Where to start forms the puzzle….
There’s much to celebrate about African (more particularly, Nigerian) literature and you would find so much on it at the moment. But is that enough? Some might say ‘Yes’ but when you begin to think of those great names and books, Musa Idris Okpanachi and his two great poetic books, Emmanuel Iduma‘s Farad, G’ Ebinyo Ogbowei (four time NLNG Longlister), Reward Nsirim’s Fresh Air and other stories, Chika Unigwe‘s On Black Sister’s street, Hyginus Ekwuazi and his plays, more his beautiful poetry, Unoma Nguemo Azuah and her strive to fight a battle for common rights of all devoid of sexuality in a country that doesn’t smile too big on the issue, Maria Ajima and her lovely short stories and poems, Dami Ajayi and his chapbooks (he just got one out recently, Daybreak and other poems)… What of Richard Ali and his City of Memories? Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (mystic short tale scribbler), Elnathan John (satirist and short story demon), Dike Chukwumerije (master poet performer), Pever X (fiction turner), Kurannen Baaki (thriller man) … Kukogho Iruesiri Samson and our Words, Rhymes and Rhythm (you should see the followers of that movement). What of Sibbyl Whyte or Dotta Raphels? These are simply two lovely ladies who write well. When you hear people say that there aren’t love poets in Nigeria or that publishing is totally bad… Have they not heard of Cassava Republic, Farafina, Paressia, our very own SEVHAGE imprint? You just begin to wonder. Oh! Sorry, perhaps you don’t even know most of these people. Sigh! It’s more painful when you work at an organization like Vershage Enterprises, a publishing house that also offers author services or SEVHAGE Literary and Development Initiative (a Literary Incorporated Trustee registered in Nigeria). You get to meet all these lovely people, get to work with them, be inspired by their lives, experiences and all, plus more, get to enjoy the beauty of most of their works.
Many times, due to a lack of publicity, or ignorance, some of the best writings just pass away – unnoticed. Like that lovely scented flower blowing away on a field somewhere…
No doubt, there should be more.
The intent of Sevhage Reviews is to celebrate African literature in particular and yes, generally, any work of art that appeals – could be Hemingsway now, Tolstoy or even Mozart! Well, the key thing to find a way to give voices to those several people who have made a commitment to enriching our lives through their various skills with the ink of their thoughts.
We would have a focus on contemporary warriors – truly, with many distractions and the reducing appeal of the pen, anyone going on in the writing business is either this or mad – but would not in any way limit ourselves to these ones. So, what should you expect? It’s there in the masthead (for now ;)): Reviews, Interviews and Literary Views. We shall try not just to search for really good works and their authors, bring them to your notice and share them with you. Where we can get you the entire works for downloads or here direct, we would do that – easily. Where we can’t, we would find a way to connect you with links on how to get them.
The start is with Nigerian writers – yup, we starting with these group of people, you know what they say about charity. We would try to get events happening around and put them here – give you information on them. So, if you have an organization, let us know. Which city in Nigeria are you in and what do you do? We would put the links for others to get to you to and create a directory. We shall try to connect you with the movers, changers and contributors of what is the continuously changing face of African (Nigerian) literature from Naija Stories, to the Association of Nigerian Authors, Abuja Writers’ Forum, Abuja Literary Society, Purple Silver (in Makurdi), Orange Literary Movement (in Port Harcourt), Write House (in Ibadan) and the like…
Oh! Did I mention the team? Don’t worry, no overt experts. Just a few writers coordinated, for now, by Debbie Iorliam, Sewuese Leah Anyo and Su’eddie Vershima Agema. We have on the advisory board, Hyginus Ekwuazi, Tubal Cain and a few other names to help keep us moving in a way that would only leave all of us smiling. We are only coordinating, you tell how we go.
Join us in the weeks, months and well, times ahead, as we blog on together. We would put out some publications every once in a while – PDFs and all – that would encompass selections of some of our top posts and/or the like. It hopes to be exciting. Yup. It does.
We can only ask, that you follow us on this journey, and enjoy yourself much as you can. Send your suggestions on how we can make this better. Let’s get your thoughts and all. Together, let’s make this fun.
- Reading African Books: Force or Choice? (africanbooklovers.wordpress.com)
- The House of Art (houseofart2013.wordpress.com)
- African Writers and the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature (africasacountry.com)
- Awoonor: A library destroyed by familiar fire (vanguardngr.com)
- A Single Story? (African Literature) (thenigerianstoryteller.wordpress.com)
- My Thoughts Exactly: Year Three in Review (carmenmccain.com)
- the birth of modern African literature (3quarksdaily.com)
- International African Writers Day (tsekumah.wordpress.com)
- Achebe on language (viennachinuaachebe.wordpress.com)
- The Making Of A Writer (thenaijawriter.wordpress.com)