Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mark your Calendars!

Yes, mark it literally, as these are events that you cannot afford to miss!

Artist, Kainebi Osahenye talks about his exhibition Trash-ing with CCA,Lagos Director Bisi Silva. They are also joined in a panel discussion by Uche Edochie and Jess Castellote and guest author Toni Kan, who will review the artworks of Kainebi Osahenye with pages from his books Nights of the Creaking Bed and When a dream Lingers too Long. This is punctuated with a talk at 4pm by Giles Peppiatt, MRICS, Director, Bonhams. Mr Peppiatt's talk will give an overview of the international auction house Bonhams as well as focus on the contemporary African art sales within an international context.

Date: Thursday, 01 October 2009 Time: 2pm Phone: 07028367106
Location: 9 McEwen Street, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos Email:

Chioma and Oluchi Ogwuegbu (we call them the Travelling Sisters) have travelled through 14 countries in Africa, on a mission to Celebrate Africa, bringing the continent’s positive stories to audiences across the world on their website through pictures, blogs and videos.

They are planning to travel through another 23 countries, but before they start the second leg of their mission, they are hosting a fund-raising photo exhibition, with a collection of some of their favourite pictures from around Africa.

They will be selling these images to raise funds to support the next phase of their trip. The exhibition opens on October 2nd 2009 at Jazzhole, 168 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi. They will also be speaking about their experiences, as well as giving tips on how to travel through Africa on a budget.

Another Travelling Journalist Exhibits: An online exhibition of photographs to celebrate Nigeria’s 49th anniversary of independence (Oct.1). Billed to run all through October, the virtual slide show, comprising 49 shots taken in twelve capital cities in Nigeria’s Southern region, is also to celebrate this year’s World Tourism Day (Sept 27) celebrations.

Time: Sunday, 27 September 2009 till Saturday, 31 October 2009 at 12:55
Phone: 2348039732797 Email:
Please join us at Jazzhole for opening and refreshments on October 2nd 2009 by 6pm.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Meet Uche Umez

Who is Uche Umez?
A simple man trying to live simple in a simple world made complex and chaotic by other less simple men. (Aint this very poetic?)

Who is your perfect reader?
Someone who reads any story or poem and says, gosh, I wish I could write like that!

How many books do you read at once?
I read two not really at once, but in a comparative way, especially when I’m on a long distance trip.

What is the last thing you read that made you laugh?

To St. Patrick by Eghosa Imaseun for its delicate smattering of wit. It tackles a serious theme in a somewhat amusing tone. (Expect an interview with Eghosa on Bookaholic soon!)

Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to remain unflustered at all times. I wouldn’t mind if I chance upon the gift of a magician, though.

How will you introduce your child to writing?
I’ve already started. I got her a small box of books last year while I was in US, picture books mostly, and hope she out-writes me.

What part of the process of writing do you enjoy most?
For me, the rewriting process because it’s more leisurely and paced-out and so you don’t suffer much headache and blues from it.

What would a story about your life be called?
The Convoluted Misadventures of an Aspiring Writer

Three favourite writers and why?
How do I choose? From which era? Classic or modernist writers? I like fiction writers and poets for different reasons. For instance, I like stories that deal with suffering and redemption. And poetry that is pithy and razor-sharp. But – I just can’t resist short stories of Nadine Gordimer and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

What lessons do you bring back from your journeys?
One, life is more complicated than any Homer’s tale. Two, people are more in conflict with themselves than with their situations. Three, we are all narcissist in varying degrees. Four, beauty is everywhere but greed is closer. Five, love is so delicate it seems immaterial.

How do you balance a 9-5 with writing?
What wouldn’t I give to write full-time? Actually, I work from 8a.m. to 6p.m in the office, and then manage to do my writings in the silence of predawn, of course with great strain.

Have you ever imitated another writer’s style?
I only imitated Shakespeare when I started learning how to write poetry. Then Katherine Mansfield and Ernest Hemingway when I started short stories. Now, I just write as expressively and uninhibited as possible.

What inspires your writing?
The minutiae and quirks of life and humanity

What story do you consider as your ‘hit’ story?
I’m not sure I have anyone yet. Sometimes, I look back at my early short stories and twist my lips in uhm-hmm. It only gets better, as they say.

