Events! Events!! and more Events!!!

Farafina Book Readings: Isale-Eko Grammar School

Although the visit to Festac Grammar School did not hold as scheduled, we were at Isale-Eko Grammar School on the 20th with RoofTop Mcs. We had a wonderful time as RoofTop Mcs inspired the students. SoulSnatcha started by reading the first chapter of Purple Hibiscus. After that, he emphasised the importance of reading as the way to the top. He also confessed that he had learnt new words by reading that excerpt. Not only were the audience inspired but they also had a good laugh as Snatcha regaled the audience with tales of his ‘scattered teeth’ friend who got all the girls because he read a lot. SoKleva encouraged the students to read so as to avoid ignorance. Also, to encourage them to be more vocal, all the students who asked questions got Farafina wristbands and free cds from RoofTop Mcs. Farafina donated copies of Purple Hibiscus to the school library; the top students in English Language also received Farafina gift packs. Pictures will be up shortly or you can also visit our facebook page, for more information.

Farafina Literary Café

Our Farafina Literary Week has finally come and gone! It was a funfilled week of activities. The event kicked off on Thursday, the 21st with Farafina/Taruwa night. It was a full house (some people had to stand!) and fun all the way! There was poetry, spoken word, comedy, singing and performances by Bez, RoofTop Mcs and other invited artistes. Also, three members of the audience got free Farafina gift packs! On Friday, there was a writing workshop for children. Published writers such as Ayodele Arigbabu,(A Fistful of Tales), Robin Igwe, (The Land of Kalamandahoo) were on hand to teach the kids the rudiments of writing. Also, environmental activist and author, Sola Alamutu read from her book, Cate Saves the Ikopi Rainforest. Asides having a lot of fun as it was an interactive workshop, the kids learnt how to get ideas for stories and how to retain these ideas among other things. The week rounded off on a grand note on Sunday with Chill and Relax, a night of poetry and music.

Lest we forget, our short story competition is still on! Send in your original short stories (no articles or essays, please!) to Entries close on 31st of October, 2010. Please visit our blog, for guidelines.

This Weekend: Fusion Lifestyle Event

Well, it seems there’s something exciting happening every weekend! Last weekend, it was the Farafina Literary Cafe at Newscafe (we’ll give gist on that later for those who missed out!), this weekend, it’s the quarterly FUSION lifestyle event.


FUSION is a quarterly networking event put together by the FUSION lifestyle team. It is also a one stop shop for all your fashion items, home décor, books, and other great stuff. This is the first time FUSION will be holding in Lagos and we are glad to be a part of it!


So come Sunday, 31st of October, we would be at the Grand Ballroom of the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island. Event starts at 12noon and there would be a lot of giveaways! See you there!


Author Interviews – Abraham Oshoko

Hey, all! How was your weekend? A big thank you to all who made it to Newscafe for the Farafina Literary Week. I am sure you all had a blast! For those who missed out, well, watch out for the next event!

We recently launched a series of author interviews. As such, every month, we would focus on one author and his work(s). For the month of October, we would like to focus on June 12 by Abraham Oshoko. We conducted an interview with him and we have posted it below. Enjoy!

 Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Abraham Oshoko. I’m a writer, an illustrator and a graphic
designer with a particular interest in the epic and contemporary
periods of African history.

Is writing something you always planned to do or it just happened?

Writing is something I’d always wanted to do. Right from when I was
very young, I’ve been inspired to write and draw many stories,
especially African based war stories.

June 12 tells the story of what is adjudged to be the freest and
fairest election held in Nigerian history and the aftermaths. What
prompted you to write about it? Also, why did you choose to use
cartoon characters as the medium of expression?

As I said earlier, I’m an ardent student of history, and to an extent,
I have a fascination for African history. June 12 is a historical
event, perhaps one that questioned the very foundations of our polity.
You see, since there are many sides and so many conflicting reports
and views, I wanted to do a relevant, well researched and non-biased
retelling of the actual story so that every Nigerian can know what
really happened.
I chose cartooning as the medium of expression because I’m a
combination of a writer and an illustrator. I wanted to do something
different. I don’t just write stories; I can draw the same stories. So
in expressing myself vividly, I decided to combine both gifts.

Do you see yourself writing art for art’s sake in the nearest future
i.e. writing without reflecting Nigeria or Africa’s socio-political

I don’t see myself writing for just the sake of art. There are several
stories I want to do after the June 12 series [I said series because
there are still other volumes]. I expect that my stories will
definitely reflect on African and not just Nigeria’s socio-political
realities. Some of the stories I would later publish are: Exercise
Damissa: The true story of Nigeria’s first coup, Anini: the Tale of a
robber and The First Republic: The end of a sad Beginning.

