DASHED DREAMS AND TRAFFICKED TOMORROWS: A READING OF EMEKA UKWUABA’S BENIGN PAIN by S. Su’eddie Vershima Agema

The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (2019) notes that at least forty per cent of Nigerians (translated to about 83 million citizens) live below the poverty line. Most of these numbers stay in rural areas. This tale of poverty seems only to get worse by the day. Indeed, the 2019 figures have currently grown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, current economic hardships, among other harsh realities of life. One of the more popular ways of trying to escape this poverty cycle for many families is migration either from rural areas to urban areas or from Nigeria to foreign countries. People are desperate and thus seek what sustenance they can to make life better. Many become house helps in the cities or try to find their way through any means possible. This narrative often ends in people being maltreated in the city or trafficked within or outside of the country. Daisy Odey in a safe underestimation of this notes in a recent Aljazeera article that beautifully captures this societal issue there are hundreds of underage girls work as domestic help in cities across Nigeria. It is the narrative of these people that Emeka Ukwuaba focuses on.

Continue reading “DASHED DREAMS AND TRAFFICKED TOMORROWS: A READING OF EMEKA UKWUABA’S BENIGN PAIN by S. Su’eddie Vershima Agema”

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.’

Continue reading “DRINKING AIR, Memories with Mr. Charles Ayede, family and simply enjoying life”

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).

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