This week's ZODML Poetry Corner features a poem on hope and persistence by Morayo Oshodi. Are you a writer? Send your poems, short stories and book reviews to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured on the blog
Friedrich Nietzsche once said that “Without music, life would be a mistake.” And we agree! At ZODML, music keeps us going while we are hard at work. There’s nothing like plugging in your headphones and turning up your favourite song to give yourself that boost to see you through the day, especially as the year winds to a close and the festive season approaches. NoViolet Bulawayo, winner of the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing and author of We Need New Names (2013), recently shared a playlist of songs from Southern Africa she dances to while writing, which inspired us to make our own playlist of ten classic Nigerian tracks to see us through until the Christmas break. Click through to check out the list:
Oloye Hubert Adedeji Ogunde was a Nigerian actor, playwright, theatre manager, and musician. Described as "the father of Nigerian theatre or the father of contemporary Yoruba theatre," his theatre company the Ogunde Concert Party, which he founded in 1945, was Nigeria’s first professional theatrical company. The Ogunde Concert Party travelled around Nigeria, West Africa, and the rest of the world performing plays such as Garden of Eden, Taiwo and Kehinde, Aduke, Strike and Hunger, Herbert Macauley, Slavery, Police Brutality and Princess Jaja which celebrated the richness of the country’s indigenous cultures while also shedding light on the ills plaguing its government and society.
Check out 10 fascinating facts about the theatre legend after the jump:
Lagoon, the long-awaited novel by award-winning Nigerian-American author Nnedi Okorafor has been given an official release date of April 10, 2014. Set in Lagos during an alien invasion, the novel follows three strangers, each isolated by his or her own problems: Adaora, the marine biologist; Anthony, the rapper famous throughout Africa; and Agu, the troubled soldier (visit the author’s blog to learn more). The stunning cover art was created by South African illustrator Joey Hi-Fi.
After her SSRP session with students from Government Senior College Maroko and Ilado Community Senior Secondary School at the ZODML Community Library, Kaine Agary spoke to us about her early life, her favourite books, and the Nigerian general she would like to have dinner with.
During the SSRP session you said that you were sent to Nigeria at 10 months old to stay with your grandma. How did that come about?
I was born in America − my mum was doing her doctorate at the time. My parents were both very busy; it was so bad that I was taken to daycare at nine weeks old. When my grandmother heard this, she asked that I be brought to Nigeria. So I was parcelled off to Nigeria by my dad, and all my relatives came to the airport all dressed up to welcome me.
Students of Government Senior College Maroko and Ilado Community Senior Secondary School visited the ZODML Community Library on October 30 to meet Kaine Agary, author of the award-winning novel Yellow-Yellow, for October’s Senior Secondary Reading Programme (SSRP) session. Her book, which won the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature in 2008 and the 2007 ANA/Chevron Prize for Environmental Writing, deals with various issues affecting the Niger Delta region, including environmental degradation, poverty, and a lack of social amenities.
Agary, an Isoko from Delta State, was born in America and moved to Nigeria at 10 months old. She was raised in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State. Her grandparents bought her books and instilled in her a love for reading at an early age. Agary never intended to be a creative writer, but after receiving a Master’s in Public Policy and carrying out in-depth research on the Niger Delta crises, she seized the opportunity to put these issues in the spotlight. Yellow-Yellow was first published as a short story for friends and family, but a cousin encouraged her to make it into a novel for a wider audience. Agary, who is also a lawyer, writes a weekly column in The Punch called “The Pocket Lawyer” through which she attempts to improve the legal literacy of Nigerians by shedding light on various human rights issues.
Tunde Kelani is not your average Nollywood director. A film industry veteran with sixteen features to his name, Kelani’s work is informed by the richness of Nigeria’s traditions, literature and theatre, as well as his background as a photographer and BBC TV correspondent. Mainframe Movies, his film company, produces high-quality movies which are educational and culturally relevant to Nigerian society and address issues ranging from mental illness to political intrigues. Ever conscious of where he is coming from, Kelani supports other up-and-coming filmmakers works to make his work available to all Nigerians regardless of their socioeconomic status.
We're launching a new series on the ZODML Blog - #NeedToKnow is a breakdown of events around Nigeria and the world affecting the lives of ordinary people. Stay in-the-know and learn how you can respond to these key issues. Our first feature is on the ASUU Strike.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)
ASUU is engaged in a strike which has shut down all public tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
The strike began on July 1, 2013.
Tribal marks are an age-long art common to the Western part of Nigeria. The Egba, Nupe, Ilaje and other Yoruba tribes commonly use these marks and designs as a form of identification, beautification and protection. There are two different types of marks: ila (the well-known facial scars) and ona (also known as “local tattoos”). Both are created using a sharp instrument such as razor blades, knives or glass. Flesh is cut from the skin to create a gash, which later heals and leaves a permanent pattern on the body. Snails (known as Igbin in Yoruba), a popular delicacy in Nigeria, are very important to tribal mark artisans, as the liquid they secrete is used to soothe the pain caused by the instrument used to make the incisions. The unique colour of the ona comes from various pigments such as charcoal.