Monthly Archives: March 2012
Book: The Country I love
Publisher: Evans Publishers
Author: Iyeyinka AnuOluwahan Omigbodun
Reviewer: Rasaq Malik Gbolahan
Pages: 42 pages
First published: 2011
Reading through this neatly compiled collection of poetry, there are poems and prose-like scribbles that serve as path to understanding what Omigbodun is trying to pass across to her readers. Starting from the first stanza which discusses Nigeria under this title “Nigeria, the Beautiful” which can be said to trail after poets like David Diop who wrote “Africa” in appreciation of this great nation, this poem reveals the passionate and commitment towards this nation with divergent tribes which Omigbodun admonishes to come together to make a great nation.
“From the treasure base in the south/to the ground pyramids in the north/swinging through the thick mangrove trees/running across the wild plains’
Seeing the flow of these powerful lines that connect the various tribes and states to come together and speak with a lone voice- sign of unity.
Whether Muslim or Christian/Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba/Please let’s stick together/and make this country great/
However, after the scribbling of those powerful lines emerge some prose-like write-ups in the collection. Omigbodun makes it easier and somehow pathetic as she paints the cruelty, inequality, agonies, pains and shambles that characterize our so-called nation, the fears that occupy our minds as we walk on the street.
Omigbodun closely observes the deteriorating status of our nation and thereby brings it out with the use of characters like Teacher, Mama Feyisara, Oluwadami, and Seun.
Looking through these pages e.g. page 2, Omigbodun uses Teacher to discuss about a student (Chineye) whose parental neglect caused her dormancy in the classroom. Omigbodun critically shows these pains and problems that keep battling with us in the so-called nation. Another example is that of Mrs. Feyisara’s attempt to move away from attending three vigils at church in order to face her children squarely especially Feyi. At the end, Feyi attempts to “belong” which shows the “change” in class of females to join “Big girls” at school but during this time, she had an accident that nearly claimed her life (Pg 26-28)
Omigbodun continues exemplifying the problems that lie underneath and that makes it difficult for us to move forward as a nation. Another example is that of “Seun and his wife” whose major focus is to go abroad since the country is no more pleasant and enjoyable to stay again. One can however agree to stay if he/she wants to remain “dormant: without progressing in life. The picture of how government workers work with their unfriendly voices that echo out in their throats as they attend to visitors. One can see this in the character of Teacher who goes to the Foster Home to see the “vagrants/motherless children”. However, the voice of Mr. Adefola chases her back as he asks what she wants. In the first place, he is not around but later appeared but with an unfriendly voice. Mr Adefola is more or less like a government worker whose behavior serves as threat to anybody who consults him/trying to offer down something- that of the homeless children, an irresponsible fellow.
Omigbodun lucidly appears as a seer that sees everything which can also be said as the truth and thereby brings it out for us to see. The problems of dilapidated structure of public schools and how students suffer with the issue of strike as a result of negligence/corrupt life of our government in paying the salary of the teachers. It is very devastating!
The ruthless life of poor masses and opulent state of wealthy citizens is painted in (pg. 11-13)
“Passing by the good/ I encountered the jeep/we had to give way/for size and siren gave hint/
The gate was opened by Baba/while Oga was driven speedily…”
Passing by the bad/I felt sorry for the man doing “foot run’
But that is the philosophy of life/not all fingers is equal”
He pushed his door open/
And the children ran to him/
Luckily I had the chance to see/
Kwashiorkor, naked but outward contentment/
In these lines, the narrow gap between the poor and the wealthy ones is clearly shown by the lucid images employed by Omigbodun. The unfriendly streets that harbor men of the underworld as they chase us around, asking us for the little pennies received after so many years of working under irresponsible leaders. The Issue of National cake that holds them in Abuja and the incognito promises from our leaders. Still, tears of loss and bloodshed manure our land as these men perpetrate their evil deeds. Also, we have the issue of the black men with howling sirens without any functional dreams of curbing these social vices. Yet, we are in the nation encapsulated with trepidation of tomorrow as there are no dreams to hold.
In the case of Seun and his wife, they heard the sirens of the policemen after being robbed of their gold chain and jewelry. Also, the change in church of Mama Feyisara and Feyi tell us that the religious problem is also among the problems affecting us. I do not believe that the problems affecting this nation can be cured by religion either Christianity/Islam because our problem lies in our hands and by this, we should check this angle.
If we do things right, if corruption stops tomorrow, if treachery stops tomorrow, if there is equality tomorrow, then this Country is going to have better future ahead.
Omigbodun shows us that there is still hope. Believe me, Omigbodun has really tried her best in bringing out cogent issues that are affecting Nigeria as a nation.
Inside the oven of knowledge and understanding drifts down these lines from a young girl of 14years old and this shows that the country is going to be better.
The Emotion Book club hereby invites the general public to our
reading for March featuring Iyeyinka Omigbodun’s The Country I Love,
published by Evans Publishers Limited.
Side Attractions: Poetry recitation, Ewi. – Buy books at affordable prices. -Membership forms of The Emotion Book club would be available.
Freebie: Bring 5 Friends and get a book and jotters for free!
Date :March 24th, 2012
Venue: Room 32, Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan
Public Relations Officer.
White Bungalow by Folarin Olaniyi
‘Pull off your pant!’ Obong shouted at me.