What is your writing routine, when best do you write?

Well, I can’t really give you the specifics since I do a lot of
research, writing, drawing [pencilling and inking], digital painting
and graphic design. I see them all as aspects of the same project. You
know, when you are talented, you will need to develop a way so that
you can work at your peak. I guess that must be what has happened to
me [presently, I mean].

Reading the book, one sees that a lot of research must have gone into
its production. How long did it take to write the book?

About two years. I had to rewrite and redraw after I finished the
first artwork as my editor felt it was too porous and it wasn’t
weighty enough.

What are your future plans – any book in the works?

Yes. Presently I’m on the volume two (June 12: The rise of Sani
Abacha). From henceforth all my books will be in full colour. I’ve

attached three random pages and a chapter cover so that you can have a
sneak preview of what is coming next.

What do you to say to upcoming writers?

Keep at it. There’s no other way to know how to write if you don’t
write. A word of advice: get the books of an author that you respect.
Don’t just read but study his or her style. Then use their styles to
develop a style of your own!

Farafina Literary Cafe

Well, in celebration of our beloved country’s golden jubilee and in line with our idea of promoting literacy this month, Farafina will be partnering with Newscafe to bring to you the Farafina Literary Cafe from the 21st to the 24th of October. It promises to be fun as there will be book club reviews, celebrity book readings, poetry etc. Also, the chidren are not left out as there would be a writing workshop for kids on Friday, the 22nd.

October 21
Taruwa: 6.30p.m – 9 p.m

October 22
Writing workshop for children: 9a.m – 2 p.m

October 23
CelebrityRead: 3p.m – 6 p.m

October 24
Chill & Relax Poetry/Spoken Word: 6.30 p.m

Come chill, relax and have fun in an artistic ambience! And bring a friend along!

*All events take place at Newscafe, Palms Shopping Mall, Lekki, Lagos and are free to attend.

Esiaba Irobi awarded the 2010 NLNG Literature prize


Esiaba Irobi

The 2010 Nigeria Prize for Literature, an annual prize sponsored by NLNG to “reward the authors of the best current writing” , has been awarded to Esiaba Irobi. The prize, which was initiated in 2004 and rotates amongst four literary genres—prose fiction, poetry, drama & children’s literature, comes with $50,000. Esiaba, an academic, dramatist, and poet got the prize for his play, ‘Cemetery Road’. ‘Cemetery Road’ emerged the winning play ahead of Ahmed Yerima’s ‘Little Drops…’ and Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo’s ‘The Killing Swamps’. Describing the play, one of the judges of the competition, Dapo Adelugba said ‘Cemetery Road’ is about “living, loving, and dying for the things we hold dear.”

Born in Eastern Nigeria in 1960, Esiaba was knowledgeable in theatre, literature and cinema. An alumnus of the Universities of Nigeria, Nsukka, Sheffield  and Leeds, this child of independence as he was fondly called, was a director of stage productions amongst other things. Asides ‘Cemetery Road’, which won the World Drama Trust Award for playwriting in 1992, other published plays by this man of letters include Hangmen Also DieThe Colour of Rusting GoldNwokediWhy the Vultures Head is NakedWhat Song do Mosquitoes Sing?.  He was until his death, a Distinguished Research Fellow at the  Freie University, Berlin, Germany.


Penguin Books Calls For Book Proposals

Here is an opportunity to get published! From now till the end of October, Penguin Books will be receiving book proposals directly from writers. Please read the excerpt below for more.

People frequently ask us how to go about getting published. Our company policy is to not accept unsolicited manuscripts or synopses and we cannot enter into correspondence about unpublished work. However, for a limited three-month period from the beginning of August until the end of October 2010, we will be inviting submissions to be sent in electronically to the following address:

We ask that email submissions comprise a brief covering note and synopsis and not a full manuscripts. Please do not send attachments, please write out your cover note and synopsis in the body of the email. We remain unable to accept hard copy submissions and will not return or be responsible for the safety of any that we do receive, so please do not send any original or hard copy manuscripts to us. We will not contact you with feedback on your submission and will only enter into email correspondence with you if an editor within Penguin is keen to progress your idea.

More here.

Farafina Short Story Contest is on!

