In a Confrontational Tone, Writer Calls for Translation of Season of Crimson Blossoms

In a confrontational tone, Femi Morgan challenged Abubakar Adam Ibrahim whose book won the 2016 Nigerian Prize for Literature to produce an Hausa translation of his Season of Crimson Blossoms.

Your book will be like a distant legend sought after by its owners with the owners who will keep struggling to have a glimpse of its narrative and thematic glory”

These are parts of comments made by a Femi Morgan through his Facebook platform on a review of Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s Season of Crimson Blossoms
In a confrontational tone, he challenged Abubakar Adam Ibrahim whose book won the 2016 Nigerian Prize for Literature to produce an Hausa translation of his Season of Crimson Blossoms. Femi Morgan urged him to translate his book to Hausa language noting that failure to produce a translation would be to the exclusion of the people the book is about.
Below is an extract of the post:

NOLLYWOOD, MEDIOCRITY AND PSEUDO CREATIVITY

I surely have two bones to pick with Nollywood vis-à-vis their bungling cult of mediocrity and their pseudo creativity…

I surely have two bones to pick with Nollywood vis-à-vis their bungling cult of mediocrity and their pseudo creativity…

On Mediocrity:

World over, from Hollywood to Bollywood to any other wood except Nolly… Important movies these days are either biographies, autobiographies of a worthy life or historical occurrences and excellent novels being adapted into powerful movies. Also, well thought out philosophical musings are brought to bear on their various nation’s sociopolitical issues. Hence, most of what we’ve seen from America, India, etc, challenge our thoughts, our IQs and all.

But down here, Nollywood, in their stark laziness and uncreative projections, prefer to keep dancing round insipid and same storylines since after Igodo. Worst is their rigidness. If you won’t join their silly scriptwriters association, nothing will come out of your messianic ambition.. Join them, they infect you with their contagious mediocrity.

So, we are inundated with stupid films that insult our senses of literary and aesthetic appreciation. We are suffused with historically and socioculturally distorted movies that question our images, thinking faculties and senses of belonging. These movies, with their poor grammatical deployments both in English and local languages, damage our psyche, albeit gradually, and upholds the slow, indirect reconstruction of our complexes towards the inferior bend.

On Creativity and Pseudo Creativity:

Good and interesting movies have surely graced our TV screens from the handful of creative scriptwriters, directors and producers who are struggling against the overwhelming number of mediocres in the field. Some of their movies have reflected our fears, joys, travails and dilemmas – as a nation, as a culturally peculiar society. But I am worried, also, by the level of outright plagiarism that some of these producers indulge in.

When, sometime last year, I saw The Wedding Party, I had cause to celebrate a seemingly paradigm shift from mediocrity to creativity.

Same goes to when I saw Wives on Strike early this year.

However, my celebratory drum ebbed when I saw the Hollywood movie; Jumping The Broom, produced a year or two before The Wedding Party. I became more disillusioned when I recently saw Chi Raq; another Hollywood movie that came before Wives On Strike. Then it struck me, that the Nollywood makers of The Wedding Party and Wives On Strike relied heavily on the plot and thematic thrust of Jumping The Broom and Chi Raq.

Now don’t get me wrong. It is not bad to do so. In fact, I encourage our people to look Westwards and adapt some of their interesting movies into ones that will reflect our peculiar sociopolitical, economic, cultural and religious experiences. But what I am against is when it is done without discipline; that uncivilized culture of not crediting the source. There’s everything wrong with that and that’s my wahala with the producers of The Wedding Party and Wives On Strike.