‘No, I won’t_!’ he caught me abruptly with a slap. The hot fire igniting slap landed on my face, and then punches rained on my left and right cheek and on the sofa where my body was forcefully rested.
When Mama brought a dark balloon cheek boy to our white bungalow, his thick hands trailing the way to our sitting room where Papa was mightily sited awaiting our first houseboy, I knew things will change here.
‘Don’t stain the wall!’ Papa shouted at Obong. The boy shook in fear and his cheek blew up like balloon.
‘He is a young boy,’ Mama said to Papa.
‘What is his name?’ Papa asks.
‘Obong,’ the boy replied from behind.
‘You go to school?’ Papa questioned, surprised at the boy’s grasp of the language.
Mama chuckled and said, ‘Two times, Baba Basirat.’
‘You mean, he repeated the class?’
‘Beeni, sir,’ Obong replied.
‘You speak Yoruba?!’ Papa shouted, amazed again.
Mother let out her tongue-in-the-cheek smile, looked at me positioned by Papa, and uttered, ‘Look at her, is she not beautiful?’
Obong shook his head in agreement and Mama continues.
‘That is my one and only Basirat. She is your sister. She is in S.S.1 and will write Jamb in two years. Two years! University! Is that not wonderful, Obong?’
‘Obong welcome to the white bungalow. Iya Basirat, my stomach is grumbling.’ Papa said.
‘Basira, take your brother to his room,’ mother said.
Obong loves Supersport and Aljazeera. After Papa and Mama would have gone to bed, their snoring evading the white bungalow, Obong would come closer to me where I sat watching Ice Prince’s Oleku on Soundcity and whisper to my ear drum, ‘Aljaze-e-rah!’
My breasts will heave with laughter, faint, provoked by the stimulating touch of Obong’s thick whispering ear drum.
After we had watched the News on Aljazeera and argued about the highlights on Supersport, Obong will slip in to his room for the day’s rest. I would then expel this strange smile at the white decking sheltering me.
‘Why are they laughing like that?’ I asked Obong
‘Because he is putting it inside. Very fast.’ Obong replied.
‘What is Papa putting inside Mama?’ I asked terrified.
Obong let out a smile, wicked, at me.
‘You are still a small girl.’
‘Is that how to talk to one’s senior?’
‘You are just fortunate that my mother is a Garri seller and your mother, a Garri distributor. You are just fourteen. I am far older than you.’
‘Are you abusing me?’ my right hand was by now feverishly holding my right ear.
‘You want to know what Papa is putting inside Mama, ehn?’
He let loose of his trousers and shove his manhood at my now irritated face. He was indeed Obong, oblong and intimidating.
In minutes, Mama’s laughter had subsided for Papa’s whisper. When they both came out, Obong and I were busy watching the football highlights on Super sport.
‘Brother and sister,’ mother said as she crosses to the toilet opposite the Master room. The night came; I knew he would go to sleep in minutes. Two minutes. Obong stood up and rose to go.
‘How does that thing enter Mama?’ I uttered, my words wrapped up with timidity. Obong turned back at once and replied, ‘You will know.’
Friday, the 17th of February 2012 was an orange one at the prestigious University of Ibadan, as the long awaited Emotion Book Party came on board – Olomo Alexander Babatunde writes on the event.
The Emotion Book club, Ibadan had her annual literary event – The Emotion Book Party on the 17th of February at the Arts Theater, University of Ibadan. The theme of this year’s edition was ‘The Emotion Book Club Takes Over.’ At the programme were notable figures like Dr. Hyginus Ekwuazi, Ms.Ayo Olofintuade, Dr.Chuks Okoye [H.O.D Department of Theatre Arts], Babatunde Onikoyi [Guest Reviewer], Steve Shaba [Represented by Jide Argunmasa from of Kraft Books, Ibadan], Seun Onijahma [Author, Peril] and Iyeyinka Omigbodun [Author of The Country I Love].
The Programme is an annual event established basically to promote the reading culture among Nigerian youths. It tends to celebrate books on an educative plus entertaining platform. The first edition was held last year at the SRC Chambers, University of Ibadan. The entertaining section of the programme featured rap by Dizzy, Comedy by Blood Pressure and Music by Zorah.
The book of the day was Adaobi Tricia’s I Do Not Come To You by Chance .
The Emotion Book club is a literary organization based in Ibadan, Nigeria, dedicated towards building leaders of tomorrow through quality books. We are the brain behind The Emotion Book Party, an edutainment event strongly bent bent on marrying intellectualism with entertainment. We as a prestigious Nigerian book club are calling on individuals passionate about building their intellects through consistent reading to join us today. Eligibility – You must be between the ages of 16 to 35. – Be passionate about encouraging others to read books – Be preferably available in all our monthly readings. What You Stand To Gain – Have a glimpse in the world of writing and publishing. – Meet New People of like minds – Access Hundreds of old and new titles in our updated library at no cost. Our Meeting Venue: We meet every third Saturday of the month at Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan. How to Get Membership Forms: You can get the membership forms at the rate of N500[Naira] from the following officers; Lola – 08088571890 Alex – 07056099335 Samuel – 07031104270 Sophia – 08061505988 Olajide – 08064927622 You can also get the form as from March 5, 2012 in the following places; – National Library, Iyaganku, Ibadan. -Alliance Francaise, Iyaganku, Ibadan. Speak With The Coordinator Of The Emotion Book Club: 2348093728869 Further Enquiries: Emotionbookclub@gmail.com