At an event which drew a mixed crowd that included students of Literature of the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education Rivers State, some female students of Holy Rosary Secondary School, Port Harcourt and sundry others, the Rivers Chapter of the Nigerian Literary Society, NLS held a lecture in honour of Captain Elechi Amadi, a departed novelist and one time officer of the Nigerian Army. Amadi died in June 2016 at the age of 82 in Port Harcourt. Amadi a reknowned novelist, poet and playwright is famously known as the author of The Concubine, The Great Ponds, Sunset In Biafra among other outstanding literary works.
The event which held Monday May 30th, 2022 at the Post Graduate Podium was chaired by Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Port Harcourt Prof Ebiegeri Alagoa. Alagoa described meeting and knowing Amadi as both were students of the famous Government College Umuahia. Going down the path of memory, Alagoa made the point that, ‘The writer we are giving honour to, was someone I knew very well. We were students together at Government College, Umuahia. Government College was a place where learning, academic work was practiced at a very high level. But, the students went through all available- a library, science laboratory and so on. That’s why some of us a large percentage of the students out of that college achieved wherever they went. Amadi went into the sciences, but, because of the wide area of development because of library provision made for every student to experience every level of development, he turned out not only a scientist, but disciplined literary person,’
Adding further that,’ we are grateful to the Nigerian Literary Society for honouring him’.
Guest Lecturer who delivered a thought provoking essay loaded with rich references and proverbs from an encountered he had with a masquerade group’s oral incantation, spoke about the ‘Problem of the problem of criticism’ reminding all of the divergent views of literature and literary criticism issuing from the leanings of the practitioners including Marxism, existentialism and other influences. One notable quotation from the lecture are the rich takes from African oral literature including incantations and wise sayings such as, -The wind does not eat what belongs to the ground’. Also the somewhat fatalistic ,’However the wind termite runs, it will fall to the ground and be eaten by the toad’.
In all, a loaded day of honour for a worthy man of letters, though departed but, immortalised by his written works and the admiration of those who gained much pleasure from his stories written in such simple language, but deep with life’s lessons and insights.