Earlier this month, we made our way to Kaduna, northern Nigeria, for the second edition of Kaduna Books and Arts Festival (also referred to as Kabafest). After a long journey from London to Abuja to Kaduna, we immediately whisked ourselves into action to deliver the first of our two literary and creative writing workshops at the festival at Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation. Prior to this though, Zaahida introduced Afrikult. during the festival’s opening ceremony while Marcelle was still on the road from Abuja.
Monday, 3 September 2018
In the following months the Afrikult. team will be travelling to Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya to take part in the Kaduna Book and Arts festival, Pa Gya! A literary festival in Accra and collaborative work with Jalada Africa collective in Nairobi. Through the generous support of Book Buzz Foundation, Miles Morland Foundation and Arts Council England the team is able to extend their literary and creative writing workshops to young people and adults on the African continent, while also conducting research and building networks necessary in widening access to African literatures, which is the literary organisation’s core mission. Continue reading “Afrikult. to deliver workshops in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya”
Sunday, 4 February 2018
We recently ran an online campaign #WhyBuchi asking people to write in 100 words of why Buchi Emecheta is important to them, ahead of the Celebrating Buchi Emecheta conference held at SOAS. The prize for the winning entries were the relaunched titles of Head Above Water, The Rape of Shavi and Kehinde all newly designed by Victor Ehikhamenor, and published by the revived Omenala Press. We had some really great entries, that highlighted the impact of her work, the bravery she displayed in her writing and the humour she captured in the most challenging of circumstances. Thank you to everyone who participated, it was a pleasure reading your entries! Before sharing the three winning submissions by Mercy Mubanga, Nnamdi Ogochukwu Komlan-Dodoh and Tokunbo Koiki, we wanted to also share with you in a very few words Why Buchi is important us.
WhyBuchi? For me it’s the range of emotions that I experience when reading her work – they are intense, often bringing me to tears, but I am always left with an overwhelming sense of gratitude that she was brave enough to write so honestly about issues deeply significant to Africa and her diaspora.
It is always encouraging and satisfying to know about women like Buchi Emecheta whose life and work have impacted generations of people especially women of colour. They saw in her work a guiding light that helps them navigate in a world which was not always designed for their fulfillment. I am very grateful to take part in this movement of celebration in honour of Buchi Emecheta.
Buchi Emecheta seared my imagination when I first read ‘The Slave Girl’ in my early twenties. Her work demands attention, your silence and respect. Her death echoes a lamentable void in the African and black British literary chambers. Our #WhyBuchi competition has shown her voice still roars, her words are ablaze, at the turn of every page.
Buchi Emecheta’s work is important to me because it looks like still water but it runs deep. It has taught me that suffering, in many forms, is inevitable. However, I must not sit and pity myself because no one is coming to save me. It has especially thoroughly communicated that as a woman, my strength is not beyond my reach when I need it most. I am the very vessel that contains this strength and so I needn’t wait for a hero to save me. It has taught me that I have the choice to choose strength each time I am faced with a tragedy I have been made to believe only a man can tackle.
Nnamdi Ogochukwu Komlan-Dodoh
An inspiration to all; not just the female folk. Buchi Emecheta was and is the definition of succeeding against seemingly impossible odds. Despite the circumstances she found herself in at such a young age, she exhibited the unique strength of the African woman and fought to bring to light experiences never openly talked about before. Her voice – weaved through tales of survival and motherhood – confronts and challenges us in equal measure. Her words remind us why the female voice must be heard and never silenced. I am grateful to her for lighting the fire for us to write without fear.
My first reaction when I saw the flyer of this competition was a triumphant THOSE BOOKS ARE MINE! The second, was just how do they expect me to express in merely 100 words the magnitude of how significant Buchi is to me!?! Re-discovering Buchi at a time when I was dealing with my marriage breakdown gave me so much courage. As a single mother of one child, I was inspired by Buchi’s strength raising 5 children in a very racist and hostile environment. The ‘Joys of Motherhood’ gave me permission to be selfish in putting my needs above my child when so required. Why Buchi? Because in sharing her story, she gave me a new reality of motherhood, marriage and womanhood in a way that still motivates me.
