Well, it’s back to Abuja for me and I am reading at the Abuja Writers’ Forum. As part of the monthly Guest Writers’ Session that the Dr. Emman Usman Shehu led organisation conducts at Nanet Suites every last Saturday of the month, I would be reading with Tope Fasua and Numero Unọma.
It’s been fun, you know. There have been calls from everywhere with the ‘Hey! I saw you in the papers’ and all. Surprising that the calls only started coming in after Dr. Shehu called to ask if I hadn’t seen any of the papers… Well, I still haven’t seen any. I copied the link from THISDAY online and discovered that I had been described as a ‘Cultural and development enth’ … Whatever that means! Had mon belle note the error to me and I got to check the dictionary to see if perhaps some editorial mishap had blessed me with a name to go for ages. Oh well! It wasn’t to be. So, for the record, I believe that’s meant to be ‘enthusiast’.
The AWF Readings are always a thrill and there is hardly ever a dull moment. I have been at most of them since the very start – was that 2008? It gets better each year and with each passing month. This year has been really cool! Only last month the AWF session had three guest ‘writers’ – artistes more of – at the session – all of them award-winning in their own right. They included poetry maestro, Musa Idris Okpanachi who read from his From the margins of Paradise which left lots of people grabbing copies to learn new vibes for their boos. Fortunately, he’s my paddy so I got lots from the original himself! SEVHAGE had organised an event for him two months earlier so it was only a reliving of that experience. Two filmmakers, Kalsham Keltuma and Ishaya Bako thrilled us all with breath-taking short films. There were celebrities in the house including the lovely Mrs. Eugenia Abu (who came with her daughter and in her trademark kindness bought books there that were donated to the students and Corp members in the audience); Abubakar Adam Ibrahim and ElNathan John (journalists, writers and yup, Caine Prize nominees); Elvis Iorngurum; David Ishaya Osu and the like. It is usually like that. Lots of people come from far and wide. Dr. Kabura Zakama, Jim Pressman Mike Ekunno, Steve Fiberesimma are notable faces there. Now, in my bid to post this quick all the names do not come to mind but trust me, there are usually lots of interesting known, famous and infamous faces at this event. There are also lots of gifts won at the raffle where one qualifies by simply being present! Wow!
But to the August reading…
Tope Fasua would be reading, I believe, his book Things to do before your career disappears. He was at AWF last year – I was at that reading – where he read from his book, Crushed. Tope an economist and chartered accountant, prides himself as one of Africa’s young modern historians and sociologists , by choice. Apart from keeping a column with the Abuja-based Sunday Trust newspapers and writing occasionally for other media houses in Africa, he is passionate about contributing his quota to the debate about Africa, using his home country, Nigeria, as case study. A position showcased in his debut book, CRUSHED, which is increasing garnering attention as a major out-of –the-box perspective. Tope is an engaging writer and personality whose brilliance shines in his speech as well as books.
Numero Unọma, whom I can tell from our gist today, would be expecting to show some photos and making an attempt at sounding intelligent – or so
she says. Hee hee hee. She said she would be expecting some questions…curious ones, cheeky ones, perhaps even rude ones. Hopefully, she wouldn’t be disappointed. For the record, Numero is a Nigerian visual artist and writer, with her deepest roots in photography and poetry. Calling herself an Afro-neo-feminist, she has lived and worked in many different cultures, and studied first psychology, then photography & multimedia. All these inform her work, bringing to the fore a perceptive subtlety in her visual work, and a brutal candour in her writings. Her visual work has been described as photographic poetry and her poetry as semantic imagery. She is as fun as she is fair skinned and yup, I can assure you you just would love her exhibition which has found lots of applause in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, other parts of Europe and West Africa.
Su’eddie… What would I be reading? Have you ever heard me read a short story? Okay, maybe once. But there is the chance to hear the other part of me that isn’t completely verse. Well, a short story and poems from Bring our casket home: Tales one shouldn’t tell. I guess I would have lots of buddies around since AWF is home so I would have to gear up. As I write now, I remember that a prophet has no [what’s the word?]…. eh, no something not nice [I would remember the word later if I am so honoured 😉 ] so I would have to be at my best. The Association of Nigerian Authors (in Benue and Abuja and other parts), the Benue State University‘s Writers’ League, and far more, the Abuja Writers’ Forum have given me some criticism that has helped me get better each day. I think I am still improving – even as I write. We would put all that to the reading tomorrow in addition to all the other talents gotten in the increased readings.
If you are in Abuja, please make it a date to come. If you can pick copies of our books, that would be great. I can assure you, they are affordable and definitely worth it. And if you can’t, just ensure you come. Have fun. What would you lose? If you are not in Abuja tomorrow or can’t make it to the Guest Writer session, make it a date to attend the next (and all subsequent) AWF readings.
The place is Nanet Suites, beside the Federal Secretariat. Time is 4pm and date, of course (for this month’s reading), 31st August 2013. Our hosts, the Abuja Writers’ Forum. See you there.
Tope Fasua (Tope Fasua)
Numero Unọma (TCD Photography)
Su’eddie Vershima Agema (Vzoren Photos)
AWF Session Pictures (Dr. Emman Usman Shehu)
- IBADAN LIGHTS WITH ARTMOSPHERE ON 17th AUGUST 2013 (sueddie.wordpress.com)
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- Abuja Writers Forum (awf) (elvisharmony.wordpress.com)
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- Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of COZA’s Sex Scandal: From Ese to Franca, Another Survivor Speaks. (alexixblog.wordpress.com)
- Abuja Writers’ Forum (elvisharmony.wordpress.com)
- September Writing Workshops (abujawritersforum.wordpress.com)