New Farafina Titles: ‘And After Many Days’ and ‘Under the Udala Trees’

Farafina is excited to announce the release of two spectacular new fiction titles, both debut novels: And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile and Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta.

In And After Many Days, one family’s life is disrupted by the sudden disappearance of seventeen-year-old Paul Utu, beloved brother and son. As they grapple with the sudden loss of their darling boy, they embark on a painful and moving journey of immense power which changes their lives forever and shatters the fragile ecosystem of their once ordered family. Ajie, the youngest sibling, is burdened with the guilt of having seen Paul last and convinced that his vanished brother was betrayed long ago. But his search for the truth uncovers hidden family secrets and reawakens old, long forgotten ghosts as rumours of police brutality, oil shortages and frenzied student protests serve as a backdrop to his pursuit.

 

Okparanta’s Under the Udala Trees tells the story of Ijeoma, who comes of age as her nation does; born before independence, she is eleven when civil war breaks out in the young republic of Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child and they, star-crossed, fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls. When their love is discovered, Ijeoma learns that she will have to hide this part of herself. But there is a cost to living inside a lie.

Copies of And After Many Days and Under the Udala Trees are available in leading bookstores across the country. You can also buy copies from our Konga store, or call us on 0807 736 4217 to order.

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Yejide Kilanko’s ‘Daughters Who Walk This Path’ Shortlisted for 2016 NLNG Prize for Literature

 

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We are proud to announce that Yejide Kilanko’s novel, Daughters Who Walk This Path, published by Farafina, has been shortlisted, along with 10 others, for the 2016 Nigeria Prize for Literature.

Daughters Who Walk This Path tells the coming-of-age story of spirited and intelligent Morayo, who grows up surrounded by school friends and family in Ibadan. Morayo must learn to fiercely protect herself and her sister as young women growing up in a complex and politically charged country.

In this excerpt from the novel, young and idealistic Mr. Tiamiyu faces off with older, richer, more popular politician, Chief Omoniyi, in a local government election. Enjoy.

Two hours after the election was supposed to start, four electoral commission officials arrived with the ballot boxes and their other paraphernalia.

Shortly after their arrival, Chief Omoniyi marched majestically into the voting station surrounded by praise singers. I watched the electoral commission officials prostrate flat on the ground before Chief Omoniyi. Relinquishing their tables and chairs to him, they moved their ballot boxes and sat under a nearby tree. The praise singers accompanying Chief Omoniyi were beating their talking-drums with such intensity that the veins on the side of their heads stood up.

“Omoniyi,” the talking drums called. “He, who says that when you go out you will not come back, is whom you will not meet upon your return.”

Chief Omoniyi sat down while a steady stream of people paid homage to him. Even Mr. Tiamiyu’s elderly father went over and prostrated before Chief Omoniyi. “Shief, I am very grateful for all the business you have sent my way this month. May God continue to prosper you.”

When Chief Omoniyi saw his opponent’s elderly father flat on the sand before him, he turned and sent Mr. Tiamiyu a victorious look. Then he relaxed back in his chair and his wide mouth curved into a smile that did not reach his beady eyes. “Ha! Baba Vulcaniser, please get up. I am just a very young boy. I should be the one prostrating before you ke.” But he made no move to stand up from his chair.

Baba Mufu picked himself up from the ground and dusted the sand off his body. After he replaced his cap, he hobbled back to his son’s side of the compound.

His angry wife hissed at him. “Baba Mufu! Why would you go and prostrate in front of that man? On today of all days! Rubbishing your only son in front of everybody.”

“Must I join your son in biting the hand that fed him?” Baba Mufu snapped back. “When this madness of his is over, are we still not going to eat?”

The angry woman turned her back to her husband.

Mr. Tiamiyu looked at his parents and rubbed his hand over his head. Aunty Morenike placed a hand on his arm. I heard her whisper softly to him, “Your father meant no harm. He is just a product of his time.”

Mr. Tiamiyu stared back at her with eyes that were full of hurt.

Shortly after Chief Omoniyi’s arrival, one of his political thugs brought out a table from a school building and set up a food takeaway station right beside the electoral officials. Those lining up to cast their vote for Chief Omoniyi were each given a small loaf of bread, two akara balls, and a sachet of pure water. After casting their votes, they each received a numbered cardboard from Chief Omoniyi’s men. With the piece of cardboard, the voters were entitled to a hot meal of amala and ewedu soup in front of Chief Omoniyi’s home later in the evening. The political thugs soon ran out of the cardboard and started using ballot paper collected from the willing electoral officers.

