It is so good to be on here after what seems like eons.
Law school is not easy. Like, I am constantly in this circle of studying and attending classes and preparing for presentations.
New wigs were called to the Nigerian Bar two days ago and seeing the pictures of my senior colleagues in their wigs and gowns gave me JOY and HOPE. I kept telling myself:
Next year, you will be called to the Nigerian Bar – you will be called EXCELLENTLY.
I apologize for the absence. I miss talking about life and books and African Literature. But knowing that it is all for a GREATER CAUSE warms my heart.
Now. The Holidays are here!!! Who is excited?
I have decided to take TWO DAYS out of my very busy holiday – that would begin on the 15th – to read this amazing book by OLUNOSEN LOUISA IBHAZE – AUTHENTIC MAMA!!! I will be reading this book alongside members of my BOOK CLUB –KAWE BOOK CLUB – You should totally join us!
Guess who is in Law School? Yours Truly. I am scared as hell.
I never applied for Bayelsa, Yenagoa campus. My roomate never applied for Bayelsa but got it too. I met a guy who filled : Abuja, Kano and Yola but who still got Bayelsa. So I was not alone in this sudden change of plans. I cried for a week and it did not help that my friends were not posted to Bayelsa.
Since my 400 level days as a Law undergraduate at the University of Ibadan, I have dreamt of being in Lagos Campus for two reasons;
a) I wanted the Lagos drill. I wanted the extreme stress of Lagos campus as I felt the stress was going to make me do better in school.
b) I wanted to be able to attend AKE FESTIVAL. I wanted to be close to all the literary activities in Lagos. I wanted to be close to KAWE BOOKCLUB.
But Life happens. And here I am, in Bayelsa, surrounded by large mosquitoes. Mosquitoes like bats.
In Bayelsa, you will learn that some things are compulsory necessities:
1) Mosiquto net
2) Long and thick trousers
These mosquitoes are not here to play. They are like bats. I found a dead mosquito in my indomie last night.
I have tried to compensate myself with the fact that I spent my gap year in Lagos interning at one of the best accounting and tax firms in the world and I have also tried to compensate myself with the hostel accomodation in Bayelsa campus. It is perfect albeit being five in a room. But there is still room for everyone to mind his or her business, the ensuite bathrooms and toilets and the tiled floors.
I am not quite impressed with the learning hall. It is quite small for the number of students, the seats are few and half of them are bad. They are actually not fit for purpose. At all. I made a comment about it and a lecturer replied saying:
Your senior colleagues spoilt it. You guys will have to pay the prize.
Sadly, law school is not a place to wear your cape of heorism and your Ned Stark cloak.
I talked to a senior friend about my fears and she told me:
Enjoy the process. Let your life and heart be richer for the experience.
Remember to laugh. Study hard but eat and sleep too. Follow the rules but dont be bullied, by the system or by its people.
Guard your mental health.
I cut her short telling her about my fears…the annoying grading system…and how I thought my brain was not that hot…
You don’t need be a hot brain, babe. You need to study consistently and take care of your health and know whats important in the big fat curriculum and most importantly, let God guide you.
Pray for me guys!!!
I have met some interesting people – people from Universities like Usman Dan Fodio and the University of Maiduguri. The blogger in me could not help but ask of their stories.
I have decided to create a category on my blog : STUDENTS OF NLS YENAGOA!!!
In this category, I would ask them questions about their lives, universities and one very important question : WHY LAW?!?
This question is important to me because I am quite indifferent to Law right now…and so I am hoping that maybe, just maybe…asking these questions and seeing law through the eyes of these people would stir something in me.
Because of the busy nature of law school, the interviews may not be published as often as I would want them to. But be rest assured, you would definitely read their stories.
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.