DRINKING AIR, Memories with Mr. Charles Ayede, family and simply enjoying life

I just read a blog post by my cousin, Mimi titled ‘Drink Air.‘ and it brought memories. In summary, the term ‘drink air’ is from a Tiv expression, ‘ma ahumbe.’ It is a literal translation. In our context, it is a term that was popularised by her mom, my aunt Mbatomun and my Dadi, Mr. Charles Ayede. A third person who we lost early on was our Auntie, Pat Iorpuu. They would be deliberate and just make time out for us to go out, take aimless drives around town or anywhere, or long walks. Sometimes, it would even be a celebration because — no good reason. Just, live. There was that time in the village, Christmas 2009, when we went to the village with Dadi and a battalion of several families to just enjoy our tradition, acculturate and have fun. Truly, it was one of the best Christmases ever and I hope to replicate this some day, if Fanen does not beat me to it.

Ajio
Christmas in Ajio

But, on the issue of drinking air, we were talking of this on our group chat and Ngodoo, my big cos, reminded me of one time, about sixteen years or so ago, when Dadi got us to go on a road trip with him from Makurdi to Obudu, in Cross River, a four to five hour trip, to get ‘bamboo.’

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WASHING THE EARTH (A Short Story) by Su’eddie Vershima Agema

MUTUM RODE with the anger of a man scorched. Riding under a sun that blazed its fury was enough to roast the sympathies out of anyone. He thought of his pimp. Well, she wasn’t exactly a pimp. The woman of his thoughts was the owner of the commercial motorcycle he was riding. He always thought of her as ‘The Pimp.’ She owned several motorcycles that she leased to different riders for commercial use. They all gave her daily returns based on agreements; what she called ‘remit.’ Mutum’s daily remit was five thousand naira. It was a figure whose sum was never meant to dance backward for The Pimp never listened to excuses. She once told the riders that she would not consider any reduction, not even if it was used on rescuing her daughter from the gates of hell! Continue reading “WASHING THE EARTH (A Short Story) by Su’eddie Vershima Agema”

ON THE MURDER OF 45 IN JERE, BORNO STATE

Nigeria leaves so much for us to desire and the death of the about 45 farmers in Kwashabe village, Jere Local Government Area of Borno State brings this to the fore. It makes one to wonder the worth of a Nigerian life. How long can we go on like this? Now 45 – or more – people, each with names, each with families and destinies cut short have added to the gory statistic of craze called insecurity and extremism. My soul weeps. My soul weeps. Continue reading “ON THE MURDER OF 45 IN JERE, BORNO STATE”

TWO NAIJA LITERARY FESTIVALS FOR THE WEEKEND OCT 2, 2020: LIPFEST AND QFEST 20

Hullo!

It is the first week of October and the weekend of our dear country Nigeria’s independence (1st October) and we have two awesome festivals here: the five year old Lagos International Poetry Festival (LIPFEST) curated by the superstar spoken word maestro, Efe Paul Azino and the new Quramo Festival, curated by the great folks at the Quramo Publishing Corporation. QFest is a tight bullet affair of depth running from October 2nd to 4th while LIPFEST is a full month roller coaster (October 3 to November 2020).

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LIVING IN A WORLD PRESENT BUT PULLED TO LITERATURE’S LIVING PRESENT THAT IS YOUR PAST: ABUBAKAR ADAM IBRAHIM AND HIS NEW ASSORTED DREAMS

I know, one of those titles. I assure you I will actively look into thinking about hiring someone to help me work on titles. When the thoughts come in, you let them flow or you lose them while trying to find a title. Etc etc.

I was talking to my friend, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim after a while and catching up on a gazillion things. Naturally, we had to talk about the new normal and the virtual festivals. How did we get there? I and the team at SEVHAGE are working on the Benue Book and Arts Festival, scheduled for December. Like almost everyone else in the literary world, we had a virtual plan but after talking to Abubakar, I think we can work on a hybrid. More on that later, for now, keep the date for first week of of December and we will ensure that whether it is physical or virtual or whatever else, there will be room for you to access our amazing festival in person and online. But that is not what this post is about… This post is about how you have moved on from a project and are on a new one, have spoken about the old projects so much that your mouth will pain you just remembering the book but because it is people’s favourite, it is the one they will want to keep asking questions about. To put it in perspective, imagine Chinua Achebe’s last published work of fiction was Anthills of the Savannah in 1987 but when people met him and wanted to talk about his works, it would often be a conversation revolving around Things Fall Apart of 1958!

So….let’s move on.

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HURRY NOW (A personal poem from long ago) with notes and an intro by Su’eddie Vershima Agema

I found this poem somewhere on my system from many years ago. I think it was a test from one of our English lessons, maybe Introduction to Creative Writing II or Poetry or something. I do remember the course lecturer though, (now Professor) Moses Tsenongu, himself a poet that we looked up to, a past Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors (Benue State Chapter), a position I would eventually come to occupy years later.

It was one of my first less playful poems. The assignment was to write a Valentine poem. Some of my friends asked me how I would conjure one up, since I was not in any relationship. They had healthy laughs at me. Well, I smiled and put on my imaginative hat.

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SEVHAGE presents The Teenager who Became my Mother by Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto

Originally posted on sevhage:
It has been some time coming and you all knew we were going to come through. HERE IT IS, Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto’s lovely chapbook, The Teenager who became my mother. It is the third in our SEVHAGE poetry Chapbook series that was inaugurated with Agatha Aduro’s The Enchanting. The series celebrates the best… Continue reading SEVHAGE presents The Teenager who Became my Mother by Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto