Non-Fiction Is What You Need. We Can Prove It.

Non-fiction isn’t boring.

Perhaps you found it difficult to read before now, but the problem is not exactly with the genre itself.

A simple solution for you would be to seek out non-fiction with themes you already enjoy in fiction, such as crime, race, human rights, feminism etc.

Fiction and non-fiction are not as different as you think when you look closely. The latter can be narrated just as creatively as the former.

We also imagine that you are, perhaps, a big fiction reader who simply wants to switch up her reading preferences.

Wherever you fall, this blogpost is for you!

We curated a list of non-fiction essays, all with varying and intriguing themes, to start you off on your non-fiction-reading journey.

1. My Secondhand Lonely by Zoe Gadegbeku

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In this baring article, Gadegbeku reveals the thin, and sometimes transparent, line between having it all together and social isolation. First published in Slice , and later in LongreadsMy Secondhand Lonely leaves you with the knowledge of a phenomenon we may have never considered before now.

Read the full essay here.

2. Home by Ope Adedeji

Where is home? What is home?
In her riveting three-part essay, Ope Adedeji leaves no emotion undescribed. She reveals where, to her, home is —  and where it isn’t.
Read the full essay here.

3. Finding Binyavanga by Sada Malumfashi

Binyavanga Wainana is set to attend a literary evening in Kaduna.
Sada Malumfashi, a Kaduna-based writer looks forward to this, but he knows little of  how his life will change because of this event.
An enchanting essay about falling further in love with Northern Nigeria’s history and, of course, of finding what makes Binyavanga tick.

Read it here.

4. Nigeria: The Trouble of Nigerian Culture Writing by Oris Aigbokhaevbolo

In this didactic article, Oris Aigbokhaevbolo draws attention to the declining quality in journalistic writing by popular ‘culture curators’.
This article draws lessons from the drama which ensued after an article published on The Pulse website about rapper, M.I. Abaga, escalated into a full-blown shouting match on the website’s Loose Talk podcast.
Read the full story here.

5. The Shea Prince by Frankie Edozien

Journalist and author of Lives of Great Men, Frankie Edozien, dazzles in this piece about a journey to Ghana that marks the start of an unclear and intense friendship.

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Published in adda stories, this essay revolves about the author’s friendship with Will, a native of dry, dusty Tamale in Ghana.

Will is old-school, married with children, easygoing. But one thing he  struggles to accept, however, is the strong chemistry between him and the writer.

Read the full essay here.

6. Who Will Claim You by Akwaeke Emezi.

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Published by Commonwealth Writers, this essay confronts the realities of being a product of different cultures.

Emezi asks questions in this essay: ‘Is [belonging] a birthplace, a passport, a childhood? and ‘Can you claim a people with enough force that they claim you back?’ She explores questions on belonging that we may never have answers to.

Here’s an excerpt:

Read the full story here

 

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5 Books to Kick Off Your 2018 Reading Resolutions

2018 is the year to read more, isn’t it?

This tweet by Wale Lawal proves this much, with its many retweets and likes.

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However, it can also be overwhelming to decide which books to start with. Especially books that will keep you asking for more.

So, here are 4 books to start your New Year book resolutions with, especially if you are looking to read more African literature.

1. Yewande Omotoso: The Woman Next Door

In her novel, Yewande writes about two prickly old women, one black and one white, who discover, after 20 years of exchanging digs and insults, that they might help each other.

Hortensia and Marion are anything but friends and would like it to remain that way. But then a repair project leaves Hortensia with a broken leg and Marion in need of temporary housing.

Published by Kachifo Limited under its Farafina imprint, this is one book to start the new year with. Buy it here.

2. Chimamanda Adichie: Half of a Yellow Sun

Olanna is a beautiful London-educated woman who abandons her life of privilege in Lagos for a dusty university town and the charisma of her new lover, Odenigbo.

Soon after their new life begins, the Nigerian Civil War starts. As Nigerian troops advance and they and their loved ones run for their lives, their ideals are severely tested, as are their loyalties to one another.

Get it on Amazon here.

3. Leye Adenle: Easy Motion Tourist

Adenle’s novel entertains from beginning to end.

This compelling crime novel is set in contemporary Lagos and features Guy Collins, a British journalist, who is found close to a mutilated body, discarded by the side of a club in Victoria Island, and is picked up by the police as a potential suspect.

Collins soon finds out there is more to Lagos than just its bustling traffic.

