Thursday, October 25, 2012

Abuja Literary Society Holds Bookjam


The Abuja Literary Society features three fast-growing and debut authors in its monthly book feast, known as BookJam. The October edition of the popular and innovative BookJam will headline new authors Sylva Ife Nzedigbo, a vetinary Doctor-turned-writer; mother of three Ukamaka Olisakwe; and, hard-hitting columnist, Tope Fasua, on the 26th of October at the Lifestyle Bookstore of Silverbird Abuja. Joining them will be Abuja Slam Champion and dancehall poet, MacFather G, who recently released a musical album. MacFather G will be performing some of his most popular slam poems and new songs from his debut musical album.   

Nzedigbo, known for his love of social commentary, following his Sunday columns in Daily Times, blog sites and Twitter, recently channeled his passion to the creation of a full-length short story collection, The Funeral Did Not End, a collection of 20 captivating short stories ranging from current and persisting issues of politics, religion, social injustice, culture and tradition. Aba-based Ukamaka Olisakwe is the author of Eyes of a Goddess, her debut novel which throws light on the imperfections of a democratic system that emasculates the people. Tope Fasua is a well-known newspaper columnist, who has put his creativity to the production of the non-fiction, Crushed,  an introspective book on the issues debilitating economic and social development, with Nigeria as a case study. 

The BookJam@Silverbird Abuja is a collaboration of the Abuja Literary Society and Silverbird Lifestyle. It holds every last Friday of the month and is anchored by co-host of the Abuja Poetry Slam, Jide Attah. The BookJam consists of book readings, book signings, musical presentations, raffle draw and a discussion by the guest writers. In addition, there is usually a special Slam poetry performance by some of Abuja’s finest Slam champions.

Sylva Ife Nzedigbo:
Apart from being a regular blogist and columnist, Nzedigbo has been writing creative non-fiction for several years, gradually honing his craft and building a loyal fan base. His first published work a novella, Whispering Aloud was published in 2008.  Several of his works are published in local and international Literary Journals including MTLS, StoryLine, Swale Life, Life As a Human and Sentinel, Nigeria.

He has won several awards as a writer and an essayist. The most recent, 2012 Grand Prize winner, National Youth Essay Contest. He won the second prize at the Ken Saro Wiwa, Candle Light Vigil Poetry and Writing Competition 2010,an Honorable mention, 2010UNESCO/GIO Peace Foundation Essay Contest for Young People, by Microsoft Internet Safety, Security and Privacy Initiative for Nigeria (MISSPIN) and YGC, Africa, National Essay Competition on CybercrimeCompetition and the Abuja Writers Forum, Short Stories Contest.

Several reviewers and commentators have described his stories as ‘well delivered with an understanding of where the ordinary blends with the profound.’  Perhaps, a better description is Australian writer and literary critic’s insightful view, ‘The stories in The Funeral Did Not End are varied in scope and theme, but all show the restless energy of a young author struggling and succeeding at encapsulating the tumultuous awakening of a nation convinced it is mighty and willing to show the world exactly what it can achieve.’ 

Nzedigbo wields successfully, the narrative voice, symbolism, simple diction, Irony, Imagery and allusions in telling reality with a dollop of the hyperbolic to deliver in a fresh light the mundane and an open-end technique bound to excite or irritate readers.

Born in November, 11, 1984, Nzedigbo attended the School for the Gifted, Gwagwalada, and obtained a degree in Veterinary Medicine, in 2007, at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Nzedigbo hails from Agulu, Anambra State, the south eastern part of the country which its landscape richly featured in the stories. He also employs a thin line between fiction and realism in his characterization of places, people and scenery.  Nzedigbo works in the corporate communications industry; is single, and likes tweeting with like minds, when he is not writing or reading.

Ukamaka Olisakwe:
For Olisakwe, creative writing began after much encouragement from her friends and while trying to find an escapist means to create, and direct the world to the benefit and empowerment of females and the voiceless in society. She started out with flash fictions published in NaijaStories, an online based blog site for budding writers. Girl to Woman ignited the interest of Sentinel Nigeria, which later published her short story, Running. It was re-published by a South African Magazine, Short Story Day Africa.

Olisakwe has come some ways and waxing stronger. She is the moderator, AfricaReadsWritesTheVision, an online book club initiated by Dr. Claudette Carr of the Jethro Institute, London. The Book Club aims to encourage reading and thinking in Africans and successfully runs monthly book reading for its writers and readers the world over.

Her debut prose fiction, Eyes of a Goddess, is the story of a fifteen year old girl, Njideka, whose family gets mired in political intrigue when her father, broken and disillusioned after a peaceful protest, underwent drastic changes. It is the story of hardship, abuse and most importantly the resilient spirit of those gasping for freedom.

Tope Fasua:
 Fasua has been writing for the past six years in the Sunday Trust, newspaper where he has a weekly column. He is also published by other weeklies across the continent like Modern Times, Ghanaian Magazine, Africa Development Magazine, Inside Watch, This Day, Champion , The Sun Newspaper among others.

In writing his book, CRUSHED, Fasua seeks to examine the peculiar issues militating against economic and social development in Africa, using Nigeria as a case study.  It is a hard-hitting book, which emphasises the need for self introspection, pragmatism, selflessness, a knowledge of history, as well as a vision for the future, on the part of Africans themselves, as well as evidence-based appeals to the more advanced countries, for them to see that a better Africa is ultimately necessary for the good of all.  The book has been acclaimed by pundits to be one of the best to have come out of Africa, in the non-fiction genre. 


MacFather G:
Born George Obinna Ononiwu, MacFather G is a dance hall poet and singer. A former seminarian and graduate of the Delta State University Abraka, MacFather G is the founder of Love Motion, a youth-focused NGO that seeks to develop the talents of young people for national and global advancement. His creativity has led him into slam and spoken word poetry, radio presentation, facial art, and now, music with the release of his album, Came to Do. In 2011, he won the famous Abuja poetry slam competition.

For more information, please write to: abujaliterarysociety@gmail.com .


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