Sunday, July 11, 2010

Olufemi Terry wins Caine prize for African writing

- This one happend while I was away. I'm writing from an internet cafe.

the most recent winner of Caine Prize for African literature has this to say:
"The label 'African writer' is not a particularly helpful one ... Whether it's journalism or fiction, there is too much emphasis put on issues such as poverty or disease, and I feel the label 'African writing' exacerbates that particular tendency. I would like to see more of a shift away from writing about Africa set on the continent, and more exploration of the issues of the diaspora."

But African writing is not about poverty and disease, bro. One can still write about God and the Angels while wearing the cap of African writer. Anyway, congratulations on winning this important prize.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Dora Akunyili misses the point on culture

I have been taught that to be cultured is to possess a systematic, community-enhancing and humanity-nurturing attitude to the world. This is philosophy of culture 101. Culture is therefore a 'cultivated' pattern or attitude that encourages (or hinders) the flourishing of humanity. Whoever fails to grasp this should perhaps be humble enough to be taught. Culture is not a thing you produce solely for the markets; it is essentially something for the hearts and minds of the producers and their kith and kin. So, German/Yoruba/French culture becomes a totality of people's creative response to the peculiar issues of their time and space; it the people's attempts through the arts or religion or mores, to ease the tedium of life. What would life be without dance, songs or words chiseled for some effects?

Anyway, what am I to say to this report below? This is Nigerian culture, as was reported by our able Molara Wood.
“This is totally unacceptable,” said an indignant Akunyili. “Don’t talk. Don’t talk. Keep quiet,” she commanded, when Itan tried to explain, pulling down the only other woman to share the opening ceremony limelight with her. “She sang in a foreign vernacular language and she wore a Ghanaian attire. As far as I’m concerned, that is not how to sell our culture,” pronounced Akunyili, and many in the audience clapped."

Does anyone still need to know the root of Nigeria's problems? Read the whole report, and judge for yourself. ENJOY

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ben Okri: My family values

Thanks to Naijablog I stumbled upon this beautiful piece by Ben Okri.
"One of the greatest gifts my father gave me – unintentionally – was witnessing the courage with which he bore adversity. We had a bit of a rollercoaster life with some really challenging financial periods. He was always unshaken, completely tranquil, the same ebullient, laughing, jovial man. I learned that life will go through changes – up and down and up again.It's what life does."
Whoever knows Ben will surely say aloud: Dat's right!