Monthly Archives: January 2012
To be wholly devoted to some intellectual exercise is to have succeeded in life – Soren Kierke Gaard
An intellectual is a man who takes more than necessary to tell more than he knows – John Adams.
The Emotion Book party is born out of the great need to marry intellectualism with entertainment, while at the happy end promote the reading culture in Nigeria. It is a brainchild of The Emotion book club, a literary organization strongly bent on building the leaders of tomorrow through books.
We believe Nigeria is encountering problems socially, politically and economically because the Nigerian society is either misinformed or rather not informed at all.
The Emotion Book Party Takes Over is a great platform for the Nigerian public to be informed about books and its informative capability.
That is why we are enjoining Nigerians local and abroad to join us in taking over streets and homes with the Good news of The Emotion Book Party.
The Emotion Book Party will be featuring the following speakers : Muhtar Bakare [Farafina Books, Lagos] Publishing: A Nation Builder
Steve Shaba[Kraft Books] Publishing : A Nation Builder
Hyginus Ekwuazi[Author, I have Miles To walk Before I Sleep, Winner ANA/CADBURY PRIZE 2010] The Gatekeepers: Writing For The World
Ayodele Olofintuade [Author, Eno’s Story; Best Three Shortlist NLNG PRIZE 2011]
The Impact Of Children’s Literature On Adults
Guest Reviewer : Babatunde Onikoyi [To Review I Do Not Come To You By Chance by Tricia Nwaubani, Winner Commonwealth Best Book 2010]
Entertainment: Comedy Sketch, Poetry Performance by Rhyme House, Solo Music Performances by our Guest Artistes, Refreshments, Special Gifts for the first twenty people to arrive event venue and so on and so forth.
Date : February 17, 2012
Venue: Arts Theater, University of Ibadan, Ibadan.
Gate Fee: FREE.
BOOK A SEAT
As we have limited seats for the expected large audience, we are making seats open to the interested public before hand.
Mail your Name and your contact information to Emotionbookclub@gmail.com. We will confirm your seat within 48 hours of receipt.
He tore out of the bushy pathway like a wild animal; eyes bloodshot, nostrils flared and teeth clenched. His clothes were torn in several places and dusty as if he had been rolling in the dirt. His lips moved fastidiously as if he was reciting something like a prayer or an incantation. But it was a silent whisper as no sound of words came out of his mouth. He jerked his head as if in sudden comprehension of his environment. He started walking across the road and stood rock still when he got to the center. With his head sunk deep into his chest, he looked like a lifeless statue.
A taxi with tires screeching grounded to a halt before him with the driver screaming obscenities – “Mad man, if you wan die no be me go kill you! I beg comot for road jo!” He just stared ahead with vacant eyes and made no move to leave the road. The driver got out of his taxi and pushed him roughly to the side of the road but he struggled and went back to stay in the middle of the road. By now, a line of cars had gathered and they blared their horns in anger.
A respectable-looking middle-aged man alighted from his car and walked up to him. He placed his hand on his shoulder – “My dear friend, looking at you closely, I can see you’re disturbed and you’re going through a lot of pain. I want to help you. I want to listen to you. I am a doctor. I treat people with mind problems. Will you come with me?” The roadman looked at the mind doctor for some seconds and then looked around. He held out his hand like a child to the mind doctor and a tear rolled down his cheek.
Shouts of ‘Where are you taking him?’, ‘He is a ritual killer,’ rented the air. The mind doctor calmly addressed the people – ‘He is my friend and I’m going to take care of him.’ Is it not funny that the same people who had been previously belligerent towards the roadman should care about his fate?
They rode silently in the car and the roadman became somewhat relaxed. He released his clenched fist, closed his eyes and was soon fast asleep. The mind doctor smiled at him.
The mind doctor gently prodded him awake when he got to his house. For a moment, the roadman looked confused but when he heard the reassuring voice of the mind doctor, he relaxed. He took him inside his home.
“We need to clean the outside first. Although the mind is more important, as you can see, the state of your mind has resulted in your drab outward appearance.” The mind doctor led him into the bathroom and showed him the soap and sponge. The roadman came out minutes later clean and sweet-smelling.
The mind doctor smiled and thought to himself – “At least, he understands what I’m telling him.”
“Good, now we can work on the inside.”
He led the roadman to the dining table which were displayed in abundance, fried rice, chicken and even a bottle of wine. At the sight of the food, the roadman burst into tears and ran outside the
“Torture”, that was the first word the roadman uttered. “Pain”, he continued as he wrinkled his face and touched his heart. “Heavy”, he said holding his head between his hands. “Light”, he said bending to touch his legs. “My life”, he said wringing his hands at the empty space of air. The roadman collapsed at the mind doctor’s feet.
