Excerpts from “Pot-holes in Heaven”

       Pot-holes in Heaven

 

 

 

“…this sort of lifestyle continued for some weeks until one Friday morning that I discovered while strolling that morning, that going to the vendor’s place was the best way to while-away time and also learn something new; especially at a time when the military had suddenly taken over the control of governance in the country; we were all caught unawares. Perhaps some of our politicians were not surprised that the military eventually took over the governance in the country, since they were the ones who lay bare the excuse at the feet of the military. The coup de etat was a very unique one. This time around, the military men paraded the corrupt politicians before summarily trying them according to their decrees and executing some, but jailed a lot. I suppose they kept some alive, for the latter days of civilian corruption to come. I saw old men and young men discussing the trails of political ills and some good deeds of the politicians in our country. Even some women weren’t left behind. Although it wasn’t the case that these women argued, but they merely pitched tents with the analysts; perhaps these encouraged those orators to continue the debate. I remember that, I had got so attached to this “vendor therapy” that I had simply memorized all the names of the analysts and exact spots each man stood to nurse his argument. The name Mr Steve cannot pass my mind without talking about his analysis. Mr Steve, short bald man, he should perhaps be in his late 50s; he claimed to have witnessed the beginning of our country’s independence right from early 40s. He claimed to have worked with the railway cooperation in the earliest part of his life, and finally ended up in the military. From there, he was part of those who went on a Universal world mission to Yugoslavia, only for him to return with one and half leg(s). Mr Steve could have been a good analyst, but he was always getting too personal and attacking the moral flaws of everyman he seemed to be arguing against. For instance you might hear him say;

“You! How dare you insult the secretary general of the United Nations? When your family had land disputes last year, why couldn’t you resolve it for them without the help of the community leader? If you’re so intelligent and blessed as you think, why are you still a mere factory worker all these years without promotion?”

He would pick up ten different newspapers and digest them wholly under two hours; from 6:30 am to maybe 8am…he would then walk down to Mama Judith’s “PARAGA JOINT”, take some local shots of strong “SAPELE Water”, and then return to the vendor’s spot for intellectual acidic argument. It was not until later in the year, that he also had the opportunity to work with a local government chief, since then I had not set my eyes on Mr Steve again. What a world of contradictions? At times I wondered, whether, economic poverty in a man’s life springs forth waters of wisdom and deep knowledge? But it further confused me that, whenever such wise men, though poor, now stumble on opportunities of wealth, they become intellectually poor and morally bankrupt. Then I concluded that this was due to poverty of the mind in Africa. Mr Steve never knew that his sudden decision to abandon us, his fans and his vendor pulpit would amount to a greater regret for him when his political tenure lapsed”…

 

(Culled from POT-HOLES IN HEAVEN)

Author, ENOCH OJOTISA.

 

AkewiArtsHouse Logo

 

Relationship Goals Series by Fawehinmi Bibire

RELATIONSHIP GOALS Series***

APPEARANCE AND LOOKS; KEY TO STARTING GOOD.

A lot being going through my head then I checked what else I haven’t talked about, then I decided to talk on upkeep and appearance as a key to starting good relationship. Thou this might be a very broad topic to discuss but I will try to make it as short as possible.

A friend once said, “I walked into a company and the first comment I got was; I love your outfit, you look beautiful. And when she got to the interview panel, that same lad who gave the comment was one of the panellist and of course, we all know looks and appearance matters during an interview no matter the field, be it entertainment, finance, oil and gas etc.

A friend got talking and connected with a reputable member of the House of Representative of Nigeria on her flight back to Nigeria from South Africa due to her looks and appearance.

Some would say, it works and it’s much easier for girls than boys, here is a male friend that got connected and talking to one of the Reputable business mogul through his dressing, looks and communication skills.

Trust me, if you can imbibe the few points that I would discuss below, you will be happy you did.

1) You don’t have to own all the wardrobe before you look good.

Many of us make that mistake of looking forward to when we open an enormous wardrobe full of different attire before we look good. People would tell you, I don’t have clothes, so I am not interested in going out. So all you trying to say is that you only have leaves or what? as clothes. Even while some people own the whole cloth on their wardrobe, they will still be complaining about lack of cloth and why they can’t dress well. Is that enough reason for u not to dress well with the little you have? Trust me, one thing we have to understand is how to bring and combine the few you have together and come out looking good. Embrace the habit of surfing through the net, check fashion site on how to combine the little you have if you not that of fashionista. Ask people how gorgeous you look, be correctable and be confident.

2) Be neat, Be clean.

Imagine a young lady with a large wardrobe and variety of cloth yet you keep wondering why that individual dress the way they do. Some lad and ladies are just so dirty and unkempt that if you visit their wardrobe, to distinguish the dirty cloths and the clean ones is the most difficult thing to do. Once they return from an outing, same place they hanged the washed and neat cloth is where they hang the sweaty and dirty one. If washing is so difficult, please do well to employ the service of laundry service. Even with an old cloth, you can look presentable and warm, so you have don’t have to go on cloth shopping every summer for you to look good? No, even with that, if you have the wrong mind-set about appearance, you will still look scruffy in the new cloths. You can’t be looking shabby and dirty and expect a warm communication or greetings from people.

