MY FRIENDS, HENNEH KWAKU KYEREH, EMMA OFOSUA AND ELIZABETH JOHNSON

This is a placeholder to sing the praises of three of my Ghanaian pals, literary stars and poets – Henneh Kwaku Kyereh, Elizabeth Johnson and Emma Ofosua. At the last Lagos International Poetry Festival, they shone bright, with Henneh and Elizabeth moderating fine sessions while Emma blazed the stage with extempore poems. There was a … Continue reading MY FRIENDS, HENNEH KWAKU KYEREH, EMMA OFOSUA AND ELIZABETH JOHNSON

The Oklobias and I

Writing and publishing have given me access to many people and great friends through the years. I cannot imagine where I would be if I had not taken this path. Well, I might have been a full Professor or a development consultant. But, writing has been kind. Through this craft, I have met some of … Continue reading The Oklobias and I

BENUE BOOK AND ARTS FESTIVAL HOLDS IN MAKURDI 20th to 25th June 2022

The Benue Book and Arts Festival is here again and promises to be spectacular! We have an impressive list of star writers, artists and people from all over coming together to provide such beautiful literary and engaging fun as you have not seen before.

This year’s edition is billed for June 20th to 25th 2022, and is themed ‘ART AND THE CONVERGENCE.’ The theme is open-ended but can also be seen as how art converges with other things for results: whether it be history, activism, development, anarchy, or just about anything. It can also be looked at in the light of art surrounded by the convergence of people, things or a state in any context. Some of the projected panels including some on publishing and editing, the metaverse, and the role of arts in various spheres. There will be a slam competition worth a hundred thousand on the night of June 25th 2022. On the same day, there is also meant to be a competition for secondary schools that will feature drama, on-the-spot writing, and a spelling bee. It will also feature the book unveiling of the talented and popular poets, Umar Sidi and Oko Owi Ocho Afrika (who is a co-director of the festival for this year).

There will be virtual sessions throughout the festival, with daily critique and writer sessions by 4:30pm at Metroprime Hotel (from 20th to 23rd June 2022 with a palm wine reading on the 23rd where we hope to have a high-profile conversation on ‘Deconstructing the Canon: Literature, Language, Theories, Politics and Nationhood’ featuring Professors Dul Johnson and Egya Sule, with other scholars). The major part of the festival will be held at Steam Lounge, Old GRA, Makurdi, Benue State, on the 24th and 25th June 2022 (from 9am to 9pm).

Continue reading “BENUE BOOK AND ARTS FESTIVAL HOLDS IN MAKURDI 20th to 25th June 2022”

THIS REVIEW DOES NOT COME TO YOU BY CHANCE by S. Su’eddie Vershima Agema

(A Review of Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani’s I do not come to you by chance)

What is the difference between yesterday and today? When we sin for those we love, killing ourselves that ours may live, what lines do we cross? In the struggle to make ends meet and turn from being the scourge of society, what sacrifices do we make? And when we reap from the greed of others, are we really to be blamed?

There are a million and one questions like these and others that life places on us every day but imagine this: you are a first son with a million needs. You graduated summa cum laude in Chemical Engineering and have tried every single job opening without success. Add to this: your babe leaves you because you are too broke. Everyone scorns you like the wretched of the earth. Well, truth be said, when poverty chews life’s essence out of you, what else are you? But still putting ourselves in the shows of this man that for a moment we assume we are: imagine your father falls ill and there’s hardly any money to take care of him. He’s admitted…and then you get some really good news; your brother has gotten admission into the university. Before you can cry at this ‘fortune’, your dad dies leaving the burden of his funeral and your family on your shoulders…

Oh well, what next is there to do?

But let us add this part, to make it better for you: You have an uncle is a 419 Lord who has been asking you to come and join him… You have held back because of your family’s high value on education above everything else. They hope you will get a job despite the gazillion interviews you have not passed. So… Morals or money? To follow family honour and the words of your father on integrity or face the challenge of reality? What would you do especially now that the honour of your family is engraved in a life that is now outspent?

Have heard of the book I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. It is a novel whose Nigerian versions were published in 2009 by Cassava Republic and more recently, in 2019 by the revolutionising publishing house, Masobe Books.

Continue reading “THIS REVIEW DOES NOT COME TO YOU BY CHANCE by S. Su’eddie Vershima Agema”

STAND UP FOR SOMEONE TODAY

Different dawns come upon us and the sun we see today, though the same that appears tomorrow is different in many ways – maybe in intensity, or just in the manner it sends its rays upon us. It is the same thing with affections, emotions and a whole lot more. Today, well, yesterday was a funny day. I got to remember much about family, and lost ones. It started with a movie, Lukewarm. The sub-plot was about a father-son relationship. It took me on a long journey; life.

Later, as the day wore on, as I walked the road with a friend and got to meet with family, and talk to other friends in different areas who needed a little help or the other, I got to realise that a lot of people are going through so much pain. So much pain, that we often do not note. It has been a learning period for me, these past weeks. I have learnt and am still learning much about friendship, about family and being grateful. Also about God who is always there for us too and Jesus. There’s always much to be grateful for. Always.