The mind doctor brought him back to the house. He stretched him on a sofa. He looked lifeless in his lying position on the sofa and the mind doctor placed his hand on his chest to check if he was still breathing. His heartbeat was slow but regular resembling the tick-tock of a clock.
The mind doctor switched on the T.V to listen to the news. He turned the volume down so as not to disturb the roadman. The roadman suddenly sat upright and fixed his eyes on the T.V, He shouted – “Murderer, thief, they took everything from me.” His eyeballs were dilated and his fingers quivered as he pointed to the governor on the T.V screen. The wild look left his eyes as suddenly as it had entered and he lay back on the sofa, closing his eyes.
The mind doctor went to his side and placed a hand on his forehead. It was cool; a contrast to the obvious raging fire that was ignited in the man’s brain. He placed his mouth close to the roadman’s ear and whispered into it – “who did he kill?”, “what did take from you?”
At first, it seemed as if the roadman was asleep again. But, he suddenly opened his mouth and began to speak as if in a trance:
That day when I got to the office, the letter was already on my table. I used to arrive early so when I checked the other offices, most of them had not yet resumed. I went back to my office and stared sightlessly at the paper in my hands. It was almost a page long but all the words just swam before my eyes and the only word that kept resurfacing on the paper was ‘retrenchment’. That was the only word that mattered at the moment. The long explanation of the statistics of the loss and profit in the company and the need to cut down on the quota did not make much sense to me. I would have continued staring into space the whole day but I was jarred back into the present with a knock on the door.
“The director wants you to hand over all company’s property in your care before leaving, to the appropriate departments,” the director’s secretary recited, avoiding looking into my eyes. I finished writing my hand-over notes and putting everything in order at exactly a minute to 12 noon. The timing seemed significant as my life had just slipped into its noon status and I silently wondered when it will degenerate into night for me.
I walked home that afternoon as my car; the company’s car had also been taken away from me. My wife saw me approaching from her shop in front of the house and she rushed out to meet me. “What happened? What are you doing at home at this time of the day? Did your car develop a fault? Are you sick?” She went on and on with her barrage of questions. I just stared at her without opening my mouth. But as the days went by and she saw me waking up and staring out of the window, she began to understand my malaise.
My wife was very nice at first and she carefully stepped around me in the house as if she was afraid of breaking my shell. But my apathy soon got to her and she began making hammered knocks on my protective shell.
“Are you the first person to lose a job in the world? Ehn! You just sit there day after day not talking and doing nothing. You are scaring me to death and you had better start talking or I will just take you to your family house in the village. Who knows, maybe this is a spiritual attack!” she berated.
Then my daughter started swelling up. It started with her feet. Some people first thought it was elephantiasis but her face soon started swelling. People looked at her strangely and my wife quickly explained to them that she was adding weight. Adding weight! What a twist of irony! How can she be gaining weight when our main meal in a day consisted of soaked gaari and groundnuts.
My wife applied hot compresses on our daughter’s body every night. She said it will help melt the fat in her body. Then one day, my daughter could not urinate and by the next morning, her screams of pain could be heard three houses away. Our neighbours started trooping in, offering different solutions but none worked and as a last resort; we took her to the hospital.
That was the day I awoke from my stupor. The doctor took one look at my girl and reprimanded us for having kept her at home for so long. He told us that he would have to run some tests to know the extent of damage on her kidneys. I started running around to get money and I went back to the hospital with just enough money borrowed from my friends to pay for the tests. The doctor gave us the results some hours later and pronounced that our daughter had suffered a kidney failure and she would need a transplant to function well in life. In the meantime, he said she would have to undergo dialysis twice a week to remove wastes from her body.
Our world came crashing, the dialysis will cost about twenty thousand naira and the transplant will cost millions of naira. My daughter lay there in agony because the hospital would not treat her without payment. My wife wept copiously for days. I felt crippled and castrated. I started doing odd jobs around. I even cut grass for some people. My wife also went around begging for help and she eventually got a Good Samaritan that was paying for the dialysis. We heaved a sigh of relief and for three months, our daughter received good medical care.
However, our reprieve was short-lived as the doctor called us into his office one day and told us the sad news that a transplant was needed urgently or our daughter will die in some weeks’ time. We tried everything possible. The hospital staff even helped us to get on air; on the radio and TV but the weeks passed by and the money was just coming in slow trickles. On a dark moonless night, our daughter heaved her last breath. Dried eyed, my wife packed her little belongings from the hospital and we went home.