In the Literary circle, Ola Rotimi successfully adapted Oedipus Rex into the Yoruba cultural matrix to produce for Africa, the classical The Gods Are Not To Blame that resonates with our sensibilities. Femi Osofisan’s Women of Owu and Who is Afraid of Tai Solarin are African adaptations of The Trojan Women and The Government Inspector, respectively, and these authors made it known from the outset. Even Wole Soyinka did it with his 1973 publication of The Bacchae of Euripides. Novelists like Tayib Salih and Igoni Barrett also did so, successfully. So why shouldn’t our movie makers do the honourable by quoting their sources? Is it as a result of that skewed but entrenched notion that Nigerians are lazy researchers who can never discover such theft? Is it as a result of that hogwash view that our movie lovers do not care about the source and content of the movies they watch? What exactly could have prompted these producers to think that we are daft, lazy and uncritical consumers?

My Verdict:

This writer is of the opinion that the producers of The Wedding Party and Wives On Strike depended on the concepts established in Jumping The Broom and Chi Raq to make their own movies. This writer does not think it is wrong to adapt or emulate. However, this writer condemns, in strong terms, the habit of hoarding glories and stark refusal to credit creative sources. It is an honourable thing to do and I enjoin our movie makers, the real movie makers to imbibe that healthy habit.

Our movie makers should also look into our literary basket and savour in the adaptation of the excellent stories so far produced by these cerebral writers who are making Nigeria proud in the global literary scene. I refuse to believe that there are no investors. There are investors but there are no investable storylines.

Hence, I implore our movie makers to look inwards and come up with good story lines. They should work closely with our novelists and playwrights, something healthy must come out of that relationship.

Above all, they should allow newer hands in the game; fresh players bring in fresh innovations.

Offside:

Meanwhile, every Nigerian should endeavour to see Chi Raq and see how the church and the community coalesced to stand against an ugly trend that threatened their common existence.

They stood up first and called God for support. They didn’t hide in their rooms to invoke God like we do down here.

I’m out.

Author’s Bio:

IFESINACHI, Johnpaul Nwadike is a poet, writer, comedian and rapper. He obtained a B.A in Literature from Imo State University, Owerri and an M.A in Literature from University of Ibadan. When he’s not listening to 2face, Asa or Brymo, he’s reading an African author. He relaxes by looking for trouble.

10 REASONS High-Water Mark School is the right place to enrol your child next term

A visit to Highwatermark school relieves your worries. The state of art educational facilities are the best you can find in the Ondo state metropolis.

Do you live in Ondo state and its environs?
Looking for where to begin or continue your child’s education? Look no further. In this post, I give 10 reasons High-Water Mark school is the right place to enrol your child.

As parents, we naturally bother about what happens to our children at school:

what kind of friends they mingle with?;
what kind of teachers do they talk to?;
what are the teachers teaching them?;

are they taught the right way?;

can they compete effectively with children from other parts of the world?

It is natural for caring parents to hold these kind of thoughts.

A visit to High-Water Mark school relieves your worries. The state of art educational facilities are the best you can find in the Ondo state metropolis.

I share with you just 10 reasons you want your child to resume at High-Water Mark school

1.Affordable fees

2. Well equipped speech laboratory

3. Audio visual mode of learning.

4. Specious and conducive environment: in a classroom, there are two sections. One section for theoretical and the other for practical activities.

5. Security.

6. Competent and qualified teachers

7. Blend of British and Nigerian curriculums

8. Emphasis on learning of digital skills

9. Emphasis on artistic skills through Creative Art

10. Home for creativity: learn piano, drums and computer programming

Visit the school website for more info:

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ANA President and Secretary call member ‘Bastard’

The president of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Denja Abdullahi and the secretary(south), Wole Adedoyin in fit of vituperations described a member of the association, Paul Liam as ‘Bastard’.

The president of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Denja Abdullahi and the secretary(south), Wole Adedoyin in fit of vituperations described a member of the association, Paul Liam as ‘Bastard’.

These comments came in response to allegations made by Paul Liam on his Facebook page.

Paul Liam, claiming to be in possession of evidences to prove his allegations had accused the leadership of playing bad politics with the association.