As I watched men and women old enough to be my parents stand in line, I wondered if the food was a fair exchange for leaky primary schools, unsafe roads, and dry taps. Even we children knew that the money allocated for these programmes and services went towards maintaining Chief Omoniyi’s harem of women and sending his children to the top schools in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Despite the rising heat, Mr. Tiamiyu continued to smile, walking around to thank the few people who came out to vote for him. But it was obvious to all that it was Chief Omoniyi’s day.

Aunty Morenike had not given up. She continued to whisper to the women as they walked into the school compound. “My sisters and mothers, let us show that we are not children to be bought with food. Whatever we eat today, we will purge tomorrow. But our problems will remain the same. This is our chance to fight for our children’s future.” She put her arm around their shoulders. “Come, let us cast our ballot for a new beginning.”

By late morning, I was growing tired and hungry. Aunty Morenike had brought some food with her, but she was still talking to the women. Then something unexpected happened. An old blind man led by a young child walked into the school compound.

The little boy stopped in front of Chief Omoniyi’s table. “Open your ears and listen!” he said. Instantly, the whole compound fell silent as if it was under a spell.

The blind old man turned his face in Chief Omoniyi’s direction and began to speak.

“Omoniyi is the name your father gave you. Why do you live life as if your name is Shame? If truly your name is Omoniyi, you must know that your life comes with great worth and dreams. Why do you live as if it does not? If the name you were given was Strife, you could continue to live in conflict and blame it on the intense urgings of your name. But your name is Omoniyi. Your mother carried you gingerly on her back, danced around, and sang your name with pride. Why do you live your life as if your name is Greed? Living life recklessly as if you own tomorrow and snatching food from the mouths of innocent children. Feverishly building up wealth that brings no honour and only invites disgrace. Living life like the hunting dog who forgot his master’s call. Living without purpose as if your name is Lost. Will you remember that your name is Omoniyi? A child of great honour and hope. To the promises of your name, you must be true.”

The blind old man turned to the little boy. “Child, take me to Mufutau’s table.” Everybody in the compound watched in shock as the blind man pressed a shaking thumb into purple ink to cast his ballot for Mr. Tiamiyu. When he was done, the child quietly led him by the hand out of the compound.

The crowd continued to stare at Chief Omoniyi with their mouths wide open. What was he going to do? Who could have brought about this great insult to their benefactor?

Chief Omoniyi looked around like a cornered rat staring at the metallic gleam of a cutlass. Then he turned, looking in Mr. Tiamiyu’s direction with smouldering eyes. Everybody in the compound followed his gaze. But of course! This had to be the handiwork of that defiant boy Mufutau.

An angry murmur swelled up from the crowd. Some men from Chief Omoniyi’s camp moved purposefully towards Mr. Tiamiyu. Frightened, our little group moved back, huddling together. The crowd was grumbling: Did this young scallywag not go around shouting that he will bring running water to every household? Is that not foolish talk? How do you bring running water to streets with no water pipes?

To Chief Omoniyi’s credit, it was not as if he did not try to bring water to his people. Did everybody not see the shiny new water pipes dropped off at the local government headquarters? Who could have known that armed robbers would raid the warehouse just two weeks later? That poor night watchman—both his legs were broken.

But even babies knew that this was the handiwork of Chief Omoniyi’s political enemies. It was also mere coincidence that two months later, Chief Omoniyi’s brother-in-law, Agbabiaka, opened a shop where he sold brand-new water pipes at Ekotedo Market.

No one said he was a saint. Who was?

But who could send this young man, Tiamiyu, with such tender bones, to the pack of jackals at the state house? Tiamiyu would be torn to pieces in just a matter of months. Chief Omoniyi—despite all his flaws—was the man with the wisdom and stamina for the hard job of ruling the people.

Hearing the snarls, I looked around with concern. The only exit out was blocked by Chief Omoniyi’s thugs, who patted down the men walking into the compound.

Chief Omoniyi sat back in his chair. The smug look on his face told me he knew that the people whose stomachs were still full with akara and pure water would fight his battle for him.

As the Chief’s men moved closer, the men in our little group asked the women and young children to move to the back. My heart began beating very fast. The crowd was growing irate, calling out for Mr. Tiamiyu’s head.

Then Chief Omoniyi stood. “My people! Listen to me. This is not the time for violence. You all know that I am a man of peace.”

The crowd stopped.

“It is true that the house mouse that spares the sheath but eats the knife is bent on provoking one.” He laughed mirthlessly to himself. “But it is impossible for anyone to carry the wind. Mufutau is like all my other enemies—he cannot succeed.”

Flapping the arms of his stiff damask agbada as if he might take flight, Chief Omoniyi’s voice shook as he sprayed those standing around him with a shower of saliva. From the looks of adoration on their faces, it could have been sprinkles of holy water.

“My faithful followers, instead of fighting with our fists and clubs, we will destroy our enemies with our ballots.” He punched the air with a raised fist. “We will boldly stare down our enemies and we will WIN.”