3). Let it become a habit.

Some of our young people now have the mentality or can I can habit of looking good just when they are going for an interview, business trip, hangout or meeting. The People in the above mentioned places, can’t you meet them elsewhere asides the formal setting, so a bank manager can’t be in a bus, a panellist can’t trek or you can’t accidentally be in a gathering of the right people.

When going to class as a student, you have to be tidy, kempt and clean that even your course mates can distinguish your personality. As a worker in bank, let your customers look at you and tell you, * you look good*, your tie doesn’t have to be sideways because you were rushing out or work rush. You see a lecturer on a Monday morning with some kind of outfit that you can’t give a name to because you are confused as to whether he/she is wearing a corporate English outfit or our traditional outfit. Just because you are a mechanic or driver doesn’t mean you look dishevelled when you aren’t on your work site please.

Let being neat, looking good and presentable be your habit and reasons for dressing. Wash, iron and arrange your clothes in a tidy way, let it become a habit, look good, smell good to enhance the good personality you portray or have.

4). Please don’t deceive yourself. 

Little can I do in writing all things here, I tell people, mind-set is all. I can’t enter and clean your mind, I only pray the words I preach would cleanse and change your mind-set. You can’t keep deceiving yourself thinking you are deceiving people. We have some categories of people that their outward appearance is just what you will fall in love with, just pull up their shirt or blouse, gosh!!! You will be disgusted by the colour of their singlet or lingerie. Let’s leave that aside and come to where they live………. trust me, that’s another article to be discussed. Bags, shoes all in same corner, dishes lying fallow in the zinc for days, dirty cloth and washed ones all together……. please, let’s just forget that cause it’s something we can’t finish talking about.

4). Learn to plan ahead.

Some people just have the habit of rushing things in their lives…like rushing to iron shirts to for work, interviews, meetings, etc. 30 minutes to when they will set out common among our men and ladies on the other hand, just wearing the un-ironed cloth like that especially chiffon tops. why can’t we all have the habit of planning ahead, like ironing shirts for the whole week or more, clean socks, tie, lingerie etc.

Those that are allowed not to plan ahead are the set of people who know they won’t be doing anything for the whole day asides lazing around, it’s allowed of them not to plan ahead.

In conclusion my dear Readers, even in worshipping God, we have to be Holy, clean and pure. With our looks and appearance, we either make of mar our personality and chances of meeting the right people. Remember to always look good, smell good.

 

BY: Fawehinmi Bibire

(EmmaFewGlam)

 

Fawehinmi Bibire

It is a fraternal bond

1369063098888-300x225

 

Even though cries from the ocean is still young, and Commoner’s Speech is still climbing the ladder of international acceptance, both of them have one thing in common; and it’s the fact that, they are both collections of poems. Commoner’s Speech was written during my days at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, when I had a practical first-hand experience of students’ movement from a Pan-African socialist perspective. I remember my first political tutor, under whom I acquired my unflinching Pan-African ideas from, Onyinye Gandhi. I saw him at a political rally, where he gave a short but ever clinching words about why students should never sell the students’ movement out to the State. After his speech, he came down from the podium, handed me a short note which read, “Hello comrade, please meet me tomorrow night at FAJ Block 5 Room 305 at 08:00 pm sharp, Gandhi”. I laughed hard at myself, “me, Oracle, comrade ke?” I felt too highly revered to have been addressed as a comrade; and the reason for this was not farfetched. In those days, to be addressed as a comrade meant that, one was intellectually sound, physically down for intellectual debate any day, anytime; and that one was not treacherous to his own beliefs and ideas, especially to the Awovarsity Union. But honestly speaking, that I doubt still exists. From FAJ Block 5 Room 305, I became a new human, with an added machinery to choose my path of life. Perhaps like another close comrade recently remarked on my page, I am known to thread the soft path of life. How will I not thread the soft path of life, when I am from the lineage of those who know life from its core? Few months after, the proscription on the Awovarsity Union was lifted by the school management, and the little perspective I had nurtured for few months had germinated into confidence, as such I contested for the Secretary General of the Students’ Union at Angola Hall. But I lost with a vote. Bisi BEST, that was the name of the winner, a student of Pharmacy, who also had his ideological inclination from the “Stalinist” group — PACE. I still remember that cloud of thick bitterness over the face of Comrade Gandhi. He was shocked that PROGRESSIVE STUDENTS AGENDA (PSA) had lost to PACE. He was surprised that his thoroughly trained intellectual prodigy had lost to another. He felt we lost due to manipulation of certain circumstances. But I retraced my steps, and instantly got it right. Ha! Ha! Ha! I forgot to heed to one “Pan-African” warning from an aged mystery man. Even though till date, I believed Bisi BEST won, because one who later became an inseparable part of my revolutionary journey, had shared some ideas on how to manage his campaign.

