Thursday, 6 December 2007

Chika Unigwe

Chika Unigwe is on reading a tour. If you reside in Lagos, please don't miss this event. Chika is a great writer. Visit here for more details.

Here is an excerpt from Chika's story, Alek:
"Alek had never heard her father sound like that: timid. Servile. She felt embarrassed for him, this efficient policeman. Maybe on his knees. “Please, Sir…” the faltering voice. Begun but not finished. A shot amputating the rest of his sentence. A stillness. Inside the cupboard, the smell of fear. Rising and rising. Then, a wail. Ma sounding bigger, louder."

Read more here.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Adieu Cyprian

In my primary and secondary school days, I devoured Cyprian Ekwensi’s adventure series: Samankwe and the Highway Robbers, Samankwe in the Strange Forest, Passport of Mallam Ilia, etc. I recently discovered his Survive the Peace at the University of Leicester library. The slim book vividly portrays the aftermath of the Biafra civil war. Many years ago, (I cannot remember the exact year) at the University of Ibadan Theatre, I played the role of Mallam Ilia in a stage adaptation of the Passport of Mallam Ilia. The writer himself, Cyprian Ekwensi was present. RIP Cyprian.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Inclusion and Exclusion

What is the fate of immigrants in today's Britain? How well can an African integrate into the way of life here? There have been talks about "Equal Opportunites" and "British jobs for British people". My short story, "Strangers" deals with the immigrant experience in contemporary Britain. It is published in Farafina.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007


A poet is an unhappy being whose heart is torn by secret sufferings, but whose lips are so strangely formed that when the sighs and the cries escape them, they sound like beautiful music... and then people crowd about the poet and say to him: "Sing for us soon again;" that is as much as to say, "May new sufferings torment your soul." ~Soren Kierkegaard

In my unhappy state, I wrote this poem:

The Honourable

I leave for the House.
I leave to dwell among wolves and sheep.

O Benevolent One, Patriarch of the Tribe,
I pray for courage.
To resist bribes concealed in cellophane bags.
To resist the advances of Assembly sluts.

May I not forget the Tribe.
May I not forsake the Tribe.

O Benevolent One, Patriarch of the Tribe,
I pray for power.
To survive the assassin’s bullets.
To survive the heat of impeachment.

O Benevolent One, Patriarch of the Tribe,
I am on my knees.
I have been on my knees.
I, the honourable.

Read more here

Monday, 22 October 2007

The Last Messenger

They called him The Last Messenger. His predictions had the uncanny precision of a chisel. Word went round that many heads of states consulted him on the calamity that might befall their nations. But where the presidents stopped, the public proceeded. In The Last Messenger's website, followers posted volleys of questions: Will Mugabe be ousted? Who will discover the cure for AIDS? What will be the fate of Neverland? Who will arrest Osama?

Read more here.

Action! Nollywood in Cyberspace

The appellation ‘Nollywood’ has been adopted as the official title of Nigeria’s home video business. With the production of over fifty movie titles per week, the industry is fast commanding global attention, and is being seen as a great cultural contribution to the international community. The ‘Nigerian Phenomenon’, as Nollywood is sometimes called, is believed to be the third biggest film industry in the world. Analysts say it is worth over £80 million annually.
Read more here.