Continue reading “STAND UP FOR SOMEONE TODAY”

Prof Dul Johnson reads at Federal College of Education Pankshin

The room was electric as the students listened to the charged words of famed author and Deputy Vice Chancellor of Bingham University, Professor Dul Johnson talk about literary craft in general and his writing specifically. The 200 level students of FCE Pankshin, Plateau State drank in the wisdom of the learned professor who is also … Continue reading Prof Dul Johnson reads at Federal College of Education Pankshin

BRUCE ALMIGHTY – A movie you should watch now [Short Review] by Su’eddie Vershima Agema

The summary of this short review: I love the movie, Bruce Almighty. I just watched it again for the millionth time. You should watch it too. Especially if you are feeling blue, if your country is happening to you or if you generally need to watch a funny, inspirational, feel-good movie. It is the perfect movie to get your mind out of the rut and rethink things while laughing.

I remember one the times I watched Bruce Almighty (2003). I was with Mr. Charles Ayede, my sub-dad. He had been a journalist, was a journalist himself so he got all the inner jokes. He took time to explain several things that I might have missed – like the roles of the editors, the teleprompters etc etc. It was a fun moment because growing up, we were used to him telling us to watch news. 9 o’clock network news which we would have to explain later. Even at that moment, it was usually ‘Change the channel to Aljazeera.’ So, being able to share a movie with him was special. And wow, he laughed hard. Indeed, it is hard to watch classic Jim Carrey in a comic role and not piss yourself laughing. See, you would not understand why I am doing this long introduction but if you understand that Dadi (mentioned above) was not much of a movie man, and was mainly the news or documentaries kind of person, yet sat through the entire movie and enjoyed it, then you would get that truly this movie is not just a movie for movie people but for everyone.

The movie is inspirational. So inspirational and you have the lovable Jennifer Aniston, the equally funny Steve Carrell (the now famous voice of Gru), and gosh, Morgan Freeman playing the role of God.

Continue reading “BRUCE ALMIGHTY – A movie you should watch now [Short Review] by Su’eddie Vershima Agema”

ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN AUTHORS 2022 LITERARY PRIZES: CALL FOR ENTRIES (Deadline: 28th May 2022)

It is that time of the year again when the call for prizes ‘rain.’ Dear Nigerian writers everywhere, here is announcing The Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA)’s call for submission to its 2022 literary competitions in eight categories:

  1. ANA Prize For Poetry (Published & Unpublished) – N 100,000
  2. ANA Prize For Prose Fiction (Published & Unpublished) – N 100,000
  3. ANA Prize For Drama (Published & Unpublished) – N 100,000
  4. ANA Prize For Children’s Literature- 7-13 Years Age Range (Published Works Only And Open To All Categories Of Authors) -N100,000
  5. ANA/ViviSam Prize for Children Poetry 7-15 Years Age Range (Published Works Only And Open To All Categories Of Authors) – N100,000
  6. ANA/Abubakar Gimba Prize For Fiction (Short Stories Collection-Published) – N200,000.
  7. ANA/Maria Ajima Prize For Literary Criticism (Focus On Criticism Of Emergent Nigerian Literature) – N100,000
  8. ANA/Jerry Agada Prize For Idoma Language Literature” (Published & Unpublished) – N150,000

Works entered should have been published between 2020 and 2022.

Continue reading “ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN AUTHORS 2022 LITERARY PRIZES: CALL FOR ENTRIES (Deadline: 28th May 2022)”

Tanure Ojaide, Obari Gomba, Servio Gbadamosi, Eche Nduka, Olumide Olaniyan, Bashiru Abdallah, & Danielle Gonai make PAWA Poetry Prize Shortlist

It is meant to be about the four categories Arabic, Kiswahili, English and French but the English group is offering thrills with a shortlist made of five top Nigerian poets including the academic superstars, Tanure Ojaide and Obari Gomba, the pianist Eche Nduka, the graceful Olumide Olaniyan and the publisher, Servio Gbadamosi. It is a … Continue reading Tanure Ojaide, Obari Gomba, Servio Gbadamosi, Eche Nduka, Olumide Olaniyan, Bashiru Abdallah, & Danielle Gonai make PAWA Poetry Prize Shortlist

PAN AFRICAN WRITERS ASSOCIATION RELEASES POETRY LONGLIST WITH NIGERIAN ALL-STAR CAST FEATURING DENJA ABDULLAHI, TANURE OJAIDE, SERVIO GBADAMOSI, OBARI GOMBA, ONYEKA NWELUE, ECHE NDUKA AND OLUMIDE OLANIYAN

by S. Su’eddie Vershima Agema The Pan African Writers Association (PAWA) has today released her poetry prize longlist in four categories (English, Arabic, French and Kiswahili). The signed release by the Association’s Secretary General, Dr. Wale Okediran, shows a total of fifty-three longlisted entrants, with fifteen in each category, except for Kiswahili with eight entries. … Continue reading PAN AFRICAN WRITERS ASSOCIATION RELEASES POETRY LONGLIST WITH NIGERIAN ALL-STAR CAST FEATURING DENJA ABDULLAHI, TANURE OJAIDE, SERVIO GBADAMOSI, OBARI GOMBA, ONYEKA NWELUE, ECHE NDUKA AND OLUMIDE OLANIYAN