The African Writers Endowment (AWE) is pleased to announce that Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi of the great state of Rivers in Nigeria has been selected to receive the 2013 offering of Quintessence Award. Gov. Amaechi has written to accept the award and to attend the event in person on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at the Lafayette Yard Hotel (formerly Lafayette Yard Marriott) in Trenton, New Jersey. Established in 1998 the award is now regarded as the preeminent Pan-African Leadership Award in North America.
The Q’ Award (as it is also referred to) is given each year as part of Quintessence Ball: A Celebration of African People in World History, which brings together African people from Africa, North America, and the Caribbean. The award is presented to at least one continental African leader and at least one African American leader, "for distinguished accomplishments in the person's field of endeavor, and for outstanding contributions to the history and heritage of African peoples." It celebrates unique gumption in pursuit of democratic principles and human rights and dignity.
In light of our two decades work in support of writers and in support of book publishing, AWE notes with particular pride and satisfaction the fact that Port Harcourt, the capital city of Rivers State, was selected, under the leadership of Gov. Amaechi, as the first World Book Capital City in sub-Sahara Africa for 2014 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
In a letter to Governor Amaechi earlier in the year informing him of the award, the Executive Director of African
Writers Endowment, Dr. Ugorji O. Ugorji, said “Your accomplishments as a legislator in Rivers State combine with your remarkable record as a Governor who has significantly and positively changed the infrastructural landscape of the same state to make you a deserving choice for the award in 2013.” Ugorji went on to say that the governor’s actions “to keep the political space in Nigeria liberal and open for all citizens and your efforts to expand and deepen educational opportunities for citizens of your state commend you to the members of the Board of the African Writers Endowment, Inc.”
Recipients of the Q’Award in the past have included Lisa Jackson (President Obama’s former EPA Director), Vice President Atiku Abubakar of Nigeria, Mr. Kasahoun Checole of Eritrea, Professor Joy Ogwu, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the late Congressman Donald Payne, Professor Ngugi wa-Thiongo of Kenya, Ambassador Barbara Masekela of South Africa, the late Professor Chinua Achebe, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Ambassador Joe Keshi, Professor Molefi Kete Asante, to mention a few. In each case, the recipients were present in person to receive the award, which is a requirement.
The award is usually accompanied by a proclamation from the governor of New Jersey and a joint resolution from the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly in honor of the recipients. The event is hosted by the African Writers Endowment, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting writers whose works have African themes (see www.Talldrums.com).
The Quintessence Ball has been supported and/or sponsored over the years by Western Union, Good Works International, Nigerian Peoples Forum, Nigerians in the Diaspora Organization, and New Jersey State political and business leaders. The event will be televised on several television stations in the US and in Nigeria. It will also be aired as a 30-minute Tall Drums program on www.Talldrums.com.
Further announcements about the plans for the event will be made in due course. Additional information may be obtained by contacting AWE or reaching the Commissioner of Information for Rivers State, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari.
Dr. Ugorji Okechukwu Ugorji
African Writers Endowment, Inc.
African Writers Endowment, Inc.