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THE CENTRE FOR MEMORIES BEGINS NZUKO UMUAKA IN ANAMBRA STATE

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THE CENTRE FOR MEMORIES BEGINS NZUKO UMUAKA IN ANAMBRA STATE

The 2020 Africa Freedom Prize of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation was awarded to Nigerian author and award-winning international writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to recognize her inspiring role in addressing social grievances and political challenges, and gender inequality through her writing and other works. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the first woman and first Nigerian to win the Africa Freedom Prize. She received the award on December 14, 2020.

She recommended the Centre For Memories (CFM) to Friedrich Naumann Foundation (Freedom Foundation Africa) as her organisation of choice to be awarded the project grant that accompanied the award and Friedrich Naumann Foundation presented the grant to the Centre for Memories in February 2021.

The Centre has decided to apply the grant to implement a project designed to instil timeless Igbo values in secondary school students in Anambra state. With this project, the Centre aims to groom responsible, assertive, and self-confident children and youths who are proud of their heritage and who strive to uphold values that can positively impact society.

The grant has enabled CFM to expand the project NZUKO UMUAKA, which started in 2018 in Enugu, where it is currently implemented with funding support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA). With the FNF grant, CFM will implement the programme in Anambra state and look forward to taking it across other Igbo speaking states.

With the project grant, we will:

• Set up the CFM History and Igbo Clubs (CHIC) in secondary schools in Anambra state where club members will learn Igbo language, history and stories of illustrious Ndigbo

• Host monthly meetings where club members will learn the above through folktales, storytelling, poetry, music, drama, dance, and many other similar activities

• Utilize social media and traditional media as platforms for promoting the above activities as tools for social transformation.

Upon receipt of the FNF grant, the Centre for Memories team, led by the Executive Director, Mr. Uchenna Achunine, embarked on a trip to Awka, the Anambra State capital to initiate the process of hosting Nzuko Umuaka programme in the state. From February 22, 2021, CFM held a series of meetings with relevant stakeholders to that effect.

The team met with the Anambra State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha and the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Christy Nwando-Obiano. The Ministry endorsed the programme, provided all the needed support for the take-off of the programme and committed to working with CFM throughout the cause of the project.

Six Schools were chosen from the state to benefit from the project. The schools chosen include;

Kenneth Dike Memorial Secondary School, Awka

Community Secondary School, Abba

Community Secondary School, Nnobi

Community Secondary School, Nanka

Justice Chinwuba Memorial Grammar School, Aguleri

Ezeike High School, Nibo

The stakeholders' engagement meetings continued with the Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. C. Don Adinuba. Mr. Adinuba was visibly excited to learn about the project and assured us of his support to make the project a successful one in Anambra State.

While commending the Centre for Memories for bringing the project to Anambra State, the Commissioner noted that knowledge of history is key to self-awareness and self-development. He also admonished the Centre for Memories to keep up her good works of preserving Igbo history and culture. To show his support for the project, the commissioner invited his media aide to interact with the CFM team and begin immediate publicity of the project.

Finally, we visited one of our proposed media partners for the project; Anambra Broadcasting Service, where we met with the Managing Director, Chief Dr. Uche Nworah, who graciously approved the airing of the radio version of Nzuko Umuaka on the Anambra Broadcasting Service Radio (88.5FM Awka). The Nzuko Umuaka on the radio will start on Saturday, March 13, 2021, at 11:00 AM and would hold subsequently on the second Saturday of every month.

To show his support for the Nzuko Umuaka programme, Dr. Nworah assured that the programme will gain massive publicity as it will be broadcast and live-streamed on the following platforms;

Anambra Broadcasting Service Radio

Anambra Broadcasting Service Television

ABS Facebook Page

ABS YouTube Channel

ABS Instagram Channel

ABS Website

The overall expected outcome of this project is to raise children/young people who have a sense of their history, identity, culture, and positive values, thus becoming agents of positive value re-orientation and nation-building.

The Centre for Memories (Ncheta Ndigbo) was set up in 2017 by a group of like-minded individuals burning with the desire to build an Igbo historical Centre that will act as a repository of Igbo culture and history and serve to document and preserve the collective memories, identity, history, and traditions of Ndigbo, for the future. Since its inception, the Centre has gone on to establish itself as a leading hub for Igbo cultural and artistic excellence and gradually gaining an international reputation. To achieve this, CFM holds exhibitions, documentaries, memorials, Nkata Umu Ibe, Nzuko Umuaka, and other programmes. The programmes can be reviewed on our website: www.centreformemories.org.

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