If you have been following my blog posts then you will know I am a big fan of books and literature. And for me, one of the most beautiful things in life is finding people who love same thing as you do and getting to hear them talk about it.
I started THE BOOK AFFAIR SERIES as a way of getting fellow book lovers express their love for books. Who knows, our stories might influence others to become readers!!!
Book Affairs is a weekly series of essays where book lovers explore their unique relationships with books, the pivotal role books play in their lives and their love for all things literature. These essays that promise to be as intense as they are engaging will be published every Saturday.
CLICK HERE to read the story of ROMEO ORIOGUN – Winner, 2017 Brunel African Poetry Prize
So we just celebrated our 57th year post-Independence from the British crown. In all sincerity, there is nothing to celebrate about Nigeria.
I am writing this post from a hospital shed, sipping from a #100 bottle of coke and trying to tame my anger. All students who are heading to the Nigeria Law School are usually made to run some medical tests. I begin Law school in few weeks (AFTER WAITING FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR – another reason why Nigeria is not worth celebrating). I have not had time to do mine up until today. This morning, I woke up early, got dressed and began my journey to the UNIVERSITY OF PORTHARCOURT TEACHING HOSPITAL. Lo and Behold, THEY WERE ON STRIKE! I was directed to go to BMH, the State Government’s Hospital; on getting there, I was told they were on strike too!!!! Can you believe that? Note that these two hospitals are on extreme ends. I literally had to do 360degrees turn under the hot sun.
How does one celebrate a country that stresses you mentally? That literally makes you want to slide down a wall?
But we Nigerians have this suffering and smiling attitude. And so we always celebrate admist lack, poverty, sorrow and anguish. It is always in the little things. And these are some of the reasons we love NIGERIA:
1) Small Chops:
I really do not know how small chops became part of our national identity. For me, my romance with small chops started this year.
I interned at Ernst & Young Nigeria for nine months and I can’t count how many times I ate small chops. It was shared during birthdays, general meetings, thanksgiving sections etc. I was always looking forward to small chops.
In Nigeria, smallchops are what our abroad friends may call finger foods. A plate of small chops contains the following; Battered Fish, Mini Sausage Rolls, Snails, Peppered Gizzards, Barbecued Goat Meats (Asun), Puff Puffs and even some imported world recipes can be seen; Samosa and Spring Rolls.
So Yes! #TeamSmallChops
2) Ankara and Danshiki:
I never used to be crazy about ankara until I met CHINELO NWANGWU. I used to call it “Traditional”, but after many years of living in Ibadan and mixing up, ANKARA became a fav!!!
3) Nigerian Memes and Sense of Humour:
I will just go ahead and explain this with some screenshots.
4)Aba Made: The creativity and skill here is so raw. If only the government would move a quarter of its attention towards Aba. I still have a slippers I bought for #500 with a strong label – AZONTO!!! Meanwhile, the footwear I bought from the MAX store at IBADAN MALL has since been dead and buried. #BuyAba #BuyNairatogrowtheNaira
5) LAGOS TRAFFIC: You have to experience it!
6) BOLE: I am forever loyal to BOLE. The one eaten in the Eastern and Southern part of Nigeria. I am not loyal to Boli, the one eaten in the Western part of Nigeria. It is very easy for a BOLIST to fall for BOLE. Most BLOEIST like me find it difficult falling for the BOLI. You get my drift? I think it is very insulting to even place both of them on the same pedestal. Loool! Like, who eats roasted plaintain with groundnuts biko?
In the South-West, boli is eaten like a snack but in the South-South it is A FULL MEAL, a balanced diet eaten with roasted yam, roasted fish, sauce and vegetables.
Truth is, there is so much to love about Nigeria!!! So much!!! Our joy is contagious. Our diversity is amazing, we find ourselves everyday. We have a rich blend of culture. Religion – we love God so much! Is it our close-knit family members? Or the ability of Nigerians to price every single thing in the market? Is it Mama Put? (Shout to MAMA TEE – Balogun market. I mean, who 17th floor epp), JOLLOF RICE, WHITE RICE, DODO!!!
The Afro Reader website is up and running and I am excited about the many ideas in my head.
I started a series : CONVERSATIONS!
Conversations is a weekly interview series with some of my favorite poets, novelists and book enthusiasts.
Kamnelechukwu is as beautiful as her name. Her voice is a blend of milk mixed with purehoney. I first heard her talk at the Author’s Talk programme organized by the Kate Tales Foundation. I have always been a fan of her work but it was really great putting a face to the art. And so when the website was ready, she was top on my interview list. In this interview, she talks about her book BRAVE, photography, her phobia for flying roaches and her friendship with Romeo Oriogun – Winner of the 2017 Brunel Prize! All in 20 Simple Questions! When I read through the email, I felt as though I had come out of a liberating theraphy session.
Kamnelechukwu is a Documentary photographer and storyteller from Ebonyi, Nigeria. She holds a degree in Computer Science. She acted as a contributor for the NORTH IS NOT NOT team whilst travelling and changing narratives about Northern Nigeria in 2016. Her Ongoing Project seeks to document the male body and its issues which it rather chooses to internalize by using silence as punishment and also defiance as well as how it deals with the decision to define ourselves, name ourselves and speak for ourselves than have others do it for us.
Her work has been featured on KONBINI, ELSIEISY and SISTER NAMIBIA.
This interview has a lot of soul! Enjoy!
Click HERE!!!!! …. to read the remaining of the interview and to download her book, BRAVE!!!
My weekend has been busy and that is because I have been preparing interview questions for some of my favourite poets. The interviews would be posted on the new website; http://www.theafroreader.com. I can’t wait for you guys to read them.
I got featured on the 9mobile Blog. An interview series for book enthusiasts. I was asked in the interview about my favourite book, my favourite author, and I was also asked if Nigerians read!
Over to you guys, Do you think Nigerians read??? What is your best African Novel or Nigerian Novel and WHY????
Now that I think about it, if I were to take a book for a journey it would be SECRECT LIVES OF BABA SEGI’S WIVES and DEAR IJAWELE by CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE!
Dear Ijawele would spark up a goid conversation!!!
It has been forever. I have been working on so many projects, coupled with getting ready for law school.
I have a new website. I had a few glitches that stalled its launching and so rather than wait for it to be “complete” I have decided to keep you all updated.
The Afro Reader was born out of a passion and deep love for AFRICAN LITERATURE. I felt the need to have a space that concentrates fully on African Literature and to make it – african literature, as cool as possible.
How do we promote the reading culture? How do we get people more invested in stories? How would these stories promote literacy and social thinking? These and so much more are the things I hope to achieve with The Afro Reader brand.
I would still write about my experiences here as I have been doing but more of my BOOK RELATED POSTS would be on the website. And from the new website, you can easily access this blog through a category called “BLOG”. Interviews with writers would be on the website and so much more!!!
I have a YouTube channel, THE AFROREADER – promoting books visually, linking themes with societal happenings.
I’m stalking writers and on-line book stores on Instagram when I say out loud “I really want to read this Stay With Me”. Chinelo, my friend, but technically my sister hears this and says “I’m getting it for your birthday”. Continue reading “See Who Got A Post-Birthday Gift”→