Book Reading with Lola Shoneyin

Join Lola Shoneyin this evening as she reads from her new book, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives. In this hilarious and enjoyable account of family life, Lola draws attention to a ubiquitous phenomenon in Africa, polygamy. Published by Cassava Republic, the book describes the upheaval that follows when polygamist, Baba Segi marries his fourth wife, Bolanle. A graduate amongst the other semi-literate wives, Bolanle, is hated from the start. Worse, her arrival threatens to do more than simply ruffle feathers. She’s unwittingly set to expose a secret that her co-wives intend to protect, at all costs.

Known for her poetry, this is Shoneyin’s first novel, and it is a light and ironic exposé of the rotten innards of Baba Segi’s polygamous household. In this cleverly plotted story, Shoneyin shows how women in contemporary Nigeria can be restricted, controlled and damaged by the men in their lives.

*Event starts by 6.30pm at the Abule Café, 33 Sinari Daranijo St, off Younis Bashorun, Off Ajose Adeogun, Victoria Island.

Give the gift of a lifetime!

Christmas for many, is a time of showing love to others. To express this love, many give gifts to friends, family etc. From hampers to clothes to chocolates, name it, there’s a variety to choose from.

But what really is in a gift? Is it about giving something that might not appreciated or like chocolate, might be detrimental to the receiver? Remember, that the worth of a gift is the value placed on it. In the spirit of Christmas, gifts given this season should nourish both the body and the mind. So, as much as you are tempted to give out all the chocolates et al, remember to give a gift that would be treasured for a lifetime. Well, here’s where we come in. Not only do we offer a wide range of quality African books to select from, our prices are very affordable, we dare say, cheap.

So, you want to evoke nostalgic feelings about the city of Lagos, well  Everything Good Will Come is what you should be reading. You want to teach your child the value of having a supportive parent, let him read Purple Hibiscus. What about teaching your toddlers the importance of obedience; let them read the Eze series. Or better still, you want to learn about our great continent, Africa, then Beem explores Africa is the book. Teenagers are not left out as Zahrah, the Windseeker is for you. What about the mommies and the daddies; well Half of a Yellow Sun and Wizard of the Crow is for you.

So you see, this season, there is something for everyone!  And what’s even better is that these books range from as low as N500(amazing, right!) to N1,500!

Still find it hard to believe?!

Well, check this out! 

JUNE 12: The Struggle for Power in Nigeria - Abraham Oshoko

On June 12, 1993, Nigerians elected a new president after a decade of military rule. The election was generally adjudged to be free and fair. Less than a week later, a powerful conspiracy to abort the impending transfer of power began to unfold. What happened behind the scenes? What did the power-brokers and incumbents have against Abiola? This ground-breaking graphic novel touches on much of the fact and fiction related to the events of this turbulent period in Nigeria’s history.

*N500(N300 off)

Zahrah the WindseekerNnedi Okorafor

Zahrah the Windseeker is a tale of friendship, self-realisation, courage and adventure. Zahrah, the protagonist, is at first ashamed of her special powers. Yet, when she has to travel into the forbidden jungle in search of an antidote to save her best friend’s life, Zahrah discovers and embraces the strength and courage which lie within her.

A work of magic realism, Zahrah the Windseeker is remarkable in its originality and imaginativeness. Okorafor skillfully explores local myths about dada children, talking animals and the supernatural realm. The result is a captivating piece of fiction which both adults and children will appreciate.

*N500(N500 off)

Everything Good Will Come - Sefi Attah

It is 1971, a year after the Biafran War, and Nigeria is under military rule—though state politics matter less than those at home to Enitan Taiwo, an eleven-year-old girl. Will her mother, deeply religious since the death of her son, allow Enitan’s friendship with the new girl next door, the brash and beautiful Sheri Bakare? Everything Good Will Come charts the fate of these two girls, one born of privilege and the other, a lower class ‘half-caste’; one prepared to manipulate traditional gender norms, the other to defy them. The book imparts a wise and universal story of love, friendship, survival, and the cost of divided loyalties.

Everything Good Will Come won the inaugural Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in 2006.