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
If you’re fan of Buchi Emecheta or just getting to know the pioneering novelist’s work, we want to hear from you! Afrikult. is running an exclusive competition for the forthcoming Celebrating Buchi Emecheta event on Saturday 3rd February 2018 – an all-day celebration of the life and work of the acclaimed Nigerian novelist, who passed away in January 2017. Continue reading “Celebrating Buchi Emecheta x #WhyBuchi Competition”
Chiziterem Ndukwe-Nwoke is a 23 years old Nigerian writer, literary entrepreneur, and a graduate of Petroleum Engineering from Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.
He is the founder of Route Africa, a non-profit non-governmental organization that gathers a collective of student writers whose primary goal is to empower each other and contribute to Africa’s literary scene worldwide.
‘In Creative Fiction, We See What Others Don’t’ – Lawrence Amaeshi
Lawrence Amaeshi is presently a student of Novel Writing in Stanford University, USA and in this conversation we try to explore in-depth the ideas behind the story, the structure and his style of writing.
In this book that could be described as many things but best regarded as a crime thriller, Bruce Telema, a young man who has recently lost his job and now works selling technical filter replacement kits to oil companies based in the Niger Delta, is approached by Steve, a representative of a high calibre network of oil criminals, skilled in the siphoning of oil from government pipelines using armed militants and selling the stolen oil to ‘the highest bidder’ in the international market. Bruce is offered the opportunity of representing the interests of this organization based in London – he is to be their point man, with the responsibility of travelling to the Niger Delta creeks to negotiate for oil from militants, villagers who have scooped oil from burst pipes, various local illegal refineries, and helping the network deliver these products to their clients. Bruce Telema is promised ‘wealth beyond his wildest imagination’ and yes, he gets into this business and soon begins to make lots of money, living an exotic ‘fast life’. However, soon rival militant groups, security operatives and even his own network place a price tag on his head.
AFRIKULT.’S OVERALL RATING:
With a steady hand Abubakar weaves an affair between fifty-five year old Hajiya Binta Zubairu and twenty-five year old Reza Babale. Reza, a local weed dealer, finds himself entangled in Binta’s life after robbing her place. As Binta stands shocked in the centre of her invaded living space, she suddenly feels a cool blade gently pierce her throat and Reza’s warm breath trailing behind her neck. His abrupt entrance and body warmth arouses Binta – something she had never experienced in her recent marriage before becoming widowed. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Season of Crimson Blossoms | Abubakar Adam Ibrahim”
AFRIKULT.’S OVERALL RATING:
Enchanting readers with the eloquence of a griot, Irenosen Okojie’s début novel Butterfly Fish brings to life the magic of story telling. In a spellbinding saga of love, deceit, guilt and atonement, it tells of the scourge of the sins of the ancestors upon the coming generation. A brass head forge out of blood, seeks retribution from succeeding heirs, tearing families apart and destroying livelihoods. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Butterfly Fish | Irenosen Okojie”
AFRIKULT.’S OVERALL RATING:
Where many have fallen short, Elnathan John’s debut novel Born on a Tuesday completes the dramatisation of insurgency in Nigeria with dark wit, poise and captivating simplicity. Dantala, a Muslim boy, like many hustlers on the streets of Northern Nigeria teeters on the verge of survival. Beginning with the loss of his friend Banda, which propels his escape from a life of petty political crimes into the paternal bosom of Sheikh Jamal, a new chapter ensues. Yet fate has more in store to test his resolve. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Born on a Tuesday | Elnathan John”
AFRIKULT.’S OVERALL RATING:
In the dark pits of civil warfare, Chris Abani mimes a human poetry; of love and redemption. My Luck, a twelve- year- old boy recounts his travails as a child soldier tasked with the perilous job of a mine detector. Through his journey across the wretched terrain of human wreckage and ruin, we hear the cries of the human soul as it yields to the lust of hate and violence. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Song For Night | Chris Abani”