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Semenitari Mourns Elechi Amadi, Says His Death Marks An End To Golden Era In Africa’s Literary Age

By TheNeighbourhood, Nigeria

Ag. Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, has joined other prominent Nigerians in mourning Captain Elechi Amadi, one of Africa’s finest master story-tellers, playwright and poet, who passed on early Wednesday in Port Harcourt.

Semenitari, who received the news with shock, said that with the death of Captain Amadi, the golden era of Africa’s literary culture has come to an end.

Semenitari observed that as one of the earliest literary authors to come from Africa who confronted colonialism and its negative aftermath on traditional culture through literary discourse, Captain Amadi raised the bar of critical dialogue in African culture in global literature. “Captain Amadi, through epical narratives situated in African hamlets and religion, countered Western culture that tended to rubbish African value system. Indeed, his works reversed the negatives heaped on Africans by their colonialists. He was a literary pan-African who used his narrative talents to address social, religious and political issues”.

Semenitari added that Captain Amadi captivated global audience through his narrative style.

“The exactness he employed in his sequence of plots and scenes in his novels and plays, would often lead a reader to participate in real-life stream of the events narrated in any of his works,” Semenitari noted.

“His novels, plays, poems and children literature, which drew their theme, dialogue and diction from his rich reservoir of native folklores and norms, influenced global audience towards Africans. So, as the true African that he was, Elechi Amadi presented the real Africa to the world.

“Captain Elechi Amadi was a vocal apostle of the positives the African society cherished in the face of foreign influence. Through his literary narratives, the fight against external castigation of the values that made us Africans achieved great milestones. In fact, Captain Amadi was Africa’s voice.”

The NDDC CEO further stated that among his contemporaries, Captain Amadi was always exceptional in his didactic presentation of narratives even in complex situations as to make his reader spellbound to reach the end of a literary plot. Semenitari noted that among his first-generation contemporaries, “Captain Elechi Amadi represented the true values of hard work and humility. There is no doubt that he will be missed by everyone.”

Recalling with pride the late author’s service to the Niger Delta region and Rivers State in particular, Semenitari said that as Honourable Commissioner at various times in old Rivers State, Captain Amadi exemplified the virtues of hard work, dignity and positive pride with which the Niger Delta person is known. She described her as one of the founding fathers and builders of Rivers State adding that he promoted education because he believed in the capacity of education to address the question of poverty and social ills.

“Even as Honourable Commissioner in Rivers State at various times, Captain Amadi exemplified the core qualities of hard work, dignity and positive pride with which the Niger Delta native is known. He fought alongside others for the creation of Old Rivers State and was also part of the first team that laid the foundation for the state’s growth. History will list Captain Amadi as one of the finest gentlemen the region had given to the world. The world has lost a star!

Semenitari, who condoled with the family of the late writer, said the Niger Delta region would always be grateful to God for the gift of Captain Amadi.

While commiserating with the states’ governments and people of the Niger Delta region, Semenitari challenged youths of the region to covet the qualities that stood out Captain Elechi Amadi.

Bekee Anyalewechi
SA(Media) to the Ag. MD/CEO
Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC
Wednesday, June 29, 2016


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