I recently participated in the first Bayelsa Book and Craft Fair which held from March 24-27, 2011, at the Niger Delta Wetland Center, Ekike, Yenagoa. Organized with the sponsorship of the Bayelsa State Government, the fair, which is a brain child of Onyeka Nwelue, an award winning writer and film maker, was one of the activities for this year’s Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) and saw the convergence of writers, publishers and literary enthusiast from all across the federation and beyond in the quiet but gradually emerging city of Yenagoa.
With the theme; Expand Your World; Read a Book, the fair couldn’t have come at a better time than now when the book seems to be enjoying some attention from the government through the recently launched “Bring Back the Book” campaign of President Goodluck Jonathan. With the reading culture at an embarrassing low, and with writers gradually becoming endangered species, it has become imperative that radical steps be taken by all stakeholders, the public and private sectors alike to halt the trend and restore the book to its pride of place in society.
The three day fair featured discussions on a wide range of topics, as well as scholarly presentations which were as educative as they were entertaining. Among the scholars and writers who made presentations were Prof. Damian Opata, Dr. Krydz Ikwuemesi, Uche Nworah, and Dr. A.I Nwachukwu. Others who participated in discussion sessions were…..
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