What is the hardest thing to write about?
That should be sorrow, in its entirety such that it wrenches the reader’s heart.

What awards have you won? How does it feel?
A couple of awards. Not the ‘loud’ ones though, with a photograph of you trying a modest (masking that smug) smile on the front and back pages of dailies. Heck, after all those long miserable hours of writing and re-writing and gritting your teeth through the strain in your spine and crick in your neck, and you think the writer doesn’t deserve to get elated?

What is your advice to budding writers?
I’m still budding. Anyway, writing is like weightlifting, you soon get used to the dumbbells and barbells eventually, if you don’t quit.

What do you have to say about the literary landscape in Nigeria?
It gives me hope – that beneath the stagnant pool breathes life. There’s a renewed zest to be heard by established and upcoming writers: a regeneration. I think younger writers are becoming very daring. Take the ‘Abyssinian’ Onyeka Nwelue, for instance.

As a Nigerian writer, what is the greatest challenge you face?
The apathy of government to establish a solid institution or structure, which will nurture and promote a vibrant culture of arts and literature. Until the government shows some genuine interest in education/humanities, everything literature will continue at a slug’s pace – when compared to other literary societies of the world.

Who are your literary heroes?
Cyprian Ekwensi and Eddie Iroh, essentially because their children books tickled my imagination when I was in primary school and still echo in my mind.

What does it mean to be a writer?
It means euphoria – self-doubts + patience – sleeplessness + fortitude – boredom + fulfillment

Philosophy of life
Learn to be happy and immensely thankful – because there are others far more knowledgeable and diligent than me, yet they have not been that fortunate and blessed.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

60 Followers and a whole lot of HITS!!!

Thanks all Bookaholics for making this blog what it is because the truth is we would never have gotten this far without YOU.

In celebration, we are asking you to share your best and worst (hopefully you don't have one) thing about any Bookaholic post so far.

One last thing please invite your friends, colleagues and even your enemies to follow the blog...

TOGETHER we can do it!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Toni Kan and Doreen Baingana in Dialogue

Now, there is something fun, and yes literary, happening next week. Two award winning writers, Toni Kan (Nigerian) author of Nights of the Creaking Bed and Doreen Baingana (Ugandan), author of Tropical Fish will talk about Eros and Desire in both their work and in African writing. Increasingly, contemporary African fiction explores aspects of everyday life as a theme, including the previously taboo areas of love and sex. What does this mean for the changing nature of African literature and African society? Do books such as Nights of the Creaking Bed and Tropical Fish represent a more progressive and open relationship to African realities? All this and more will be explored in what will prove to be a fascinating dialogue between West and East Africa.

So where would you rather be?

Date: Tues 29th September 2009
Time: 4pm
Venue: Quintessence, Falomo Shopping Centre, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos
Space for only 45 people, so prompt arrival is highly recommended. For further information please contact Kofo 08065940184.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Now Tell us: Who is your fav Fiction Character?

I have read Toni Morrison's Beloved (you know I'm a fan already!) and absolutely find it hard to get Beloved, the character, the Baby Ghost off my mind. Not my fault, Morrison did a fantastic job with that character even as she made her stride both worlds of the living and the dead.

Now come to Africa, there's a way Ben Okri (though most of his stories seem plot-driven) makes his character a part of you--you can literally touch them; almost believe that they live very close to you. Now, that's good writing. If you've read Famished Road, and know the Abiku child; you will understand what mean.

Final example--Kainene in Chimamanda's Half of a Yellow Sun was a strong one for me. Though not the stereotype African woman--she shows that there are no limits; that the only limits to being who you want to be exists, not really in the society, but in your mind. After closing the last page of the book, I dreamt of Kainene, I joined in the search for her, in my mind. Somehow, I think I still search for her!

