Showing posts from 2019

Travelogue ~ Pilgrimage to Soyinka's Forest ~ Mujahid Ameen Lilo

Ijegba Forest
We are on our way into the forest Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka calls home. And we are 85 finalists for the WSICE essay competition (85 is Prof’s age this year), a few teachers, the WSICE organizers and reporters. We are all here for the competition and series of programs called Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange (WSICE), held annually to mark the Laureate’s birthday. This is year, it is holding in three states: Lagos, Ogun and Ondo. We are leaving for Ondo today after the meeting with Soyinka. The result of the essay we wrote yesterday at the Cultural Centre would be announced in the presence of Prof. We are all aglow in brand new orange T-shirts. The Ogun sun has just risen but the July clouds makes her look sleepy as they wander in the sky, reaching for each other. We drive deeper and deeper into the labyrinthine Abeokuta rocks and green hills, and bushes until finally:
Those wa…

Ayamba Litcast, new Literature Platform debuts to serve African writers

The team at Ayamba is excited to announce the official unveiling of her website,, on the 31st of December 2019.
Spurred by the dire need to cater for the influx of emerging voices, and to celebrate their brilliant works, the platform provides for the promotion of African literature and the introduction of African writers to the world. 
In the words of the founder and editor, Halima Aliyu, “Art is our identity. It is for us the banquet for our stories where we listen, drink and dance in their aura. Because they matter. Because we matter." By creating and managing their profiles, writers can be accessed and read from anywhere in the world. The site has online literary agents on standby to answer questions and proffer advices on writing and publishing. It is also the home for podcasts, book reviews, interviews, and literary news.
To be a part of this adventure, visit and follow on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @ayambaofficial

Festival Poetry Calabar 2019 opens today, to probe the relationship between Bytes and Heights in the Digital Age.

Poets in Nigeria (PIN) todays opens activities of the fifth edition of Festival Poetry Calabar (FPC) themed “Poets in the Digital Age: Bytes and Heights”. The annual fiesta of poetry, culture and tourism holds in the city of Calabar from 18th to 20th December, 2019.
The 3-day event will host poets, writers, artists, literary critics, social commentators and lovers of literature from different parts of the country, thereby elevating arts and literature above ethnic and geographical barriers.
For the fifth year running, all activities of the festival including poetry reading, writing and performances, Calabar Welcomes, Sights & Sounds of Calabar, Teens Forum, storytelling, music, dance, poetry workshop, book chats, panel discussions and Live Photo Booth will take place at James Ene Henshaw Foundation and Transcorp Hotel, Calabar.
Sights and Sounds (Poetourism) and a Walk for Poetry are slated for Day 1 – Wednesday 18th December. On the second day, Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom will manage …

What Success Is Not: A Review of Sail Your Boat By Salamatu Sule

Book Title: Sail Your Boat: Success is a Lifestyle and a Journey Name of Author: Musbahu El Yakubu Genre: Nonfiction (Inspirational) Publishers: Amazon No. of Pages:177 (to include about the Author) Year of Publication: 2018 ISBN:978-978-964-788-0 Reviewer: Salamatu Sule
Reading inspirational books are a rare creative endeavor for me due to the simple fact that it gives short cuts to making money and not realistically for the sake of its entertainment and educational purpose. They also do not fall into the category of what we know as bibliotheraphies. When I first laid my hands on this very insightful and thought provoking book, I was skeptical, judging by the title, whether if the book will deliver on its thematic concern. I was not disappointed even though; curiosity bade me to go on this exciting journey.
Success is a subjective term as it has a different meaning to different people. Success as depicted by the sub tittle of the book is a lifestyle and a journey. As a lifestyle, it refers to…

AWDT: Helping Africa's young writers out of obscurity

November 2019 would forever remain indelible in the minds of six young African writers.

The six writers are Modou Lamin Sowe from The Gambia; Sakina TraorĂ©, from Cote D' Ivoire; Tega Oghenechovwen, from Nigeria; Ngang God'swill N, from Cameroon; Maryam Boyi, from Nigeria and Edem Azah, from Ghana.
They would never forget November 2019 because of their convergence in Abuja, the Nigeria’s Capital city, for a residency program organised by the African Writers Development Trust, AWDT. The residency started on the 1st of November and ended on the 21st. 

According to their accounts, the residency program tagged: ‘PenPen Africa Writers Residency’, was an opportunity for them not only to learn how to improve their art, but also an opportunity for learning new cultures, new environment and, above all, an opportunity to make more friends and writer colleagues.
Speaking on her experience during residency, Ms Edem Azah said she learnt a lot about other residents’ cultures and how to live toge…

Call for Submissions ~ The Caine Prize for African Writing

The Caine Prize for African Writing is open for submissions for 2020. The deadline to enter is the 31st January 2020. The prize is awarded to an African writer of a short story in English. To enter please send six original published copies of the work for consideration to the Caine Prize office including a publisher’s letter detailing your author's qualifying nationality, word count, as well as the title of the story, year of publication and title of publication. The Award There is a cash prize of £10, 000 for the winning author and a travel award for each of the shortlisted candidates (up to five in all); the shortlisted candidates will also receive a prize of £500. Full details on how to enter can be found at - please send any queries to:
Eligibility Unpublished work is not eligible for the Caine Prize Submissions should be made by publishers only Only fictional work is eligible Only one story per author will be considered in any on…

I love to learn and break the rules of Poetry - Abdulbaki A. Ahmad

Abdulbaki Abubakar Ahmad is the winner of the maiden National Engineering, Science & Tech. (NESTEC) Essay Competition with a prize money of N300,000. Abdulbaki is an Engineering student of the Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil. He takes Poetry seriously a much as he handles Engineering. Recently, he was in Lagos to receive his NESTEC award and he braved the chaotic Lagos traffic from Ikeja to Victoria Island to meet with his inspiring Mentor, Mr. Eriata Oribhabor, the President of Poets In Nigeria (PIN). In this conversation with Mr. Oribhabor, we read of his love for power and poetry! Sounds mutually exclusive? Well, not with Abdulbaki, the chap who loves science and arts in equal measure. Read on.
Congratulations on your win. Is this the first edition of the competition? If not which institution won it before yours?
Thank you. This is actually the maiden edition of the prize and I am happy that my university left a legacy as the first, ever winning institution of th…

Travelogue ~ Hilux, Bullion, and the Devil ~ Hajara Wodu

You see, that Friday morning, I was on a road trip to Lagos alongside eleven professional colleagues, in an Eighteen-seater bus branded "Department of Sports and Human Kinetics, Kwara State University, Malete", on the Ilorin-Ogbomoso Federal Highway. I like to take back seats when I am almost sure I would sleep during the trip.
For some funny reasons I am confident aren't unconnected with the national shame that are our roads, I get worked up nights before road trips, especially if long, ruminating about how much headache I would have to deal with, wishing I did not have to go, and ultimately praying for some magic to get the to-fro trip over with, even before it begins, so that eventually, I would hardly get any sleep. Only I was on the last row of seats in this bus of discuss, snoozing off and coming back on at intervals.
As we had miles to cover, our driver was quite out to beat time- expectedly so, because there's an annoying thing with group trips; one or two dir…