Titilayo Olurin found her passion for writing when she started scribbling short narratives in her school books as a child. It did not matter that she sometimes got punished for it, she wrote almost about anything on the side or bottom pages of her note books. Now, years later, she remains passionate about writing and has other means of conveying her thoughts besides note books. Her stories and articles have been published in newspapers as well as journals. Also, she has worked as an Arts and Culture reporter and currently works as a free lance writer. When the graduate of English is not writing, she keeps busy around the house. But she has some free time, most of which is spent reading novels, hanging out with family and friends, window shopping or just watching her favourite channel, Investigation Discovery. She is also interested in book readings and stage plays and attends them at the slightest chance she gets. Nicknamed Atiteh by her cousin, Olurin has observed to be true the Spanish proverb that “An ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship” and thinks of her elder sister and twin as her best buddies. She considers such values as, honesty, dedication and loyalty, instilled in her by family, to be very important. Buchi Emecheta, Sefi Atta and Yvonne Vera, are some favourite writers of the young native of Ogun state who hopes to write a novel someday. Other aspirations include: starting a career in photography and learning how to drum. You can follow her on twitter @titilayo_olurin
I never wanted to be a writer; I just had stories I wanted to share so I learnt how to write and kept going. If I could sing or paint, I would.
Sefi AttaEarly Life Sefi Atta was born in Lagos (Nigeria), in 1964, to a family of five children. Her father Abdul-Aziz Atta, a Muslim and Igbirra, was the Secretary to Federal Government and Head of the Civil Service until his death in 1972, and she was raised by her mother Iyabo Atta, a Christian and Yoruba. In 1974, aged 10, she attended Queen's College, Lagos; between 1978 and 1982, she attended Millfield School, Somerset (England). In 1985, she graduated from Birmingham University and trained as a chartered accountant. Atta began to write while working as a CPA in New York, which birthed her first novel Everything Good Will Come (2005) – which won the inaugural Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in 2006. 2001, she graduated from the creative writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her short story collection, Lawless (2008), received the 2009 Noma Award For Publishing in Africa. Her short stories have appeared in journals such as Los Angeles Review, Mississippi Review and World Literature Today. Sefi has won prizes for her short stories from the Zoetrope Short Fiction Contest and the Red Hen Press Short Story Award, and was a finalist for Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Award and the Caine Prize for African Literature. DID YOU KNOW THAT… 1. Sefi’s first literary award was the 2004 PEN International’s David TK Wong Prize. 2. Her radio plays were broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation and her stage plays have been performed to a global audience. 3. Her books have been translated to several languages including French and German. 4. Her husband, Gboyega Ransome-Kuti, is the son of Olikoye Ransome-Kuti. 5. Sefi has served as a visiting writer at the Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon in 2010, Northwestern University in 2008 and the University of Southern Mississippi in 2006. 6. She was on the jury for the 2010 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. 7. Sefi’s Lagos-based production company Atta Girl formed “Care to Read”, a program initiated to earn funds for legitimate charities through performance readings, 8. Sefi has confessed to enjoying writing plays the most; and disliking writing short stories (anymore) because “the process of submitting them depressed me.” 9. She has listed Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Albert Camus’ L’Etranger and The Village Headmaster as her early influences. 10. Sefi only experiences writer’s block when she writes non-fiction. 11. Her editor came up with the title of her first novel, Everything Good Will Come (2005). 12. Sefi’s has (presently) lived in Nigeria for 14 years, England – 16 years and the United States for 19 years. 13. Her paternal grandfather was a traditional ruler, the Atta of the Igbirra people. 14. She grew up in Ikoyi, Lagos. 15. Her short story collection, Lawless (2008) has been published in the US and UK under the title “News From Home” (2010). 16. She trained as a chartered accountant in England, because it was the only way she could get a work permit. 17. Her first novel “Everything Good Will Come” took 7 years to write. 18. Her second novel Swallow (2010) and Lawless (aka News From Home) were written between 2002 and 2006; and they were inspired by newspaper articles. 19. Sefi has written in total 3 novels, 1 short story collection, 5 stage plays, 4 radio plays and 1 screenplay. 20. Her recent novel is titled A Bit of Difference (2012). Sefi’s presently working on three books; they’ve all been drafted - The Age of Widows, a thoroughly modern Nigerian story; The Bead Collector, said to be controversial and has a strong political content; and The Far Removed. And she’s said that she’d stop writing once all three books have been published. Sefi lives in Mississippi with her husband Gboyega Ransome-Kuti, a medical doctor, and their daughter, Temi. By Olusola Agbaje
