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Showing posts from August, 2013

YOU AND I MUST FIRST GET MAD! (A Review of Echezonachukwu Nduka’s quadruplet of poems; “MADNESS BEGINS FREEDOM”) by Chijioke Ngobili

In his heart-racing novel, The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown wrote and maintained that: “the secret is how to die”. And now, I must tell you myself that; ‘the first to be, is to be a mad man before a sane man’. I guess you’d want to know why, wouldn’t you?

Years into his first tenure, Godswill  Akpabio – the governor of Akwa-Ibom State of Nigeria (who was reported by the media as performing excellently), was asked what spurred him on to achieve the things he did. The man looked the journalist in the eyes and sternly responded: “anger!” “Anger”, they say, “is a small madness”. Alternatively, Akpabio was summarily saying: “madness does it”.  Echezonachukwu Nduka, a political protest poet and a professional art musician, has just handed us one of the best chronicles of Nigeria’s woeful existence in the form of poetry. He didn’t set out to lament and recount like many are wont to; he rather bounced in with – what he himself may not know – prescribing outright madness for us, if we must get starte…

A Letter To Uncle John by Chidinma Beauty Ojebe

I'm writing from the hospital
'Cos I've got to be near Mummy
Our neighbour brought her here in pains
My God, Oh! There she cries again

It began soon after Dad travelled
Mummy's tummy started swelling
Guess her big tummy made her happy
'Cos as it swelled so did her smile

I said to Mum, "What's in your tummy?"
For she'd been eating a lot lately
She touched her tummy, smiled and said,
"A gift from God for you and me"

There goes a doctor and two nurses
I guess the gift is almost ready
Baffles me why God, of all places,
Should put our gift in Mummy's tummy

I'll sneak in behind the nurses
After all the gift is mine too
Hey wait! What's Mum doing on that bed?
What are they asking her to push?

Got to go, my toes are hurting
But what's that coming out from Mummy?
Looks so tiny, ugly 'n slimy
Not too much like a gift to me

It must have gone bad inside Mummy
Even the wrapping paper's gone!
Tears in my eyes, I feel like crying
I slowly walk back to my …

Becoming Victoria... (By Adediran Adeyemi)

It rained the day I entered the world. The storm that raged was one of a kind. My mother would tell me later that the town had never experienced such a destructive storm before I was born and that it would be the last. As a kid I used to believe this phenomenon was a pointer to my uniqueness. That the forces of nature had to come out in their full force to welcome me into their midst, I felt indestructible, God’s own chosen child prepared for unparalleled greatness. At my birth I was christened Victor Stephenson, but my legal documents now read Victoria Stephenson. I was a man, now I am a woman. My mother told me that she wanted a girl when she got pregnant. A devout Christian she refused a sonogram. She always said the just shall live by faith, so, she chose to believe that God would grant her wish. The baby pictures I have are those of a tiny beautiful boy dressed in pink girls’ clothes. They were products of God’s failure in his job of catering for my Mother’s every need. My mother…

Taiye Selasi On 'Ghana Must Go.'

(Culled from

TAIYE Selasi is telling me where she wrote Ghana Must Go, probably the most feted debut novel of the year. “It started in the shower at a yoga retreat in Sweden,” she laughs.
“The first pages were written in Denmark, then I wrote some more in Nigeria and Ghana, the next bit in India, and the last part in Italy. I live
a peripatetic life,” she adds in an appropriately difficult to place accent. “Last year I was in 12 countries.” Living, travelling, or working? She
raises perfectly plucked eyebrows. “To me, they’re all the same thing.”
The result of all this globetrotting is an
exuberant, beautiful, sometimes extraordinarily sad family saga that shifts from Africa to America and back again. Ghana Must Go has been branded “a once in a generation debut”, endorsed by Toni Morrison and Salman Rushdie, and has just won Selasi, 32, a place on Granta’s
influential Best Of Young British Novelists list. It opens with Kweku Sai – Ghanaian, talented surgeon, father of four, im…

I feel like I was born for the pen- Pever X

Name of Book: Cat Eyes
Number of Pages: 180
Author: Pever X
Publisher: Sevhage
Release Date: November 2013

BBR: How have you gone till this point of being published?
Pever X: I’ve been doing nothing extraordinary; just living. There was school, which I hated at some point, and National Youth Service. Then I worked jobs – I would rather not work – here and there; writing whenever I could spare a second. Those are the happiest moments of my life – when I write.
I got a publisher at one of the Benue ANA readings in Makurdi. I remember I read Sister Vanilla that day. Everyone loved it; everyone loves it. They tell me it’s a great piece; they tell me all my pieces are great. Well, I don’t know about them being great. I only know i enjoyed writing everyone of them.

BBR: What inspired you to write this book?
Pever X: Nothing. I don’t need to be inspired to write because I was born to write, I think. I can write a hundred books if I have the time.

BBR: Do you have a specific writing style?
Pever X: I t…

Thoughts on Achebe (by Chijioke Ngobili)

What does Achebe think or what was he thinking when and while he wrote many of his works that pointed at the then Nigeria’s messy future, which is now? What were his thoughts when he wrote that pamphlet-like novel he called "CHIKE AND THE RIVER"? What lessons was he teaching when he used that ‘very bad boy’ called ‘Ezekiel’ and other favorite characters like the famous Chike, S.M.O.G and others, together with the circumstances surrounding them? And if there were lessons he taught – if they were learned too – were/are they true about the then future and now present Nigeria he may have referred to? And if the answers to the above are more in the affirmative than in the negative, could it then be that Achebe was chosen by NATURE for the job of ‘predictive prophecy or prophetic prediction’ about/on Nigeria?

By the way, who is HE? Does Achebe think himself less or lesser; great or greater? Who or what does he think of himself – when surely – his brains would never again be able to…