I couldn’t stop crying. Each morning, I woke up and thought of my failure as a man. Then, I noticed my wife had stopped talking. It was not exactly that she didn’t respond when talked to but she stopped making sense.
One day, I asked her where she put the keg of drinking water because I wanted to check if it was empty. She looked at me and said, “I am floating in it. There is water everywhere in the house. Don’t go and look for it anywhere.” Then she burst into a deranged cackle of laughter. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I looked at her far-away eyes and heard the sound of her dry laughter. She moved around the house as if she was automated and she started nursing our ten-year-old son like a baby. She will hold him on her lap and try to breastfeed him and when he scuttled away, she will burst into tears. So, I thought if she had a new baby, she might come back to life.
As she lay asleep in bed that night, I reached over and loosened her wrapper. I caressed the flaccid flesh in my hand. Her skin seemed to have shrivelled since the last time I had touched her. She moaned softly and encouraged by her response, I mounted her. She reacted viciously like a tigress; screaming and tearing at me with her nails. I quickly got off the bed to my feet and watched in amazement as she tore at her hair and body, muttering gibberish words.
The next morning she woke up with bruises all over her face and all day long, she complained that she was attacked in her sleep by a witch who was killing her children. She said she was going to kill the witch herself that night. I just looked on; nonplussed.
One day, my son went to school and did not come back when the other school children had already returned. My wife became hysterical; saying that the witch must have caught him on his way back home. I went out to look for him and I kept looking for six months. My son had disappeared into thin air.
I started forgetting small simple things. I forgot to take my bath, to eat and even to button my shirt. I started talking to myself on the streets and I saw people pointing at me and shaking their heads in pity.
One evening, I came back from work. I was working as a carrier at a building site carrying water, sand and cement. I met the house empty. It wasn’t as if this was strange because the house had always been empty even though my wife was there. This time, it also smelt empty. It smelt like a garment that had been kept in a wardrobe for so long without being worn. It was stale. I didn’t bother to look for her. I just sat down in the dark room without moving.
The next morning, I woke up to loud knocks on the door. As I opened up, I saw a little crowd of people clasping their hands on their heads and hissing with dismay. I saw her lying on the floor with a piece of white cloth wrapped around her. I looked up at the man talking to me – “We found her floating in the Obokun River this morning and one woman recognised her as your wife.”
I opened my mouth to say something, but no sound came out. I left it open and continued to widen my lips; shining my teeth.
The smile became laughter. I laughed out loud in a ringing tone and the crowd scattered in fright. Then, I broke into a run; running to complete the cycle of my fate.
I saw the woman carrying the child on her back. I saw the girl lifting a tray of plantains on her head. I saw the boy playing football with his friends. I saw the man picking a man’s pocket on the street but I couldn’t see myself on the road. I started looking into the faces of people, some trembled in fear and some grimaced in anger. I have looked everywhere and I will continue looking till I find…
The roadman’s lips snapped shut and his teeth in a spasm crunched against each other as if he was having an epileptic fit. The mind doctor wiped tears from his eyes. He now knew what the others on the road did not know – The roadman was not a mad man, he was an everyman.
My full names are Ifeoluwa Omolara Watson but I write under the name; Ife Watson. I see myself as a writer enclosed in a cocoon but I believe I’m emerging day by day. I discovered my flair for writing since my stint in Junior Secondary School with the Press club and my love for creating tales in my head which I told to my friends and family members. I’m a graduate of Literature-in-English and at present, I’m pursuing a Masters Degree in the same field. I believe writing and writers fill in the blanks of the silent, unheard and forgotten history of a people.
It is quite saddening, nowadays, that upcoming writers scare away from honing their writing skills. You cannot eat your cake and have it.
Publishers, the ones I know, prefer to publish refined writers rather than going through the horrors of developing the scripts of weak writers.
In this section, I will be sharing some tips that can help sharpen your writing skills irrespective of the genre you may be writing for. Meet you at the top!
– Go Back To The Basics : Some writers’ knowledge of the basics of the language is so poor that they don’t know the clear difference between comma and full stop.Refined writers still go back to study the basics of the langauge like Verb, Adjective, Sentence e.t.c, every now and then.
Writers are not super human beings. We forget things and we must keep practising and studying to be on the track.
There are books on the basics of the language that can help you in the nearest bookstore.
Some of them were recommended in your secondary school days. Find them and go back to the basics. If you really want to sharpen your writing skills, you need to find and fill the loopholes inherent in the foundation of your writing.