Now, you tell us--who is your favourite fiction character? Why do you love them?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The 'Travula' Visits Bookaholic Blog

Our Bookaholic Blogger for the month of September is Kola Tubosun, who has quite a huge online presence that's hard to describe. There are however three things you should know:
  • Editing this piece was quite challenging, lest we cut off beautiful sections you'd love to read. It's long but will sure not only enlighten you but make you chuckle.
  • Kola is a Fulbright Scholar who blogs as KTravula
  • He's a September child, so happy birthday to him in advance!
Who is Kola Tubosun?
I’m a young man who has lived most of his life in the city of Ibadan where I was born, raised, and where I had all my education up to the University level. I’ve also lived in Akure, Ife, Lagos, Eldoret, Jos, Ogun state, and recently, Providence and Edwardsville. (He sure likes to tavel!) I like to see myself as an open book on which a few memorable things have been written so far. I can be mischievous, and I like to play fun pranks on close friends, and I try to find fun and playfulness in everything, no matter how dire. I like to sing. I’m a graduate of Linguistics from the University Ibadan, and my curiosities about language have influenced a lot of the things I’ve involved myself in.

What will a book about your life be called?
What’s the Friggin’ Mystery?

Why did you start writing KTravula?
I started the blog mainly to document my observations, impressions and activities while I’m in the United States. I suspected long before I left Nigeria on the Fulbright FLTA programme that the experience would be a memorable one, but I did not know the extent, and I wanted to have some place to write down the things that intrigue me. So you’d be right to say that my first motivation was a purely selfish one. The other reason of course was to be able to keep my friends back home in touch with what I’m doing, every step of the way. That way, they would be able to warn me when I begin to deviate, or change in a way that I may not be able to see for myself. Hence the blog, and a few other private notebooks I have.

What are your blog names/personalities?
My first online personality was “Villageois”, meaning “The Villager” in French. That personality died sometime before I entered the university. Then there was “gwatala” which took me over in school and on That soon gave way to IGwatala. I’ve also written with the handle “Baroka” which I adopted when I started writing for as a freelance journalist, and when I registered my Twitter account. But most times when I write serious stuff like poetry and short story, I use “Kola Tubosun” which, I might add, is also an online personality crafted from my full names that are often too long to pronounce for a lot of people.

When and why did you start writing your blogs?
I started writing on my first blog iGwatala in May 2006 while I was in Jos almost rounding off my National Youth service and when I needed an avenue to connect with the living world. Sometimes the distance and a constant loneliness make it necessary to write something. In any case, there were so many things going on in my life at that moment that I needed to let out steam. Keeping a blog then kept me sane and intellectually active since I always had something to look forward to every time I travelled for up to an hour to the nearest internet cafe. I started ktravula two days before I travelled to the United States to begin my Fulbright programme. That was on August 10th 2009.

Five blogs that you always visit and why?
I visit Jeremy’s Blog to catch his interesting perspectives on Nigeria. He’s an “Oyinbo” Nigerian so his views always give a certain perspective that you may not get from a Naija resident/citizen. I visit Bookaholic Blog to catch the latest gist in Nigerian literary circles. You do have some nice interviews, and opinions too. (thanks for the kind words!) I also visit Story Time, where interesting fiction pieces from all over Africa show up once every fortnight. It’s one of the most active prose fiction sites in Africa today. I frequent Aloofar’s blog, but he seems now to be on a little break. I hope he returns soon. I also go often to Jude Dibia’s, and Jumoke Verissimo’s Blogs to read fiction and poetry. I have so many blogs on my Google Reader all for different reasons. There’s Verastic, Solomonsydelle, Loomnie and Tolu’s Blogs for their very eclectic and often stimulating contents. That’s not more than five, right?

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d change nothing, not even my sometimes untameable inclination to break every rule.

What is the last thing you read that made you laugh?
A poem, “The Skinhead’s Lord’s Prayer” by Amatoritsero Ede. It’s published as Hitler’s Children” in his new book.

Who is your perfect audience?
The audience that responds, that speaks back and don’t just listen passively.

What do you bring back from your journeys?
I usually collect currencies, especially the coins. They’ve always intrigued me since I was young, and Nigeria had these beautiful 25kobo coins with images of workers building groundnut pyramids. My father used to have a collection of really old Nigerian currency notes. I loved looking at them. All Nigerians these days have become forced numismatics since they can’t seem to be able to spend any of the government-issued coins anywhere in the country. I also bring back pictures. I can’t get enough of taking pictures, especially of signs, structures, and strangers.