Hey all! Getting ready for the weekend, I guess? Well, the Farafina short story competition was launched earlier this week and entries are already pouring in! Have you sent your own story? No? What are you waiting for? Well, here are the guidelines once more! 


  • Each person is to write an original short story (600 words max) about the theme, Nigeria@50.
  • Creativity and originality is encouraged.
  • All entries should be in English.
  • Ensure your story has a title; word count excludes story title and the name of the writer.
  • Please ensure there are no typographical errors in your work.
  • Use Verdana 10 font with 1.5 spacing to make it easy for the judges to review your work.
  • You can use a pen name but make sure your real name is included in the email.
  • Place your entries in the body of the email; no attachments, please!
  • Please send your entries to Entries close on the 31stof October, 2010. 
  • The winner gets a Farafina VIP gift pack. The winning story will be posted on our blog and will be critiqued by one of our authors.
  • Runners-up will also get gifts from Farafina.
  • Winners will receive gift packs in our Lagos office.

Spread the word to all! More ink to your pens!

Howard Jacobson wins 2010 Man Booker Prize

Howard Jacobson

Howard Jacobson has emerged as the winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his book, The Finkler Question. He was announced winner at a dinner in London on Tuesday, 12th of October. With this win, The Finkler Question, published by Bloomsbury, becomes the first comic novel to win the Booker in its 42-year history.

Aside a cash prize of £50,000, Howard Jacobson can expect  increased sales and recognition worldwide. He also receives £2,500 and a designer-bound edition of the winning book.

The Finkler Question tells a story of love, loss and friendship. It explores the lives of three friends, Julian Treslove, Sam Finkler and Libor Sevick. It has been described as a book ‘full of wit, warmth, intelligence, human feeling and understanding’.

Jacobson was born in Manchester on 25 August 1942. A graduate of  English from Cambridge, he is the author of eleven novels, among which are Kalooki Nights and Who’s Sorry Now?. Both novels were longlisted for the Booker in 2006 and 2002 respectively. Other novels include The Mighty Walzer and The Act of Love.

The Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969, and Man was announced as the sponsor of the prize in April 2002, with a five year extension agreed in 2006. The award is given each year to the best full-length English novel authored by a citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations, Ireland, or Zimbabwe, that was published in the past year.

Jacobson’s victory means he is the oldest winner since William Golding won in 1980, aged 69, for Rites of Passage.

Akachi Ezeigbo wins ANA poetry prize, Chimamanda in Texas Book Fair

There is an innate desire for success in every man. Little wonder, many work day and night to achieve success. Probably even more fulfilling than attaining success is being recognized for it. Unfortunately, many don’t attain the level of success they desire. As such, when one comes across someone who has excelled in her chosen career, you can’t help but doff your hat. Such was the reaction of many last week when Professor Akachi Ezeigbo was presented the ANA/Cadbury Poetry Prize at Cadbury corporate office at Agidingbi, Ikeja. With this prize win, Prof. Akachi becomes the first prizewinner to receive USD2,500.00 instead of the old prize of USD 1,000.00.

Professor Akachi Ezeigbo


Born in Eastern Nigeria, Professor Akachi Ezeigbo was raised both in a rural environment and in the city. This, she brings to bear on her work. Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo obtained Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Masters (MA) degrees in English from the University of Lagos. She then proceeded to the University of Ibadan to obtain a Ph.D. She also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) from University of Lagos. She has taught in the University of Lagos, Department of English, since 1981 and was appointed a professor in the same department in 1999. In 1994, she won First Prize in the WORDOC Short Stories competition. Apart from publishing over thirty academic papers,  writing feature articles in newspapers and having her short stories appear in five Anthologies, Akachi has published fifteen books among which is House of Symbols which won the 2001 ANA/Spectrum Prize.

 She was awarded the prize for her poetry collection, Heart Song, a collection of poems that explores our society through the use of literary criticism and creative writing.

Meanwhile, award winning author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie would be at the Texas Book Festival on Oct. 17 to discuss her short story collection, The Thing Around Your Neck. The Thing Around Your Neck is a collection of twelve short stories that explore the collision of cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them. Asides The Thing Around Your Neck, Chimamanda is the author of two novels, Purple Hibiscus(2006 ), a story of Kambili, a self-effacing, teenage girl who grows up in a sheltered and tyrannical household run by her fanatic father; she escapes to a better life with her aunt and Half of A Yellow Sun(2007 ), an epic story of love and civil war set in Nigeria during the Biafran war.

 *All three titles are available at Farafina and leading bookstores nationwide.