*N500(N300 off)

Becoming Abigail -  Chris Abani

Becoming Abigail is the harrowing story of a young girl, Abigail, who is tricked into leaving Nigeria for a life of prostitution in London. Her troubles do not start there: Abigail, named after a mother who died in childbirth, is raised in the shadow of her father’s grief and longing. Yet she is not defeated by misfortune. When she discovers her fate in London she quite literally fights back, finally exacting the ultimate revenge on her would-be pimp.

*N500(N500 off)

Burma Boy - Biyi Bandele

Burma Boy tells the little-known history of Nigerian soldiers who fought in the Chindits, a commando division of the British Army in Burma during the Second World War. The protagonist is Ali Banana, an irrepressible 14-year-old boy who sneaks away from home to join the battle. He is soon deployed with the Thunder Brigade to fight the Japanese in Burma. Dropped unceremoniously into enemy territory with orders to defend a lonely jungle stronghold, Ali Banana and the Thunder Brigade must rely on laughter, camaraderie and sheer faith to survive.

Burma Boy is a work of historical fiction based on extensive research and the author’s remembrance of his veteran father’s tales. It describes war and weaponry, booby-traps and bombardment, in often stunning detail, and with much subtlety, humour and humanity.

*N500(N700 off)

Introducing Nigeria – Adisa Bakare, Ayisha Belgore and Eniola Harrison 

 A-Z introduces children to the stunning human, cultural and natural diversity of Nigeria, from our ‘Arts and Crafts’ to ‘Zuma Rock’. Concise text, with photographs by George Osodi, make this an accessible and fascinating reference book for young Nigerians and other children learning about Nigeria.

Key Words and Themes: Nigeria, Culture, Heritage, Nature

Readership: Primary and Junior Secondary School Students (Ages 6-13); Students in Social Studies, History and Geography.

*N1,500 (N500 off)

Purple HibiscusChimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Purple Hibiscus is the story of Kambili, a self-effacing, teenage girl coming of age in Eastern Nigeria. Living in too-sheltered privilege, and at once in awe and fear of her fanatic, violent father, Kambili’s world starts to fall apart after she and her brother are sent from home to briefly visit an aunt and cousins. There, they learn about love and laughter, and so return to their strict, silent home forever changed…

Internationally acclaimed, winner of The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for the Best First Book in 2005, Purple Hibiscus marked the debut of an astonishing literary talent. Purple Hibiscus is now on the West African Examinations Council  (WAEC) list for Literature.

*N500 (N300 off)

The Architecture of Demas Nwoko – John Godwin & Gillian Hopwood

Demas Nwoko is a well-respected Nigerian artist, architect and master-builder. His work marries creative experimentation and indigenous building traditions with sensitivity to site, local materials and the natural environment. In their monograph, John Godwin and Gillian Hopwood, also renowned architects in Nigeria, study Nwoko’s work and theories in fascinating detail. The result is a unique, must-have book for architectural and design practitioners, students and enthusiasts, introducing the work of a contemporary African designer.

N5000 (N2, 500 off)

and much more!

So, make sure your hamper this year is more than a goodies hamper, give a book!

Please visit our website, http://kachifo.com, (books) for more.

*Want to buy?  You can buy from these bookshops or a stockist nearest to you. You could also buy directly from us at 253, Herbert Macaulay Way, opposite  Stanbic IBTC bank, Alagomeji, Yaba or call the office at 017406741.  We also deliver (charges may apply)!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Bookjam this Friday

The last Bookjam of the year comes up this Friday, the 17th of December at the Silverbird Lifestyle Centre. The guest writers featuring are Myne Whitman, Prince Zadok and Theresa Ameh. End-of-season party holds immediately after the BookJam at Hotel Rosebud’s African Restaurant, Portharcourt Crescent, Area 11, Abuja.

The BookJam@Silverbird Abuja is a collaboration of the Abuja Literary Society and Silverbird. It is anchored by co-host of the Abuja Poetry Slam, Jide Attah and consists of book readings, book signings,  poetry performances, raffle draw and a discussion by the guest writers. 

*Event holds on Friday, December 17, 2010 at the Silverbird Lifestyle Centre, Plot 1161, Memorial Drive, opposite Shehu Musa Yar-adua Centre, Central Business District, Abuja by 6:00pm.

