A Literary Hub and a Book Reading

ImageIn Nigeria, there are many places for lovers of music, wine, and other forms of entertainment to unwind but there is hardly a place for book lovers to socialize or work. Litcaf is that lounge where the music is not deafening and the lights are not dim.

Art lovers in Lagos will love the new literary hub opening this Saturday.

Litcaf, a place of books, discussions, coffee and WiFi, seeks to promote the reading culture and nurture literary talents by giving them the opportunity to work out of or gather at the hub.

The first book cafe, located on the first floor of E-Center (Ozone), Yaba, Lagos will open to the public at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, 2013.

At the opening ceremony, Victor Ehikhamenor and Emmanuel Iduma will read from their books, alongside other budding writers. There will be musical performances by award wining Jodie, and soul singer Bemyoda. The event will also feature spoken word performance by Obii, winner of the first Naija Poetry Slam.

Farafina books will be on sale at the event. See you there.


Art, Life and Love.

This Weekend: Author’s Talk


One of the most exciting things for a reader is getting a chance to hear authors read from their works and ask them questions about their works or their writing process. Goethe-Institut Lagos is presenting an opportunity for book lovers to have a good time at this month’s edition of Author’s Talk which holds at 2pm on Saturday, the 23rd of February, 2013 @Goethe-Institut Lagos.

Authors presenting excerpts from their books are;

1.       Chuma Nwokolo, author of Diaries of a Dead African and The Ghost of Sani Abacha. Chuma Nwokolo is well-known for his humorous works.

2.       Victor Ehikhamenor is the author of Excuse Me! the deep, funny and insightful collection of short essays.

3.       Onyinye Muomah is a writer whose works have been published in several leading newspapers and magazines.

4.       Terh Agbedeh is a journalist and poet whose works have been published in several leading newspapers and magazines.

The moderator for this event is Ugoma Adegoke of The Life House, and co-organizer is film critic and journalist, Derin Ajao.

Goethe-Institut is located at Lagos City Hall, Catholic Mission Street, opposite Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos Island, Lagos.

Farafina books will be available for sale at the event. See you there!

Drum Roll… The Winners

ImageThank you all for following our e-love fest and for participating by dropping comments, tweets, sending in your love poems and stories, and for voting. We have had a fabulous time and all that is left to do now is announce the winners of our poetry competition. The three poems that received the highest votes in the comment section and via tweets are:

For As Long As Your Love Remains by dr2103. anonymous

Over Troubled Water by Izuchukwu Udokwu

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by Soon Nath

The three writers will each receive a copy of Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus. We will send them e-mails detailing how to redeem their prizes.

Love, Art and Africa!

Give Me Some Love Finalists

gimme loveHappy Valentine’s Day! Thank you to everyone who sent us a poem.

We have done our bit and picked the best five poems and now it’s up to YOU.

Have a read and let us know which poem is your favourite. Tweet your favourite poems with #FaveGiveMeSomeLovePoem or write it in the comments below. Voting ends 17 Sunday @ midnight and the winners of Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus will be announced on 18 Monday.

To the poets with poems posted below – CONGRATULATIONS. Direct message us on twitter if you would like us to tweet an extract of your poem to your loved one. Good Luck!

Through my ring of defence have you broken
Slipped through like a sylph into a place
Too long closed and that I feared to open.
Now, daily, I seek to see your face.
Swept away by svelte and gentle graces,
And by words not so much spoken as sang;
Swayed by your sweet looks that swamped my senses,
My heart went out with a flutter and bang.
And the strings, having been pulled wide, are now,
Like matching keys on the piano, melding
In tunes smooth, sublime, serene, and mellow;
Uplifting, lilting, and liberating.
Marianna, you have made me complete:
For this heart, with your love, is now replete.


Love me on valentine,
when long-suffering switch bad my song,
like rotten fruits from the vine.
I have waited this long
for the world to bring this time.
I am orphaned and lent to streets, a lost child
messaging the poet page us on rhyme.
I have lived mild…but still in wild
hours of the night; like roses
smell, your love smell like perfume richer
than the rottenness of time past; our loses
are our gain, because your love keeps us bigger
than the sour times so bad;
burnt hearts sing for valentine’s free, against the life we had.


And for as long as your love remains,
In shards of gray, or shades of glee,
I know I’ll feel seventeen again.

