It was accolades for award winning author, Mrs. Nnenna Ihebom who presented a monolingual Igbo dictionary on Thursday March 31, 2016 at the Pastoral Center Whederal Road Owerri, Imo State.
The dictionary which took the author more than two years to compile, has more than 900 pages; with more than 12,600 entries, explained in more than 180,000 original Igbo words, which touched all dialects of the language, culture, idiom and myths.
Mrs. Ihebom revealed that the inclusion of dialects in the dictionary was achieved by extensive studies and direct conversations with people from different tribes of the Igbo race and it took her more than two years to achieve what the public now sees as ‘Okowata Oba Mpkurukwu Igbo’
The book reviewer Monsignor Theophilus Okere described the book as a phenomenal piece which explained Igbo in Igbo and only very sparingly featuring English language equivalents.
“One should be careful not to blame the author for deficiencies in a language that grew up in illiteracy but we should look forward to a time when our tools for writing will reflect the completeness of our spoken Igbo.
“The pictorial illustration of plants, animals and furnitures gives further precision to the meaning of words besides being a special attraction to children. The author shows evidence of familiarity with as well both intensive and extensive research on every part of Igboland/culture” Monsignor Okere said.
Monsignor Theophilus Okere who is also a prolific writer, further described the work as a great contribution to the enlargement of Igbo lexicography by tapping into the rich pool of the dialects, the greatest source of the igbo store of words which enhanced the mental geography of Igbo sculptures and their dialects.
The chairman of the occasion, Deacon Chima Okwodu described the dictionary as tool that will help in the survival of Igbo language, urging everyone to support Mrs Ihebom so that she could do more.
Another guest and the member representing Mbaitoli/Ikeduru Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Henry Nwawuba hailed the author and then pledged to support in making it a national entity.
Mrs. Nnenna Ihebom thanked everyone who made the event a success, thanking God for the gift and grace to produce the work. She urged the general public to make good use of the dictionary which will shape the fate of Igbo language in near future.
Others at the event which was hosted by Ugo Stevenson, include veteran Dr. Chuks Osuji; Chief Emeka Ihedioha who was represented by Nze Don Osuji; Chief Patrick Amanze Njoku, President of Association of Nigerian Authors [ANA], Imo State Chapter; Chief Celestine Ibezute, Coordinator, Mbari Literary Society; Mr. Camillus Uka, National Vice of President [ANA] amongst others.