Afropolitan Vibes Date and time: 29 November 2013 7pm Venue: Freedom Park, Lagos Island Event description: 8th edition of Afropolitan Vibes feat. African China, Oranmiyan, Chinaza & Bantu. Admission is FREE! (note N200 Park Fees applies) TEDx Aso Rock Conference Date and time: 30th November, 10am Venue: Merit House Auditorium, Maitama, Abuja Event description: Themed Creativity, Society and Change, TEDx Aso Rock 2013 speakers will come from a cross-section of the society to share their experiences and innovative ideas. The event will provide an experience that consists of inspirational talks and performances on an eclectic range of issues, with each talk designed to challenge, engage and inspire the audience. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED- like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. For more information and general inquiries, please Call us: Nduwhite- 08034056009, Ikenna- 08098484552 or Nma- 08033223113 Email us: info@TEDxasorock.com. Visit our website: www.TEDxasorock.info Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TEDxAsoRock Follow us on Twitter: @TEDxAsoRock Tush Awards 2013 Date and time: 30th November, 5pm Venue: De Hall Events Place (after Ikeja City Mall), Allen Avenue, Ikeja Event Description: Tush Awards is an all youths scheduled to take place as its 5th successive year edition. Rock and Rave Fashion TV Launch Date and time: 1st December, 3pm Venue: Bespoke Centre, Lekki, Lagos Event description: 10 Designers, 15 Models, Choreographed Music, Cable TV, Fashion police on ground To participate call 08020765230,07031233729. email@example.com The Experience 2013 Date and time: 6th December, 7pm till dawn Venue: Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Island Event description: Convened and hosted by Pastor Paul Adefarasin, The Experience is an Interdenominational Gospel concert that features some of the best-known musical talents of our time. The Event, which debuted in December 2006 with over 70,000 persons in attendance rapidly gained momentum at its second outing with a quantum leap in attendance of well over 250,000 people. The Experience has now become known as the largest musical concert in Africa. In previous editions the Experience has run through the night starting at 7.00pm and running till 6am the following morning; a colossal 11 hours of uninterrupted prayer and live music! At its inception, the Experience was simply an opportunity for Nigerians to put aside tribe, tongue, class, and creed; come together and lift one voice and worship God. The event is seen as a bridge of reconciliation, and a beacon of light and hope to the much afflicted and often maligned continent of Africa. Attended by Federal and State dignitaries, Captains of Industry and your regular man or woman next door, The Experience was truly representative of a cross section of Nigeria's eclectic community. The artistes expected to perform are Don Moen, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams and Cece Winans among others. Fashion on The Terrace Date and time: 8th December, 4pm Venue: Intercontinental Hotel, 52 Kofo Abayomi Road, Victoria Island, Lagos Event description: St. EVE Magazine’s latest presentation “Fashion on the Terrace” holds in Lagos this December. It is an upscale fashion and lifestyle brand with an across the spectrum appeal. Some call it Fashion Exotica, Bespoke, Avant garde, End of Discussion, Creativity unleashed and a meeting point for Fashionistas. It is simply Chic Afric. It’s an “outdoor rooftop event”. This fashion show will provide a platform for creative designers to display their art and designs. Already signed up are top fashion designers, movie celebrities, musicians, art lovers, industry heavy weights and corporate personalities.
Two days ago, it was the allegation that one of the prominent senators had falsified his educational qualifications. He had lived in Canada for many years, quite all right, but the University of Toronto had no record of his attendance.
Culled from I Do Not Come to You by Chance[caption id="attachment_5513" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Source: questionmarkmag.com[/caption] Born to Chief Sir Chukwuma Hope Nwaubani (regarded as the most-experienced Chartered Accountant in Umuahia, Abia State) and Dame Patricia Uberife Nwaubani (who began her teaching career as the only black teacher in an upper-middle-class British school) in 1976, in Enugu (Nigeria); but was raised in Umuahia, Abia State (Nigeria). 1986, aged 10, she attended boarding school at the Federal Government Girls College, Owerri, Imo State (Nigeria); she then went on to study Psychology at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State (Nigeria). Adaobi started writing stories before age 10; she earned her very first income by winning a writing competition at the age of 13. At 15, she was awarded best poet and playwright in her secondary school – Federal Government Girls College, Owerri. But then, writing was just one of the many things she was good at, her other hobbies included chess, scrabble and singing. In fact, she was so enthusiastic, that she once boasted to a friend that she’d be the very best dish-washer if she ever got a job in a restaurant! Writing for Adaobi seems to be hereditary, as her mother wrote a novel (though it was never published); her godmother, Mrs. Angela Ukairo, co-authored a couple of textbooks; and Flora Nwapa, the first female black African to have a novel published, was her aunt. And in December 2006, her thirst for writing was re-awakened. In the next 30 days,January – February 2007, she had produced the first draft of her debut novel, I Do Not Come to You By Chance. [caption id="attachment_5514" align="aligncenter" width="292"] Source: extranet.editis.com[/caption] I Do Not Come to You By Chance (2009), about a young man called Kingsley who seeks the assistance of his 419 kingpin uncle called ‘Cash Daddy’ to help his family out of poverty, won the 2010 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (Africa), a 2010 Betty Trask First Book award, and was named by the Washington Post as one of the Best Books of 2009. Adaobi also became the first contemporary African writer on the global stage to have got an international book deal while still living in her home country, and the first writer in the history of world literature to capture the 419 scams phenomenon in a novel. Adaobi was one of the pioneer editorial staff of Nigeria’s now defunct NEXT newspapers; she served as the editor of élan, the fashion and style magazine of NEXT. She was later appointed to the position of opinion editor. In 2012, she was selected as one of 15 emerging leaders in government, business and civil society from across West Africa, to attend a ‘Leadership for Change’ training program sponsored by the Private Investors for Africa (PIA). It’s important to note that while researching for her novel, Adaobi approached several publishers home and abroad (via the internet); and she signed with an agent shortly after. While she doesn't have any formal writing training, her novel has been used to teach at higher institutions around the world. By Olusola Agbaje
The post On Adaobi Tricia Nwaobi, Author of ‘I Do Not Come to You By Chance’ appeared first on Aphroden.
