The former President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and two-time minister in the country, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, has described the Director, New Media of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr Chijioke Amu Nnadi, as a gifted writer and a beacon for the youths.
Nwodo spoke during the public presentation of “the love canticles”, the new book by Amu Nnadi, at the Dome event centre in Port Harcourt. The ceremony was attended by many dignitaries, including the NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr. Efiong Akwa and directors of the Commission.
The former Ohanaeze leader advised the young people to discover their talents which, he said, could manifest in many ways. He explained: “Life is not a stereotype, so, you don’t have to ape other people. You have to look inside you and see what gift God has given you and know how best to use it.
“I am completely hypnotized by the intelligence, innovation, clarity in expression of Amu Nnadi. He has shown that he is gifted. He is able to translate his thoughts, emotions and perception of other people’s emotions into very vivid dramatization.”
Nwodo said that life should not be defined by material appurtenances, stating: “Life is defined by who you are, your way of life, how you interact with people and how you make those around you happier.”
In his remarks, the NDDC Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Akwa, extolled Amu Nnadi as one of the finest literary minds in the Niger Delta, noting that such talents need to be celebrated. “It is good to celebrate excellence, hard work and great achievements,” he said.
Akwa expressed joy in participating in the unveiling of “the love canticles,” acknowledging Amu-Nnadi as an award winner both at the local and international levels. He affirmed: “He has won many laurels and recognitions in the South-East, South-South and indeed Nigeria. I enjoy his poetry.”
Welcoming his guests, Amu Nnadi said that although “the love canticles” was his seventh book, this was the first time he would publicly present any of his literary works.
He said: “My book, “the fire within”, winner of the ANA/Gabriel Okara Poetry Prize, was published in 2002. My third, “through the window of a sandcastle”, published in 2013, rode a wave of international attention, particularly following its emergence as the inaugural winner of the Glenna Luschei African Poetry Book Prize in 2014.
“I was introduced to poetry in a rather rude fashion. I was on my way to Damascus. And I got my rude awakening. In ‘the fire within,’ I had acknowledged that a friend said I was dead without poetry and I chose to live.”
Amu Nnadi said that besides unveiling a book of poetry, he introduced songs created from his poetry by some members of the Port Harcourt Literary Society. “This was beyond poetry rendered to music and choruses. This was beyond spoken word or performance poetry. This was pure music. This is “everything beautiful,” he said.
According to the author: “You do not light a lamp and keep it under wraps. For you will discover, through these songs, through these words, through these poems, everything beautiful about art. And life. As I have.”