Your love, an answer to my calling faith,
Helping me believe in the strength of my own will,
This I’ll remember for as long as your love remains,

Knowing you was by Heaven’s free grace,
A miracle of sheer bliss,
I’ll remember you as long as your love remains,

More of you is all I crave,
Thirsty for your kiss,
That makes me feel seventeen all over again,

In sweetness, and in pain,
And for as long as I breath,
I’ll remember you, as long as your love remains,

I’ll love you in the winter’s rain,
Summer’s sun, forever and everyday in- between,
And for as long as your love remains,
I promise I’ll feel seventeen all over again.


How shall i challenge the wind of love?
How shall i break the wind of change?
Nor from those stormy wind that rumble,
Which has led me to the fence a little shaky?
Fetter’d by love, compelled by the beads,
Teeter’d by the melodious song bird,
Left to mourn the faithless kiss and feats-
Are these the roads down in the valley of dirge?
Amid the clashing strife, i only stand unbent,
Till thou hast imprisoned me within thine arms,
For every swelling tide of woes unfurled,
Like the flag which i have learnt to fly the low part.
Over the tempestuous sea;
My love, our love, will soar above the wave peak.


as a couple we did together pray.
Before dawn
you picked up an apron
and fixed me a delicious breakfast
of my favorite repast.
86400 seconds we spent in each other’s arms,
killing ourselves in a romantic fray.
Every beat of our hearts a quaver of ecstatic psalms;
as subtle soft rhythms from the harp of our ribs did sweetly play.
We had a great time,
O! How I cherish and hold each moment we’ve shared sublime.
Yet one thing still I long to know; will you still love me tomorrow like you do today?
Or will all these mushiness with this fleeting night also fade away?


Say You Love Me Six Times

Six coverHappy Valentine’s Day! Thank you for your tweets and comments; they have been a joy to read. Some have made us laugh till we cried; others have brought a smile to our faces and there were also many that made us a little sad because they were so poignant.

We posted some of our favourites but we had many many more.

If your story is here and you would like us to tweet it at anyone; direct message us with the twitter handle of the recipient.

  1. @stublogs: This year she is single. Hope!
  2. @amorebise: Jesus loved me enough to die
  3. @MsMeddle: Too much punctuation in our love
  4. @aymixsucre: “Still furious.” “Love you.” “Me too.”
  5. Dinah Ishaku: Never been loved. Always in love.
  6. @Spacyzuma: Dad. Mom. Meet. Sex. Pregnancy. Me
  7. @BonVivantUk: She got the house and kids
  8. @Cuba_Ukoh: I said “I love you” late.
  9. @dimeji90: Lonely Existence. Amazing Discovery. Eternal Bliss
  10. @enimasuen: “Then, now, forevermore; etched, wet concrete.”

Write Me A Love Letter…Tomorrow

michael jordan letter It’s Valentine’s Day Tomorrow!

Remember the days before pings and tweets and love expressed in a text message? No?

This season, why don’t you try writing your boo a love letter. Below are some examples with a blast from the past:

My Dearest Gertrude:

You will be sorry, and surprised, and puzzled, to hear what a queer illness I have had ever since you went. I sent for the doctor, and said, “Give me some medicine for I’m tired.” He said, “Nonsense and stuff! You don’t want medicine: go to bed!”

I said, “No; it isn’t the sort of tiredness that wants bed. I’m tired in the face.” He looked a little grave, and said, “Oh, it’s your nose that’s tired: a person often talks too much when he thinks he knows a
great deal.” I said, “No, it isn’t the nose. Perhaps it’s the hair.” Then he looked rather grave, and said, “Now I understand: you’ve been playing too many hairs on the pianoforte.”

“No, indeed I haven’t!” I said, “and it isn’t exactly the hair: it’s more about the nose and chin.” Then he looked a good deal graver, and said, “Have you been walking much on your chin lately?” I said, “No.” “Well!” he said, “it puzzles me very much.

Do you think it’s in the lips?” “Of course!” I said. “That’s exactly what it is!”

Then he looked very grave indeed, and said, “I think you must have been giving too many kisses.” “Well,” I said, “I did give one kiss to a baby child, a little friend of mine.”

