Lesley Nneka Arimah: Book Readings in Abuja and Lagos

Farafina Reads_Lesley Nneka Arimah_Lagos and Abuja

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.

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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

Intimate Portraits: A Selection of Five Essays

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Image by Kristi Bonney

There has been a remarkable and continuous upsurge in the creative non-fiction genre coming out of Nigeria in recent times arguably giving us some of the best literary works this year.

Catapult, one of the literary platforms telling the stories of extraordinary writers, published in the course of the year essays by five writers who we are proud to say are alumni of the Farafina creative writing workshop; a testament to the beauty that comes out year in year out after each year’s rigorous experience.

These essays are some of the most intense, thought provoking personal essays we have come across. The writers have immersed us in their intimate writings, from which we share excerpts below.

We Need to Talk about Snails by Tola Rotimi – (class of 2014)

“The day I confessed to being a witch I had no idea what I was doing.”
A couple of months ago, while researching examples of prose poems to share with my creative writing class, I came upon the poem “Snails” by the French poet Francis Ponge. They are heroes, Ponge says of snails, beings whose existence alone is a work of art. In a dream later that night, I was back in Lagos, in the marsh surroundings of my childhood church, foraging under the cover of night, wading through wet grass as tall as little boys’ chins. I was alone then not alone, my younger brothers were away then suddenly appearing.

We were children again, the three of us. All the world was in slow motion…

Read the full essay here.

 

How to Gossip about African Writing in Geneva by Oris Aigbokhaevbolo (class of 2014)

“…In the early months of 2016, I visited Switzerland. At the airport, hungry or eager to see this old country new to my eyes, I bought a bunch of bananas for a few Swiss francs. I yelped inside after converting to naira. Back in Lagos, on any given day, you could find me haggling with a lady selling better bananas under the Computer Village bridge. If the bargaining process is a battle of wills, ours was attended by jokes and mock horror from the start. Some days I win and have for trophy a black bag laden with a bunch or two. Other days I feel I have parted with too much for unworthy loot. On a few occasions, nobody wins: She doesn’t make the sale; I leave empty-handed.”

Read the full essay here.

The Things We Never Say: A Family History by Amara Nicole Okolo (class of 2015)

“I first experienced love in the arms of my mother on a Sunday morning. I stood beside the rose bushes, watching my father slowly drive out of the garage. One year, seven months. She came from behind, plucked a lone pink rose from the bushes, still dripping with dew, and tucked it in the hair around my right ear. Then she circled her hands over my shoulders and chest in a warm hug.

Twenty-eight years later, my mother will die on a hospital bed, her left hand clasping mine.”

Read the full essay here.

Ógbuágu: The Lion’s Killer Depression by Keside Anosike (class of 2014)

“In Igbo, Ogbuagu literally translates to “a lion’s killer.” It doesn’t entirely suggest cruelty, but bravery. It is the highest title that can be given to a person in Igbo land, and reserved only for the strong, the brave—those who walk into a lion’s den without saying goodbye to the people they left at home.

I began to know my mother in my early adult life. Before then, what I knew of her was in a stream of memory so thin it was difficult to distinguish it from imagination. Her body in a wedding dress, laying eyes closed in something metallic on four wheels, right in the center of our living room in Mbieri…”

Read the full essay here.

 

Don’t Let It Bury You by Eloghosa Osunde (class of 2015)

I know the sound of my mother’s voice better than I know anything else. As a child, I didn’t like the way the soft and smooth of it could explode into a growl in sudden seconds, shouting and overheating the house, sending my small anxious heart darting through my body, displaced. I never liked how it fractioned my breathing and slowed my movements into a drag. But I liked that it always prepared me for trouble, at least. I like that it helped me get ready.

Read the full essay here.

‘Freshwater’ by Akwaeke Emezi on ‘Best Books of 2017’ list

Freshwater, the eagerly anticipated debut novel by Akwaeke Emezi was recently listed as one of The Guardian’s ‘Best Books of 2017’.

Freshwater will be published by Grove Atlantic in the U.S in February 2018, and by Farafina in Nigeria in June 2018.

New York Times bestselling author of ‘Ghana Must Go’ , Taiye Selasi, describes Freshwater as ‘…sexy, sensual…’.

 

Image from akwaeke.com

Praise for Freshwater:

“Freshwater is a clarion call to those of us who find that our minds are more haunted and complex than that of the status quo. In exquisite, unearthly prose, Akwaeke Emezi renders the ordinary strange and the strange, ordinary—making Freshwater the most stunning debut novel I’ve read in years. An unforgettable literary experience.””

— Esmé Weijun Wang, author of ‘The Border of Paradise’, winner of the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, and one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists.

“In Emezi’s remarkable debut novel, Freshwater, we enter the lives of our protagonist, starting in Nigeria and ending in the United States. Every page is imbued with radiant prose, and a chorus of poetic voices. With a plot as alive and urgent as it is relatable, Freshwater is also solidly its own, brims with its unique preoccupations. Never before have I read a novel like it — one that speaks to the unification and separation of bodies and souls, the powers or lack thereof of gods and humans, and the long and arduous journey to claiming our many selves, or to setting our many selves free.”