The people began clapping their hands, thumping their feet on the ground, raising clouds of dust into the air.

Chief Omoniyi’s voice continued to rise. “We the great people of this local government will be a shining example to all others! We will show that right here in our great community, the dream of democracy that has eluded so many others is alive and thriving!”

The praise singers increased the tempo of their drumbeats, driving the crowd into a frenzied dance of victory.

 

Daughters Who Walk This Path is sold in major bookstores across Nigeria, and at our Lagos office at 253 Herbert Macaulay Road, Yaba. You can also buy copies online or call +234(0)807 736 4217.  

 

 

‘The Maestro, the Magistrate and the Mathematician’ to launch in Edinburgh

Covers_03-03-15.cdrTendai Huchu is set to launch his new novel, The Maestro, the Magistrate and the Mathematician, in Edinburgh on October 30, 2015, as part of the Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair. Huchu’s outstanding novel is published in Nigeria by Kachifo Limited (under its Farafina imprint), and will be released in November 2015.

Tendai Huchu

Tendai Huchu

Also, Jeanne-Marie Jackson will be interviewing Huchu (on The Good Book Appreciation Society’s Facebook page) on his novel, in which she describes the author as crafting ‘moments of real human poignancy […], but never veers into cheap valorization of either hope or despair.’ The interview is set for November 1, 2015, and you can find more information on it here.

Forthcoming titles from Kachifo Limited

We are excited to announce our delightfully diverse list of titles to be released in November 2015. From children’s fiction to poetry and literary fiction, Kachifo Limited is sure to have something for everyone.

Afro_Okechukwu Ofili

Afro: The Girl with the Magical Hair by Okechukwu Ofili
One special girl chooses to wear her hair natural, in a land where an evil Queen makes everyone wear their hair in straight weaves. When Afro is kidnapped for her hair’s magic, it is up to her to save herself and the kingdom, with a little help from a friend she makes along the way.

About the author
Okechukwu Ofili is an author, motivational speaker and engineer. His previous books include How Laziness Saved My Life and How Stupidity Saved My Life. Afro: The Girl with the Magical Hair is his first children’s book. It is published under Kachifo Limited’s Farafina Tuuti imprint.

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The Maestro, the Magistrate and the Mathematician by Tendai Huchu
Three very different men struggle with thoughts of belonging, loss, identity and love as they attempt to find a place for themselves in Britain. The Maestro, a depressed, quixotic character, sinks out of the real world into the fantastic world of literature. The Magistrate tries to create new memories and roots, fusing a wandering exploration of Edinburgh with music. The Mathematician, full of youth, follows a carefree, hedonistic lifestyle, until their three universes collide.

About the author
Tendai Huchu’s short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The Manchester Review, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Gutter, AfroSF, Wasafiri, The Africa Report, Kwani? and numerous other publications. He was shortlisted for the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing. The Maestro, the Magistrate and the Mathematician is his second novel.

Blackass_Igoni Barrett

Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett
Furo Wariboko – born and bred in Lagos – wakes up on the morning of his job interview to discover he has turned into a white man. As he hits the city streets running, still reeling from his new-found condition, Furo is amazed to find the dead ends of his life wondrously open out before him. As a white man in Nigeria, the world is seemingly his oyster – except for one thing: despite his radical transformation, his ass remains robustly black . . .

About the author
A. Igoni Barrett is a winner of the 2005 BBC World Service short story competition, the recipient of a Chinua Achebe Centre Fellowship, a Norman Mailer Centre Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Centre Residency. His short story collection, Love is Power, Or Something Like That, was published in 2013 by Kachifo Limited. Blackass is his first novel.

THE STRESS TEST_Mojisola Aboyade-Cole

The Stress Test by Mojisola Aboyade-Cole
It is revealed that Marine Compact Bank, run by the Johnsons, is not as healthy as it would seem. This results in a power tussle amongst the bank’s key players – Damelda Johnson, the matriarch of the Family-Johnson; Adam Okoya, a disgruntled member of staff; Damelda’s beloved stepson Felix, and Taramade Johnson, our heroine. When the dust settles, only one of them is left standing.

About the author
Mojisola Aboyade-Cole draws inspiration from her years in the banking industry. She is interested in the dynamic economic and social situations faced by females in the Nigerian financial industry. The Stress Test is her second novel. It is published under Kachifo Limited’s Farafina Breeze imprint.

It Wasn't Exactly Love

It Wasn’t Exactly Love by Farafina Trust Workshop Class 2012
It Wasn’t Exactly Love is a collection of short stories from the 2012 class of the annual Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop. The stories in this anthology cover a range of themes – marriage, sex and human relationships – with depth and honesty.