Shegxy is a fast-rising Nigerian Afro-pop and Highlife musician whose last single, 'I Love My Baby', proved to be a massive hit. Now working on his debut album, Shegxy has shifted a bit to RnB and quite surprisingly, he seems to deliver in that area as well. Now, download and listen to 'Omowunmi' by Shegxy; a slow paced acoustic tune, which will be loved by many. [audio mp3="http://www.aphroden.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Shegxy-Omowunmi.mp3"][/audio] Connect with Shegxy on Twitter
Richard, aka RPKB, is many things – a poet, photo journalist, blogger, public speaker, even a Forex trader, but at heart he is first a writer. Born 1991 into a humble (but poor) Ghanaian family to a family of ten (5 brothers and 2 sisters), Richard lost his father at the age of 5 in 1996 and his mother in 1998 at the age of 7. Despite experiencing tragedy at such an early age, Richard always wanted to become a medical doctor, till – (in his own words) “one day I saw my soul holding pen” – everything changed, he wanted to become a writer; and he was 12 years old. As a teenager, he wrote several short stories; and even completed a book at the tender age of 14, though it was never published. His writing style has been said to be a pragmatic approach to how life’s dealt with everyday. Richard’s first published work was a book of poetry, Life lessons & The Birds (2010) which appeared first in Rising Artist Magazine (April, 2009). Other poetic works have followed – Kiss of Death, The Soon Drama and The Muted Island – all of which have propped him into international recognition. April 1, 2012, Richard published his first novel, The Tale of an Orphan: A Lesson to Learn, with E-Magine (New York); a true story inspired by his (painful) childhood experiences. The Tale of an Orphan: A Lesson to Learn has been described as a book about an orphaned village boy in Ghana relying on God for his daily needs, suffering both physical and verbal abuse because of his situation, but not giving up. Richard’s resilience can be seen in his determination to becoming an international success; thus he has employed all means to market his work – all forms of social media (including youtube), appearing as a guest speaker on radio and the good old, door-to-door marketing. His marketing efforts do not come as a shock considering the fact that the draft for his debut novel was rejected 88 times. Richard has described his writing style as thus – “I think of the number of pages, chapters, and the format to use. I define my target audience. The next step is to begin writing. I first write in my notebook then later transfer onto a computer. It is during this stage that I do first editing.” And he keeps motivating himself by reading, a lot! Every week, he visits major bookstores online to see what kinds of book have been released to give him an idea on what’s in-demand for the market and also what the competition looks like. And listening to radio interviews and watching TV interviews of authors and writers. He’s currently the CEO and founder of Orphan Trust Movement (PUT A SMILE ON AN ORPHAN’S FACE Project), an organisation established to assist and encourage orphans; which receives a percentage of the profits of his book. Richard’s currently working on his next books: My ShoesDon’t Fit: A Young Man’s Conversations with God and a novel, The Girl Who Swallowed Fire. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter By Olus0la Agbaje
A student once complained to the composer Shostakovich that he couldn’t find a theme for his second movement. Shostakovich replied: “Never mind the theme! Just write the movement!” What do you do when you have writer's block? Here are a few suggestions from famous writers on how to address the problem if any of you should find your mind imprisoned by the notorious intellectual scourge. "What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come." — Maya Angelou “Suggestions? Put it aside for a few days, or longer, do other things, try not to think about it. Then sit down and read it (printouts are best I find, but that’s just me) as if you’ve never seen it before. Start at the beginning. Scribble on the manuscript as you go if you see anything you want to change. And often, when you get to the end you’ll be both enthusiastic about it and know what the next few words are. And you do it all one word at a time.” – Neil Gaiman “I encourage my students at times like these to get one page of anything written, three hundred words of memories or dreams or stream of consciousness on how much they hate writing — just for the hell of it, just to keep their fingers from becoming too arthritic, just because they have made a commitment to try to write three hundred words every day. Then, on bad days and weeks, let things go at that… Your unconscious can’t work when you are breathing down its neck. You’ll sit there going, ‘Are you done in there yet, are you done in there yet?’ But it is trying to tell you nicely, ‘Shut up and go away.’” — Anne Lamott “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” — Mark Twain “The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day … you will never be stuck. Always stop while you are going good and don’t think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day. That way your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start.” — Ernest Hemingway “Writer’s block is my unconscious mind telling me that something I’ve just written is either unbelievable or unimportant to me, and I solve it by going back and reinventing some part of what I’ve already written so that when I write it again, it is believable and interesting to me. Then I can go on. Writer’s block is never solved by forcing oneself to “write through it,” because you haven’t solved the problem that caused your unconscious mind to rebel against the story, so it still won’t work – for you or for the reader.” — Orson Scott “If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.” — Hilary Mantel “[When] the thoughts rise heavily and pass gummous through my pen… I never stand conferring with pen and ink one moment; for if a pinch of snuff or a stride or two across the room will not do the business for me — … I take a razor at once; and have tried the edge of it upon the palm of my hand, without further ceremony, except that of first lathering my beard, I shave it off, taking care that if I do leave hair, that it not be a grey one: this done, I change my shirt — put on a better coat — send for my last wig — put my topaz ring upon my finger; and in a word, dress myself from one end to the other of me, after my best fashion.” — Laurence Sterne “I learned to produce whether I wanted to or not. It would be easy to say oh, I have writer’s block, oh, I have to wait for my muse. I don’t. Chain that muse to your desk and get the job done.” — Barbara Kingsolver Writer’s block is a condition that affects amateurs and people who aren’t serious about writing. So is the opposite, namely inspiration, which amateurs are also very fond of. Putting it another way: a professional writer is someone who writes just as well when they’re not inspired as when they are.” — Philip Pullman By Azeez Sanusi