— Chinelo Okparanta, author of ‘Happiness Like Water’ and ‘Under The Udala Trees’, winner of 2014 and 2016 Lambda Literary Awards, and one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists.

More information on the author website here.

 

 

Farafina releases three new books this November

Kachifo Ltd is pleased to announce the release of three new books – What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky (Nigerian edition), How to Win Elections in Africa and Anike Eleko under its Farafina, Kamsi and Tuuti imprints.

The three titles were released on 13th November 2017 and are available on online platforms and in selected bookstores nationwide.

The Books

WHAT IT MEANS WHEN A MAN FALLS FROM THE SKY by Lesley Nneka Arimah When a man

The collection of short stories, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Caine Prize for writing, boasts of powerful storytelling, unique female protagonists, and a world where women are depicted as the center of the society.

Reviews:

From Tendai Huchu, author of The Hairdresser of Harare, and The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician:

“Arimah has a gift of crafting intimate familial relationships . . . and the pressures and strains of those relationships form the most intricate and astonishing narratives. The powerful stories in this dark and affecting collection will show you that magic still exists in our world.”

From Chinelo Onwualu, editor of Omenana Magazine: “Masterfully moving between the speculative to the mundane, this is a riveting read that will stay with you long after you’ve put it down.”

From Igoni A. Barrett, author of Blackass and Love Is Power, or Something Like That:

“From the very first story in What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky this thunderstruck reader began to glean the answer to the question embedded in the book’s title. . . Lesley Nneka Arimah has landed in my rereading list like a blast of fresh air.”

About the Author

lesley

Lesley Nneka Arimah’s work has received grants and awards from Commonwealth Writers, AWP, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Jerome Foundation and others. Her short story, What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky was shortlisted for the 2017 Caine Prize for African Writing. She currently lives in Minneapolis.

 

ANIKE ELEKO

Anike Eleko_Cover

Àníké has to hawk ẹ̀kọ every morning but that does not stop her from going to school. She loves school and wants to be a doctor. However, her mother has decided her fate: once she finishes primary school, she will join her Aunt Rẹ̀mí in the city as a tailor.

When a mystery guest visits Àníké’s school, she has the chance to win a scholarship that will change her fate. Will the help of her friends Oge, Ìlérí and Àríyọ̀ the cobbler be enough?

Written by Sandra Joubeaud and illustrated by Àlàbá Ònájìn, ÀNÍKÉ ELÉKO tells a colourful story of one girl’s courage in the face of opposition to her dreams.

About the Authors

sandra joubeaudSandra Joubeaud is a French screenwriter and script doctor based in Paris, France. She has also worked on Choice of Ndeye, a comic book commissioned by UNESCO and inspired by the novel, So Long a Letter (Mariama Ba).

 

 

Alaba Onajin is a graphic novelist with a diploma of Cartooning and Illustration from alabaMorris College of Journalism, Surrey Kent. His work includes The Adventures of Atioro, and other collaboration projects with UNESCO and Goethe Institut. He lives in Ondo State, Nigeria.

 

 

 

HOW TO WIN ELECTIONS IN AFRICA

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Democracy involves the process of changing custodians of power from time to time in order to maintain a useful equilibrium of performance and accountability. But the post-colonial narrative in most African countries has been one of strongmen and power brokers entrenching themselves deeply across the crucial levels of society. The past few years have however seen citizens become more aware, and some revolt against these systems.

How To Win Elections in Africa explores how citizens, through elections can uproot the power structures. Using examples from within and outside Africa, this book examines the past and present to map a future where the political playing field is level and citizens can rewrite existing narratives.

Politicians have been handed their notice: It is no longer business as usual.

About the Authors

Chude Jideonwo is the managing partner of RED, which brands include StateCraft Inc, chudeRed Media Africa, Y!/YNaija.com and Church Culture. His work focuses on social movements shaking up and transforming nations through governance and faith, with the media as a tool. He teaches media and communication at the Pan-Atlantic University. In 2017, he was selected as a World Fellow at Yale University.

 

Adebola Williams is the co-founder of RED and chief executive officer of its debolacommunication companies – Red Media Africa and StateCraft Inc. A Mandela Washington Fellow under President Barack Obama, he has been a keynote and panel speaker at conferences across the world including at the London Business School, Wharton, Stern, Yale, Columbia, Oxford and Harvard.

 

 

 

You can get the 3 books at these bookstores:

PAGE Book Connoisseurs, Allen Avenue
Patabah Books, Shoprite Mall, Surulere
CSS Bookshop, CMS, Lagos
Quintessence, ParkView Estate, Ikoyi

To order:
Buy Anike Eleko on Konga here 
Buy What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky on Konga here 
Buy How To Win Elections In Africa on Konga here