 

Nobel or not?

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, award winning author of I Do Not Come To You By Chance, is no doubt a prominent voice in Nigerian literature. This alumna of University of Ibadan is not only a novelist but also an editor at NEXT newspapers.

Well, one of her articles is causing ripples right now. In this article, Adaobi postulated that African Literature didn’t need a Nobel prize right now. Is her opinion valid?

Well, we choose to remain neutral on this one and leave it open to you to judge. Enjoy reading and send in your comments!

Read


Interview with Farafina publisher

Kachifo Limited was set up in  2004 with just one mission, to tell our own stories. Well, tell Africa’s stories we did, as we have published books from many African authors such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Chris Abani, Ben Okri, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Sefi Attah, Biyi Bandele amongst others. 

 In this interview with Africa Media Matters, Muhtar Bakare, CEO of  Kachifo  Limited, shed light on how Farafina has made books accessible to Nigerians. He also spoke on the reason for establishing a publishing house, the challenges so far and how the internet has helped Farafina to reach wider audiences.

Listen


Infusion Eleven

Infusion is a regular evening of book readings, music, stand up comedy, open mic poetry and poetry slams, with an artistic ambience. Infusion events take place on the last Thursday of the month, bringing together all lovers of art, literature, music and entertainment. It also brings together readings by established or budding authors and poets, floetic music, humour, drama, eclectic art and unpredictable performances.

Hosted in the charming environs of JB’s Grill in Maitama Amusement Park, Abuja, you get to try out the exclusive Infusion Cocktail, the Infusion Platter and Infusion Cupcakes for your culinary delight. 

Infusion, as the word denotes, seeks to inject a new artistic pulse into the Abuja social diary. A place to wine, dine and enjoy good poetry, art, music and literature. 

In line with the organisers’( Dapo Oyewole and Lola Shoneyin) mission of promoting books on Africa, especially those written by new authors of African heritage, , Infusion would be hosting Myne Whitman, author of A Heart to Mend this Thursday, 16th of December. For more: infusionabuja@gmail.com

*Event holds at JB’s Bar and Grill, Maitama Amusement Park, Abuja and begins at 6.30 p.m.

Commonwealth Short Story Competition

Well, as we said earlier, we would bring you information on writing contests as much as we can. So, here’s another one!

The Commonwealth Short Story Competition is an annual scheme to promote new creative writing for radio, funded and administered by the Commonwealth Foundation and the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association.

Entry is open to all Commonwealth citizens aged 19 and over to send in original, unpublished short stories for radio.

The 2011 Commonwealth Short Story Competition will open for entry via the online entry form from 15 January to 1 March 2011. Entries should be original, unpublished, in English and no more than 600 words in length. Entries can be on any subject, but there will be a special award for entries relating to the 2011 Commonwealth theme, ‘Women as Agents of Change’ and a special award for a short story for children.”

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Farafina Book Review in 234NEXT

Well, the year is gradually coming to an end. For us at Farafina, it was a great year and we would like to say a big thank you to all our partners and friends for their support. Most importantly, we would like to thank those who have been a part of our monthly book reviews. The last one for this year held on Saturday, Dec 5 and it was a huge success(pictures later!)

NEXT newspapers, the number one resource for information, also featured an article in its book section about the review. We have pasted it below. Enjoy reading and Merry Christmas!

 

Talking through Adichie’s stories 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s collection of short stories ‘The Thing Around Your Neck’ (2009), was the book examined during this month’s edition of Farafina’s monthly book review. 

The event, which usually holds at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, happened on December 4; and attracted quite a number of people this time around while also generating a lot of debate among them. The guest reviewer, Victor Ehikhamenor watched in amusement while the audience dissected the book among themselves. 

However, before the anchor of the event, Inspiration FM’s Wana Udobang, called for contributions from the audience, Ehikamenor reviewed the book in an intellectual yet comprehensible manner. According to Ehikhamenor, the stories in the collection portray all kinds of human emotions ranging from jealousy to sibling rivalry. 

In ‘Cell One’, the reviewer drew attention to the damaging effects of a mother’s smothering love. He contrasted this with his own personal experience of growing up with a mother who would not hesitate to whack him when the occasion arose. 