I first thought of Commoner’s Speech few days after my matriculation on March 18th 2008 (yet I was admitted in 2007…one of the academic struggles of Great Ife). But there was no elixir that would propel my thoughts yet on how to write each topics I had carefully set aside for Commoner’s Speech. But there was one person, whose physical appearance always ignited a hidden smile in my mind, and that was Adediran Adeyemi Adetola. We met first on February 23rd 2008 within Angola Hall. I saw him with a friend I can no longer recollect his name at the moment. They each held a novel, perhaps not a political one. He was wearing one stripped multi-coloured polo, with one black jean and a rugged “All-Star” sneakers. He greeted me warmly. His friend barely answered me, I think it was because I was wearing one “Adire” material with an inherited gospel wrecked brown sandals. Yet he tapped my shoulder and we discussed briefly. He told me his room number and I told him mine was Block D1, Bed 4, Angola Hall. I think he stayed in K11 or something like that. I checked him more than 4 times but I always met his absence. I was eager to share my political ambition with him, but another comrade, not my mate in age and field work; Comrade Weber quickly warned me he felt Adediran Adeyemi belonged to the Stalinist PACE. So, I withdrew a bit from pursuing his trust. Yet, I couldn’t get his confidence off my mind. So that was how I ended up writing “Reasons for Pen”, the first poem in Commoner’s Speech. I met him again sometime around March 23rd, few days after the matriculation. It was for a different purpose which led to a little misunderstanding and which we later settled when the great mind, Onyinye Gandhi brought us together after the emergence of Comrade Deviano as the Awovarsity Union president. I practically lived my remaining days of first year in Comrade Gandhi’s room, FAJ Block 5 Room 305. He was feeding me with the little food he could lay his hands on, and  he never stopped feeding my mind with materials and intellectual discussions. Oh! Less I forget, my perspectives on “Aluta-E” (love) had a lot to do with his as well.

By this time, Adediran Adeyemi Adetola would come to the room, whop my ass on the PlayStation with his Chelsea formation, even though I tried many times, he ended up scoring me “just one or two goals”. I looked at his lifestyle, Adediran, I looked at his high hopes, and found a common ground with mine. Our eagles soared higher before we even moved to the second year. We became popular, while some referred to us as political twins, most reactionaries simply labelled us “mistakes of Law”. After the first year result came out, the wrong appellations simply disappeared. We proved them wrong academically. This was how I wrote the third poem, “The Orchard”.

Truth is, each and every poem in Commoner’s Speech was one or two events which I witnessed alongside my Comrade, Adediran Adeyemi Adetola (Africano). It was never easy. He loved the theatre as well, but unfortunately, his political love life emotionally abused his love to watch plays at the Pit-theatre. Towards the end of our fourth academic year, as a child of spiritual roots, my consultation prevented me from participating in the last political activity year of my stay on campus. I began to see life not just from the political point of view, but also from a spiritual cum cultural perspective. Oh! Unfortunately, Comrade Onyinye Gandhi and Comrade Destiny had graduated. So, my spiritual and cultural perspective, which I had now mastered and successfully found footing for in my Pan-African ideology, was developed by myself without any western influence. But surprisingly, I made a call to Gandhi thereafter, and few days after our discussion, he mailed me some materials from likes of Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Amilcar Cabral and others. This was how materials For Cries from the ocean too was gathered. For your information, I never missed any convocation plays. I was perhaps even more recognised in the department of theatre arts than Faculty of Law. If not for my last academic year where I attended classes regularly, and for my distinctive looking Afro, some of my lecturers would never have known me. In my last days at Ife, I had several long discussions with Adediran Adeyemi. I found out that his Welfarist-African perspectives too had metamorphosed from just a political movement to a culturally inclusive pattern as well. Gradually, in my heart, I knew my second anthology was already set for writing. I completed some of it while in Nigerian Law School, Enugu. Most of my mates were busy running around reading either Corporate Law or something similar to our looming fate of call to bar. I never slept inside the room I was allocated, except for days it rained heavily. I always slept outside in my shorts, with my old Nokia N98 phone that had nothing else but FELA KUTI’s songs. I knew I would not fail the exam. You said why? I had made necessary inquiries, and was only told to do what was necessary of me (always try to prove yourself right).

The last poem in Cries from the ocean, “The Jailer’s Lamentation” was inspired by the event that happened in 2011, when Adediran Adeyemi Adetola was wrongfully suspended by the School management for a course he stood rightly for. I remembered I was the one who picked up the suspension letter from the Faculty secretary, in Law. I remembered that sad day both of us were walking down the stairways of the Faculty of Law, when a lecturer suddenly appeared, he was known for always saying he held everyone’s destiny in his hands and that he could choose to release it or destroy it. He spoke, just like a reactionary that he has always been. Adediran Adeyemi held my left hand with his right hand afterwards and quietly said, “I will scale through”; for the first time he called me by real name in four and a half years, he said, “Enoch, they think we will not be successful, they think they can break me by this suspension; they do not realise that we are physically and spiritually supported by God…” then he said, “I think what he said is just a Jailer’s Lamentation”. I thank God for a good memory, but I thank GOD more for how well I have lived and how far he has taken my comrade, Adediran Adeyemi. I wish to thank you for reading this work. (http://www.irepublicng.com/)

how the logo for akewi arts house was derived

I remember the concept behind Akewi Art House started as “Pagos Arts Society”; then it became “African Literary something something”…lol… then I focused more on who I am and how I wish to become who I think I am. Surprisingly, through the ancient means and ways came the final name, Akewi Arts House.