“Think again,” he said; “are you sure it was only one?” I thought again, and said, “Perhaps it was eleven times.” Then the doctor said, “You must not give her any more till your lips are quite rested
again.” “But what am I to do?” I said, “because you see, I owe her a hundred and eighty-two more.” Then he looked so grave that tears ran down his cheeks, and he said, “You may send them to her in a box.”

Then I remembered a little box that I once bought at Dover, and thought I would someday give it to some little girl or other. So I have packed them all in it very carefully. Tell me if they come safe or if any are lost on the way.”

Lewis Carroll 



Dear Lady — 

There is something not quite definable in your face — something lovely, not pretty in a conventionally thought of way. You have something graceful and tender and feminine (sp). You seem to be a woman who has been loved in her childhood, or else, somehow by the mystery of genetic phenomena you have been visited by the gifts of refinement, dignity and poise. Perhaps you cannot be accredited with all that.


Irrespective of your gothic aspects, you have passed something on in terms of your expression, mien and general comportment that is unusual and rewarding.


It’s been a pleasant if brief encounter and I wish you well and I hope we shall have occasion to cross eyes again sometime.


Best wishes

Marlon Brando

(Marlon Brando to an airline stewardess who struck his fancy mid-flight)


My Dearest Laquette

How are you and your family doing, fine I hope. I am in my Adv. Chemistry class writing you a letter, so that tell you how much I care for you. I decide to write you because I felt that I made you look pretty rotten after the last night. I want to tell you that I am sorry, and hope that you except my apologie. I know that you feelings was hurt whenever I loss my necklace or had it stolen.


I was really happy when you gave me my honest coin money that I won off the bet. I want to thank you for letting me hold your annual. I show it to everyone at school. Everyone think you are a very pretty young lady and I had to agree because it is very true. Please don’t let this go to your head. (smile) I sorry to say that I can’t go to the game on my birthday because my father is taking the whole basketball team out to eat on my birthday. Please don’t be mad because I am trying get down there a week from Feb. 14. If I do get the chance to come please have some activity for us to do  [together.


I want you to know that my feeling for you has not change yet. ← (joke) I am finally getting use to going with a girl much smaller than I. I hope you my hint. Well I have spent my time very wisely by write to you. I hope you write back soon. Well I must go, the period is almost over. See you next time around, which I hope comes soon.


With my Best Love

Michael J. Jordan

(18 yr old Michael Jordan to his girlfriend)


Got the idea yet? I hope you had fun reading these.

Now write your own! (but don’t write it in class or at work; Michael Jordan had basketball, that may not be an option for you!)


To keep track of our e-love blog festvisit:https://farafinabooks.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/write-me-a-love-letter/


Home-grown Love

It’s 2 days to Val’s and we’re bringing love closer to home. Here are three Nigerian love poems and a link to a love chapbook.


This first poem is passion burning fiercely…

Monkey Love by Harry Garuba

hanging from the branches of your arms

dreaming of bananas,

I long only for things prosaic
things without poetry or fire…

Read the rest of it here: http://www.african-writing.com/aug/harry.htm


We like this next poem because it reminds us of innocent, untainted love – the type that has a young man scribbling lines in class while daydreaming

 Love Songs (II) by Emmanuel Iduma

How long did you stand waiting

in dark rooms and Yoga lessons?

Labradors must have sniffed

your air, your being so new.


How long till we found the moon

lurking on the Seventh Dial,

bidding our time, ours,

like errant Byron, his mistress, their sin?


How long did you find me

so open armed:

our our-ness, we-ness

joint-ness, like Newfoundland Oracles?


Let them listen to us

move as though in a trance.

Our wakeness is our sleepness,


dreamness, lifeness.


Let them find no explanations

for the moon dripping honey,

for you being Queen of France, of boulevards

of memory, of night time domes, mine.




But love is not always smooth for everyone…

My Exorcism by Adebola Rayo

If I write or even think one more

just one more poem about you,

I will shoot myself in the head.


Before tomorrow comes, I will

remember the laughter of yesterday,

the love and joy that was our way…,

but when tomorrow comes, I will not

remember yesterday

for it will be the pain of today.


The awkwardness is in itself awkward,

this silence between us. Screaming,

spewing strings of words that loop

around my neck; tightening with each tick of the clock,

choking me to death, accusations.


