Arts/Culture

Looking Through Ẹlẹ́ṣin’s Hourglass

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Or How to Render Metaphysics in Film There is now the quartet, in film, of Ernst Ingmar Bergman (The Seventh Seal), Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter), Cary Joji Fukunaga (James Bond, No Time to Die) and Biyi Bándélé, (Ẹlẹ́ṣin Ọba), who in my opinion, have brought something special to the understanding of the human condition, […]

Reading Àjàlá in Modern Times

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To a generation of Nigerians, the character Àjàlá might as well be an urban legend. Fictionalised in film, memorialised in music and romanticised in folklore, Ajala has become a common noun, a term in popular Nigerian usage for something part Don Quixote and part Don Juan. Over the last few decades, Olabisi Ajala’s legend has […]

a song for agency

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This year, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o and Ngugi Wa Mirii’s co-authored play, I Will Marry When I Want, returned to Kenyan theaters after an unintended 32-year hiatus. First produced in 1977, the powerful postcolonial play was banned six weeks after staging for the first time by Daniel Moi, then Jomo Kenyatta’s vice president, followed by his […]

Death and the Queen’s Horsemen

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This September, in obeisance to the sharp drop in temperature that announced the end of summer in Toronto, I curled up on the lone couch in my apartment at York village and re-read Ṣóyínká’s Death and the King’s Horseman. Earlier in the month, in a packed cinema hall at the Toronto International Film Festival, surrounded […]

The Nigeria Prize 2022: Garlands for New Blood

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If it wasn’t obvious enough that the leading poetic voices on the continent now belong to a new generation of writers bred in the jungles of the internet and raised in the angst of 21st-century dilemmas and preoccupations, the new NLNG prize shortlist has made it clearer. The three writers currently on the shortlist — […]

On Kwame’s Workshop, Memory and the Call of Waters

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In this interview, Carl Terver, an essayist, poet and the founding editor of Afapinen, speaks with the 2022 NLNG Shortlistee, S’ueddie Vershima Agema, on his book, Memory and the Call of Waters. CARL TERVER It must be great to have made the NLNG Prize shortlist. Congratulations. Will you kindly tell us about your thoughts at […]

Of Memory and Call of Waters

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The earth’s hunger is eternal Its stomach swells with our loved ones In farewell, we make concrete beds And mound pillows… Transition (page 25) In Su’eddie Vershima Agema’s Memory and the Call of the Waters, memories are tenderness and sorrow. It is a stream of calm waters waltzing through terrains of hurt and loss. It […]

On Grief and Commemoration

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Saddiq Dzukogi is the author of Your Crib, My Qibla published under African Poetry Book Fund Series by the University of Nebraska. The book has been shortlisted for Julie Suk Award finalist and Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry shortlist in the United States. In this interview which took place in cyberscape across two continents, Peter […]

Saddiq Dzukogi’s Poetics of Grief

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Martin Heidegger in The Origin of the Work of Art describes language as “home of being.” He also describes poetry as a form with powers to disclose “being.” Saddiq Dzukogi’s collection of poems, Your Crib, My Qibla (University of Nebraska Press, 2021), which is occasioned by the death of his daughter, Baha, wades through a […]

Once a Nomad, Always a Nomad

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Romeo Oríogun is the author of A Sacrament of Bodies and Nomad, and a few other poetry chapbooks. Nomad has now been shortlisted for the 2022 Nigeria Prize for Literature (poetry category). In this conversation with OlongoAfrica, conducted over zoom by Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún and Olajide Salawu, he talks about his motivations and influences. The conversation […]