Hello guys, we're still reminiscing and we're going back to the 80s and the 90s! This time, we're visiting the fashion trends that rocked the 90s. If you check that box of clothes your mother has kept somewhere-- never to be worn again-- you'll probably find most of them there. Good thing about these outfits is some of them are making a huge comeback so you can still wear them and look great (well, some of them) 1. Overalls [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="310"] Source: clearchannel.com[/caption] Overalls were the rave in those days, even children had it (maybe you didn't, I did). Usually, they are worn with a T-shirt inside and they're mainly denim. They looked fashionable back then, I don't know what happened. Oh, and bonus points if you wore them with one strap undone. 2. Denim [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="320"] Source: styletastic.wordpress.com[/caption] Denim was so fashionable, that they had jackets to go alongside the trousers. Back then, daddies and mummies felt fashionable leaving the house in this. Now? I think they're used strictly for cold days. You can hardly find someone wearing a denim jacket and a denim trouser today considering the weather. Stick with chambray, people. 3. Shoulder pads [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="203"] Source: popeighties.com[/caption] These things screamed money and power back in the 80s. It implied having massive shoulders, and since shoulder implants weren't the norm, people opted to pad their clothing. 4. Mini skirts [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Source: prettily.net[/caption] "The tighter and shorter the skirt, the better and more fishes you catch". Ladies rocked this one to the end. 5. Parachute pants/baggy pants [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="504"] Source: dailyedge.ie[/caption] These baggy pants spilled over from the late 80s and into the early 90s. Break-dancers were the only ones who seemed to take them seriously. They look very fashionable to me however. 6. Hypercolor [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Source: Pinterest.com[/caption] This one, moved over to the early 2000s before it was swept away. The appeal was simple: clothing that changed colors depending on temperature. 7. Non-blue jeans [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="513"] Source: wanelo.com[/caption] I'm guessing it was an experiment (a failed one if you ask me) to try out coloured/non-blue jeans. 8. Ripped jeans [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="258"] Source: thegreat90s.com[/caption] This, unfortunately, is still in vogue today. I can't understand how humans are comfortable walking around in jeans looking like they were attacked by rabid wolverines. 9. Backwards cap [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="438"] Source: ghettogenius.com[/caption] This was very popular amongst the men folk, with women following afterwards. 10. The Flannel shirt [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="575"] Source: sayilovemary.blogspot.com[/caption] Any shirt with a plaid or tartan pattern was reffered to as 'flannel shirt' back then and it dominated the early 90s fashion for men. Even the ladies got to wearing it also. Other not so popular trends from the 90s include:
- Cropped cardigans.
- Jelly shoes.
- Baby Gs
- Slap bracelets.
- Butterfly clips
- Bucket hats.
1. Written literature was introduced to Northern Nigeria in the 15th century by Arab scholars and traders; and Southern Nigeria, via missionary activities in the 1840s. 2. The need to translate the bible for the new converts in Southern Nigeria led to some of the first publications in the country: A Grammar of the Ibo Language (1840) by pioneer missionary, Rev. J.F. Schon and A Vocabulary of the Yoruba Language (1843) by Samuel Ajayi Crowther, an ex-slave and the first African Bishop of the Niger Diocese of the Church Missionary Society. 3. The first literature in English by a Nigerian was titled “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano” aka “Gustava, the African” (1789) by Olaudah Equiano, an ex-slave. The book was an autobiography detailing how he was kidnapped as a boy of 12 from his village of Essaka near Benin and sold to a white slave trader, and how he eventually obtained his freedom. It became an instant best-seller, running into its ninth edition by the time of the author’s death in 1797. 4. The first indigenous novel in English was titled “The Palm-Wine Drinkard” (1952) by the legendary Amos Tutuola, a drop-out, as a result of the death of his father. Before his death in June 1997, he was a visiting fellow of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, an honour that confirmed his international recognition. 5. The Nigerian Civil War (1967 – 1970), which is said to have claimed the lives of over 100,000 soldiers, also claimed the life of one of the country’s most celebrated poets, Christopher Okigbo, and caused untold hardship to other writers like Wole Soyinka, who was detained for crying out against the atrocities perpetrated in the war. 6. The War also provided inspiration for many writers, particularly those directly involved; it led to the birth Elechi Amadi’s Sunset in Biafra (1973), Wole Soyinka’s The Man Died (1972), Chukuemeka Ike’s Sunset at Dawn (1976), Ken SaroWiwa’s Sozaboy (1985), and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun (2007). 7. Flora Nwapa, author of Efuru (1966), was the first published Nigerian female novelist and the first woman in Africa to have her work published in London. 8. The first writing competition in Nigeria held in 1963 sponsored by the Ministry of Education 9. The first novel in Igbo, Omenuko, was published in 1933 by Pita Nwana. 10. While Yoruba became a written language in 1842. The earliest Yoruba book of poetry written by a Nigerian was “Kekere Iwe Orin Aribiloso” (1886) by Moses Lijadu. 11. The first Yoruba novel was “Itan Emi Segilola Eleyinjuege, Elegberun oko laiye” (1930) by Isaac B. Thomas. While Daniel Olurunfemi Fagunwa’s (who is said to be the best known Yoruba novelist) “Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmale” (1938), is arguably the most popular literary work in Yoruba, which has been translated into English by Wole Soyinka as The Forest of a Thousand Daemons (1968). 12. Zaynab Alkali is the first Nigerian female writer in English to emerge from the North. Her debut novel “The Stillborn” was published in 1984. 13. Chinua Achebe’s legendary novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), has been translated into about 50 languages globally and has sold more than 12 million copies. By Olusola Agbaje
Aniakor Henry Chigozie, a.k.a Henrotion, hails from Umuezeri, Umuaji in Ezeagu LGA of Enugu State, Nigeria. He was born on the 30th of Dec 1990 to Mr and Mrs. Aniakor, the last born of five. Henrotion is a Singer/Songwriter on the verge of releasing his first debut album. The RnB and Soul singer is inspired by 2Face, P Square, Faze, Akon, Marc Anthony, R Kelly and many more. Download his single here [audio mp3="http://www.aphroden.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/MAKE-UP-TONIGHT-1.mp3"][/audio]
People think that writing is writing, but actually, writing is editing. Otherwise, you’re just taking notes.”