– Spread Your Laps Publicly And Write Everyday : Some of we writers are so afraid of honest criticisms that we write our script and hide it from people’s eyes.
‘Are you a writer?’ you would ask him if he wants to read your script.
Does he have to be a writer? Not everybody will write, but you need that friend or enemy as your second eye.
Do not be afraid to spread your writing laps publicly; it helps. Be open to criticisms, but do not react to all.
Practise makes perfect. Refined writers frequent their cubicle.
If you want to sharpen your writing skills, you must dedicate yourself to the craft.
I once had a poet friend, who was very poor in writing when he started. But he dedicated himself to that craft and now he is bagging awards and recognitions both locally and internationally.
To sharpen your writing skills, you must be ready to do that thing which you envision, again, again and again.
The Emotion Book club hereby invites the general public to her reading for January. The January reading will be featuring our book of the month, Shimmer Chinodya’s Dew In The Morning. Shimmer Chinodya is an award winning Zimbabwean writer. He wrote Dew In The Morning at the age of nineteen.
Come and network with fellow literary enthusiasts on the 21st of January, 2012[Saturday].
Venue: Small Lecture Theater[Room32],Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan.
To perform a solo or poem, read a short story or a novel excerpt, please call: 2348093728869.
Better still, you may mail us at: Emotionbookclub@gmail.com.
Since the inception of our publishing arm at Emotion Press, several writers have submitted manuscripts.
I have been given the opportunity to evaluate some of them.
In this session, I would like to ruminate on one of the major problem literally fighting most writers.Just like Nolly wood where scripting cliches are the order of the day, most writers want to write as Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Adichie and Wole Soyinka.
Thinking out of the box is quite essential as a 21st century writer.
Most stories you would be carving has been written before. The difference you would make will be your ability to write your own story your own way.
Chimamanda Adichie and Chinua Achebe don’t think the same way because they do not come from the same background nor had the same experiences; you and I don’t think the same way. We are two original and creatively blessed entities.
I am challenging you today to think out of the box. As you put pen on pen, think out of the box. Avoid cliches. Be like yourself. Be original.Create new things.
Author: Cyprian Ekwensi
Title: The Passport Of Mallam Illia
Publisher: HEBN PLC, Ibadan
Reviewer: Folarin Olaniyi
It was late in 1947. A young man’s train was gasping and panting up the steep incline that leads on to the Bauchi Plateau in Northern Nigeria.
Apparently he had plans ahead. One of those plans was to meet his mother, Dije, and find his father.
There in the train, he discovered an old worn out man staring at an old passport.
‘The book was his, and, presumably, he had paid his fare. But my attention had been drawn to his face, and, for the first time since the start of the journey, I noticed it. It was the face of an old man, bearded, with weak eyes from which the tears ran down freely.’
The young man will be the writer’s voice while Mallam Illia, the old man, would be the Protagonist.
The Passport of Mallam Illia is story of revenge gone sour, set in the colonial Northern Nigeria. It is set in the colonial Northern region terrorized by the antagonistic attitude of some Northern youths to the heavily and better armed British colonialists.
Mallam Illia in his youth is said to be brave and adventurous. He is widely traveled. A time came for Mallam Illia to marry a woman as his wife, but he would not. His parent sent him beautiful girls within the famous town hall, but none was attractive to him.
‘I prided myself on being a man, and did not consider it gallant merely to ‘buy’ or ‘take on’ a wife. I wanted something more romantic.’ Challenging, I will call it.
One of those evenings when Mallam Illia was discussing politics with his friends, a company of men, Arab traders crowned in dust masks, came to them and challenged any one of them to the game of Shanchi in exchange for a beautiful girl.
The game of Shanchi is the game of FIGHT TO DEATH.
The beautiful girl in question is Zara, the daughter of the Prince of Turaegs.
Mallam Illia, brave and adventurous, rose up to the challenge.
‘It is not a game for faint hearts. But he who thinks that Zara is not a sufficient prize to induce him to take part, let him leave now.’
‘Some of you here will not breathe tomorrow’s air. For this night Shanchi may claim you.’
There were about a dozen men willing to die or win for the hand of Zara in marriage.
Mallam Illia fought till the last contender, whom he described as an enormous man, big jawed and long-toothed.
‘You are going to die now,’ he growled. Your knife can do nothing to me. I have swallowed the medicine against steel.
Mallan Illia’s contender was indeed truthful to his words, as he jabbed with is own knife, and the blade bent.
But, an opportunity came for Mallam Illia and he employed it.
