Arts/Culture

Intimate Strangers, Farewell Amor

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The compelling  opening scene of Farewell Amor is set in one of the arrival gates of the John F. Kennedy international airport in New York. A Brooklyn taxi driver (Walter), played by Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, is clutching a bunch of flowers and a gift bag while pacing the floors nervously. He is soon joined […]

Our Books of 2020

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We asked some of our readers and authors what books made the most impact on them. These are books published at any time but in whose pages they found something to keep them going during this annus horribilis, a year that tested the world’s patience, resilience, health, and resolve. Here’s the result. Akin Adéṣọ̀kàn, Professor […]

A Crisis Like no Other

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It was after class period and we were in the Chapel for afternoon prayers when the Rector of my school, St Joseph’s Minor Seminary (or SJS as we called it) Zaria, stormed in like he had lost his way; his face furrowed with fear. It was ominous seeing such a gigantic figure running in that […]

OlongoAfrica to Me

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I’d always loved writing, and curating them, and interrogating those who produce them. It’s a life-affirming thing. We are made by stories, so listening to others tell theirs or showing us how they get to set them down, or doing so myself, is a delightful experience. Has always been. From 2009, I had a travel […]

Kúnlé Afọláyan’s Trash Case in ‘Citation’

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Nollywood is the trash’s last leaves, claims Kenneth Harrow  in the last chapter of his seminal book, Trash: African Cinema from Below. Among its audience and even in academic circles, most Nollywood films have been critiqued as trash-coated with dry dialogues, melodramatic moments, and poor cinematography. Many of these discussions about the poor vision in […]

Gnawa Music and the Making of Dark-skinned Moroccan Identity

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Morocco’s reputation as a demographically heterogeneous country is perhaps one of its internationally recognizable characteristics. The presence of many ethnic groups, mainly dark-skinned people, is clear proof that traces of the Trans-Saharan trade are still unquestionably vivid. Ostrich eggs, salt, and jewelry were among the goods traded across the Sahara. Nevertheless, those, unfortunately, were not […]

Our Twittering Space

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Olongo is the orange-cheeked waxbill, small enough to be missed in a scene, but loud enough to be noticed wherever it is perched. The name had stuck since we first suggested it as the cover for our new floor on the Brick House, a collective of writers and journalists. You are welcome to our launch. […]

“I don’t think any Nigerian filmmaker has matched my streak.”- An interview with Kenneth Gyang

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With his debut feature length, Confusion Na Wa, Kenneth Gyang made an entry into the Nollywood’s limelight and went ahead to win Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Film category in 2013. He has become one of the most prolific figures in Africa’s bustling film powerhouse. He now boasts of a directory of films which […]

The Receptive Man in Ukamaka Olisakwe’s ‘Ogadinma’

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Ukamaka Olisakwe is one of Nigeria’s exciting fiction writers. Her latest novel, Ogadinma, or Everything Will Be All Right, presents a montage of men – or different images of masculinity – as a way of telling a story of growth and discovery. The novel deplores male hegemony and exposes the perils of gender violence, while […]

The Raft, the Rift and the Reconciliation – J.P. Clark among his Peers

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One of the iconic photographs in Nigerian literature shows the poet John Pepper “J.P.” Clark Bekederemo – together with the novelist Chinua Achebe and the playwright Wole Soyinka – going to visit the military dictator Ibrahim Babangida sometime in 1986. Their mission was to plead for the life of Mamman Vatsa, a military General, who […]