Chris Abani[caption id="attachment_5550" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Source: truthdig.com[/caption] Early Life Born 27th December 1966, in Afikpo, Ebonyi (Nigeria), to an English mother, Daphne, and a Nigerian Igbo father, Michael. In 1968, young Chris, his mother and four siblings fled Nigeria to escape the Civil War (1967-1970). They lived in England for three years, and subsequently returned to Nigeria in 1971. Abani started writing stories when he was 6. He had his first piece of short fiction published when he was 10, wrote his first novel, a thriller entitled Masters of the Board (1984), at the age of 16, which was about the narrative recounts the attempt of an ex-Nazi officer to seize power in Nigeria. The military government in late 1985 jailed Chris for 6 months as a result of the contents of the novel. His second novel, Sirocco (1987), again elicited a violent reaction from the authorities, who destroyed all copies of the book, closed down the publishing house that had issued it and arrested the writer once again, holding him for a year at Kiri Kiri maximum security prison in Lagos. Upon his release, Abani resumed the literary studies that he had started at Imo State University, Owerri. In 1990, the staging of his play Song of a Broken Flute, which challenged the regime's position on human rights, once more led to the author's arrest and this time, he was sentenced to death without trial. He spent another year and a half at Kiri Kiri, among which six months in solitary confinement, and was eventually released thanks to his friends' financial intervention. He left for London shortly afterwards, with a BA in English from Imo State University in hand, he obtained an MA in Gender and Culture from Birkbeck College, University of London; and has gone on to further obtain an MA in English and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Abani's memories of his experiences in prison inspired his first collection of poetry, Kalakuta Republic (2000). Among his numerous works are GraceLand (2004), which features sixteen-year-old Elvis Oke, an Elvis Presley impersonator living in Lagos, Dog Woman (2004), a series of poems inspired by a sequence of paintings by Spanish artist Paula Rego, poetry – Song for Night (2007), novel – The Virgin of Flames (2007), poetries – There Are No Names for Red (2010) and Feed Me the Sun (2010). Abani's works have earned him many literary distinctions such as the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award (2005, for GraceLand) and the PEN/Beyond Margins Award (2008, for Song for Night). DID YOU KNOW THAT … 1. Abani’s first novel, Masters of the Board (1984), was found in possession of General Vatsa, the purported leader of the conspiracy against the Babangida regime in late 1985. 2. While in prison, he was tortured by electric shock; and has escaped assassins. 3. In 1990, 10 minutes into the production of his university play “Song of a Broken Flute,” Abani was given an ultimatum: sign a document confessing to treason (which carried the death penalty) or sign the death warrant of all his friends in the play. 4. While in prison, he spent solitary confinement in a six-by-eight-foot hole. 5. Abani is also an accomplished jazz musician who plays saxophone sets (which he taught himself) at his public poetry performances. 6. His works have been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, German, Swedish, Romanian, Hebrew, Macedonian, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Dutch, Bosnian and Serbian. 7. Abani has taught in numerous countries around the world such as Gambia, Nigeria, South Africa, Qatar, Thailand and UK. 8. His grand uncle was a traditional priest. 9. He writes longhand first and then transcribing it onto the computer, which he calls his ‘first step of editing.’ 10. Abani has confessed to being unable to write while it’s quiet. He once took the train to Heathrow Airport and write in the departure lounge just to have energy around. 11. He was once in a Nigerian band called The Funky Dreads. [caption id="attachment_5551" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Source: sampsoniaway.org[/caption] In addition to being a writer, Chris Abani is also a Professor in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside (U.S.A.) He is also the founding editor of the Black Goat independent poetry series, an imprint of Akashic Books. By Olusola Agbaje
Writing for me is a vocation. Writing is anything I will always do even if I wasn’t earning any money from it.
Biyi BandeleEarly Life Biyi Bandele was born October 13, 1967 in Kafanchan, Kaduna State, Nigeria. When he was fourteen, he left his parents’ house to earn a living doing odd jobs while still attending school. At this time, he began working on his first novel. He moved to Lagos in 1985 and two years later was admitted to the University of Ile-Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) to study Drama. Shortly after his graduation in 1989, he won first prize in the International Student Playscript Competition with his theatre piece Rain (an unpublished play); he also won the 1990 British Council Lagos Award for an unpublished collection of poems. He left for London shortly afterwards, and has lived there ever since. As a playwright, he has worked with the Royal Court Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), as well as written radio drama and television screenplays. While working as the Arts Council Resident Dramatist with the Talawa Theatre Company at the Cochrane Theatre in London from 1993 to 1994, he launched his career in television by writing two screenplays: Not Even God is Wise Enough (1993) and Bad Boy Blues, a BBC production starring Clive Owen in 1995. He went on to become Writer-in-Residence at the Royal National Theatre Studio in 1995. His play Two Horsemen (1994) was selected as Best New Play at the 1994 London New Plays Festival; and Oroonoko (1999), an adaptation of Aphra Behn’s 17th century novel of the same name, was awarded an EMMA (Ethnic and Multicultural Media Award) in 2000. In 2001, he premiered Brixton Stories, the stage adaptation of his novel The Street (1999). Between 2000 and 2001, he was the Judith E. Wilson Fellow at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. He was also the Royal Literary Fund Resident Playwright at the Bush Theatre from 2002 to 2003. Biyi's novels include The Man Who Came in From the Back of Beyond (1991), The Street (1999) and Burma Boy (2007) which has been described as "a fine achievement"(The Independent). [caption id="attachment_5575" align="aligncenter" width="680"] Source: indiewire.com[/caption] DID YOU KNOW THAT… 1. Biyi’s introduction to feature-film screenwriting is bringing the life of Afro-beat king, Fela Kuti, to the big screen with British film director, Steve McQueen since 2009. The screenplay is based on Michael Veal’s biography Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon (2000). 