Category Archives: Nigeria

Jerry Chiemeke

He lives and works in Lagtos, the former capital of Nigeria. Jerry Chiemeke is a lawyer but he does not limit his activities to the legal world. He is also active as a man of words, who is active in the literary world. In this series, run by a Kenyan newspaper, he answers questions on books that have accompanied him in his life.Jerry Chiemeke is a lawyer, writer, editor and


Africa has been failed by westernisation

The relationship of African countries with the west is a complicated one.

First of all most of these countries are not situated to the west of Africa. Most of these countries are situated in the northern parts of the world, seen from an African perspective. 

The second notion is that many countries on the African countries have been colonized by countries from other parts of the world. We can think of France, Germany, United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain. A longer time back we remember the Ottoman Empire with its fingers stretching into the northern parts of the continent. 

The third notion is the present relationship with countries outside the continent. Is an African country dependent on a country from the outside world? Depending on financial assistance, military assistance, cultural dependence, through e.g. language, maybe even food assistance. During the years of the Cold War the United States of America and the Soviet Union were the main suppliers of assistance. Things have changed as China has become an important player on the continent. China has become a different player, not be bringing in things, but taking out a lot and bringing in many of their own citizens. 

The Djinguereber Mosque in Timbuktu, Mali, Africa.The Nigerian writer Chigozie Obioma has been thinking about this topic and the dependence of countries on western (or northern) developments. Read his article here

Helon Habila, Maaza Mengiste named The New American Voices award judges

Helon Habila (Nigeria) and Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia/USA) form, together with Madeleine Thein, USA), the jury of a literary prize. The prize is run by an organization with a long name. The name is the Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award. The winner of the prize will receive $5000.Helon Habila

Why Christopher Okigbo matters 50 years after

Yes, one of his publications is in the shifting header on my blog. His name is Christopher Okigbo and he was a famous writer and poet from the southern parts of Nigeria. He died during the civil war, where he fought on the side of Biafra.

Ali Mazrui, the Kenyan and global giant, wrote a book (The trial of Christopher Okigbo) on the attitude of Okigbo in choosing this military life.

What is the legacy of Okigbo, 50 years on? Read about it here

9th Coal City Book Convention to focus on women

There will be another literary meeting at Enugu. This years Book Convention will put women at center stage (aren’t women always center stage when the real things happen?). Three women will receive a life-award, this award is not named  after a woman, but it is still an important award. Read about these three women and the convention here

Why I consider poetry an endangered art form

Recently I looked at the website of a small publishing house. A quick look at the criteria for new manuscript showed me the very same thing as Ikeogu Oke shows in this article. The publishing did not want to receive collections of poetry as a debut in the literary world. Probably the chance is that no one wants to buy a collection by an unknown poet. Read more about the thoughts of Ikeogu Oke hereIkeogu Oke

Prolific writer Oyeyemi shortlisted for BBC short story award

The Nigeria rooted writer Helen Oyeyemi (1984) has published numerous books and short stories. Now one of her short stories has been shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award. There are four other stories on this shortlist, by four other writers.

Read more about it here.Helen Oyeyemi Photo: Numero Cinq