A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust by Farafina Trust Workshop Class 2013
A Handful of Dust speaks of the myriad struggles faced by contemporary Africans, with themes ranging from love and sexuality to the true meaning of home. A Handful of Dust is an anthology by the 2013 class of the annual Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop.

FOR BROKEN MEN WHO CROSS OFTEN_Azino

For Broken Men Who Cross Often by Efe Paul Azino
This collection of poetry is a refreshing and brilliant bond of the written and the oral, as it invents aesthetic devices to connect the two mediums which have constantly generated wide debate: spoken word and poetry-on-the-page. The author, in his writing, resonates through his themes of advocacy, love, loss, identity and history, the need for a revisit of the inner self. This book is released along with a selection of audio performances, in a Farafina first: mixed-media publishing.

About the author
Efe Paul Azino is one of Nigeria’s leading performance poets. He has performed at many of Nigeria’s foremost performance poetry venues, including Ake Arts and Book Festival, British Council Lagos, Taruwa Festival of Performing Arts, The Future Awards, Bogobiri, Lagos Book and Arts Festival and several others. For Broken Men Who Cross Often is his first poetry collection, published under Kachifo Limited’s Farafina Kamsi imprint.

Thunder Protocol_Obari Gomba

Thunder Protocol by Obari Gomba
Thunder Protocol is a mid-career oeuvre of lively and impressive poems that examine issues ranging from the personal to the global. The diversity of themes in this poetry collection is both refreshing and startling, with language that is sometimes witty and inventive, and other times reflective and simple. Kachifo takes its first stab at the world of poetry with this and Efe Paul Azino’s For Broken Men Who Cross Often.

About the author
Obari Gomba teaches Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Port Harcourt. His poetry collection, Length of Eyes, was listed by the jury of the Nigeria Prize for Literature as one of the best eleven poetry books in 2013. Thunder Protocol is published under Kachifo Limited’s Farafina Kamsi imprint.

These titles will be available in major bookshops and from online retailers nationwide from October 2015.

2015 Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop

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Farafina Trust will be holding a creative writing workshop in Lagos, organized by award-winning writer and creative director of Farafina Trust, Chimamanda Adichie, from June 16 to June 26, 2015. The workshop is sponsored by Nigerian Breweries Plc. Guest writers who will co-teach the workshop alongside Adichie are the Caine Prize Winning Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina, National Librarian of Norway Aslak Sira Myhre, and others.

The workshop will take the form of a class. Participants will be assigned a wide range of reading exercises, as well as daily writing exercises. The aim of the workshop is to improve the craft of Nigerian writers and to encourage published and unpublished writers by bringing different perspectives to the art of storytelling. Participation is limited only to those who apply and are accepted.

To apply, send an e-mail to Udonandu2015@gmail.com. Your e-mail subject should read ‘Workshop Application.’ The body of the e-mail should contain the following:

  1. Your name
  2. Your address
  3. A few sentences about yourself
  4. A writing sample of between 200 and 800 words. The sample must be either fiction or non-fiction.

All material must be pasted or written in the body of the e-mail. Please DO NOT include any attachments in your e-mail. Applications with attachments will be automatically disqualified.

Deadline for submissions is April 30, 2015. Only those accepted to the workshop will be notified by June 2, 2015. Accommodation in Lagos will be provided for all accepted applicants who are able to attend for the ten-day duration of the workshop. A literary evening of readings, open to the public, will be held at the end of the workshop.

Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2015

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The 2015 Wasafiri New Writing Prize is now open. The prize rewards outstanding work from unpublished writers in these three categories: poetry, fiction and life writing. This year’s judges are Toby Litt, Yasmin Alibhai Brown and Roger Robinson. The prize for each category is £300 and publication in Wasafiri. Entries will be accepted until 5pm, 24 July 2015.

For more information, please visit Wasafiri.

Financial Times/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Awards 2015

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Financial Times/OppenheimerFunds present the Emerging Voices Awards 2015. The award, in its inaugural year, aims to recognise extraordinary talent in the arts, including fiction, film and art.

“There is a remarkable structural shift in the world, propelled by economic progress in the developing markets and the advanced reach of the Internet. More connectivity and greater variety of voices in the business, science and arts communities are leading to a new renaissance. The Financial Times and OppenheimerFunds are delighted to provide a platform to recognise the people contributing to these markets.”

The fiction award is open to nationals or residents of emerging nations in Africa and the Middle East. Only books first published between 1 January 2014 and 30 September 2015, and having a minimum of 20,000 words, are eligible. Entries are open until 30 April 2015, and winners in each category will be announced at a special gala on 5 October 2015. Winners in each category will receive the sum of $40,000.

For more information on entry criteria, entry categories and the awards schedule, please visit the awards website.