Good Contents Are Everywhere, But Here, We Deliver The Best of The Best.Please Hold on!
Data is Loading...
Your address will show here +12 34 56 78
Features, Reviews
 “…Cosindas’s photographs and the weirdness registered by other artists is not a simple question of influence or imitation, or even a claim that magic of this kind always works in the same way, but rather that there are often similar intuitions between practitioners in this shamanic mode, all of whose work seems to be a bewitching murmur, always placid but glimmering with the possibility of ensnaring the viewer, a paradox that is true of Cosindas’s densely woven pictures, the assemblages that she spent days putting together and that evoke spaces redolent of complexity like the kitchens of great cooks or the laboratories of ancient perfumers, spaces in which unexplained things happen, exemplified in her…”
Teju Cole makes it plain  in his Essay in The New York Times, Still Lives That Won’t Hold Still – a masterful piece in praise of Marie Cosindas, the brilliant Photographer who passed away in May at the age of 93, that the evocative power of her work lies in its unabashed marshalling of elements into an hypnotic, almost mystical,  yet sensual form – freer, yet structured for masterful impact. Yet, on reading the piece, you get to see that the Essay in itself is an imitation of the Photographer’s colourful images – structured to emanate into a conscious flow that is so vivid in its description and alive in a way that grasps your breath, holds it, and takes you slowly on a seemingly never-ending literary Odyssey, as he pontificates about Consindas’ background and how her work compares with other greats. The piece, a long, single sentence, now regarded as the longest one ever published by The New York Times, is a wonderfully brilliant read in whole, and brings to the fore, not only Consindas’ soulful body of work, but also Cole’s deserved reputation as a master of his craft. You can read the whole article here  
0

Reviews
A Place in the Sun is a racy novel, rich in history and suspense. Written by Kola King a veteran journalist, it is a love story based in the fictional country of Songha which in reality looks like life in the early days of colonial conquest in Northern Nigeria where the author hails from. Beginning from Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, many a fictional work has been done about life in Nigeria and Africa in this period. A Place in the Sun stands out of the crowd not only because it is one of the few written about Northern Nigeria in this period but because it is a beautifully crafted work of art, mixed with history and culture.  The intriguing thing about it is the ability of the author to hold the reader spell bound and educate him until he gets to page 250 – the last. The first edition of the book which was recently released by Verity Publishers of Pretoria in South Africa comes in paperback and eBook form. The print work is excellent thus reducing the stress of the reader as he goes through the forty two chapters of the novel. It begins with the birth of Zakka – the main character in the story – in Tekota at the dawn of European colonization of Songaland. He thus grew up under the shadow of colonial rule in a land described by the author as “bright with sunshine which shone all year round… Wide, vast and extensive, the land was lush and fertile…Because of its salubrious weather and fertile land, Shongaland was as though paradise in the tropics.” The people of Shongaland were “renowned for their hospitality, warmth and friendliness.” The author also goes further to describe them as “great farmers and intrepid hunters; fishermen, swift with their nets and skillful with canoeing.” They are also said to be “giant men, bold and unafraid warriors” who had conquered and subdued their neighbors. Thus through simple but captivating and effective choice of words, Kola King is able to get the reader interested in the land and the people that make the story. The story itself looks real and though full of suspense, intrigue and sometimes tragedy, the reader is not subjected to sensation and over dramatization. Once in a while, the author falls back on history and this helps to remind the reader that this is a real world, a real life situation. For a writer who is making his debut in fictional writing, A Place in the Sun will certainly give the author a place under the sun where there is a rather large crowd of writers. The novel is about the love story of Zakka, a brilliant young lad from Tekota who excels in his studies at primary school in his home village, travels to the big town of Kartadu for his training at a Teachers College and as result of his demonstrated brilliance is employed immediately on graduation to be an auxiliary teacher in the same school. His diligence at work and exemplary character brings him to the attention of the Colonial Education Secretary who orders his employment at the head office of the regional headquarters of the education department on the completion of his one year stint as an auxiliary teacher. Zakka falls in love with Matta, a girl from Tekota who has had a turbulent love life. Impregnated by his teacher, a bonhomie drunkard teacher by the name Gora at a tender age, Matta was given out in marriage at that age. Tragically, the marriage was bedeviled with a series of misfortunes. There was drought in the land as a result of which poverty prevailed, bringing starvation and death in the land. The hard times brought strife in the relationship of the newly married Gora and Matta. Thus Gora who had shown signs of improvement from his carefree life of alcoholism relapsed back to his bad old ways. The pregnancy itself turned out to be another disaster for it lasted for a whole twelve months at the end of which the child is stillborn. These disasters ended with Matta calling it quits with the marriage. Meanwhile, the brilliant Zakka has made his forays into the world beyond Tekota to the Teachers Training College at Kartadu where he has made academic waves. Eventually, Matta pulls herself out of the setbacks of her life and returns to complete her primary education. She joins Zakka at Kartadu even though in a different school, a teachers college for girls. The two meet and gradually a love relationship builds up. The drunken philanderer Gora has also gotten out of his stupor. Dismissed from his teaching job because of excessive alcoholism, he flees Tekota and after a long spell of hard times in Kartadu he drops his drinking habits and gets a job at the railways. A new improved Gora gets rapid promotion there and comes back to claim his long lost wife – Matta. The story becomes complicated. Zakka cannot marry Matta because the dowry paid by Gora has not been returned and therefore by tradition Matta is still his wife. Zakka himself is up against his father who has found a fresh new wife for him and does not want to hear that his son with such a bright future is going to marry a second hand woman with such a sordid history like Matta. The story ends tragically when Gora, ever insistent on reclaiming his wife is on his way to Tekota village gets drowned in a canoe mishap. The coast thus becomes clear for the two love birds – Zakka and Matta to have their way. Beyond the excellent print and beautiful prose, A Place in the Sun is a book of history. It documents the contradictions of a colonized African society – the challenges of modernity against tradition. It is a recommended text to adults because it entertains and enthralls; but it is also good for young African students who need it to know where they are coming from and to improve their diction and writing skills. *** Emmanuel Yawe is a veteran journalist and editor. He resides in Abuja where he maintains a regular column with People’s Daily.
0