How does it feel teaching young Whites Yoruba language?
It feels great. It’s challenging to me as it is to them and I like the experience. I could connect with them more because they are young people like me, and they are quite eager to learn and discover new things. The experience also gives me a chance to see myself through the stranger’s eyes. I’ve recently asked them to read up a particular short story on Yoruba culture and write what they find strange and different about the people, and what they find equally similar with their culture. These exercises give me an insight into what they see when they look at me. But over all, it is a very fulfilling experience.

What does it feel like to be a Fulbright Scholar?
It feels good to be in company of people like Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, Laila Lalami, Arlene Alda the author and photographer, among others, but I like most the fact that it doesn’t carry a burden of too much expectations. That is, I don’t feel obliged to want to prove anything to anyone. I’ve always loved being able to do things that challenge, interest and benefit me intellectually It’s a great feeling to be able to put one’s wishes into reality.

Do Nigerians read? How do you suggest Nigerians can get reading more?
Of course Nigerians read, but they choose what to read. They also lack sustainable access to the modern tools of reading. Not everyone is well-suited to standing up for hours reading newspapers at a newsstand, but we’re not any less open to reading as American or British people, but they have more advanced means of delivering text to their populace. And even then, a growing number of teenagers in developing countries don’t read, and many of them can’t. To get Nigerians reading more, provide more stimulating reading contents, and they will read more.

What is your most treasured possession?
I would say my loyal friends, who put up with all the trouble that I, sometimes inevitably, am.

Mention five of your favourite writers, why?
J.M Coetzee, because of the reach of his mind, and the brilliance of his style. I’ve only read one of his books, “Elizabeth Costello”, but I’ve read a few more articles he’s written. I can’t wait to read more of him. Even his life is an intriguing book. Wole Soyinka for who he is, and for all he’s done on the page, on the drama stage, and on the world stage. His plays are profound, and his autobiographies a classic. And to think he’s still active today as he was long before we were born is truly impressive. Akinwumi Isola, for his dexterity with words, and for his many contributions to the development of written Yoruba literature. Maya Angelou for her depth, perspective and strength. Her fiction is engaging, her poems are deep and her life story even more captivating. I’ll give the fifth spot to both Arundhati Roy and Roald Dahl for their brilliance. For lack of space, let me put Salman Rushdie in a future list. His prose and his power of description are spectacular, and I’ve loved reading The Satanic Verses.

What inspires your writing?
I’m inspired by life itself, and the way in which it throws the unexplainable in our ways sometimes just to reinforce our awe of the unknown. I’ve witnessed more than a few incidents in America that could not have been just coincidences. Serendipity does it for me, most times.

Describe your writing in a sentence?: So far, my writing is a diverse mix of lived experiences of life’s little pleasures, retold to enlighten, to entertain and to inform.

Literature in a sentence: Literature is a collection of varying life perspectives told with the different means most accessible to the teller.

Philosophy of life
Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, if you can.

What is your greatest fear?
I have a great fear for falling down, literally, from a very tall height. I hate to think about it. It’s not so much a fear of heights as it is a fear of falling. There’s a difference. But don’t ask me why I still like riding roller-coasters or why I’m still fascinated by tall buildings. I also have a terrible fear of cold. Those who’ve been reading my blog will be familiar with this not totally unwarranted phobia. Again, don’t ask me why I signed up for the Fulbright Programme to go to the US at winter time. My greatest fear, however, I think, is losing the people I love. I hate to think about it.

If you could write your epitaph, what will you write?
“Here lies he who never stopped living.”

You can read Kola Tubosun's works here and here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Short Story: A Memory of Mother

We choose to begin the weekend in a special way-with Lauri Kubuitsile's short story. Enjoy it!

A Memory of Mother

There’s a memory, faded on the edges, folded up and held in the side pocket of her heart. In it she sits on a mat of grass by a river under the protective shade of a massive pepper tree. Her mother is laughing, leaning back, her elegant neck exposed, her perfect calf kicked skyward. He sits next to her, trapped in a gaze of needy amazement, eyes fixated like a hare trapped by the lights of a car. A baby, baby Nono, lies asleep on the patchwork quilt, slightly away from them, her thick lashes resting on her innocent cheeks. She sits next to Nono, guarding her as always, chasing flies from her fat, brown face. Her legs stretch straight in front of her, her cotton dress tucked tidily under them, her hands resting palms down on her thighs waiting to be needed. A good girl. Karabo, always the good girl.

