Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Things Fall Apart

Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Things Fall Apart

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Chinua Achebe’s classic, Things Fall Apart. Published in 1958, it has been translated into 57 languages and has sold over 20 million copies globally.

Part of Achebe’s masterpiece, The African Trilogy, the other two volumes being Arrow of God and No Longer at Ease, it tells story of the fall of Okonkwo, a “strong man” from the Igbo village of Umuofia, following his immemorial conflict with his society. The novel has been described as a “damning criticism of British colonial rule in Africa”.

To commemorate the anniversary, the Christie and Chinua Achebe Foundation in collaboration with the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) will from February to December 2018, celebrate Achebe and Things Fall Apart with a colloquium and other literary activities in Nigeria and 10 other African countries including Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Kenya, Liberia, Tanzania, Togo and Cameroon.

The theme of this year’s celebration is ‘Things Fall Apart: 60 Years On’, and the colloquium is planned to stage a number of activities ranging from symposia to a children’s carnival, writing competition, stage presentations of Things Fall Apart and a night of tributes. In Nigeria, the events will hold in 5 centres  – Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, Sokoto with the grand finale at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

A five-man Africa Organising Committee to be headed by Dr Wale Okediran, former national president, Association of Nigerian Authors, will oversee the events in Nigeria and other African countries. Local organising committees will also be appointed to facilitate the celebrations.

In the 5 centres across Nigeria, the literary competition will hold among secondary school students. They will be provided with a copy each of Things Fall Apart to read a month prior to the competition, which will involve quiz, reading comprehension and a one-act dramatic enactment of any part of the book by participating schools. Collaborations will involve the Association of Nigerian Authors at the national level and through its local branches where the events are billed to hold, as well as involve tertiary institutions such as the University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, University of Abuja, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

The international conference will facilitate 15 – 20 minute presentations and is conceived as a platform for students, writers, scholars and literary critics to engage, rethink and propose new directions for African literature.

Oyindamola Olaniyan holds a B.sc in Botany from Lagos State University. Broadly experienced in this area, her core expertise includes social media management, content development and brand identity.

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