By Uche Enem
A young and creative priest of Awka Diocese has launched his first book, ‘The Last Carver’ on 29th September at St. Peter’s Church Nkwelle, Awka. The book, according to some reviewers depicted the cultural importance of the Igbo culture and the need to uphold the Igbo values and beliefs. Some others likened the book to Chinua Achebe ‘Things Fall Apart’.
The first reviewer, Udoka Oguegbu gave an elaborate description of the book. He called the book a masterpiece in Igbo- Africa culture with geographical details and pictorial expressions. He commended the book for its long usage of Igbo proverbs and idiomatic expressions in all the chapters of the book. He commended the tone of the novel because of the author’s mastery application in depicting the Modern African literacy and values.
Another reviewer, Prof Tracie Chima Utoh- Ezeajugh represented by Emmanuel Onyekachukwu Ebekwe, gave a structural background of the novel. The reviewer, gave a brief description of the major key characters in the novel and gave a sketch of the highlights of the chapters in the novel. According to the reviewer, I count it an honour to be part of the unveiling and I call Ositadimma Amaekeze’s novel a 21st century classic
Also, Prof Ngozi Chuma Udeh commended the author’s prowess in propagating the Igbo cultural values. The book embedded with graphical illustrations was commended as a piece to the beauty of the work. She recommended the piece of literature to people and commended the book for portraying the evil society and the essence of igbo life by making use of Igbo proverbs and idiomatic expressions.
In his closing remarks, the author, Fr. Amakeze fondly called ‘Fada Nzudinobieze na Nimo’ said that the book was his first literary work on soft copy which was only sold online in Amazon.
He said he was very happy about the success of the programme because of the qualitative personals at the event, adding that it was a launching ceremony of quality and not quantity.
Fr. Amakeze gave a brief summary of the themes in the novel and told Fides that he was inspired to write the book because of the love he has for Igbo cultural values and customs. He advised his friends and fans to always learn to read, adding that a reader leads very well. He encouraged them to love whom they are and to appreciate their Igbo heritage.
‘The last carver is all about the protagonist Omenka, a virtuous man who died at the time his people needed at him most. Omenka embodied some of these cultural values that we don’t want to lose even after his death. We are stories and we want to be remembered by our stories and life style. There are a whole lot of things dying off in our culture that we need to revive. An Igbo man believes that it is through death we become alive and the major themes in the last carver are death, live, marriage, food, custom and many more’ he added.
Other present at the event were the Commissioner for Education (Basic), Prof Kate Omenugha, priests, writers, publishers, government officials and dignitaries from far and wide.