Abdullahi replied by saying Liam was not the son of his father and Adedoyin called Liam, ‘bastard’ and asked him to produce evidences for the allegations else they would sue him.

Feel free to share your thoughts on these comments from intellectuals using the comment space below.

MY THOUGHTS ON READING UZODINMA IWEALA’S SPEAK NO EVIL- Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor

The storyline is very familiar — in a good way. The prose is immediate, well-written (So many beautiful sentences in here!) I see another motion picture emerging from Iweala’s new novel.

And God was always right; so I decided I would only like girls even if I could feel that I liked looking at them less than I should. I didn’t watch the porn my classmates shared on their phones in the hallways before class or sitting on the lawn in front of the Cathedral. At home, I would watch women with women and men with women on my phone, trying only to focus on the women as I touched myself. But those men, their bodies, their sounds. I wanted to gouge out my eyes. Sometimes I asked God for deliverance. Sometimes I held my own breath and circled my hands around my throat and squeezed until they grew tired and I coughed saliva over my lips and onto my chin. Sometimes I cried. When my mother asked me what was wrong I said homework. She never probed any further. Sometimes when Meredith touched me, when she circled her arms around my neck or pinched my butt, I felt something, but never very strong or for very long.

Uzodinma Iweala- Speak No Evil

With his masterpiece, “All our Lives”, Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor became  the first male and first Nigerian to win the  2017/2018  Short Story Day Africa Prize. Below are his thoughts on Uzodinma Iweala’s Speak no Evil:

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WHERE IS YOUR AFRO?: the image of the Nigerian poet- J.N. IFESINACHI

The Nigerian poet is easy to spot in a congress of world poets. If he’s not spotting an afro or a bushy and unkempt hair, he is on dreadlocks with Osama-like beards and Herbert Macaulay-like moustache. His dressing is a thing of wonder. If his bongo trouser is not weather-beaten, the polo will be torn somewhere.

It happened that my fiancé comes all the way from the East, to pay me a visit in Ibadan where I’m rounding off my postgraduate studies in African literature in Nigeria premier university.  In my busy-body bid to show her off and around, we run into a friend of mine who is a poet. We exchange pleasantries, and as it is often the case, we make small mouths about literature; the good writers we have just read; the bad ones we shouldn’t have read, etc. I and my fiancé move on.  Before long we run into another poet-friend of mine. He didn’t even wait for me to finish introducing my fine girlfriend before he produced his phone and starts reading to me the “classic” lines he had just written. ‘Sorry bro, we are in haste,’ I tell him and makes off with my “pissed” lady.

‘You don’t have to be pissed off, he was only showing me his new poem,’ I try to calm her down.

‘Is that how you guys do all the time?’

‘You know the muse could be jealous like a woman, if we don’t show her off.’

‘Meaning?’

‘Nothing.’

‘Ehe, Shuga, did you actually say you’re a poet?’

The question from a girl I’ve dated for many years, who has even read my poems before we began to date, shocked me.

‘What do you mean by that rhetorical question?’

‘See na, you don’t look like any of these poet-friends of yours and the many that I’ve seen.’

‘How do you mean?’

‘You don’t wear poetry.’

‘Talk to me and stop dribbling like an Igbo-induced philosopher’

Ok, where’s your afro? Your hair is not bushy and unkempt like most poets I’ve seen before and the ones I saw today. You’re not even carrying a big book on your chest. You don’t also read your work to the nearest ear, or, is your own muse not jealous?

‘Are you for real? Is that your notion of poets?’

‘No. That’s my notion of Nigerian poets, like your friends.’

Aah, finally!  I exclaimed in my heart. My girlfriend, like myself, has also noticed that most Nigerian poets carry the tag around like a military rank.