This silence across the spaces,

spacing me out, echoing today;

we both hurled the heaviest we could find,

(a black eye for you, two broken ribs and a pierced lung for me)

the sharpest, the ones we knew would slice through

flesh, nerves, bone, to strike the soul.

Word swords.


I am gathering your missiles, to build

a shield out of, and weave a thick cloak

so that no more will they mark this soul,

that the wounds on this heart may scar, a memorial.

This fortress I‟m building, your legion will

never conquer.


Yet, when tomorrow comes, I will not

remember yesterday

for it will be the pain of today….


If I write or even think one more

just one more poem about you

I will shoot myself in the head.


For more love poems, download Saraba Mag’s chapbook, Giovanni’s New Room: http://www.sarabamag.com/giovannis-new-room-4-poetry-chapbook/


To keep track of our e-love blog festvisit:https://farafinabooks.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/write-me-a-love-letter/

Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?

gone with the wind3 days to go till Valentine’s Day! At Farafina, we are reading the poems and six word stories sent in and we are VERY excited. Thank you all for participating. Keep up the good writing!

Today, we look at some of the Farafina editors’ fave ‘boy meets girl’ renditions. There are loads of great love stories out there, but we couldn’t cover them all. A one-sentence summary of each, in no particular order:


1)      Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Boy meets girl; boy is rich and 40 years old; girl is poor and half his age.

Hmmn. A tale as old as time.


2)      Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Boy meets girl; their families are sworn enemies…

*Sigh* We all know what happens next.


3)      Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Boy meets girl; girl rejects boy for other boy who is married.

Do you call that a love quadruple?


4)      The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Boy meets girl when he is 36 and girl is 6; boy marries girl when he is 30 and girl is 22.

What? We suck at maths but this doesn’t seem right… Read it.


5)      The Lion and The Jewel by Wole Soyinka

Boy meets girl and boy loves girl; girl loves bride price.

Nothing wrong with a babe who wants perks…


6)      Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Boy meets girl; boy and girl fall in love; boy turns out to be vampire.

Bloody, right?


7)      The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

Boy meets girl; boy is a hunchback, girl is a beautiful gypsy dancer.

Let’s just say Disney changed the story a lickle bit.


8)      Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Boy meets girl; girl is a prostitute.

Love does not keep a record of wrongs…


9)      Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Boy meets girl; boy is white, girl is black. Enough said!


10)   The Story of Beautiful Girl by  Rachel Simon       

Boy meets girl; boy is deaf and girl has developmental disability.

Well, they say love is blind.


Tell us what you think of our selection and tweet us a one-sentence summary of your favourite love story.

To keep track of our e-love blog fest, visit: https://farafinabooks.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/write-me-a-love-letter/

Wanted: Your Best Six-word Love Story

“I love him; he’s oblivious. Sigh.”


Hi guys, write us a 6-word love story. The 6 words must tell a story in full – simple, right? Drop your 6-word love story as a comment or tweet it at us @farafinabooks using the hashtag #sixwordlovestory. We’ll publish the best five on our blog on Val’s day. Have fun with it! Enjoy the few our editors came up with.

“Will you marry me?

No way!”

“We met. We loved. We married.”

“Breakfast in Paris. Dinner in jail.”

“Happy Val’s Day… err, who’s he?”

“She threw my ring at me.”

To keep track of our e-love blog fest,visit:https://farafinabooks.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/write-me-a-love-letter/

Give Us Some Love – Poetry Competition

Purple Hibiscus

Write us a love poem and stand the chance to WIN Purple Hibiscus!

On Valentine’s Day, we will publish the top five on our blog. A public vote will decide the top three winners of the books. The rules are few and simple:

1)      Your poem must be a sonnet or a villanelle (read up on how to write both poems https://farafinabooks.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/how-to-write-a-sonnet/ and https://farafinabooks.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/the-villanelle-and-you/);

2)      You’re only allowed to enter one poem.

3)       We will stop accepting entries at 12pm, 14 February 2013.

4)      The winners must be able to pick up (or send someone to pick up) their prize in Lagos.

Email your entries to submissions@kachifo.com
The subject of your email should be: Give us some love_2013_Your Name

Happy Writing!!!

To keep track of our e-love blog fest, visit:https://farafinabooks.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/write-me-a-love-letter/