She likes that memory; though she isn’t sure she trusts it. Where that river is she doesn’t know and it makes her question most everything else about the memory; though not too vigorously. It’s the only one she has, and holding onto it helps her to believe the story of her mother is something more than a myth to make her sleep on a stormy night. She holds her mother secure in that frayed, unsure memory.

She folds it away tight that evening. Her mind is elsewhere. Gran is sick and Nono needs new school shoes and her mind can’t stay attached to the maths she needs to finish before the candle melts away in its holder. She’s annoyed when the hard knock rattles the loose door. She stands and pushes the faded curtain aside to see who is pounding like a policeman in the night when people should be home letting the day wind out its last hours in peace. It is a woman; and it only takes a quick scan of her thoughts, a peek at the folded memory and Karabo knows it is her. After nine years, her mother stands on the other side of their door.

“Who is it?” Gran shouts from the one and only bedroom. Karabo ignores her grandmother’s question. She stands holding the table with shaking hands, waiting for her thoughts to calm and her stomach to settle.

She fears the real mother waiting on the stoop. She prefers the one in her memory. That one is happy and maybe she loves her and Nono. Maybe she is a mother who brushes out their hair and fixes it with shiny coloured ribbons. Or the one that sings songs. Maybe she’s a mother who is proud of her daughters’ small achievements. A mother who cries with them when they fail. Maybe she’s a mother who doesn’t walk to the shop for cigarettes and never, ever comes back again.

Once that door is opened, all of those maybe mothers, those ones in the cool shade with the sound of the flowing river in the background, they will vanish, never to be conjured up again, and only the mother that is hers alone; the one made of blood and bones and mistakes and pain, will be the one for her. She doesn’t want that. She wants the folded memory mother in her heart pocket.

But Karabo, always the good girl, takes the key from the nearby hook and opens the door to the stranger standing there and feels the slight tickle of her memory, held dear for so long; slowly slip away into the cool night air.

The End

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sizwe Bansi is a Woman

This September Theatre@Terra presents Sizwe Banzi is Dead, a play written by Athol Fugard and directed by Wole Oguntokun.

Date: every Sunday in September at Terra Kulture.
Time: 3pm & 6pm

Tickets: N2000

Description: Theatre@ Terra , based in Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, is Nigeria's most consistent venue for theatre. A project unlike any seen since the travelling-theatre days of Hubert Ogunde and Duro Ladipo, it commenced on the first Sunday of July 2007. In it, stage plays are performed twice every Sunday. This September Theatre@Terra presents Sizwe Banzi is Dead written by Athol Fugard and directed by Wole Oguntokun.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Saraba! Saraba!! Saraba!!! Birthday Wishes to Ms. Adichie

It's a two-in-one: Saraba and Chimamanda.

Saraba: These days when magazines are closing shop; more are also taking the online route of getting to their audience. Saraba is a not-so-new-kid on the block of literary magazines but it's a good one that will get you thinking. And it's not by the old faces we've always seen; it's by some young, revolutionaries insistent on positive change! For us at Bookaholic, this is very encouraging--shows we are not alone!

Their third issue is titled the Economy Issue; sure this will interest you: what's the connection between literature and the money mess we are in at the moment? Guess what, you don't read online alone, you can also have 'take-away' in the form of a PDF copy.

Find out more here.

Chimamanda: Happy birthday, Ms. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Thank you for writing those stories and giving many young Nigerians (and writers) a reason to dream!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Celeb Read: Funmi Iyanda

Some months ago, I was reading through a popular Nigerian magazine, it was an interview with a very popular musician and he was asked what books he reads. His response was simple, he hardly reads books and gets all he wants on the internet and on FB. I am not against e-books but for someone to bluntly say that he does not read made me very afraid. Sure he is a role model to so many youths. Soon, he will be a father and I am trying to imagine what he'll tell his kids. This prompted us to start the Celeb Read series; the first interview is with Nigerian TV diva, Funmi Iyanda. We hope to show you that some celebs still read.

