: Our Children Are Coming.
War as an Instrument for National Reconciliation: Sunset at Dawn.
Fostering Enduring National Unity and Co-existence: The Search.
Addressing Major Societal Problems: Conspiracy of Silence, The Search.
A glimpse of the Multinational scene: The Chicken Chasers.
Helping Budding Writers: How To Become A Published Writer.
Ike’s exploration of ‘a wider spectrum of Nigerian life than any other novelist’.
Ike’s Short Stories: The Accra Riviera etc.
Ike as a Non-Fiction Writer: University Development in Africa: The Nigerian Experience, How To Become A Published Writer.
Ike’s contribution to National Book Development.
Ike’s transformation to and commentary as a ‘Woman’ : To My Husband From Iowa.
Ike in the hands of Literary Scholars.
The Man Behind the Mask: Behold Chukwuemeka Ike.
Ike’s impact as an International Writer of Nigerian birth.
Ike’s role in developing sustainable literary creativity,
Ike’s role in sustainable Nigerian Book Development.
An overall assessment of Ike’s success as a RELEVANT WRITER.
Ike as a Strong Voice in African Urban Literature.
Ike’s art as Storyteller.
Chukwuemeka Ike-The Storyteller in National Development.
Any other area of interest to you.
Kindly email papers to The Editor, not later than midnight on 2015 FEBRUARY 28 to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Activities will start in April (when Toads For Supper ( TFS) was published in 1965), and be spread through the year 2015.
For now, activity centres will be –
- Abuja – Tuesday 21 April 2015 – Merit House, Maitama, in collaboration with NNMA Secretariat and NCAC: the National Council for Arts and Culture.
- Igbariam, Odumegwu Ojukwu University– Monday 27 April 2015 .
- Lagos – Tuesday 5 May 2015, 100.00am – the Nigerian International Book Fair at the University of Lagos, in collaboration with Learn Africa Plc. and his publishers.
- Ibadan — Wednesday 6 May 2015 – in collaboration with his publishers- University Press Plc, HEBN &Spectrum.
- UNN (Nsukka) – Tuesday 12 MAY 2015, 11am @ Princess Alexandra Auditorium, University of Nigeria.
- Government College, Umuahia – Wednesday 20 May 2015
- University of Jos, Jos – Tuesday 16 June 2015, in the main campus auditorium.
- Accra– July 2015: a one-day event at PAWA House, in collaboration with WAEC. PAWA is the Pan African Writers’ Association.
- Ndike/ Awka (UniZik) – 2015
- At each event, Chukwuemeka Ike’s books will be on sale and he will autograph copies bought.