The Nigerian poet is easy to spot in a congress of world poets. If he’s not spotting an afro or a bushy and unkempt hair, he is on dreadlocks with Osama-like beards and Herbert Macaulay-like moustache. His dressing is a thing of wonder. If his bongo trouser is not weather-beaten, the polo will be torn somewhere. When that is not the case, then he is tucking in with a funny rope-like belt. His stomach must have fallen into his back because Nigerian poets don’t eat, (they fast for muses?).

He must appear like a refugee in order to paint that Okigbo-like picture, to claim to be his disciple, (by the way, who told him that Okigbo did not eat? And why must poets who appear this way always adopt Okigbo as a model?)

Sometimes, he may put on an over-worn African print top- Ankara for instance.  He dons an African bangle, wear scholar-like eyeglass and then carry one dog-eared collection of poems of his or an anthology where his “masterpiece” appeared. Listen to him talk for five minutes, he will surely be caught condemning those whose writings are not in tandem with his thematic visions.  He is always better than any other poet on earth; he is in the pantheon of the forebears.

Every now and then, he is seen carrying his collection around in a bag, coercing those he can to buy them off. He self-published them (traditional publishers are now only interested in prose fiction).

‘Ok, don’t worry,’ I told my fiancé, ‘I’ll try to start looking like one soon.’

‘Don’t try it o,’ she said.

Post first published on Naijxclusive

AUTHOR’S BIO:

ifesinachi johnpaul nwadike
IFESINACHI, J.P.

IFESINACHI, Johnpaul Nwadike is a poet, writer, comedian and rapper. He obtained a B.A in Literature from Imo State University, Owerri and an M.A in Literature from University of Ibadan. When he’s not listening to 2face, Asa or Brymo, he’s reading an African author. He relaxes by looking for trouble.

DEAR IYANYA, PLEASE HAVE YOU FADED? – J.N.Ifesinachi

We didn’t feel the usual Iyanya in that single. We heard the voice of a drowning man, a broken voice, nagging, complaining.

Nigeria is the only country where you can blow, unblow and turn to an upcoming artiste

Continue reading “DEAR IYANYA, PLEASE HAVE YOU FADED? – J.N.Ifesinachi”

Fela, Brymo and Lagos

Music is beyond sound. For me, music is a medium through which the mind reflects upon difficult things in simple rhythmical ways.

In Africa, the function of music is beyond its aesthetic value. For instance, music is usually integral to the success of a ritual. The content or lyrics of the songs are steeped in wise sayings and usually pass across moral messages.

It is well known that most contemporary Nigerian musicians do not practice this function even though they are aware of the point that music in Africa is beyond “art for art sake” alone.

I will not bother you with the history of music in Africa or Nigeria. I will just discuss Fela’s “Monday Morning in Lagos” and Brymo’s “Eko”.

 

‘Lagos’ is a spectacle that attracted  Fela and Brymo at different points in time. Lagos, also known as ‘Eko’ has its capital in the city of Ikeja. It is a city that is host to about 20million people and is the official economic capital of Nigeria. The city is known for being the site to witness both intense pleasure and poverty. The current governor of the state is Governor Akinwumi Ambode. Due to an increase in rural- urban migration, there has been a reduction in the agrarian mode of life among the people. Banky W in “Ebute Metta”, Olamide in “Lagos City”, and others have sang about the city of Lagos. However, my focus is on Fela and Brymo’s view of Lagos in their songs.

Lagos

Fela in the song “Monday Morning in Lagos” lives in a kind of Lagos that is ruled based on mood. Each day lived in Lagos has a specific kind of mood. People’s attitude to you depends on the day of the week you find yourself in Lagos. For instance, Fela sings that a landlord that doesn’t want trouble from his tenant will not ask for rent on a Monday morning

Regardless of the mood, be it calm, tense, festive, there is still one quality that cannot be taken away from Lagos which is its rush and restlessness. It is this haste that Fela embodies when he sings,

Eko o ni gba gba ku gba.

