For Mr. President’s Cap, a Colourful Feather...

18 Feb 2013

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RBC Abuja visit

By Mercy Uduma

The last day in the month of January 2013 will remain special in the history of the Rainbow Book Club. On that beautiful Thursday morning, President Goodluck Jonathan was welcomed as an honorary member of the Rainbow Book Club.

The occasion was the formal presentation of the book, Nigerian Literature: A Coat of Many Colours, to the President at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja. The founder of the RBC, Mrs Koko Kalango, in company of trustees and patrons paid a courtesy visit to the Nigerian President for the book presentation.

The book, a pictorial anthology of 50 Nigerian writers, is the first of its kind in Nigeria. Compiled by the Rainbow Book Club founder, the foreword to the book is written by the President himself. Nigerian Literature: A Coat of Many Colours features legendary writers including J P Clark, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Buchi Emecheta, Flora Nwapa, James Henshaw; and contemporary writers such as Chimamanda Adiche, Helon Habila and Kaine Agary.

In presenting the book, Mrs Kalango pointed out that it was an important national document that should be in every library in the country. She also said it would make an excellent gift from the President’s to his international guests. In addition she suggested that the book be placed in Nigerian embassies and foreign missions all over the world. She then went on to share with the President her plans to produce a revised version of the book to feature 100 authors in commemoration of Nigeria’s centenary.

While thanking Mr President for initiating the “Bring Back the Book” Project and the priority given to Education in his 2013 budget Mrs Kalango used the opportunity to intimate the President on the nomination of Port Harcourt by UNESCO as the World Book Capital City in 2014. The nomination was made possible by the bid submitted by the Rainbow Book Club. Ten other cities across the world, including Oxford had vied for the honour. This is the first time a city in Sub- Saharan Africa will be holding the title in the 14 years of nominations. “This nomination”, Mrs. Kalango pointed out, “is an honour to Nigeria and Africa as a whole”.

Through this investiture, Mr. President joins the list of honorary members of the Rainbow Book Club, which include Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Professor Wole Soyinka.

• Uduma writes from Port Harcourt

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