2. While he made his feature-film directorial debut with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Orange Prize-winning novel, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), to screenplay, and directed the feature film. 3. In 1997, Biyi adapted Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart for the stage. 4. Burma Boy (2007) his 4th novel is inspired by his father’s (Solomon ‘Tommy Sparkle’ Bamidele Thomas ) participation in the war; a member of the Signal Corps of the Nigeria Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Forces in 1943. Burma Boy is dedicated to his memory. 5. Burma Boy was published in the US in 2009 under a new title - The King’s Rifle. 6. While shooting Half of a Yellow Sun, Biyi and several members of the crew and cast got typhoid – including Hollywood actress, Thandie Newton. 7. At the age of 14, Biyi moved into a friend's house a few streets away from his parents’, and then he started to travel around Nigeria and got a job with a Lebanese guy who had a kind of gambling empire in the northern part of the country. 8 Biyi had already started working on his first novel, “The Man Who Came In from the Back of Beyond” before enrolling at the University of Ile-Ife. 9. Biyi knew he was going to be a writer at the age of 7 years old, after his father took him to the local library in Kafanchan. 10. After being rejected by every major publishing house in Nigeria, his first novel “The Man Who Came In From the Back of the Beyond” was finally published when he arrived London. 11. Biyi once tried to adapt Chinua Achebe’s “Girls at War with a US-based Nigerian director, Andrew Dosunmu, but the project didn’t kick-off. 12. Biyi has confessed to writing a lot at night, which takes him into the early hours of the morning. Biyi's recent project is directing the third series of MTV’s Shuga which was produced and filmed in Nigeria for the first time ever, with a predominantly Nigerian cast and crew. It premieres December 1st, 2013. By Olusola Agbaje
We are proud to announce that results for the Aphroden competition have been collated and the winners have been picked based on the number of votes scored. Entry submission for the competition was announced on the 18th of October 2013. The 5 finalists were Franklin Ugo, Chiamaka Ojiyi, Chizotam Akwiwu, Ogeoluwa and Chioma Cassandra. Voting commenced on the 25th and ended on the 29th of November at 11:59pm. The competitors were duly represented on our social media platform within the voting period. The winners of the competition are, Chizotam Akwiwu (2539 Votes as at 11:59pm) First Prize Winner Chiamaka Ojiyi (2005 votes as at 11:59pm) Second Prize Winner Chioma Cassandra (886 Votes as at 11:59pm) Third Prize Winner Just incase you are not aware the winners walks away with 35,000 Naira, the first runner up gets 25,000 Naira and the 3rd wins 15,000 Naira cash. Congratulations once again to our winners, we do hope to communicate with you all via your emails or social media account as at when to pick up your price. Once again a big thank you to those who voted or took part in any form in ensuring that the competition was a success.
This season, outerwear is one of the most important things in your wardrobe because it’s what’s most likely going to keep you from freezing your behind off. And I know putting on some chunky coat or wearing a jacket can be a bit tedious sometimes, so I’m here to present to you the next best thing – Cardigans. A lot of people think cardigans are boring, serious stereotype clothing and their sole function is to keep you warm when the weather gets a bit harsh or to just pull out of your bag when you get into the cold movie theatre. Wrong. Today, cardigans not only keep you warm, but serve as a tool to keep you looking absolutely chic and stylish! Don’t believe me? Keep reading. First on (y)our journey to enlightenment, the current cardigan trends: Colored/Shiny Cardigans [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Source: Pinterest.com[/caption] I already told you I’m all about “Bright and Colourful” this season, so you really shouldn’t be surprised. A bright colored cardigan will brighten up even the most basic-looking/simplistic outfit and help you steal all the positive attention in a room. Worried about layering your outfit? Have no fear! When working with bright cardigans, I find it’s always best for me to go with my instincts. Pair them the way you would normally pair your blouses and tees. You can’t go wrong. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="532"] Source: Pinterest.com[/caption] Pulling off the shiny cardigan is a bit tricky, but definitely doable. Pair shimmery jewel tones with darker tops to give a balanced, elegant look and simultaneously make a statement. Patterned Cardigans [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Source: Pinterest.com[/caption] You could always try rocking something with patterns (which are also very in this season) but it’s important to remember not to go overboard with this style. Always go with a sober colour when picking out a cardigan with patterns. To make a statement, go for really bold patterns, leave the cardigan open, and wear a kickass attitude. Cardigan Tops [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="526"] Source: Pinterest.com[/caption] A lot of labels are into this trend right now. They aren’t too big or too long and are just like your normal, everyday top. Hence, they can easily be paired with a pair of denims for more casual days and trousers for your work meetings or formal occasions. I love them because you can get them in a variety of colors and patterns like every other top, and you don’t really need to wear another top inside if you don’t feel like! With the right accessories, you can make a cardigan top look just as fab as a normal one and you’ll stay warm doing so. Belted Cardigans [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="236"] Source: Pinterest.com[/caption] Most favor this trend because this way, they get to treat their cardigans as wraps and it’s always fun to play around with all sorts of belts. Personally, I favor the slim, metallic ones over the bolder ones, but then again the occasion does come into play. You’ll see more on belts a bit later. Because I know you, like me, are often thinking about fashion, I know you’re also thinking about comfort. Often, we choose style over comfort, but I’m going to show you how to strike a balance. It’s possible there’s someone reading this right now and thinking “I only have one cardigan. How am I going to pull off this trend?” I did some scouring and found a pretty interesting site that answers this exact question. It’s pretty neat. If you follow the link, you can see how you can wear your cardigan in ten awesome ways! The best part is there’s a look for every style, from grunge to chic, and I’I'm most definitely going to try them out myself. Do you now see how awesome cardigans are? If you don't have one (or more) already, hurry up and get one now. It’s a serious investment in trends. Yes, that’s right. You can wear cardigans every season. But that’s a post for another day. By Coco Anetor-Sokei
