Rains of tributes, encomiums for Anezi Okoro at 91
Enugu’s literary circle stood still on Sunday night for the author of One week, One trouble, Prof Anezionwu Okoro, as he turned 91 years old.
Okoro, a renowned professor of medicine, specializes in dermatology. He is one of Nigeria’s most prolific writers, who created stories that have inspired many, and more importantly, Nigerian youths deeply.
It was a delight on Sunday, as young authors, contemporaries and friends took turns to celebrate the author whose literary works include, The Village School; New Broom at Amanzu; One Week, One Trouble; Double Trouble; Second Great Flood and Akuko Ufodu Shakespeare koro (Lamb Tales from Shakespeare).
The Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) congratulated Okoro, who is their grand patron and former Chairman, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), describing him as great motivator, counselor, icon and leader.
In a congratulatory message titled, ‘91 Gun Salute to our Father, Prof. Anezi Okoro’, Enugu State Chairman of ANA, Comrade Zulu Ofoelue, stated that the literary world would continue to appreciate him for his great efforts in improving knowledge.
While eulogising the renowned professor of medicine, Ofoelue said he created stories that have inspired many writers.
President, Coal City Literary Foundation, Dr. Adaobi Nwoye, said that the literary icon had been a pillar of support and encouragement to the foundation and always willing to proffer literary advice to writers.
She prayed God to continue to keep him to enable him inspire more youths into writing and reading.
Enugu State Chairman of Albino Foundation, Mr. Emeka Ugwu, thanked God for his long life and good health and his very rich contributions to the improvement of the lives of persons living with albinism.
He said that the writer played a major role in the development of literary works in the country.
A former Chief of Staff to ex-governor, Sullivan Chime in Enugu State, Mr. Victor Atuonwu, described Prof Okoro as a “selfless man who contributed immensely to the development in Nigeria.”
He said that Okoro has done a lot for the country but has remained unrecognised even for national honour.
“It’s not fair. Prof contributed to the choosing of Abuja as the federal capital, yet no single street is named after him in Abuja”, Atuonwu said.
A friend of the family, Dr. Christa Udeogu, said:” I love prof’s attitude to life, unassuming, humble and altruistic.”
Anezi Okoro is the first black African dermatologist and one of the oldest living writers.
He attended Methodist College, Uzuakoli, and Dennis Memorial Grammar School (DMGS), Onitsha. He was a pioneer medical student of the University of Ibadan. He has published over 200 novels and poems and currently working on some books despite his age.
He is a member of numerous learned societies and professional organizations including the Nigeria Medical Association, West African College of Physicians, African Association of Dermatologists and British Association of Dermatologists.
Speaking on his father, his son, Chukwuma, said: “He is an institution, human conglomerate, an academic and intellectual giant who is undoubtedly a miracle of ingenuity.”