Stakeholders in the Nigerian entertainment sector have reasons to celebrate as some of their own were proud recipients of prestigious national awards conferred on them by the President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on Sunday, November 13, 2011.
Those conferred the award of Member of the Federal Republic (MFR), include veteran actor, Olu Jacobs, actor turned politician, Kanayo O Kanayo, one-half of the ‘Aki and Pawpaw’ duo, Osita Iheme, producer and director, Amaka Igwe, and Nollywood divas Stephanie Okereke and Genevieve Nnaji.
Meanwhile, respected pioneer African novelist and renowned author of bestselling epic novel ‘Things Fall Apart’, Professor Chinua Achebe, has again rejected the national award of Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) awarded to him by the federal government.
The professor of Africana studies at Brown University, United States, rejected the award on the ground that the concerns he raised when he first rejected the award in 2004 remain unresolved and it was ‘inappropriate’ for the government to offer him the award again.
It will be recalled that 81 year old Professor Achebe had earlier turned down the same award by the Olusegun Obasanjo government in 2004, lamenting the corroding influence of a certain ‘clique of renegades, openly boasting its connections in high places’, who seem ‘determined to turn my homeland into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom. I am appalled by the brazenness of this clique and the silence, if not connivance, of the Presidency’.
Now that is one man I respect!