My understanding from dictionaries is that an award is given because of merit. It is an honor for excellence that is often discovered through a competition. This explanation partly relates to my awards. That’s why I include a list of those that were given to me through different contests. I am grateful to the judges, the organizations and those that nominated me for the awards. I also want to honor the awards that I do not list here and were not given through competitions. They were just given to make me feel special.
Sports day in the
In 1963, the event
took place at
I grew up in a large household. My mother had many chickens. They had their own house called uno-okuko (chicken house). Most of them left the compound during the day. They ate fruits, vegetables and whatever they found in the shrubs. They always returned to their house in the evening. I remember that a few of them preferred to stay at the low orange three, but they were taken to their house until they got used to going to the house, which was just a kind of barn that opened on top for cleaning purposes. I had a door on the side that was used by the chickens. We always knew when a predator was around because the chickens would run to hide and the mother would try to collect her chick under her wings. As children, we would start making a lot of noise, “hey hey hey hey hey hey.” This was supposed to frighten the invader. Sometimes we succeeded. Sometimes the kite carried away the chick and its mother would cry, “klu klu klu klu klu klu kr-r-r.” Others would cry with her.
The chicken house
supplied poultry to my mother’s kitchen, but she used the
opportunity to honor us
one after the other. There was always an achievement by someone in the
household. this ensured that the meals frequently had chicken in them.
“Anyi ga egburu gi okuko.”
Having a chicken cooked in your name was a great honor. It made the individual feel special.
Working on my postdoctoral at Cornell, a professor
phoned my office.
“Do you have time this afternoon?”
“What is it?” I wondered whether I had stepped on the toes of this writer whose works I admired so much.
“I just want you to help me with something. It won’t take more than thirty minutes or so.”
We agreed on lunch time. I was happy to be of help to the famous Micere Mugo. I thought that maaybe she needed help with packing her office; she was preparing to move to another seat in Syracuse University.
On entering her office, they began to sing, “Happy birthday to you …”
Colleagues and friends had gathered in her office to celebrate my birth. This was very special because I was very far from home and family.
She critiqued my writing and gave me useful tips for making my characters better. This was more than gold.
I make a fairly comprehensive syllabus that explains the class policy; but a few students will always try to twist my arm. I nod my head in agreement when I hear colleagues "happily" complain that students can be a “pain in the …” I also know that they are my great joy because I love to engage in intellectual “wrestle” with young minds. I have had from good to excellent students’ evaluations, but nothing prepared me for what they said when they nominated me for the Phenomenal Award in 2009. I was invited to the award ceremony to honor the winner. When they were reading the nomination notes by the students, I thought that I would need to find out from the winner how she managed to earn such admiration and kind words. It turned out that I was that teacher.
There are many more anecdotes and events that
in my heart, but I’ll stop for now and share the following list:
2009 Phenomenal Woman Award.
2008 University Research/Creative Projects Award (URPC).
2004 Global Learning Most Outstanding Department Award.
1999 International Visitor, Colloque International, Ministere de la Culture, Paris.
1998 Rockefeller Writer in Residence,
International Visitor, 40th
Annual Meeting Of the African Studies Association (ASA);
Outstanding Finalist, The Bertram’s V. O.
Literature of Africa Awards; South Africa.
1994 Special Discovery of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) 1994, for proficiency as a Writer in the three genres of literature - poetry, prose and drama.
1994 Honors, Association of Nigerian Authors' (ANA) National Competition for Poetry.
1992 3rd Prize, Short Story Competition. Women's
1991 Rockefeller Fellow,
1989 Ist Prize, Songs Competition
1988 Ist Prize, Songs Competition
1975 International Scholarship of
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Last update: November 21, 2009
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