Tributes As Academia Honour Elechi Amadi

Elechi Amadi

Stakeholders, especially the academia have paid glowing tributes to the shining legacies of late literary giant of Africa, Elechi Amadi, and challenged the present generation of young Nigerians to emulate the exemplary virtues and qualities of the author and novelist as a veritable means of contributing meaningfully to the development of the country.
They said this at a book presentation, titled: ‘In A Blaze Of Glory: Creative Tributes To Elechi Amadi,’ in honour of late Elechi Amadi at ‘The Crab,’ Delta Park, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, last Thursday.
Speaking at the book presentation, the reviewer and a lecturer in the University of Port Harcourt, Prof Chidi Maduka tasked Nigerians to always show respect to late author and novelist, Chief Elechi Amadi by attending events organized to honour the legacies of the literary icon as a show of appreciation for his contributions to development of African art and literature.
“There is no other African novelist who has surpassed Amadi as a perceptive depicter of man’s struggle for survival in a world where cosmic forces often play an enigmatic role in human life,” Maduka said, stressing that the memorable legacy of Elechi Amadi to the transformation of the literary landscape in Africa was legendary.
Maduka added that his literary works had placed Nigeria in the World Map, and stressed that it was high time all Nigerians, especially politicians emulate the good legacies of Elechi Amadi.
He pointed out that Elechi Amadi started very early in life in Mathematics and Physics, then switched to Applied Science, noting that he became a living scientist as he kept telling people that the gods were important.
Also speaking, Emeritus Prof Otonti Nduka described the literary icon as “a great man, a great Nigerian, a modest man”, adding “We know who is who, and we know our class. He certainly immortalised his name by impacting the society with his literary works.”
Former Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Prof Nemi Briggs described Elechi Amadi as a colossus in Literary Arts world, saying, “Science takes its roots from Arts; the scientists take their thinking from arts. I now have very deep respect for the arts. Elechi Amadi studied science and saw something very bigger in arts. I docked my mind to it,” and advised the Nigeria youth to read very deep in order to exercise their minds.
Another former Vice Chancellor of UNIPORT, Prof Joseph Ajienka described Elechi Amadi as “A celebrated writer and a blessing to this part of the world”, advising that, “Everyone should celebrate him as he was gifted in arts.”
The Chairman of the occasion, and Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Prof Femi Shaka described the event as “A celebration of an icon, role model and an achiever per excellence. That we are celebrating Elechi Amadi today is a testament to the fact that we give him due honour.”
The chairman, who was represented by a professor in Theatre and Film Studies, Emmanuel Emasealu also used the opportunity to describe the wife of Elechi Amadi, Dr Priye Iyalla-Amadi as “A fine example of a lady of substance, vision, tolerance, endurance, hard work and source of inspiration to humanity.”
In his remarks, Rector of Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Rumuola, near Port Harcourt, Dr Samuel Kalagbor described Elechi Amadi as “A literary giant and an elegant scholar”.
Kalagbor noted that there were so many ways of celebrating a genius, emphasizing that one of the ways was to immortalize their names through monuments, event centres, government-owned institutions, among others, adding that that the change of the name of the Port Harcourt Polytechnic to Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Port Harcourt, was part of that effort.
“The Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike deemed it necessary to change the name of the institution from Port Harcourt Polytechnic to Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Port Harcourt because he felt that this was one sure way of immortalizing the literary giant of Africa,” he said.
In her response, the wife of the literary giant, Dr Priye Iyalla-Amadi stated that “I was inspired to put together the pieces that have become a book today in my darkest hours when I heard my husband saying ‘darling, wipe your tears, I am with you.’
“If I am so involved in celebrating Elechi Amadi after death, it is because while alive, he married me well, he was a good husband, he took good care of me. So, I will continue to do my best to keep his memory alive.”


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Senior Writer

Bura-Bari Nwilo lives in Port Harcourt, in Nigeria. He is the author of A Tiny Place Called Happiness – a book of stories.

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