Nigerian-Canadian young author Chidera Igwe honoured

Screenshot: Chidera Igwe speaks at the award

Screenshot: Chidera Igwe speaks at the award

Regina Canada-born Nigerian young writer Chidera Igwe has been honoured with the Black Excellence Award for her exemplary work and the release of her novel, The Carnival Boy.

The Black Excellence Award gala was jointly sponsored by Black in Sask and Akwaaba Foods.

At the gala held at Aspen Links Country Club in Emerald Park, Saskatchewan, on Saturday, the founder of Black in Sask, Muna De Ciman and CEO of Akwaaba Foods, Vinolia Apakoh highlighted the importance of recognizing black excellence.

“Black Excellence Award goes beyond a single person or achievement. The vision is to create a space where we can honour and celebrate the excellent contribution from Saskatchewan’s black community,” they said.

“Black Excellence Award is a commitment as a community to doing better. It is not measured in comparison with other communities or individuals, but by our ability to continue to excel collectively one generation after another,” the organizers said.

As the youngest out of four groups and individuals honoured at the event, Chidera Igwe, who is 12 years old, received the award for hard work at school and for representing an example of excellence to other African Canadian children.

“The young people we are recognizing tonight are a testament to the black excellence in Saskatchewan. Chidera embodies the importance of well roundedness and the complexities of young black women actively pursuing their dreams and talent,” the organizers said.

At the age of 11, while in Grade 5, Chidera became one of Saskatchewan’s youngest authors by publishing her novel, The Carnival Boy, in April 2021.

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Since then, she has gone ahead and completed her Grade 6 and will be going to Grade 7 when school resumes later this year.

Chidera thanked all her supporters, teachers, friends and family for taking interest in what she does.

“It’s been a wonderful and inspirational event tonight. I am so happy that you inspired Chidera even more by what you have done to her tonight,” said the father of the young author, Dr. Chidi Igwe, who also was present at the gala.

In Grade 6, Chidera was in the St. Kateri musical band and plans to continue pursuing her love of music in Grade 7. In addition to her school work, she is learning the necessary skills to be successful in the television and movie industry through a program offered by a California-based talent company.

Her first short story, The Carnival Boy, is the adventure of a teenage girl, Melissa Edwards, who has a strong love for carnivals. While on a holiday in Florida with her family, Melissa found herself in trouble when she escaped from her parents’ hotel room in order to satisfy her curiosity and find out what was behind the doors of an abandoned building at the carnival.

Melissa could not believe what fate had in store for her when she saved a young boy Jackie who was stuck in the storage house by trading places with him. She had previously read about Jackie in a book. Now, Melissa herself is stuck at the carnivals and needs someone else to save her.

Dr. Igwe said that “Chidera loves reading and writing and is currently working on a number of manuscripts, following the release of her first fiction The Carnival Boy in April 2021.”

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