Designing the logo took me another two years even after the name was already kept safe in my heart. I would sketch some of my thoughts into lines and shapes but it never worked. Not until one day, one beautiful day I was at the Lagos International Airport; an old man approached me from far. He said, “Son, I love your appearance, you depict Africa…” he rocked his agbada and left, probably felt fulfilled.

I laughed it off, and I simply forgot about it. As God would have it, right beside me was a close relative of Chinua Achebe. I did not know until he looked at the back cover design of my book, Commoner’s Speech. He introduced himself, and asked for a copy, which he gave me a good amount of money as an encouragement.

On getting to Akanu Ibiam International Airport, I took a taxi down to Augustine Nnamanni Campus of Nigerian Law School, Enugu. It was while at the “owner’s corner” of the pale green Toyota Camry, with a lovely music of Oliver De Coque, serenading my African spirit that the encomium of the old man I met at Lagos International Airport rang a bell in my head.

I brought out a pen I had persuaded my father to let go for me. It was a black and gold fountain pen, probably nothing close to what a new generation lover would appreciate. I had dropped my handbag as well in the Toyota Camry’s trunk, so I had to use my ticket flyer as a jotter. Unfortunately, nothing much was achieved for another ten months concerning the logo for Akewi Arts House.

During my service year in Enugu, I rented an apartment (No, it was a face me I face you sort of accommodation) with a colleague. We shared the room and its duties. While he cooked our beans with little or no palm oil and hustled for pure water, I would be in my corner with one hand thinking about the logo for Akewi Arts House, and also watching the pot from being pushed off our little stove by the guerrilla chickens with whom we shared shelter.

At night, I would usually go to the roof of the newly constructed building within the compound, with my flashlight and writing tools, hoping that the inspiration would come. Alas! It never came through that means.

It finally came on a Monday morning. I followed my senior state counsel to appear before a court of justice in Enugu, concerning a land matter. I was bored and angry that day, not just because of the congestion in the court room; but because most lawyers in the court room that day were busy exchanging pleasantries while some were on their phones, and never even bothered to learn from the Judge (who himself barely heard three cases before rising).

As I stood up with the files and headed out of the courtroom, I passed an accused person, he looked at me and smiled, I tried hiding my disappointment with the day’s proceedings by showing him my front broken tooth as well; he proudly said with his Igbo accent, “my lawyer with Africa in his head”… My senior state counsel laughed at me hysterically and asked if I had known the accused before, I simply told him no. Nevertheless, I could not get the man’s words off my mind. That day, exactly 3’O clock, I bought a cardboard paper, ruler and pencil, and I drew the logo for Akewi Arts House. Unfortunately, I never knew the accused person’s name or even his nature of offence. However, until this day, I salute his creativity even while in captivity.

First, it was Commoner’s Speech (2011 and 2014), then recently followed with Cries From The Ocean (2015)… If things go according to plans, Akewi Arts House will have a well packaged traditional launching for both of them later on this year in Nigeria.

IMG_20140714_172613_1AkewiArtsHouse Logo

VOICES 2015*

Voices: The Ife issue – Call For Submissions

We were taught in elementary school that a noun is a name of a person, place or thing. Ancient, medieval and contemporary literature has encouraged lots of conversations around persons and things, but hardly places.  Yet places have marked the backbone of every narrative, every art, every work of literature, and in a lot of ways it has been left there- at the back. Voices is picking up places and making it the core of our tale.

Voices is an anthology of contemporary art and literature emerging from Africa, yet not promoting only Africa or African voices. Voices is interested in exploring every single place that makes up our world. It is a curious work, determined to reveal places and the lives they consist. The world is one global place, and is made up of smaller places called continents, which is made up of smaller places called countries made up of smaller cities and towns.  Thus, we want to showcase the various places that make the world a global village.

‘Voices’ is as it is called is a conglomeration of voices from a place, be it a region, town, country or county. The voices are unique, stemming from various notions and interpretations of different people on this particular place. The anthology places its interest on places rather than ideas or abstract nouns. For us, places reveal people, places have a life of their own that we want to show the world.

Voices welcomes submissions of all kind and is opposed to stereotypical writing or art. We want something dynamic, uncommon and unusual that tells the true story of a place without sugar-coating, yet with clarity on as many sides to the story as are reasonably expected.

The Ife Issue

Oduduwa Park Ile-Ife

Ile-Ife is an ancient Yoruba town in Southwestern Nigeria, Osun State. Also known as Ife, the town is renowned for its place in Yoruba folk myth as the traditional home of Yoruba civilization and doubles as a holy city of humankind. It boasts of art and culture and rich history that stands it out as one of the most desirable archaeological sites in Southwestern Nigeria. These exquisite characteristics of the small city peppered with mysteries ignites the interest to debut this anthology with this place- Ife.

We are accepting submissions from all over on the theme of ‘Ife’. We believe in the concept of borderlessness, that everyone can talk about every place, especially through art and literature, and we want to reach every one in every place with the stories and pictures and arts of Ife as well.

