|Chief (Mrs.) Charry Adannaya Onwu-Otuyelu|
By Ada Dike
One of the highly talented contemporary Nigerian female writers and a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Chief (Mrs.) Charry Adannaya Onwu-Otuyelu, has bagged an award.
She is now a member of ‘Igbo Hall of Fame’ as Ndigbo Magazine
recently honoured her with the ‘Olu Oma’ Award.
Mrs. Onwu-Otuyelu won the award for documenting one of Africa’s most popular gift (kolanut) sharing, for posterity, has automatically added her to the prestigious rank of the Igbo Hall of Fame.
Recently, she showed her award-winning book titled “Good Morning Mr. Kolanut!” to Daily Newswatch, and said “It took me a decade to get this book published after carrying out extensive research about the ceremony of the sharing of kolanut from place to place nationwide. I even visited the late Emir of Kano, Late Alhaji Ado Bayero’s palace to try to get his views about how kolanut is shared among his traditional people. It was not easy, but I am glad that the efforts I put into the exercise are bringing positive results now.”
Commenting on the invaluable nature of the book, she disclosed that “When a man saw the book recently in one of my children’s shop, he asked about where I got it from. I told him that I am the author, and he asked after the price. I told him it is N1,500 (One thousand five hundred naira), and he was surprised. He said such valuable book should not be sold so cheap, and suggested that it ought to be N4,000 (Four thousand naira).
“I told him that I fixed the price low so that every person who value traditional practice of presenting and sharing kolanut could afford it. He demanded for two copies and paid N10,0000 for them. I was amazed that he holds African tradition in high reverence. I was pleased.”
She studied at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, and Island Maternity Hospital, Lagos. She is an ex-soldier of 68 Armed Forces Medical Services, Yaba Lagos.
Besides, Ada is a well known actress, who featured in famous films like Kongi’s Harvest (by Wole Soyinka), Bisi Daughter of the River, T.V Star featured in Village Headmaster, Masquerade, Igbo Plays on IBC TV& Radio and so on. She is also a playwright, model, poet, actress, and prolific writer of children’s stories and novels.
Some of her works include, Ifeanyi & Obi (which earned her the best African Children’s Literature Award in 1988), Our Granny’s Tales, Catastrophe, One Bad Turn (which earned her a chieftaincy title on the day it was launched), Anthology of New Nigerian Writings (edited by Cyprian Ekwensi), Triumph of Destiny, Revenge of Uche, Adaobi, Amaigbo Kwenu (the history of her autonomous community), Jagerren Obi &Andrens Barn (Published by Denish UNICEF), Good morning Mr. Kolanut (A-Z history, Myth Legends, Uses and Disuses, Marketing, etc).
She is the first female director of Imo State Council for Arts and Culture. She was in the team of script writers for ‘BBC voices’ drama series. The Proprietress of ‘Adugo Clinic and Maternity’, Head of Department of Igbo Language and Arts and Culture Department at Imo College of Advanced Professional Studies (ICAPS) is a powerful writer. Her writings and acting has eclipsed her carrier. She has won both state, national and international awards with her works.