One would expect this kind of Lagos that has a “mood for everyday” to pass with time, especially considering when the song was sang. But when one listens to Brymo’s “Eko”, the beginning of the beat ushers one into the high-life of Lagos. However in Brymo’s case, he is more concerned with the part Fela refers to as the “relaxation mood” for any individual in Lagos-that would be Saturday and Sunday:

Satiday la fin da ti ba ba l’ eko,

Ojo Sunday, la fin m’ oti aye…

Brymo underscores the point that for one that does not take caution during that mood of relaxation in Lagos, such an individual may regret the adventure of relaxation in Lagos. A consequence of this mood is usually the temptation to splurge. For an individual who doesn’t apply discretion, he may regret his actions the following day. This is what Brymo suggests as he pleads to Eko in the lines,

Eko, no let me go.

He pleads to Eko not to let him splurge and forget that the next day is a working day.

Essentially, these two musicians  warn about the danger of throwing caution to the wind in Lagos city.

If you plan on visiting Africa on a holiday, take a trip to Lagos and visit the African Shrine. That is the historic site where Fela used to stage his protest songs in the 90s. Do not get lost in the city; I would love to get your feedback on Lagos. Wishing you a safe journey. Hit the like button if you found this post useful and do not be stingy. Kindly share with others.

TRACKING NEW GENERATION WRITERS: THE CASE OF GIMBA KAKANDA AND SADDIQ DZUKOGI- BM DZUKOGI

This post is about the recent feats reached by two young Nigerians . Their phenomenal rise as potent voices in Africa is what Nigeria as a nation should embrace through concrete support.

Each generation has its own stars who present the society with exceptionally powerful points to remember.

This short piece is about the recent feats reached by two young Nigerians who are literary artists of repute. Their phenomenal rise as potent voices in Africa is what Nigeria as a nation should embrace through concrete support.

Gimba Kakanda and Saddiq Dzukogi, both from Niger state, will soon jet out as writers of note and developing scholars whose potentials could be supported by their home governments including their Local governments for a greater impact on the state in the future. Saddiq is headed for the US while Kakanda goes to London as international students and writers who have already established a mark on Nigeria, to say it mildly.

Gimba KakandaKakanda

Kakanda is First Class as an undergraduate. His recent admissions for higher studies are two, so far: London School of Economics and King’s College London.

dzukogiDzukogi

Saddiq’s own is three: University of Nebraska-Lincoln; University of Mississippi; and McNeese State University, all with scholarships attached and teaching assistantship. Nebraska offered academic journey of six years to Ph.D with teaching assistantship. They even added a fellowship to it when he insisted on going with his wife and son. Of course, he chose Nebraska after a fourth admission.

Why am I posting this? I am advocating for financial support for the two from Niger state government. Also, Niger state government should create a special unit in the governor’s office that will keep track of Nigerlites (especially young ones) who are establishing excellence abroad, for future use. A critical support system should be developed for them as a form of scholarship and award or grant.

These two children of Niger have managed to walk their ways to straight lines of excellence with no support from governments of Niger state.

If we are not careful, if these new Nigerian authors make it to their new schools, you may as well say goodbye to them, forever.

This ought not to be the case.

Lastly, I say this because a new light has sprout on the Niger state literary community which hopefully, will be a platform for her accelerated growth. Many teen authors of our art centre are dusting their bags to surpass Kakanda and Saddiq’s feats. This year alone, five of our published teen authors got admissions into BUK (1), IBB University (3), FUT (1), and Federal Polytechnic Bida (1).

 

ABOUT CONTRIBUTOR

BM Dzukogi is the founder/mentor at Hill-Top Art Centre, Minna, Nigeria.

7 things you don’t want missing in your CV

What is CV?

CV is the shortened form for Curriculum Vitae. The Americans prefer to call it ‘resume.’ They basically refer to the same document; a document that contains an employers’ first impression about a job applicant.

In this post, I will be sharing with you 7 things recruiters look out for in C.V’s that you don’t want to miss out while writing your C.V.

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