All submissions must explore, reveal and / or revolve around the place ‘Ife’. Essentially, it is not compulsory that all submissions are set in Ife, but the underlying theme of ‘Ife’ must be felt in the heart of the piece. We accept compelling  and atypical short fiction, non-fiction, book reviews, poetry, photography, art, and conversations.

FORMATTING GUIDELINES

All submissions must be:

Formatted in 1.5 line spacing

Properly edited for errors (Works dotted with errors will have reduced chances of being selected for publication)

Font 12 Times New Roman

Contain a cover page stating name, mailing address, email address, phone number (with International dialing code, title of piece and word count.

Sent as a Microsoft word doc or docx file attachment. Photography and art may be sent as jpeg files

Also:

No submission must be sent in the body of the mail

The title of the mail should be FIRST NAME LAST NAME e.g Akintunde Bello

Where there are multiple submissions, the submissions should have a number after the first name and last name signifying what number of submission it is.

Please send along a bio of no more than 50 words (in third person) in the body of the mail.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RECEIPT

Submission window is from July 15th to September 15th. Upon receipt of your submission, you will receive a mail within 72 hours acknowledging receipt. If you do not receive a mail, please do not resend your work, simply send a query to voicesquery@gmail.com

RESPONSE TIME

No responses are given about pieces being accepted for the anthology until the end of October. Only selected works will get responses by the end of October. Other works that may be archived for certain promotional purposes will also get responses at a later date.

MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS         

Multiple submissions are accepted, however, we aim at publishing as many views and as many names as possible with a wide as possible geographical spread, so while multiple submissions may increase chances of being published in the anthology, not all submissions sent in from one person may be entered in the anthology for purposes of fairness and our limited page capacity.

COPYRIGHT

Please note that we do not accept already work already published elsewhere in print or on the web. All submissions must be previously unpublished. We maintain first copyrights of all works submitted for the first six months after publication of the anthology after which the work may be used elsewhere. We also reserve the right to format the submitted works without altering the content to fit the necessary publishing requirements. Submissions that will be archived and not selected for publication will be done at the instance of the writers and upon their permission.

 FICTION

Must be between 1,500 and 4,500 words

We accept any form from horror to surreal and magical. Any form is acceptable as long as it conforms to the theme and compelling.

Multiple submissions must be sent as individual attachments with individual cover pages

Fiction submissions should be sent to voicesfiction@gmail.com

 NON-FICTION

Must be between 1,500 and 2, 500 words.

Memoirs, essays, travel writings and all forms of creative non-fiction are accepted. News pieces, op-eds, articles, scholarly and academic papers and journalistic writings are not accepted. We want creative and compelling non-fiction.

Multiple submissions must be sent as individual attachments with individual cover pages.

Submissions should be sent to Voicesnonfiction@gmail.com

BOOK REVIEWS

We are accepting a small number of book reviews so submissions of book reviews must be pitched. Pitches may be no more than 400 words and be sent in the body of the mail to voiceseditor2015@gmail.com

Response time for pitches is 24 hours. As soon as the pitch is accepted, the reviews may be worked on and submitted. This, however, does not ordinarily mean such review has been selected for publication, but the chances are high.

All book reviews must be sent to the fiction editor to Voicesnonfiction@gmail.com

MayFair Roundabout

POETRY

Each poem must be no more than two pages long. No more than three poems may be submitted in one document. Each poem title must be indicated above the poem individually as well as on the cover page.

All poetry submissions must be sent as attachment to Voicespoetry2015@gmail.com

ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY

We are also open to digital art and photography.  Must be high resolution jpeg files (300 dpi or higher) and not larger than 3MB. Each submission must be properly named and sent as an attachment to voicesphotoart@gmail.com

CONVERSATIONS

We are not looking for bland interviews, we want active, participatory and lively conversations that inspire, intrigue, and even spark more conversations.

Conversations must not exceed 1, 500 words. All conversations must be first pitched. Pitches must be no more than 400 words and should be sent to voiceseditor2015@gmail.com

Pitches will be responded to within 24 hours. Upon acceptance, conversations may be conducted and submitted. Publication is not assured by the mere fact that a conversation was pitched, but it increases the chances.

Conversation submissions should be sent to  Voicesconvos@gmail.com

FADING ARTS*

untitled1

 

Fading Arts of Literature and Music in Nigeria

The Nigerian culture is at the moment a shadow of what her citizens hope for. The country is suspended in the air of political uncertainties. This has nothing to do with the recent electoral process that was carried out across the country. When a country is trapped in such financial and political untidiness, such as Nigeria is at the second, there is need to check the educational segment of the country. And if the enlightening segment of the country is to be duly standardized for drive of unconditional revolution in the system, then the formal and informal subdivision of the educational sector should be checked. I would have loved to address the exhausted style of formal education that is used in the country first, but because of my limited time and exact topic given to me to speak my mind on; I wish to say I will not go wide into it. At the moment, let me address the informal education.

Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe and Tafawa Balewa shone politically, educationally and socially in their days because, there was high significance placed upon all forms of informal education. Back in their days, the Nigerian culture had the thick blood of worth, running in their veins with utmost reverence to have more of informal education than the formal. It wasn’t the case that formal education was less in value, but informal education played a very imperative part in the ethical, spiritual, political, communal, commercial and even educational lives of that generation.