Diasporic experience

He also commented on the title story of the collection, drawing attention to what was already obvious in this particular story; the difficulties of diasporic existence. Referring to the main character in ‘The Thing Around Your Neck’ he observed that, “We travel abroad with a whole lot of baggage.” “There were a lot of things around her neck apart from the immigration problems” he added. The story did not have a definite ending and Ehikamenor responded to this, saying, “I think it’s good for a writer to sometimes leave gaps.” He also noted that Adichie had empowered most of the female characters in her stories. He observed her different narrative styles and the stories themselves which were written in different timelines.

There was a question about Adichie’s use of character introspection that at times seemed monotonous as every single detail of the character’s inner life was exposed with some sort of intensity.”Most writers have their strengths. You can almost feel the characters in the stories. I wouldn’t see it as a shortcoming. I think she’s good with characterisation.” He said in response. Another member of the audience thought Adichie was a very compassionate writer.

Sexual content

Yet another expressed disapproval about the fact that ‘Purple Hibiscus’, Adichie’s first novel which won the Commonwealth Writers prize in 2005, was included in the curriculum for Secondary Schools because of what she termed the sexual theme contained in it.

Responses were many, one of which bordered on the fact that the Nigerian society likes to live in denial about the issue of sex, whereas it is very much a reality in the society. “Half of a Yellow Sun is probably a better book for our school curriculum,” a member of the audience expressed.

Continue

*The Thing Around Your Neck is available for  N 1, 500.

 


African Writing Prize for Flash Fiction 2011

As you know, a lot is being done to encourage African writing. Well, we would like to promote these efforts in the best way we can. So, here it is; a flash fiction competition for upcoming African writers. First prize is £100 and the top 8 stories will be published.

Competition Guidelines:

  • Deadlines: Entries close – 31st January, 2011. Winners announced – 4th April, 2011.
  • Stories must be previously unpublished (and must not be available on any blogs or publicly accessible online repositories).
  • Stories must be the sole work of the entrant.
  • Stories must be 750 words or less.
  • Entry is free.
  • Only one submission can be made per entrant.
  • Only online submissions are acceptable. Entries should be emailed to flashprize(at)african-writing.com as an attachment in the .doc or .rtf format with ‘Flash Contest’ in the subject line.
  • The email must contain the entrant’s name, the title of story, and the entrant’s physical address and contact phone number.
  • Please do NOT include your name on your story. Neither the story nor the name of the attachment should include a reference to the writer’s name.
  • Simultaneous submissions are NOT acceptable.
  • The first round of judging will be by African Writing’s editorial group, which will forward 30 long-listed stories to the competition judge.
  • The judge will select a shortlist of 8 stories for publication and an overall winner of the £100 prize.
  • The theme of the competition is open.
  • There are no ethnic, racial or geographical restrictions on writers, but submissions must be in English.
  • Licensing: copyright retained by all writers. Short-listed entries are exclusively licensed to African Writing magazine in all formats for 12 months from 4th April, 2011; The license becomes non-exclusive after 12 months.

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ANA Abuja Writers’ Nite 2010

The Abuja Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA Abuja) will on Saturday, 11th December at the French Cultural Centre, Abuja host her members and other literary enthusiasts in the nation’s capital to an evening of readings, performances, interaction and book exhibition tagged ‘ANA Abuja Writers’ Nite 2010’.

The event, which is the second in the series of the chapters’ end of the year party, is intended to appreciate all its members and other writers, readers and book merchants in the FCT for a year well spent literarily. “The gathering is not going to be much of a reading session because we have had one reading or the other throughout the year. It is going to be an evening of merry-making, interactions and reflections on the way forward for the association. We simply just want to appreciate ourselves; eat, drink and dance if possible. It’s going to be one evening of great fun.” said the chairman, Dr. Seyi Adigun.

The evening will feature as Special Guest Writer, Barrister Abdul Mahmud, popularly known as Obemata amongst other dignitaries like the National President, Dr. Jerry Agada, His Predecessor, Dr. Wale Okediran, and a host of others.

*Event holds at the French Cultural Centre, 52 Libreville Street, off Aminu Kano Crescent (Behind Mr. Biggs) Wuse II, Abuja and starts at 5.30 p.m.