Buy it here.
4. Adewale Maja-Pearce: The House My Father Built

The House My Father Built is a memoir of a ten-year struggle between the author and his “inherited” tenants. After inheriting a house in Surulere from his late father and waiting ten years for the terms of the inheritance to be fulfilled, Maja-Pearce is eager to take possession of his house. So he offers his tenants a one-year rent-free break, after which they are to vacate his property. Little does he know that, when the time comes to leave, his tenants would put him through one of the fiercest, and probably the most ridiculous, battles to stay put.

Get it here.

Photos from #FarafinaReads with Lesley Arimah

The much anticipated #FarafinaReads events with Lesley Nneka Arimah, author of What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky took place in Abuja and Lagos, on 18th and 20th January 2018. Following the excitement many readers expressed on social media after reading the collection, it was a thing for joy for many to finally meet the author and interact with her. Both book reading events were well attended.
Ileri lawal, an attendee described the event on Instagram as a ‘beautiful book reading’. Olaide Wangai Akin, said the reading was one with a ‘lovely atmosphere and lovely people’.
The Q&A session with the author, moderated by Adebola Rayo also proved to be insightful. When asked about her obvious emphasis on mother-daughter relationships in her collection, Arimah replied that she had “wanted to explore all the ways that such relationships could turn out.”
She also spoke on the use of magical realism in her work and its benefits. “[With it,] we are able to take social conventions in our world and put it in another dimension and see them take on another form.” One of her responses at the book reading that made the audience laugh for a while was when she admitted that she found it very easy to write about unlikeable characters.
The book reading in Lagos was held at Herbert Macaulay Library, Yaba and in collaboration with the You Read initiative of GTBank.
See pictures from the Lagos event below.

Lesley Nneka Arimah: Book Readings in Abuja and Lagos

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This January, we’re happy to invite you to #FarafinaReads with Lesley Nneka Arimah in Abuja and Lagos. The author will be reading from her debut collection What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky . The events will also include discussions and book signings.

What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky has been described as ‘a rare combination of daring and nuance’ by The Guardian UK, and her writing style as ‘a blast of fresh air’ by Igoni Barrett, author of Blackass. The book won the Kirkus Prize in 2017 and is on the 2018 9mobile Literature Prize longlist.

Details for the reading in Abuja are below:

Date: 18th January 2018

Time: 3 p.m.

Venue: The Booksellers, Ground Floor, City Plaza, 7 Rubuka Close, off Ahmadu Bello Way, Garki II, Abuja

Moderator: Salamatu Sule

Host: Orpheus Literary Foundation

 

For Lagos click HERE to register.

Date: 20th January 2018

Time: 2 p.m

Venue: Herbert Macaulay Library, 233 Herbert Macaulay way, Sabo, Yaba

Moderator: Adebola Rayo

Supported by: GTBank YouRead

 

You can order the book on Jumia here, or at Terra Kulture, V.I. and Patabah Bookstore, Shoprite, Surulere.

6 Spoken Word Artists We Absolutely Love

There were poets long before there were printing presses, poetry is primarily oral utterance, to be said aloud, to be heard. – Knight Etheridge

A poetry performance is an experience like no other. You get to travel through the world of the poet on words that  are rich with imagery, so much that you can see, smell, feel and maybe even taste what you’re being told.

We compiled this list of those who make these magical experiences happen, and with lyrical voices too!

Here they are:

Thuli Zuma
Thuli Zuma is an actor by training and poet by passion, Thuli, who is from South Africa, has shared her work and heart on stage and screen alike both nationally and internationally, from Johannesburg to Paris, the glowing city of lights.

Thuli was placed second at the 2012 Individual World Poetry Slam, represented New York at the 2013 National Poetry Slam, and represented the United States of America at the 2013 World Cup of Poetry Slam in Paris. She is the 2013 Urbana New York Grand Slam Champion.

Lebobang Mashile
Lebogang Mashile is a South African actor, writer and performance poet. Lebo Mashile has won the 2006 Pan African book prize, the Noma Award, for her first published collection of poems. Mashile regards  poetry’s expressive powers as the most effective tool to bring about those changes that are needed in the aftermath of socio-political changes in South Africa.

Her lyrical and gutsy poems in the collection “A Ribbon of Rhythm” (2005) also speak about life in the new South Africa. Issues such as the diversity and unity of the “Rainbow Nation”, the status of women, violence and the fragility of individuals are all treated with a sense of urgency, humour and at times with melancholy and a certain rawness.