Do you think you know this man so well? Let's see. His full name is Michael Collins Ajereh, born on the 26th of November 1982. He is a Nigerian award winning record producer, singer/songwriter, musician and former CEO of Mo.Hits record (2004) and current CEO of Mavins record. Don Jazzy, as he is popularly called, was born in Umuahia and hails from Delta State. His family moved to Ajegunle, where he was raised and he schooled at Federal Government College, Lagos. Michael started playing the drums at 4 and the bass guitar at 12. He studied Business Management at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State before relocating outside the country where he worked at McDonalds as a security guard. In 2004, he partnered with D’Banj to set up Mo’ Hits label. Within two years, he had successfully produced two albums (No Long Thing and Rundown/Funk You Up) with his former Mo’ Hits partner and was working on a third, Curriculum Vitae. By this time, he had already started becoming a household name with the trademark intro "It’s Don Jazzy again!" In 2008, there were further production credits for the best selling album of that year, The Entertainer, Don Jazzy repeated the trick with Wande Coal’s 'Mushin 2 MoHits', an album that was described as one of the best albums in Nigeria. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Source: jaguda.com[/caption] Don Jazzy was recently rated as the 36th “Most powerful celebrity in Africa” according to Forbes list. His musical dexterity can be heard in his beats and well calculated vocals he assists to the likes of D'Banj, Sauce Kid, Dr SID, Ikechukwu, Kween, D'Prince, Jay-Z and Kanye West on their 'Watch The Throne' track Lift Off, featuring Beyoncé. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Source: gabzinc.com[/caption] The soft-spoken producer is also an avid social networker. With over 670,000 followers on Twitter, he is known to give birthday shout-outs, airtime recharge cards, iPads, and even money to his fans online. In 2011, his talents got him noticed by Kanye West who signed him up as a producer on his GOOD Music label. Don Jazzy has won the Nigerian Music Awards (NMA) Producer of the Year in 2006, the Nigerian Entertainment Awards Music Producer of the Year in 2007, The HEADIES (2011) as the producer of the year amongst other accolades. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Source: ajetun.blogspot.com[/caption] Currently, this Delta indigene is a brand ambassador for Loya Milk and MTN Nigeria and he has featured in a lot of songs like 'Eminado' by Tiwa Savage, 'Surulere' by Dr Sid, 'PullOver (Remix)' by Kcee and Wizkid amongst others. By Franklin Ugo
Actress, Script Writer, Activist, Aspiring Entrepreneur and Model [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Source: flipmagazine.blogspot.com[/caption] ackground Beverly Ifunanya Bassey popularly known by fans and colleagues as Beverly Naya was born 25 years ago as the only child of Nigerian parents in London, United Kingdom. She is a native of Ibuzo in Delta State, South-southern Nigeria. Beverly Naya is a graduate of Drama and Film Making/Script Writing from Roehampton University, London. At age 17, she started acting in college and won an award for her brilliant performance. She has played in short films for British Broadcasting Corporation and The Metropolitan Police. She has acted in some notable theatre productions especially Stoning Mary, by Debbie Tucker-Green as well as Psychosis and Crave. Lancelot Imasuen brought her to Nollywood lime light in 2010 with a minor role in a film co-produced by her mother, Home in Exile. Beverly Naya has featured in seven movies in Nollywood and has joined the cast to play, Yaya in Tinsel – a popular M-net soap opera on DSTV. Things you don’t know about Beverly Naya:
- She started acting at age 17 and was managed by her mother, because of her experience with films industry.
- Lancelot Imasuen’s film, Home in Exile was her first Nollywood project co-directed by her Mother in 2010 from their London home.
- She has enjoyed several films collaborations despite her short time in Nollywood with Superstars such as Desmond Elliot, Francis Duru, Jackie Appiah, Rita Dominic etc.
- She has featured in seven successful movies such as Home in Exile, Mystery of Destiny, Make Me a Heart etc.
- She is an activist for the rights of women and the need for men to treat women in some more special ways.
- She was studying sociology/psychology at college before switching to drama and script-writing as a result of her excellent performances in drama.
- She grew up among more than 20 cousins of hers alongside her parents in the UK that had a major influence on her career.
- She speaks Igbo fluently despite growing up in England and her command of English/ accent amazes her acquaintances.
- She is a professional with international training reputation, who wants to launch herself into the Nigeria’s films Industry with at least a film from one of her scripts before end of 2014.
- She is a good cook and likes local Igbo cuisines such as Egwusi soup, Okporoko fish, Okro etc.
- She experienced bullying from people as a young black girl growing up in London. She wants to be a mentor for such kids suffering from bullying and helping with ways to deal with it.
- She left her comfort London home for Nigeria in 2010 for three reasons. Firstly, she loves acting. Secondly, Nigeria has one of the largest films industries in the world, Nollywood. Thirdly, Nollywood provides her the opportunity to act as more times as possible.
- She has starred for brands such as Samsung and Etisalat.
- Beverly is a very brilliant lady. She has bagged a first class Diploma certificate (Acting) and second class upper (Films Making and Script-writing) from a University in London at age of 23.
- Naya has won Most Promising Talent at the Best of Nollywood Awards (2010) and Fast Rising Actress at City People’s Awards (2011).
Actress, Mode, Entrepreneur and Movie Producer Early Life Marian was born about 26 years ago in Sierra Leone, West African. She moved with parents at age 12 to London, United Kingdom, where she trained as a professional Nurse. During her stay in London, she decided to abandon her Nursing career to purse her childhood dreams of becoming like one of her favourite Nollywood and African movies actors. Marian at age 19 starred in two Sierra Leonean films that brought her to lime light in her career. She had professional training in acting and films productions in London. She has starred in several films in Sierra Leone, London and Nigeria. [caption id="attachment_5595" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Source: plus.google.com[/caption] Things you don’t know about her;
- Marian started acting at 19 in Sierra Leone.