‘I saw now that now was my chance. Drawing my knife, I thrust it at his bare neck. He was powerless. Given the opportunity, he would have killed me. But I merely disabled him, and there in lay my mistake : a mistake which I have regretted my life.’
Indeed. Mallam Illia’s fallen but alive contender was Mallam Usuman. The Prince of Tuaregs gave Zara’s hand in marriage to Mallam Illia, but Mallam Usuman, powerful, jealous an influential, came back for Mallam Illia.
He got Mallam Illia into prison and, terrorized Zara and at the end snuffed the life out of the Princess of Tuaregs.
Mallam Usuman fled out of sight and Mallam Illia, in hot revenge for his wife’s death, tracked Mallam Usuman to wherever he might be.
Mallam Illia’s Passport was given to him by a learned Mallam attached to the French troops.
Out of his blind revenge, he became crippled; he was overpowered and imprisoned in Mecca by powerful Mallam Usuman.
He was rescued by a young, kind and accommodating woman called Dije who must have heard that Mallam Illia had learn the teachings of Prophet Mohammed under the tutelage of acclaimed Mallam Gobir.
Mallam Illia married Dije and left her with a talisman when she got pregnant.
‘It is Dije’s,’ I said. ‘ I am in a hurry now and cannot go back. Kindly give it to her from me. Tell her, when the child comes, to hand this laya round its neck. It is a strong protection against evil which Mallam Gobir taught me. She will understand.’
On the train which both the young man, whose pen wrote down this story, and the old worn-out Mallam Illia boarded died powerful and satanic Mallam Usuman. He was avenged to death by Mallam Illia.
At the time Mallam Illia was narrating the story, he was gradually fading away for he had poisoned himself. Besides, he is badly wounded. Towards the tail end,it was revealed that the young man was Mallam Illia’s flesh and blood, born and bred by Dije.
The Passport Of Mallam Illia’s speaks against revenge. Clearly and justly, revenge is God’s and not Man’s.
Cyprian Ekwensi has been able to belittle the rights of women to marry whom they want at the expense of the selfish and egocentric men like Prince of Turaegs and Mallam Usuman.
Notwithstanding, this book is a must read for bookaholics willing to munch the classical words of an experienced historian and storyteller.
CULLED FROM WWW.REMIRAJI.COM
|Gather to reclaim ANA|
The competition is organized by the Society to rekindle the interest of Young Writers writing in Yoruba language in Nigeria. Also to motivate and encourage writing in indigenous languages among young Nigerian Writers. The competition promises to be an exciting display of Yoruba Culture, Traditions, Norms and Values.
- Fagunwa Prize for Prose Writing – 20,000
- Prof. Akinwunmi Ishola Prize for Drama – 20,000
- Tunbosun Oladapo Prize Poetry – 10,000
- Dr. Adebayo Faleti Prize for Drama – 20,000
- Elder Supo Kosemani Prize for Poetry – 10,000
1. The competition is opened to anyone aged 15-40
2. Works should be in Yoruba Language, unpublished and not currently submitted
3. They must not previously have been awarded a prize in any competition nor
4. Works must be your own original work.
6. No entry form is required but on a separate sheet of A4 you should show your
7. Entry should be sent to the following e-mail: email@example.com. The
10. Unfortunately, submitted works cannot be returned so remember to keep a copy.
It is three days to Christmas and the Chicken meat was gradually vamoosing from Mummy’s cooking pot, leaving legs and gizzard.
When Mummy told me, during Dinner, that I will have to go for the cheap cow meat left in the pot, I shouted in protest.
‘Why?! I want Chicken! It has four legs!’
Twenty minutes ago. Biola and Folake munched the fat Chicken legs on their plates of rice. I salivated and concocted an image: I would sit with my Chicken leg and deal with those tender flesh hidden between the bones.
Biola laughed and laughed and said : The Chicken has two legs, Egbon!
I was so desperate to taste Chicken meat again, three days after Christmas that I thought the fat Chicken Mummy killed in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ had four legs.
‘ All Chickens has four legs!’ I declared, to further display my stupidity and egocentricity.
I was compensated by Mummy with a fat Chicken lap during New Year celebration.
See, brothers and sisters, I still dey chop Chicken meat, in my dreams, even with the shock of fuel subsidy.
Welcome to a blessed year 2012, and back to reality.
Personally, I believe celebrations like Christmas and New Years’ drive us to an imaginary paradise. We come back to reality when we realize how much money we have spent. How much sex we have had! How much drinks we’ve drank!
Like me, I came back to reality early enough. Three days after Christmas. I now know, quite clearly and humbly, that Chickens has two legs.