Mashile has performed in Bern, Switzerland at the Schlacthaus Festival of South African Contemporary Art and attended Yarri Yarri Phambari Writers Conference in New York City with African American writers such as Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Maryse Conde, Nawal el Saadawi and Patricia McFadden.

Shailja Patel

Shailja Patel is an internationally acclaimed Kenyan poet, playwright, theatre artist, and political activist. CNN has characterized Patel as an artist “who exemplifies globalization as a people-centered phenomenon of migration and exchange.”

Patel is best known for her book Migritude, based on the 90-minute spoken-word theatre show with the same name. The name of the play is a term Patel coined herself. Derived from the words “migrant,” “attitude” and “negritude,” it refers to, in Patel’s words, “a generation of migrants who don’t feel the need to be silent to protect themselves.”

Titilope Sonuga

Titilope Sonuga has, no doubt, won many hearts with her lyrical dance with words. It is therefore no surprise to find her listed in many articles on top African Spoken Word performers.

She has won awards such as the Canadian Authors Association Emerging Writer Award in 2011, as well as the 2012 Maya Mangelou Poetry Contest. In May 2015 she became the first poet to appear at a Nigerian presidential inauguration, after which she published a poetry collection in 2016. Sonuga has performed regularly at the Lagos International Poetry Festival and is a brand ambassador for Intel Nigeria.

Probably the most indelible of her recent achievements is Open, a 3-part spoken word performance series she organised at 3 different locations in Lagos this year.

Koleka Putuma

Maybe the most memorable thing about Koleka is her record of selling 2000 copies of her debut collection of poems, Collective Amnesia, in less than 5 months. Her poetry collection has been prescribed for study at tertiary level in South African Universities.

Her awards include: Winner of the 2014 National Poetry Slam Championship and the 2016 PEN South Africa Student Writing Prize. She has also been named One of Africa’s top 10 poets by Badilisha, and named one of the young pioneers who took South Africa by storm in 2015 by The Sunday Times and one of 12 future shapers by Marie Claire SA.

Dike Chukwumerije

Dike Chukwumerije is a writer, author, and Performance Poet. He is the Creative Director of the Night of the Spoken Word (NSW)Performance Poetry Show. He is also the host of the Abuja Literary Society (ALS) Book Jam and Poetry Slam, as well as an event anchor for the Enugu Literary Society (EnLS) Open Mic. His videos can be seen on YouTube.

Truth be told, 2017 was a good year for these artists, and we can’t wait to see what 2018 holds for them.

Or is it just us?

 

Wet Hair by Eghosa Imasuen

“That is not dead, which can eternal lie.
Yet with strange eons, even death may die”
HP Lovecraft.


Why do you turn away from me, Papa?

Why do you ignore me? This is not like before. This is not my melancholia, not more evidence of my unhappiness.

Listen to me, Papa. Let me tell you what happened.

I ran through the bush. I ran till I felt my heart burst inside my chest.And I ran some more. My torn wrapper felt wet beneath the white shirt. Branches – canes and flogging sticks not yet plucked from the mangrove saplings – left bright wheals on my face and my arms, slapping me as I ran away from him.

Continue reading

Flashback Friday: It’s Farafina Magazine!

Imagine that you had Wole Soyinka, Okey Ndibe, Chimamanda Adichie, Yemisi Aribisala, Ikhide Ikheloa, Petina Gappah, Funmi Iyanda and Chika Unigwe all in one room.

Talking. Laughing. Sharing.

Well, no need to run wild, we had all that imagination come to life with our Farafina Magazine.

Before we stopped printing in September 2009, 16 issues of the magazine were published. These issues featured works of the likes of Wole SoyinkaSegun Afolabi, Uche James Iroha, Funmi IyandaDinaw Mengestu, Barbara Murray, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jackee Budesta BatandaHelon Habila, Tosin Oshinowo, Patrice Nganang, Jide Alakija, and a plethora of other writers and graphical artists.

Guest editors of the publication include Olajide Bello, Okey NdibeMolara WoodToni KanUzodinma IwealaPetina GappahChimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Laila Lalami.

Here are excerpts from 5 of the 16 issues:

Issue 1: “Men of God as Superstars”, with its cover story written by Yemisi Aribisala, author of Longthroat Memoirs. Continue reading