Onyekachi and Nengi will be the featured speakers at a webinar on human rights literature.

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The African Secretariat of the International Human Rights Art Festival (IHRAF), has set aside 10th day of June, 2022 to host two prominent writers, Onyekachi Peter Onuoha and Prince Nengi Josef Owei-ilagha. They will be speaking on the Role of Literature in Human Rights.

A statement issued by the Convener of the event, Wole Adedoyin said the event would take place via WhatsApp by 8:00PM.

According to the statement, “The work of literature has been instrumental since at least the early modern era in shaping the notions of human personhood, good life, moral responsibility etc.”

“The field of human rights and literature has expanded in the last five decades. The idea of human rights is not new. But the importance of taking rights seriously has never been more urgent. Literature has real power to further human rights education. Stories, memoirs and picture books are great resources to help personalize human rights that may otherwise seem abstract.”

“This Webinar will examine the role of Literature in Human Rights. It will also provide answers to how have human rights concerns shaped the literary marketplace and how can literature impact human rights concerns?”




Onyekachi Peter Onuoha is a writer and a critic. He teaches African Digital Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Calabar. He is a recipient of Volkswagen Foundation Scholarship on Digital Humanities, 2018. He presented the Keynote Address for Festival Poetry 2019 titled “Poets in the Digital Age: Bytes and Heights.” He has also won the award of “Special Recognition” by Street Priests for his literary contributions to street children in his book Earth Corners, 2020. He is a Fellow of IFRA-Nigeria & Ife Institute of Advanced Studies 2021 respectively. He was one of the top ten for the James Currey Prize for African Literature 2021. Winner of Academy Press Chap Book Contest 2021. He has contributed book chapters and scholarly articles to national and international journals. He is widely published with the following titles: Idara, Moonlight Lady (Kraftbooks, 2012), My Father Lied, The Scream of Ola (Kraftbooks, 2013), Ijeuwa (Authorhouse UK, 2015), Identity, The Fears of Mama (Kraftbooks 2015) The Heresy of Gossip, Aluta Struggles (Celbestbooks, 2011), Smell (AMABooks, 2017) Earth Corners (Kraftbooks, 2019), African Digital Prose (EbonyBooks 2020), Practical Approaches to Creative Writing (Celbestbooks, 2020), Women in Continue Punning Men-boys (Celbestbooks 2021), among others.



Prince Nengi Josef Owei-ilagha, fondly called Pope Pen The First, has worked as a journalist, broadcaster and public relations personnel. Born in Nembe, Bayelsa State, he read English & Literary Studies at the University of Port Harcourt.

A one-time editor of The Tide On Sunday in Port Harcourt, he was a Speech Writer and Special Adviser on Research & Documentation to the Governor of Bayelsa State. He served the governments of Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and Dr Goodluck Jonathan for seven consecutive years. He was also General Manager of the Bayelsa State Newspaper Corporation, publishers of New Waves.

Mantids, his first collection of poems, won the Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, poetry prize in 1995. He was the pioneer Chairman of ANA, Bayelsa State chapter. He has published a number of books, including A Birthday Delight, short stories, and I Want To Be A Senator, a collection of essays on the state of the nation. His book of poems, January Gestures, the first of twelve books of poetry under construction, was among the nine contenders for the controversial 2009 NLNG-sponsored Nigeria Prize for Literature.

Pope Pen is also the author of Sand House & Bones, Royal Mail, Thirty Pieces of Sylva, The Militant Writes Back, Epistles To The President, Epistles To The Small Brave City-State, Big Daddy, Free At Last, Sermons From The Oxbow Lake, and The Last Days Of Gabriel Okara. He is also the author of the trilogy People, More People, and More & More People.

He is the publisher of Coastline News Network, a news magazine with a trained focus on the Niger Delta, and currently serves as Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Maritime University, Delta State.

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