Funmi Iyanda has become a name to reckon with in the Nigerian media; some love her, while others simply hate her guts. But no one can easily forget Good Morning Nigeria and New Dawn With Funmi, neither can the children whose lives have been touched via the Change-a-life-Project forget her in a hurry.

Your reading list: A list of ten best books of all time Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt, Ogboju Ode ni Igbo Irumole by D. O Fagunwa, The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli, Creation by Gore Vidal, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelheo, Ake by Wole Soyinka, Half of A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie The Prophet by Khalil Gibran The art of war by Sun Tzu

Books you are reading at the moment and why?
Jagua Nana by Cyprian Ekwensi, to refresh my memory and to determine if Jagua Nana was a misunderstood independent spirit often miscast in popular culture as a loose woman. The More You Ignore Me by Jo Brand because l like Brand’s wicked sense of humour and her refusal to be dragged into the eternal bastion of female non progress that the weight issue is.

Favourite book quote: I like these two:
  • “Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy”. Khalil Gibran, The Prophet 1923.
  • “The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently”. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Dawn 1881.
Why do you read? To stay alive; must nourish my mind in the same way l do my body.

What do you think of books? Liberation from the tyranny of ignorance

What will a book about your life be called? Yetunde’s daughter

Who are your literary heroes? Chimamanda Adichie, Agatha Christie, Gore Vidal and Mark Twain

What is the last thing you read that made you laugh?“Everyone knows that a ‘Do not disturb’ sign means don’t come in, we are having sex” – Mrs Mill’s response to a reader’s question in the Sunday Times.

What book changed your life? Still searching for it

What is the strangest research you’ve done? The argument about whether elephant eggs exists or not with my 8 year old. She won.

What is the worth of a book? Priceless.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

On the Man Booker...

For all those who don't know yet, the Man Booker prize shortlist has been released. And those who made it are:

A S Byatt The Children's Book (Random House, Chatto and Windus)

J M Coetzee Summertime (Random House, Harvill Secker)

Adam Foulds The Quickening Maze (Random House, Jonathan Cape)

Hilary Mantel Wolf Hall (HarperCollins, Fourth Estate)

Simon Mawer The Glass Room (Little, Brown)

Sarah Waters The Little Stranger (Little, Brown, Virago)

Click here for more information and here for an opportunity to win prizes from Faber&Faber. It may just be your lucky day, who knows?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Writing Workshop: WiAiA


From 27 October to 4 November 2009, SPARCK will host the first WiAiA: an international workshop dedicated to innovative writing and publishing about contemporary creation in the African world.

WiAiA stands for Word into Art into Africa. WiAiA is designed to address the need, and to respond to active calls from arts practitioners with whom SPARCK collaborates, for (more) creative and (more) ethically engaged writing about the production of contemporary art in the African world – writing that addresses in original ways intersections between the arts and social, political and economic concerns in a globalised world.

The goal of these workshops is to provide a platform for fostering such writing and to assist in developing a strong readership for it. In the middle and longer term, WiAiA’s aim is to connect, grow and sustain a community of young writers who will shape, share and propel the engaged discourse of the workshops as part of an ongoing online publication project.

The Lagos workshop is the first in a series of three intimate and highly focused writers’ workshops, which will be staged in 2009-2010 in three cities: Lagos, Dakar and Kinshasa.


Workshop participants will attend the entirety of the Ewa BamiJo festival (27-31 October 2009). The workshop proper will begin immediately following the festival, on 1 November 2009, and will last 4 days, ending on 4 November 2009. Participation throughout both the festival and the workshop proper will be full-time and will involve daily evening events and writing projects.The language of the Lagos workshop will be English. Accommodation, meals during the workshop and transportation to and from all events associated with the workshop will be provided.

So you want to apply?

Persons interested in participating in the workshop are invited to apply with the following materials:

Detailed CV; Letter stating why WiAiA is of interest to the applicant

•Submission of at least two (but no more than 5) writing samples:

=1 manuscript of no less than 10 pages single spaced, published or in progress:

= a collection of 10 (or more) poems

= or 1 chapter (or more) of a novel

= or 1 short story

= or 1 essay= or 1 article= or 1 play= or a combination of the above


- 1 text developed for the present workshop submission, of no fewer than 5 pages single spaced: an essay, article, short story, poem or related form that addresses/points to questions relating to contemporary art/creativity.