The subsequent generation of Christopher Okigbo, Chinua Achebe and our own Wole Soyinka had the same wand of value for formal and informal education passed down to them, which they modestly acknowledged, astutely used and it became a mast of inestimable prosperity for them and for the country, Nigeria. Till date in the secondary and tertiary institutions of the country, the literary works of these men mentioned in this paragraph and others not even mentioned are still in good use and have surpassed test of time. No wonder the works of Chinua Achebe have been interpreted into so many foreign languages and his style of prose narration has come to stay as a yard stick for African fiction.

Furthermore, this same generation produced musical icons such as I.K Dairo, King Sunny Ade, and Great Afrobeat genius, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Their panache of music also has become a mast of inestimable importance in the world. Virtually every African artiste sings Afrobeat just because of a man called Fela, whose generation saw the need to accept both formal and informal education. It is so enthralling that my generation of countrymen, and probably some older generations who failed to indulge in the learning art of formal and informal education have built a metaphysical set of beliefs about the success of these men mentioned above.

It is not the case that present crops of Nigerian writers are not good enough to break forth from our homes to the world. In my humble opinion I think the reason why the present day Nigerian writers are finding it difficult to get launched into the realm of world class literary minds can be grouped into two. One, it could be as a result of this generation no longer finding the need to read and learn the informal education in the art of writing, or the second could be as a result of the writers themselves not indulging the art of learning both the informal and formal education.

And this is more of the reason why I always advocate that more poems, drama or prose should be written out in the pure African forms. I believe taking after an American/European/Asian way of writing or speaking or neglecting our own African art cannot make us match in the same uniform of excellence like the previous generations of Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe. For those fellow literary minds in this generation who have seen the light of this my message, let us write Africa in its true form.

The people must realise that a literary or musical mind, through the daily attempt to familiarise themselves with the art of literature and or music, will grow more wings of creativity, talent, ideas and “metaphysical success”. More importantly, their success will also contribute to the economic and political expanse of the country. Take for instance, in the days of Fela Kuti, his music not only gave insights to the people, but drew international audience. Little wonder the then President of Burkina Faso saw Fela Kuti has a fellow political likeminded.

The bitter truth is that most crops of present day musicians do not even understand that the art of music in its true form is fading off day by day because these so called musicians no longer give enough time of incubation before setting off to the market of fame with their records. Whilst it is true that their records are being played on every corner of the streets, it is true that they show off their fantasied wealth on every occasion they’re opportune to; but the absolute truth is that their music has failed to stand the test of time, sanity, pleasure, and most importantly it has woefully failed to improve the social and political norms of my countrymen. Do not yell at me for nailing those in the musical world, I must open up that underneath their garment is a dying spirit of music which is crying out for help. I am not encouraging Nigerians to stop patronizing such music, but I am encouraging Nigerians to patronize more intelligent mind. Don’t go too far to look for intelligent mind; ASA is one beautiful mind of musical art. Fellow countrymen and women, stop the fading arts of literature and music.

Lucifer’s Bride*

imagesRTO03UX1

image

 

 

LUCIFER’S BRIDE*

My fiancé is the most fascinating person a woman will ever be blessed to love. Quite a towering person, dark skinned, very hygienic black eyes, good dentition, healthy lover he is undeniably. My lover, my person, my husband-to-be; he is the whole kit and caboodle, and he is a devoted businessperson. My fiancé is well learned and. He is a fortunate man on earth, so much that every day of his life, he tries to keep so much low profile from the community, and sometimes even from “us”…he will often give such excuses by adding that,

“My love, I have a proficient plan tomorrow, to be executed by my workers and for it to go smoothly, I must say a few words of prayer to Allah tonight on my mat all through the night”. Such words, which a very good woman, a wife to be like me should never, be imagined to contempt. I hail from the Yoruba, where we were taught to work and live our lives in line with the accomplishment of our husband’s business.

He grew up in Nigeria and years later before he clocked 18 years, he was moved to Egypt and then to Libya where he was groomed by a very good Islamic scholar for another 3 to 5 years; before traveling to Saudi Arabia for his Masters’ Programme. And recently returned from the United States, where he defended his thesis on” Islam and contemporary International terrorism (Africa as a case study)”. He has been so keen on having me also completing my Masters’ Programme in the UK, studying “Christian theology and theory of Feminism in the Church”, but I have so far continued to turn the tide against his wish, because I am so scared of losing him to some of these “Nigerian emotional underdogs”.

Perhaps I should discuss about his religious doings and mine; it is quite absurd to an everyday Nigerian. When he wakes up around 4:30 a.m. he would say his Islamic supplications to 6 or sometimes 6:30 a.m. and he would then come to my room, kiss me and say,

“Wake up my love, its morning already”

…there is never being any sort of religious fracas between us. If not for now that I am letting all these out, no one can ever say my fiancé is not a Christian, apart from his exquisite pious goatee, which may let the cat out of the bag that he is not. Even on Sundays, he would wake up before me; arrange my Bible pack with other Christian literatures we use during the church service. In addition, before I even say Jack Robinson, he has already prepared some toast bread for me to munch before running off with Christ that day. He would usually say,

“Pray for me as well love; tell Jesus I said I love him and his disciples for their gentility and non-retaliation doctrine”.

