In a world where literary appreciation seems to be fading, AIFA Reading Society, a not-for-profit organisation whose aim is to empower Nigerians through reading, is taking a stand to regain the relevance of literature in society.  On Thursday, May 20, 2021, at MILIKI, Victoria Island, the Society organised An Evening of Lit and Jazz, with the theme “Sounds of Literature,” to encourage the appreciation of literary arts in Nigeria.

This event brought together literature enthusiasts to enjoy literary reading by Ms. Achalugo Ezekobe, author of the book “Mmirinzo: The Ones who are Rain; poetry by Mr. Efe Paul, who performed his poems ‘Let our Voices Ring and ‘One for the Tribe’; jazz by the Serenade Band; and conversations with Mr. Jude Idada, winner of the Nigerian Prize for Literature 2019.

In her welcome remarks, Professor Enase Okonedo, President of AIFA Reading Society, emphasised wider involvement to build a more conducive environment for learning. She explained that the Society’s various initiatives support the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 – ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’.

How Things Fall Apart Started Me Off: Mr Idada

In an interactive session with the audience, Mr. Idada shared his journey into writing. In his words, “Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe was the first book that sent me on the part of understanding that I wanted to write and also wanted to have a value-adding writing career.” He mentioned that although he is not a sickle cell warrior, losing friends who had sickle cell anaemia inspired the writing of Boom Boom, an award-winning children’s book that tells a story about sickle cell anaemia. 

Mr. Idada remarked that interesting initiatives such as the Evening of Lit and Jazz could be organised for participation by every member of the society, especially indigent communities, as it will go a long way in encouraging people to pursue their aspirations in this area.  He urged the private sector to support such events.

Supported by Kenna Partners, a leading law firm in Nigeria; the Evening of Lit & Jazz is a project under the AIFA Book Club. AIFA Book Club is an initiative of the Society that provides an informal setting for its members and friends to tour the world of literature across all interests.