The Edo State Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) has awarded Lady Nekpen Obasogie, a Nigerian writer based in Canada, the Honorary Pen Award for her contribution to the promotion of Beninese culture.
ANA Vice President in the State, Robinson Lawani, said the choice of Lady Obasogie, the author of “Great Benin: The Alcazar of Post-Colonial Culture”, as ANA Author of the Year, was part of steps to celebrate Edo writers who have added value to society.
“Great Benin: The Alcazar of Post-Colonial Culture” examines how the systems introduced to Benin by colonialists, from first contact between Europeans and the Kingdom of Greater Benin in 1400 AD until its invasion by Britain towards the end of the 19th century in 1897 redefined and shaped the political, economic, social and cultural structures of Benin and its people.
In 2021, an act of curiosity prompted Lady Obasogie to embark on a research journey into the history of Europeans and the great kingdom of Benin during first contact in the 15th century.
Lawani said that after extensive research, Lady Obasogie came to the attention of the association due to her recent program which was recently held in Los Angeles, USA and attended by Mrs. Abike Dabiri- Erewa, the Presidential Assistant for Diaspora Affairs and a host of other prominent Nigerians.
He said, “We have beamed our spotlight around the world. It is given to those who have made a name for themselves in this country. The award is different from other awards given by the association to an individual, a special award which has not been awarded to any individual by the association. It’s like a royal award.
“This is an award given, regardless of tribe, language and religion, to Nigerian citizens in the Diaspora who have done well in using their talents to help humanity and promote African cultural heritage in the world thanks to their creativity and personality”.
Vice President of Edo ANA described her as an African writer who has promoted African cultural heritage through her creativity and writing.
Lawani revealed that she is also the author of another best-selling Beninese folk story, “The Life of Princess Adesuwa”, which has garnered another global attention by putting Beninese folk stories in front of the international community. .
He said the author, founder of NEBO TV Canada and NEBO TV magazine in Toronto, Canada, has carved out a place for herself as the guardian of Benin’s rich cultural heritage in the Diaspora and in Nigeria.
He added that his enthusiasm and love for Beninese culture is evident enough in his television programs and several writings.
Lady Obasogie said that Beninese culture is one of the most important and richest of all cultures in Africa and the world in general.
She added, “This is why I have taken the bold step of promoting and showcasing Benin’s rich cultural heritage which is much talked about to the rest of the world. It is time for Africans to write their own stories from the perspective of indigenous knowledge.