- She reveals that her motivation for acting began from her younger age watching Nollywood and African home movies with her family for an average of four hours daily. She recognizes the special roles of Halima Abubakar, Genevieve Nnjaji and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, in her decision to join the Nollywood.
- Marian reveals her love for Africa despite growing up in London, United Kingdom.
- She owns the M.kekurah Media productions, that is working on several movies at this time.
- She is versatile, while her creative infusions of multi-cultural traits give films producers the competitive edge need.
- Marian has featured in movies such as Mistresses, Do I deserve this, Human Hair Hustlers, Human Hair Runs, House of Demons etc. She is presently working on some Nollywood projects.
- She is a certified professional Nurse.
Orin's story continues this week! You can read past chapters here It is a cold Friday night. 8.30. I am in my hospital room and I have been here for 2 days now. Dr. Sowande says I will put to bed anytime soon. Sunmade just stepped out of the room to get something to eat. My mother was here all day till 5. My in-laws came briefly in the morning with fruits and the promise that they will return early tomorrow. I am starting to feel a tad uncomfortable. It will be time soon but I am not afraid. One of the nurses peeps into the room. “You called me, Mrs MacGregor.” “It’s time.” I sit up in my bed with a pillow wedged between my back and the bedpost. She nods. “Give me a minute, madam.” About fifteen minutes later, I am lying on my back in the theatre. The walls are white. The air is not exactly stagnant…but it is metallic. Like blood, maybe. The nurse tells me Sunmade is on his way. My contractions are about ten minutes apart now. Doctor Sowande and Sunmade come into the theatre together. Sunmade’s face is twisted in apprehension but Doctor Sowande’s is in mastered professional calm. There are three nurses here now. My legs wide apart make me feel vulnerable. “You’ll be fine, Orin. I’m here.” Sunmade is holding my hand and patting my head. “Where’s my mother?” “She’s on her way.” He wipes the sweat from my brow and kisses my head. My contractions are coming at shorter intervals. The pain is greater than anything I have ever felt. I feel like my insides are being squeezed and stretched. The doctor is saying something about Epidural. “I don’t want it.” “But you’re in pain.” Sunmade argues. “Your cervix is not fully dilated Mrs Macgregor.” Doctor states, “your contractions are only three minutes apart.” “What does that mean?” Sunmade asks. Sparks of worry fly from his mouth. “It means we cannot begin. Would you like for us to administer Epi-” “No. We would not like for you to administer anything.” I glare my irritation at him. -------------------------------- I do not know how long I have been in the theatre. I do know that it is an early hour of the morning and I have my boy in my arms. The most important people in my life are around me. I have never felt more woman than I do now.
Titilayo Olurin continues her short story, Room 36, this week. Do read part one here. Enjoy! A rat, one the size of a small cat, scurrying from under her bed to the bathroom was what made her scream. The door was shut, but it somehow managed to squeeze itself underneath. Quickly, she jumped from the bed and ran to the door that led onto the corridor, then to the reception, in a huff. There, she demanded for another room. “I'm sorry, darling, but you were told when you came in that it was the last available room for the night. You’ll just have to make do with it.” The voice of the receptionist had the same effect on her as the sound of someone scraping a metal surface or dragging furniture on an uncarpeted floor would. He had used the word “darling” an uncountable number of times since she arrived at the hotel and this time, it took all her will power not to reach across the reception desk to strangle him. It was bad enough that his voice jeered on her nerves, but to use the term at will and with sarcasm too when she was in such a fowl mood, she absolutely resented it. She stopped herself from uttering the rude response already on the tip of her tongue and pleaded instead, “Please, I beg of you. I desperately need another room.” He continued to fill the log book in front of him for what felt like an eternity, before finally looking up to give her a pointed stare. “Woman, I said room 36 is the only available room. Do you want me to manufacture another one? Hian!” When it became obvious that her pleading wouldn't make a difference, she returned to the room cursing and swearing under her breath. At the door, she paused to make sure that there was no rat - or any other rodent for that matter - in sight before stepping in. Soon she was slamming the door and leaning heavily against it, after which she placed her head in her hands and began to cry. Everything had gone so horribly wrong, from a hard day at work with a difficult boss and the agonizing traffic to returning home to find all her things outside and an unfamiliar padlock on her door. All attempts to unlock it or plead with the landlord failed. “Pay me the three months rent that you owe and I’ll personally carry all your things back inside,” was all the man said. Just when she thought it couldn't get any worse, nobody would lend her money or put her up for the night. The ATM machine down the street wasn't working either and it was too late to go in search of another. So, with the little she had on her, she settled for the hotel room. Her phone, which was still in her hand bag on the bed, began to ring, bringing her thoughts to an abrupt end. She stopped crying, but made no attempt to move. Then, suddenly, just as suddenly as she had started crying, she began to laugh, its harsh, barely recognizable sound, along with the shrill persistent ringing of her phone, formed an odd mixture resonating in her ears. By Titilayo Olurin
Lala Akindoju and Kunle Afolayan lead an all-star cast in the latest Tunde Kelani movie ‘Dazzling Mirage’ as a sickle- cell suffer who overcomes social stigma, prejudice and her own low self-esteem, to achieve success, marriage and motherhood. Veteran director; Tunde Kelani said ‘all of us are connected directly or indirectly to the sufferers of this ailment. I'm intrigued by the writer’s approach to weave a love story with it and that to me is an attraction. I have also had personal relationship with sufferers of this ailment and I consider it my responsibility to bring their story to fore.’’ View movie trailer here
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