Reviews
The Chronicles of the Newborn (Rise of the Mlezi) is a good attempt at creating a comic with an Afrocentric appeal. Many comic buffs have over the years criticized our over dependence on foreign comics for entertainment so I particularly commend the publishers for being bold enough to go African. The first thing worthy of note is the artwork. The crisp ‘in your face’ images are well drawn and colored to catch attention. They are big and beautiful to behold and tell a story on their own. I also like the arrangement of the captions. It is tastefully and unobtrusively done so as not to interfere with viewing the images. The storyline of issue zero for me is quite a predictable, but since it is like a prologue maybe that’s not a bad thing. The fact that it deals with familiar African themes like coming of age and initiation to manhood rites makes for good reading. It lays the ground work for the battle between good and evil which is to come. Overall Rise of the Mlezi holds a lot of promise for the discerning comic reader. One can only hope that subsequent issues surpass the lofty heights of the predecessor. I’m sure quite a lot of people will agree with me that it’s about time someone pushed an African hero/heroine into the comic mainstream.
0

Reviews
Sector IV is a book set in the period of the Nigerian Civil war and the months just after it ends. A story of stories, the book runs through the lives (and sometimes deaths) of various individuals linked by a common fate in their bid to escape the distortions that wartime sorrow and pain visits on the lives of erstwhile normal and ordinary people. The book does not overly focus on the atrocities of war to create a horror fest or seek to apportion blame to any of the combating sides; rather, it simply takes us through the daily lives of the characters as they make choices concerning love, sacrifice, wealth, loyalty and patriotism with the war serving as a backdrop in a matter of factly manner. It tells of how the war irreversibly affects the lives of the main character Onyiyechi and the others, how it brings to the surface feelings of discontent which were normally hidden and tests their loyalties to loved ones, how it forces them to adopt pragmatic solutions to problems that would have otherwise proved awkward and inconvenient at other times. Love is lost and found, as is friendship, while death, sorrow and suffering become familiar visitors, ripping apart the cocoon of peace and hope which had been wrapped around their lives before the advent of the conflict. It also reveals how people are forced to re-evaluate their positions and make strange choices in the face of overwhelming odds, all in a bid to survive the harsh realities they are faced with during war time. As we find out, sometimes the choices they make don’t always turn out for the best. The book seamlessly fuses history with fiction and drives home its message beautifully with the author’s simplistic use of clear language. Account of events are written to enable the reader feel as if he/she is watching a movie, while the characters struggle to overcome all the challenges the war brings to their doorstep. It paints the interaction of the lives of the characters with the war in harsh vivid colors, letting it be known to everyone that reads that war is hell for all those who go through it, but there is hope for those who survive. It also subtly addresses domestic spousal issues, especially the usually silent but evident battle between both sexes for compromise and dominance and the right to take certain decisions based on differing viewpoints. You are breathlessly carried along as you live through Onyinyechi’s eyes, the challenges of a young adult female in a traditional society disrupted by war, how she deals with the consequences of the choices she makes concerning love, loss, duty and loyalty and her unwavering determination to survive all the ordeals with her humanity intact. It is my opinion that there are quite a few loose ends which the writer did not satisfactorily tie up. Whether this was deliberately done to leave room for a sequel is what we wait to find out. Also, the twist at the end although brilliant, robs the reader of closure. The book is particularly recommended for young adults – who were not born at that time but who have ‘romantic’ allusions of war, especially those who are part of the increasingly strident agitations for the sovereign state of Biafra – to read and understand why none of us should pray to relive the events of those dark days.   [color-box] Abiodun Awodele daily juggles the Lagos hustle with running his personal blog and trying to stay sane in an increasingly insane world. Prose (fiction) and poetry roll of his pen as the spirit directs and his first collection of short stories is expected to hit the shelves very soon. He blogs at www.versesbybeordoon.com. Follow him on twitter @MASKURAID [/color-box]
0