The names of selected candidates will be announced on 10 October 2009. Nomination will be by majority vote. Applications should be sent by email no later than midnight on September 20, 2009 to the following email address:

For more information, visit here.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Essay Contest: Youth Entrepreneurship in times of crisis

Hope the weekend was fun...we thought we should start the week off with something sweet; something to make you smile and well, get working!

Young people worldwide face difficult labor market prospects. Depending on the region, youth unemployment is easily 2-3 times higher than for adults. Especially in developing countries, the school-to-work transition can be a long and tedious process, during which young people leave school, become jobless and spend time moving between unemployment, inactivity and informal
employment. In fact, youth have often been found to effectively act as a "buffer," absorbing shocks disproportionately during negative business cycles, but not benefiting accordingly during economic booms. In the quest for strategies to boost employment for young people, entrepreneurship is often seen as an important means and a useful alternative for income generation. With most of the overall job creation usually stemming from small enterprises, supporting youth entrepreneurship is now often regarded as an additional way of integrating youth into the labor market and overcoming poverty. However, while it is recognized that the youth years are essential for generating ideas and acquiring the necessary experience to become
a successful entrepreneur, young people themselves only make up a small share of all entrepreneurs.

The Y2Y Global Youth Conference 2009 Essay Competition invites youth to share ideas on:
What are the constraints to youth entrepreneurship in your country? Has the global crisis changed the dynamics? How can governments help young entrepreneurs to create and further develop their social and productive ventures? Please try to answer the following questions in one consistent essay:
  • What impedes young people in your country or community to start their own business or organization? Think about the constraints in terms of socioeconomic conditions, culture, education & experience, access to finance & infrastructure, contacts & networks, and regulations. In how far are these constraints specific to youth compared to adults?
  • Did the global financial crisis reinforce some of these constraints? If yes, what are the dynamics?
  • What do you think governments can/should do to strengthen youth entrepreneurship in your country, town or local community? Think about the solutions in terms of the constraints identified above.
More info here but before then the deadline for submission is: September 22, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Opinion: The Fate of a book!

This post is quite pessimistic and well 'realist': it is the 'fate' of most books! Also it is an excerpt from a book I read (Ama Ata's The Girl Who Can)and thought I should share but would like to hear from you on how true it is. So keep the comments coming.

Here it is:
"After a writer has written a book, no one, not even the writer knows for sure that a publisher would publish it. And if a publisher took it and published it, no one knows if the bookshops would take them wholesale to sell...And if the booksellers took them, they cannot be too sure that people would buy the to read!"

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First edition of iRead this weekend!

DADA books is proud to present iRead, a book reading session to provide a platform for bringing together young people and lovers of literary works in a relaxed atmosphere where they can interact and network alongside Nigerian writers in an intellectually stimulating environment.

iRead runs on a simple idea, come with a favourite book of yours and read two paragraphs that appeal to you the most. You get to talk about the book and why you picked the paragraphs you read and you get to question other people about their own choices too.

The first edition of iRead will also feature the DADA authors Onyeka Nwelue and Jumoke Verissimo who have just returned from literary events in India and Macedonia as they relive their experiences.

Date: Saturday 5th September 2009
Time: 12noon - 4pm
Venue: This Day Media Store @ The Palms Shopping Center, Lekki.

First edition of iRead this weekend!

DADA books is proud to present iRead, a book reading session to provide a platform for bringing together young people and lovers of literary works in a relaxed atmosphere where they can interact and network alongside Nigerian writers in an intellectually stimulating environment.

iRead runs on a simple idea, come with a favourite book of yours and read two paragraphs that appeal to you the most. You get to talk about the book and why you picked the paragraphs you read and you get to question other people about their own choices too.

The first edition of iRead will also feature the DADA authors Onyeka Nwelue and Jumoke Verissimo who have just returned from literary events in India and Macedonia as they relive their experiences.

Date: Saturday 5th September 2009
Time: 12noon - 4pm
Venue: This Day Media Store @ The Palms Shopping Center, Lekki.