Wednesday, February 29, 2012

James Iroha, 'Giringory' Of New Masquerade Dies At 70

Famous comedian, broadcaster, writer and producer of New Masquerade, one of Nigeria’s most popular Television Comedy Series, Mr. James Iroha, known to his numerous fans as Giringory Akabuogu, is dead. He died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of yesterday (Tuesday, February 28, 2012) in Item, Bende Local Government Area, Abia State. He was 70.  

Giringory At 70 (January 2012 picture)

News of his death was confirmed yesterday to Daily SUN by the traditional ruler of Amaokwe Item, Eze Clement Offiah Chukwu, the Ngidimoah 1 of Amaokwe Item. 

“Yes, I can confirm that Giringory died this morning at home. His first son called me to inform me after which he deposited his fathers’ remains in the mortuary. You know he [belonged to] my age grade. It is a very painful and sad development,” Eze Chukwu said.    

Giringory's son, Uche, however, told PUNCH yesterday evening that his father had died in a private hospital in Onitsha, Anambra State.

Hale And Hearty Here

Although widely admired and celebrated because of his acting prowess,  Giringory was, before his death in abject poverty. Only last month, he granted an interview to Saturday SUN where he lamented his very unfortunate condition. 

Reacting to his death in Lagos today, a public affairs analyst frowned at the “unpardonable hypocrisy” of many Nigerians and the government that had abandoned Giringory at a time he needed them most, but who would fill newspaper pages tomorrow with massive eulogies which he would neither be around to read nor be in a position to appreciate.  

“In this country, they use you when you are most productive. They would fall at your feet praises and commendation. But when you are past your prime, they dump you like a bad habit. No nation ever makes progress like this. In fact what such attitude does is that it kills patriotism,” he lamented.        

Giringory was one of the pioneer students of the Theatre Arts Department, University of Ibadan.
In an interview some time ago, he said: "I joined Theatre Arts in 1966 to make sure that people got entertained with what my mother was doing unknowingly. The passion to act was there, so I could not imagine myself doing something else. Even when I was doing a big administrative job in an office."


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Odumegwu-Ojukwu: President Jonathan's Unforgettable Tribute

As Head of State of the Republic of Biafra,
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu Inspects
Biafran Troops in 1968


President Goodluck Jonathan Pays Tribute In Abuja on Febraury 28, 2012

After describing the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu as as an advocate of a united Nigeria whose exceptional qualities no words can adequately capture, he said that “the legacy [Ojukwu] bequeathed to the Nigerian Army and the innovations he instituted ... are now the hallmark of military processes and procedures”.

•Soldiers bearing Ojukwu’s remains at the ceremony ... yesterday

•Nigerian Soldiers Bearing Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s
Body during a Special Military Ceremony in Abuja on February 28, 2012,
 Shortly after His Body Arrived from London 

...And Then President Jonathan Dropped The Winner... Hear Him:

“Let it not be said that Ojukwu died when the country needed his services most. Let it rather be said that Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu lived and served with all his might when the Igbo and Nigerians needed him most. He stood up and fought for what he believed. He stood for justice. He refused to compromise. He challenged man’s inhumanity to man.
“Faced with the pogrom of his kith and kin, he stood his ground and fought until the last plane left Biafra. His bravery, courage and sacrifices live after him. Whatever perceived mistakes he made, or people think he made, will for forever be interred with his bones.”

The Ikemba Himself

President Goodluck Jonathan spoke through the Vice-President, Mr. Namadi Sambo. The ceremony took place at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, and was witnessed by several public officers that included Senate President David Mark, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Pius Anyim, Anambra State Governor Peter Obi Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako and several others.

In her own tribute, wife of the president, Mrs. Patience Jonathan who also attended the ceremony said:
“Here lies the remains of a great man, recorded in history for his humility, simplicity, decency and superior intellect, Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. The Ikemba will always command a place of pride in the records of our country, as one who sacrificed his comfort and privileges to identify with the poor and the voiceless. For him, his liberty and privileges were without values, if his folks remained in chains. For him, selective liberty was unacceptable.

 He was a true patriot, committed to the defence of the dignity of man ... The best that can be given to the dead is to ensure that his legacies live on. Let us continue to pursue peace with all men and be our brothers’ keepers. We must continue to be patient and tolerant, as no meaningful development can take place without peace and security of lives and property. I call on you today to form a vanguard of a new world, build on love and patriotism, always leading the advocacy for peaceful resolution of our differences. This is the surest way to immortalize this uncommon Nigerian, and dignify his memory.” 


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chinua Achebe Receives His 41st Honorary Degree From Ebonyi State University

Professor Chinua Achebe, author of the classic, Things Fall Apart, and other best-selling titles, has accepted the AWARD OF DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF LITERATURE, HONORIS CAUSA from Ebonyi State University.

Chinua Achebe 
The confernment will take place on Saturday April 14, 2012 at the Abakiliki campus of the university. Professor Achebe was contacted by the institution's President - Engr. Professor F. I. Idike fnse, fniae, pe OON; Vice Chancellor, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki - and the eminent writer accepted the honor with gratitude.
This is Professor Chinua Achebe's 41st honorary degree.

Achebe is the recipient of over 40 honorary degrees from universities in England, Scotland, Canada, South Africa, Nigeria and the United States, including Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Brown University, Cape Town University, University of Toronto, Stirling University, and the Open University of Great Britain.
He has been awarded the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, an Honorary Fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1982), a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2002),[the Nigerian National Order of Merit (Nigeria's highest honour for academic work), the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels) ; The Man Booker International Prize 2007 and The 2010 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize. He has twice refused the Nigerian honour Commander of the Federal Republic - in 2004 and 2011.
In September, 2012 his long awaited new book, a semi autobiography There Was A Country: A Personal History Of Biafra will be available from Penguin publishers.
Achebe who was 81 on November 16 2011 is David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, United States.

National Honours Controversy: Chinua Achebe's Reaction...

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