Reviews
I had this feeling that the author had subliminally directed the spotlight on the title story The Son of your Father’s Concubine – which might have been his favourite. Don’t get me wrong, I believe The Son of your Father’s Concubine is a great piece, packed with twists and turns that climaxed in the most shocking ending I have seen in recent times. But I don’t think that alone makes it deserving of all the attention. For me, there are two stories that should have attracted more attention. I see these stories as two sides of the same coin. The coin in this case being Nigeria; while the tail represents the worst of what we are, and the head represents the best of what we can become. Passport Office captures the realities of the Nigeria of today. It mirrored our society exactly as it is, showing to us in vivid description all that is wrong, and can be wrong with our present state. From the nonchalant disposition to duty by civil servants, the bribery and corruption that runs deep into the fabric or government organizations, the mutual distrust existing between citizens, to the readiness to exploit each other if given the slightest opportunity. The worst of what we are! The year is 2033, and it’s hard to believe that the country in focus is still Nigeria. Greenland Reverie blew my mind away; homemade electric cars, subway systems, immediate employment upon graduation, world class air transport system, digitized modern markets, a mega business resort (TINAPA) – that rivals Dubai, and list goes on like that. Everything we ever wanted in the present day Nigeria, and more. The best of what we can be! From Passport Office to Greenland Reverie, ‘Seun Salami did not just take us on a journey through time, but rather he offered us a glimpse into the Nigeria we crave. A destination we so much desire. A destination that can only be reached when we all believe in this project called Nigeria, and readily contribute our individual quota to make the project a success, regardless of what the next person is saying or doing. Then, that frustrating trip to the passport office may not be necessary, because the greenland reverie would be our greenland reality. We will be living the dream. So when next you pick up ‘Seun Salami’s The Son of your Father’s Concubine, you know which stories to look out for. Take a minute or two to close your eyes, and look behind the fiction.   [color-box] Ayomidotun is an all-round creative mind, visual storyteller and ex-geek. Learning all the rules and breaking everyone of them. Follow him on twitter @iamayomidotun [/color-box]
0

Features, Reviews
TO EVERY MAN IS GIVEN THE KEYS TO THE GATES OF HEAVEN; THE SAME KEYS OPEN THE GATES OF HELL. “Don’t allow the devil use you to wreck havoc on this family.” the protagonist’s Aunt says to him in ‘I Do Not Come To You by Chance’, Adaobi Tricia’s brilliant debut Novel. The confrontation happens in the later pages of the book after the protagonist, Kingsley, joins forces with his Uncle – the inimitable Cash Daddy in the dangerous, murky world of Internet scam. Set in contemporary Nigeria, the narrator is a brilliant graduate of chemical engineering, who like many of his mates, dreams of a better life after school, only for reality to wake him up with a cold slap. He isn’t helped much by a poor, retired, sickly dad who still holds on to the ideals of a country that has left him behind, and siblings who look up to him as their passport to a better life. It further chronicles his struggle against a system that not only mocks his parent’s morality, but also everything he himself believes in. And in the midst of it all, he lost – through his inability to find a job – his sole succor: his girlfriend, Ola – to an uneducated man. And as is the norm, a nation that does not speak to the dreams of its youth will ultimately scream for their truculency. “That’s what you think! Even the devil was not always the devil. God made Lucifer, and Lucifer turned himself into the devil.” Kingsley’s aunt elaborates after a doze of anger induced realism from the protagonist who resists his Aunt and Mom’s attacks on his virtue. It begs the question – is it really that simple — that some are born with intuitive goodness, immune to the sparkling beam of evil, while others are coded with intrinsic characteristics that erupts their dark sides into a volcano, bent on destruction? Not really. There is a murky line between good and evil. We, at our best, know what we are capable of, but at our worst, what we may become, we don’t know. The story reiterates, I believe, that no one is born with a higher degree of altruism, and that evil and aberrant urges have more to do with circumstances, or situational forces than merely the inner qualities of individuals. Fiction imitates life, and in the story, the reality of a typical Nigerian family as they struggle to stay afloat and make ends meet is contrasted with the excesses of another, albeit a family member, whose only insolvency, seemingly, is his ‘morals’. Cash daddy, beyond his rapidity of speech and crudeness is blessed with a sort of profundity Kingsley’s education does not equip him with, and a magnanimity that softens his decadence. Everyone is a potential hero, or possesses in certain degrees, seeds of greatness, yet, the same individual has an innate capability for evil, and Cash Daddy epitomizes both extremes. For Kingsley’s parents, he is a villain, but for those on the streets, he is the hero, even more so than others whose sources of income are clean. Today, our infrahuminization bias(the notion that others are less human than we are), is quite palpable in that we disregard social modeling, or the fact that people are products and rarely producers of their own environment. What Kingsley later becomes in the wake of his father’s death and the loss of his girlfriend is quotidian and not the exception. Infact, the catalyst of his degeneracy in the first place – Ola – herself is a victim of a system that demands a girl marry at a certain age, and marry into money. At their best, the youths represent a country’s hope and pride, and at their worst, they mirror its collective shame.
1