My betrothed is so far a blessing to me and even to any person who enthusiastically comes for his assistance. However, there was this day as usual; he told me he was traveling to see one of his aunts in Borno state. I reminded him of the security crack and the “Boko killing thing” raging those places…and in his usual joking manner he said,

“To be killed by a Boko Haram fellow is a glory for Allah than to be killed by an infidel Nigerian soldier”

I did not really see any moral witticism out of this. It nearly became a concern before he set out later that day with two of his men, Nigerian soldiers though. After he left the house, as a woman and as a wife to be, I decided to clean up his room and help organise his apparels. He is rather blasé with his room and stuffs you know. As I moved near his drawer and dusted some of his old books which he never liked anyone touching, I slipped, trying not to fall, I held unto his little night robe and in the process, I pulled the little ward robe off…gbarrrrrr!!!!!!! Everything fell… I had to rearrange it all piece by piece before Abubakar my lover came back.

After almost two hours of reshuffling and cleaning, I saw one hoary blood tainted Nigerian military clothing. While still bewildered as to why my placid affectionate Abubakar will have blood sullied Nigerian military clothing in his wardrobe, I notice a diary in the back compact of the blood-tainted clothing. Opening the first page, here is its contents;

“Abubakar, now, you must be acquainted with the fact that our principles and dogmas as an organization, has been breached by the fraidy-cats within us who have refused to take up armaments against the Nigerian government and its irreligious infidel citizens. Even though I am the spearhead of this faction, even though I am the patron and one of the countless stakes of this religious offshoot, you must comprehend that I cannot brashly come out to take up arms together with other brothers and sisters from within the country and outside. But you, being a child that was trained from infancy and loyal to this essence of Jihad from birth; I charge you to use all your sensitive astuteness that you have acquired from those western infidels to combat the present day Nigerian government; and to make sure that our Northern brothers and sisters are governed under the Islamic religious laws. Do not be downcast by the expanse of innocent massacres and awkward assassinations that may have to be carried out, they are to be completed for the sake of Allah and for our credence as Allah’s defence force. Slay them, abduct their families, rape them as long as they are not Muslim brothers or sisters; defile their wives, daughters and their households right in their presence. Make the country wild for them, until we get hold of our own independent zone and declare ourselves as a nation or get to Islamise Nigeria as a whole. Remember you are a soldier of Allah; do not be petrified of these doing. Go on with the plan as Sheik Ibrahim Abdulsalam Ibn Buhari has directed you; while you were being trained in Libya. Never tolerate your private life to clash with your Islamic revolutionary life as Allah’s Jihadist…whenever you are with your loved ones, you are spineless, tranquil and tender; but whenever duty calls, remember you are that “devil” everyday Nigerian fears, Shekau.”

In shock of whether this was real or not, I dropped the diary back into the cloth and perfectly rearranged it all. Not sure, of whether to run away or run mad, I wrote all these down. Therefore, my fiancé, my love, my man, the man who tolerates my dissipations and my faith is the man who also torments the nation and its government. No wonder he would usually say,

“Tell Jesus I said I love him and his disciples for their gentility and non-retaliation doctrine…”

So all the while, he said these, he was mocking me, my religion, and other Christians he had killed and would still kill. So all the while he claimed that to be killed by a Boko Haram fellow was glorious meant that, he was indeed not just a sympathizer but also a dedicated blood liner for the horrific group. Nevertheless, I love him. He is my heart and my dream man. I cannot imagine my world without Abubakar…I cannot imagine my life without the man who comes to my bed early Sunday mornings to whisper sweet words to my ears. Even if he is Shekau, I want to believe he is a devil to Nigeria but he is Abubakar to me…and what is the difference between Shekau and Nigerian Soldiers? They both kill for a cause. I am in love with Abubakar, to me he is Abubakar; to you he is Shekau the devil, the Boko Haram leader.

 

Author: Enoch Ojotisa

Email: poetojotisa@gmail.com

LUCIFER’S BRIDE*

Hello Africa, here is a short story titled Lucifer’s Bride. Write a literary criticism on this piece, and if selected, you stand a chance of winning 2 copies of Commoner’s Speech by Enoch Ojotisa.

 

LUCIFER’S BRIDE*

My fiancé is the most fascinating persona a woman will ever be blessed to love. Quite a towering person, dark skinned, very hygienic black eyes, good dentition, healthy lover he is undeniably. My lover, my person, my husband-to-be; he is the whole kit and caboodle, and he is a devoted trade chap. My fiancé is well learned and religiously groomed. I sense he is a fortunate man on earth, so much that every diurnal of his being, he tries to keep so much low profile from the community, and sometimes even from “us”…he will often give such excuses by adding that,

“My love, I have a professional plot tomorrow, to be executed by my workers and for it to go smoothly, I must say a few words of prayer to Allah tonight on my mat all through the night”

…such words which a very good woman, a wife to be like me should never be imagined to contempt. I hail from the Yoruba, where we are taught to work and live our lives in line with the accomplishment of our husband’s business.

