Minister Urges Revival of Golden Age of African Writers

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L-R: Secretary General, Pan-African Writers' Association (PAWA), Dr. Wale Okediran; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Mr. Denja Abdullahi and the Director, Entertainment and Creative Services, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Mr. Babajide Ajibola, when the Secretary General of PAWA paid a courtesy visit to the Minister on Friday.

THE minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, has
called on the new Secretary General of the Pan-African Writers’
Association, PAWA, Wale Okediran, to strive to revive the golden
age of African writers, who actively worked for the unity, development
and decolonization of Africa.

The minister, who made the call when he received Okediran on a
courtesy visit to his office on Friday, said the main challenge that
confronted African writers in the pre-decolonization era was the
struggle for political independence.

He, however, said today’s crop of African writers have to contend with
economic challenges and the inculcation, in the youth, of pride in
African culture.

“I will urge Okediran to do his best in his new position to revive
that golden age of African writers, that age where African writers
collaborated with our politicians to attain independence. The
challenge before our writers today is not about political independence,
but it is about how we take Africa out of the morass of despair and
how we take Africa out of the economic challenges we are facing

”It is about how we instill in our young ones pride in their culture,
pride in their tradition and how we use technology to promote our rich
culture and traditions,” Mohammed said.

L-R: Secretary General, Pan-African Writers’
Association of Nigeria (PAWA), Dr. Wale Okediran, presenting a
souvenir to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai
Mohammed, when he paid a courtesy visit to the Minister on Friday.

The minister, who paid tribute to African literary giants such as
Chinua Achebe, Ayi Kwei Armah and Ngugi Wa Thiang’o, said they did not
only serve as role models, but were also beacons of hope for the
continent.

He therefore urged the Secretary General of PAWA to encourage African
writers to continue to tell the African story in order to guard
against distortion of facts by foreign writers.

“I want to appeal to Okediran to please use his exalted office to
ensure that African writers continue to tell our stories in the best
African tradition, because if they don’t do it, others will do it in a
manner that will not be pleasant to us,” Mohammed said

He said African culture and traditions provide enough materials for
any writer to explore and advised PAWA to work with the private sector
to ensure that some of the books written by African authors are
adapted into films in order to reach out to the young population.

In his remarks, Okediran said the African Union had since
recognized the power of literature and it’s using it effectively to
promote unity on the continent.

He said PAWA recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with some
international organizations to leverage literature for the promotion
of African cultures.

Okediran appealed to the federal government to support the
Accra-based PAWA through the payment of yearly subvention as approved
by the African Union.– Dec. 11, 2020 @ 17:19| GMT |

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