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“Our Aim is to Keep Princewill Okigbo’s Memory Alive,” Cheta Igbokwe discloses

One of the organizers of the upcoming literary event in Owerri, Cheta Igbokwe, has disclosed the reason behind the October 19 event. Mr. Igbokwe who spoke to our media team on Monday stated that the event is being organized by the friends of the Late Princewill Nnaemeka Okigbo, in conjunction with the Ngiga Book Club Owerri, to keep the memory of the deceased alive.

“Okigbo was more than a friend to us all and to the literary community in Owerri. So how do we pay back? It’s only by keeping his memory alive and standing by the virtues which he taught and lived.”

Okigbo led a very eventful short life and died on the 5th of June, 2018 in Owerri, the Imo State Capital, from ulcerous complications.

“His death broke us all,” Igbokwe said. “Tributes kept pouring in from everywhere, even on the social media. People haven’t stopped talking about him till today. On the day of his funeral, I was shocked by the number of people who gathered to mourn him. The three wings of the church were filled. The altar was filled with Catholic priests and seminarians who gathered to pay him the last respect. He is such an irreplaceable friend.”

“We have a central working committee for this event which includes Mr. Justin Oparaugo, Mr. Robinson Okorie, Mr. Clinton Eziuka, Mr. Chetam MacLeo, Mr. Ebube Ugorji, Mr. Emeka Okoro, Ms. Mbagwu Amarachi and myself. We mapped out events to mark the one year memorial of his death. First we instituted a Short Story Prize, and we received several entries. We have two great judges who are bringing out the best three works for the Prize. One of our judges is Ogochukwu Ukwueze, a lecturer in the Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and I. S Jones, an American/Nigerian poet and scholar.”

“The winners will be announced on Saturday 19th October, 2019, at an event which we tagged, ‘An Evening for Okigbo.’ We shall have open mic performances, poetry, solo drama, and music. It is going to be a three-hour event. I tell people that is going to be the first non-African-time event they will ever witness. We are starting by 3pm on the dot and will close by 6pm on the dot.”

“Another highlight of the event will be the premiere of the documentary film we made on Okigbo. It is called “One Good Neighbour,” it has series of interviews I conducted. I interviewed Michael Okigbo and some friends of Princewill Okigbo. It also has footages of Okigbo talking and lots more. It will be made available on YouTube for a wider reception.”

According to the press release, the event will take place on Saturday, 19th October, 2019, at The Hive, Plot 106, Okigwe Road, Orji, Owerri Imo State. Time:  3-6pm.

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