He grew up in Nigeria and years later before he clocked 18 years, he was moved to Egypt and then to Libya where he was groomed by a very good Islamic scholar for another 3 to 5 years, before traveling to Saudi Arabia for his Masters’ Programme: and recently returned from the United States, where he defended his thesis on” Islam and contemporary International terrorism (Africa as a case study)”. He has been so keen on having me also completing my Masters’ Programme in the UK, studying “Christian theology and theory of Feminism in the Church”, but I have so far continued to turn the tide against his wish, because I am so scared of losing him to some of these “Nigerian emotional underdogs”.

Perhaps I should discourse about his religious doings and mine; it’s quite preposterous for an everyday Nigerian. When on earth he wakes up around 4:30 a.m. he would say his Islamic supplications to 6 or sometimes 6:30 a.m. and he would then come to my room, kiss me and say,

“Wake up my love, its morning already”

…there is never being any sort of religious fracas between us. If I not for now that I am letting all these out, no one can ever say my fiancé isn’t a Christian, apart from his exquisite pious goatee, which may let the cat out of the bag that he ain’t. Even on Sundays, he would wake up before me; arrange my Bible pack with other Christian literatures we use during the church service. And before I even say Jack Robinson, he’s already prepared some toast bread for me to munch before running off with Christ that day. He would usually say,

“Pray for me as well love; tell Jesus I said I love him and his disciples for their gentility and non-retaliation doctrine”

My betrothed is so far a blessing to me and even to any person who enthusiastically comes for his assistance. But there was this day as usual; he told me he was traveling to see one of his aunts in Borno state. I reminded him of the security crack and the “Boko killing thing” raging those places…and in his usual joking manner he said,

“To be killed by a Boko Haram fellow is a glory for Allah than to be killed by an infidel Nigerian soldier”

I didn’t really see any moral witticism out of this. It nearly became a concern before he set out later that day with two of his men, Nigerian soldiers though. After he left the house, as a woman and as a wife to be, I decided to clean up his room and help organise his apparels. He is rather blasé with his room and stuffs you know. As I moved near his drawer and dusted some of his old books which he never liked anyone touching, I slipped, trying not to fall, I held unto his little night robe and in the process, I pulled the little ward robe off…gbarrrrrr!!!!!!! Everything fell…now I had to rearrange it all piece by piece before Abubakar my lover comes back.

After almost two hours of reshuffling and cleaning, I saw one hoary blood tainted Nigerian military clothing. While still bewildered as to why my placid affectionate Abubakar will have blood sullied Nigerian military clothing in his ward robe, I notice a diary in the back compact of the blood tainted clothing. Opening the first page, here is its contents;

“Abubakar, now, you must be acquainted with the fact that our principles and dogmas as an organization, has been breached by the fraidy-cats within us who have refused to take up armaments against the Nigerian government and its irreligious infidel citizens. Even though I am the spearhead of this faction, even though I am the patron and one of the countless stakes of this religious offshoot, you must comprehend that I cannot brashly come out to take up arms together with other brothers and sister from within the country and outside. But you, being a child that has been trained from infancy and loyal to this essence of Jihad from birth, I charge you to use all your sensitive astuteness that you have acquired from those spaghetti western infidels to combat the present day Nigerian government and to make sure that our Northern brothers and sisters are governed under the Islamic religious laws. Do not be downcast by the expanse of innocent massacres and awkward assassinations that may have to be carried out, they are to be completed for the sake of Allah and for our credence as Allah’s defence force. Slay them, abduct their families, rape them as long as they are not Muslim brothers or sisters; defile their wives, daughters and their households right in their presence. Make the country wild for them, till we get hold of our own independent zone and declare ourselves as a nation or get to Islamise Nigeria as a whole. Remember you are a soldier of Allah, do not be petrified of these doings…go on with the plan as you have been directed by Sheik Ibrahim Abdulsalam Ibn Buhari while you were being trained in Libya…never tolerate your private life to clash with your Islamic revolutionary life as Allah’s Jihadist…whenever you are with you loved ones, you are spineless, tranquil and tender; but whenever duty calls, remember you are that “devil” everyday Nigerian fears, Shekau.”

In shock of whether this is real or not, I dropped the diary back into the cloth and perfectly rearranged it all. Not sure of whether to run away or run mad, I have written all these down. So my fiancé, my love, my man, the man who tolerates my dissipations and my faith is the man who also torments the nation and its government. No wonder he would usually say,

“Tell Jesus I said I love him and his disciples for their gentility and non-retaliation doctrine…”

So all the while he said these, he was mocking me, my religion and other Christians he had killed and will still kill. So all the while he claimed that to be killed by a Boko Haram fellow was glorious meant that, he was indeed not just a sympathizer but a dedicated blood liner for the horrific group. But I love him. He is my heart and my dream man. I cannot imagine my world without Abubakar…I cannot imagine my life without the man who comes to my bed early Sunday mornings to whisper sweet words to my ears. Even if he is Shekau, I want to believe he is a devil to Nigeria but he is Abubakar to me…and what is the difference between Shekau and Nigerian Soldiers? They both kill for a cause. I am in love with Abubakar, to me he is Abubakar; to you he is Shekau the devil, the Boko Haram leader.