GMB – age should not be a barrier to ambition.

Zainab Usman

A concerned reader of this blog recently sent me an article which he requested that I reproduce with an urgent message for three-time Nigerian presidential aspirant and former head of state Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd). This message was meant to coincide with the General’s 70th birthday in December 2012. The person pleaded anonymity emphasising he only wants his important message to reach the General.

Although the importance of his message is immediately discernible, I was initially reluctant to reproduce it for two reasons. One, I am wary of Nigerian PARTY politics which many have good reason to regard as truly decadent and ruthless — get involved and drag your name into the depths of its treacherous murkiness. Second, being quite skeptical of the emphasis of many progressive Nigerians on the next round of elections cycle, the 2015 elections, as the magical elixir to present ills, I wasn’t sure…

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419!

Africa is a Country (Old Site)

7479710Guest Post by Robert Nathan

To be 419′ed is to be fooled. Duped. Swindled. At least that’s the meaning as far as Nigerian slang is concerned — of which this book has plenty on offer. The question is: does Will Ferguson’s Giller-winning novel deliver on the award hype, or does it 419 us? The answer is… yes. “419” begins when a hapless Calgarian falls for a Nigerian email scam (for more info, see your spam folder from ten years ago). He subsequently ruins his finances and offs himself, setting in motion a quest that will see his surviving daughter, Laura, attempt to find out who is responsible.

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RB 1002 SLD

Susan Daniels Poetry

there are no easy answers
but who is asking–
when no one is blamed
but the shooter
we can arm or disarm
we can reify
& never rectify
the flaw in the machine

it’s not the absence of God
in our schools–
our schools are full of gods.
It’s conscience we’re lacking,
all of us jaded & bloated in
humanity so big we can’t see the other
as a we, as an I in different skin;

until we say us
instead of society, instead of them,
instead of the other
until we say me
& own this thing

that makes saints or monsters
giving some too much

& others too little
of what makes us us

we are in no way through this

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RB 1000 SLD

Susan Daniels Poetry

God is easy
when we use Him
to explain what’s wrong here

we love putting words
in His mouth
to suit our politics
and explain prejudice

but if He  spoke, just spoke to us
about how we are the problem
like He did once, in common language
and incarnate
how we own it in our nature
chained to us tighter than breath

we would miss the point again
and, worse than pharisees
we would kill Him again

without the propriety of a trial,
we would lynch Him
or put Him in front of a firing squad

if He spoke

good thing then
that when He comes back
next time, he will be unkillable
and He says
He’s bringing friends

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Boomie Bol

Parrot my foot
and imitate these hands
shriving timbers
from deep down insideThis talk of love
your empty 4 letter word
speaking to my foot
my hand responds as needed

My mouth mirrors yours
in speech or kissing
but what do these lips speak
but echoes?

Traveling down my throat
faster than the speed of light
your shivering echoes leave loss
Lies and much wrong
Your four 4 letter word
Dust in my wind…

And if we must speak of love
I need bigger words
than those four characters
tumbling in the air
trapeze artists
without nets
just skipping past gravity

We cannot fly
we only tumble

By Susan Daniels and Boomie Bol
Boomie Bol in Italics

This poem was initiated by a response to my recent Friday Fictioneers post…between Susan and I the words fell out late at night. Susan is a genius at words so this is…

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Zainab Usman

It used to be tens of millions of naira and occasionally, hundreds of millions of naira and when a corruption incident amounting to a billion naira was mentioned, we were stunned, disgusted and spoke about it intensely for weeks. Now misappropriation of public funds in Nigeria is recorded in billions and trillions of naira such that cases involving mere millions no longer elicit media scrutiny or a shocked reaction from the public. The increase in the scale of corruption has been followed closely by an increase in our disillusionment as we are becoming numbed to the mind-boggling figures.

The mass protests that accompanied the removal of fuel subsidy in January this year led to the inauguration of probe panels such as the Farouk Lawan-led House of Representatives Committee examining the fuel subsidy regime, the Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force (PRSTF) on the management of the oil sector, and…

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African literary studies – changing times, challenges and emergent forms!

Pa Ikhide

Kenneth W. Harrow, distinguished professor of English at Michigan State University pays homage to Professor Pius Adesanmi’s muse – and delivers a rigorous examination of Binyavanga Wainaina’s book, One Day I Will Write About This Place.  He may be reached at harrow@msu.edu.

        About a year ago Biodun Jeyifo told me of a conversation he had with one of his Ph.D. students. She had come to his office in a panic, informing him that her advisor had told her that retaining postcolonialism in her project would only hinder her job search, and that it ought not to play a significant role in her dissertation. We were in the throes of asking where the profession was going, how global studies have now become sine qua non for those seeking to teach non-Western literatures. The fragile place of African literary studies was once again called into question: what would it belong to…

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GEJ and Amanpour discuss Boko Haram, Corruption and other social challenges.

Amanpour

By Samuel Burke, CNN

In her testimony to Congress on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cited jihadist group Boko Haram as part of the broader Islamic militant threat in Africa.

Clinton said that the West-African group, whose name means “Western education is sinful” is a major threat to Nigeria – Africa’s largest oil exporter.

In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan agreed that Boko Haram could pose an existential threat to his country.

“If Boko Haram is not contained, it would be a threat not only to Nigeria, but to West Africa, Central Africa and of course to North Africa,” he said. “Elements of Boko Haram link up with some of al Qaeda in northern Mali and other North African countries.” 

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