NIGERIANS in the United Kingdom (UK) will hold a memorial service and a colourful cultural reception for the late literary icon, Prof Chinua Achebe on May 18 in London as part of series of global activities planned to give him a befitting farewell.
Achebe remains which will be committed to mother earth on May 23 will arrive in Abuja on May 12, from London, sparking off a series of events and festivities that will continue until his final interment in Ogidi, Anambra State.
Nigeria’s UK Diaspora community in conjunction with his family, the high commission and the wider literary world have decided to organise their own celebration as part of this programme. Their activities will kick off with a memorial service at All Saints Church, New Cross, London. The service will be presided over by the Bishop of Southwark, and it is expected to attract a representative of the Bishop of Canterbury.
Ubaka Alex Achebe, the family spokesman, who confirmed the development to The Guardian said: “Apart from the Bishop of Southwark, the Bishops of Woolwich and London will also be there. There will be several cannons and vicars coming too, so we are expecting about a dozen clergymen.
Also, the Pan Igbo Association, Aka Ikenga, will hold “A Day of Tribute in Memory of Prof Chinua Achebe” on Tuesday 14 at Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos.
In a statement signed by the group’s president, Goddy Uwazurike which was made available to The Guardian, the event is designed to showcase Achebe’s achievements as well as his drawbacks, his expectation and the society he left behind. This is the reason the event was themed: Achebe: There was a Man.
“An honour for Achebe is an honour for us all,” the statement reads.