This year’s Coal City Book Convention, the 9th in the annual series, will hold from Tuesday November 14 to Thursday, November 16 at the popular Peekay Gardens in Enugu. This celebration of Nigerian literature from the Lower Niger will confer The Olaudah Equiano Life-Award on three reverred Enugu-based women achievers – namely 83-year old American-born former librarian Dr. (Mrs) Dorothy Obi, educationist Dr. Veronica Mogboh, and retired administrator Lady Bridget Orjiekwe.

A statement from The Delta Book Club, organisers of the convention, explains that the choice of three women to be awarded follows on the decision of the company to conduct a wholly women’s affair this year as an improvement from past trends that have recognised mainly male achievers.

Says Dillibe Onyeama, president of The Delta Book Club: “There is something of a double gain with this year’s strategy to focus on the gender issue. It underscores the truism that the principle of a book in every man is no less applicable to the woman. Every woman also has a story to tell, and the dint of hard work, sacrifice and selfless service recorded by this year’s awardees will serve to inspire as many adult female young adults as male to show their mettle and have their own outstanding human stories recorded for posterity.”

Accordingly, the keynote address will be delivered by legal luminary and erstwhile Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Enugu Campus of the University of Nigeria, Professor Ifeoma Pamela Enemo, whose lecture will address the theme “Women Empowerment: The Richness of the Female Character in Story-Telling”.

Among a generous feast of drama, book exhibitions, workshops, lectures and poetry recitals by noted literary gurus, among them award-winning novelist Reginald Ofodile, fiery Roman Catholic cleric and published poet, Fr. Evaristus Amadi, ubiquitous broadcaster Chinemerem Anyi, and lecturer and irreverent poet of the recent tour de force Harassed, Amaka Chime, a variety of traditional music and dance will be staged with the calculation to evoke the story of the Africa of legend.