All posts by Ikhide

The NLNG Prize for literature: Honoring phantom books, laziness, and mediocrity by Ikhide R. Ikheloa

The final shortlist for the 2013 NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature is out.  Sincere Congratulations to the lucky three:  Tade Ipadeola (The Sahara Testaments), Amu Nnadi (through the window of a sandcastle), and Promise Ogochukwu (Wild Letters). This year, the prize is for poetry and the purse remains a whopping $100,000 (US dollars, a Nigerian … Continue reading The NLNG Prize for literature: Honoring phantom books, laziness, and mediocrity by Ikhide R. Ikheloa

I am what Nigerians call a “barrack boy.”

I am what Nigerians call a “barrack boy.”

All thinking Nigerians should watch Channels Television’s video clip of the dilapidation and national embarrassment euphemistically called Ikeja Police Academy or Ikeja Police College. It bears repeating: These images of Nigerian police “trainees” in quarters unfit for hogs should break each of our hearts. What you have seen of the Police College is just the tip of the iceberg … Continue reading I am what Nigerians call a “barrack boy.”

Thoughts on Nigerian Writing and Literature

Thoughts on Nigerian Writing and Literature

– I am against self-publishing. I am yet to read a self-published book that was not awful on many levels. If you can’t submit your work to review, don’t publish. Having said, that I understand why many Nigerian authors self-publish. Many Nigerian “publishing houses” are merely stapling machines. They are allergic to professional editors. – … Continue reading Thoughts on Nigerian Writing and Literature

Chika Ezeanya on Olaudah Equiano: Before We Set Sail

Chika Ezeanya on Olaudah Equiano: Before We Set Sail

The writer speaks out of real or imagined experience, tales do not spring from nothingness. And often, the reader studies fiction closely – for the truth. Works of fiction tell us stories of an era and complement history books. Yes, there is this compartmentalization; there are history books and there are novels and it is not … Continue reading Chika Ezeanya on Olaudah Equiano: Before We Set Sail

Noo Saro-Wiwa: Peering into Nigeria ever so darkly

Noo Saro-Wiwa: Peering into Nigeria ever so darkly

I enjoyed reading Noo Saro-Wiwa’s book Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria, a slim travelogue (272 pages) published by Granta books. I also hated reading it. Be warned, O gentle reader, it starts and ends with an attitude. Right from the airport. Saro-Wiwa on a few months visit to Nigeria seems determined to be miserable: “The plane … Continue reading Noo Saro-Wiwa: Peering into Nigeria ever so darkly

Eghosa Imasuen: On Fine Boys and Yellow Girls

Eghosa Imasuen: On Fine Boys and Yellow Girls

“In mid-1992, CNN reported that sixteen year-old Amy Fisher had just shot Mary Jo Buttafuoco, something about wanting the older woman dead so Joey – the bloody cradle snatcher – Buttafuoco could be free, I remember Amy was my age. Germany was unified, and British MPs had just elected a woman as speaker. The Soviet … Continue reading Eghosa Imasuen: On Fine Boys and Yellow Girls

Lola Shoneyin: Loving Baba Segi’s Wives

Lola Shoneyin: Loving Baba Segi’s Wives

 The writer Lola Shoneyin lives life joyously on her own terms, tastefully wearing her smarts and sensuality in a world bound in rigid emotional ropes of hypocrisy. Her poetry is scrumptious, turning cold rocks into sniveling lovers. She wields words like fierce weapons against the past tense posing for tradition. This thinker of Nigerian extraction … Continue reading Lola Shoneyin: Loving Baba Segi’s Wives

Ikhide R. Ikheloa Reviews Femi Osofisan’s JP Clark: A Voyage

Ikhide R. Ikheloa Reviews Femi Osofisan’s JP Clark: A Voyage

The playwright Professor Femi Osofisan has quietly written a book on John Pepper-Clark Bekederemo, enigmatically titled JP Clark: A Voyage bearing the name the world knows him by still. All I can say is this: JP Clark, the book, is a masterpiece of quiet industry, prodigious intellect and simmering passion, one told lovingly by a master story teller. It is … Continue reading Ikhide R. Ikheloa Reviews Femi Osofisan’s JP Clark: A Voyage

African Roar 2011 – A Review

African Roar 2011 – A Review

  Adunni, my iPad just bought me African Roar 2011, an anthology of stories written by fifteen African writers, and edited by Emmanuel Sigauke and Ivor Hartmann. I don’t think Adunni wasted our precious money but I expected more; I hope this is not my Christmas present.  Contrary to what the anthology implies, it is not … Continue reading African Roar 2011 – A Review

On the Current ASUU Strike – Ikhide Ikheloa

On the Current ASUU Strike – Ikhide Ikheloa

  Nigeria’s Academic Staff Union (ASUU) is on strike again. That is really not news, they are ALWAYS on strike; it would be news if they announced that they were going to be in the classrooms doing real work on behalf of the hapless children of the dispossessed trapped in those decaying pretend institutions euphemistically called … Continue reading On the Current ASUU Strike – Ikhide Ikheloa

Chris Abani and the Burden of Truth

Chris Abani and the Burden of Truth

So the other day, I was doing some research on the acclaimed Nigerian writer Chris Abani and I came across these comic howlers on his Wikipedia page: “Christopher Abani (or Chris Abani) (born December 27, 1966) is a Nigerian author. Abani’s first novel, Masters of the Board, was about a Neo-Nazi takeover of Nigeria. The book earned one … Continue reading Chris Abani and the Burden of Truth

Helon Habila and The Granta Book of the African Short Story

Helon Habila and The Granta Book of the African Short Story

Adunni my iPad just bought me an e-book, “The Granta Book of the African Short Story” published byGranta and edited by the Nigerian writer Helon Habila. The book’s “Introduction” written by Habila alone is worth the price of the book. Adunni is happy. I am happy. It is an engaging, cerebral, thoughtful and comprehensive treatise on … Continue reading Helon Habila and The Granta Book of the African Short Story

Ikhide reviews Roses and Bullets by Akachi Ezeigbo

Ikhide reviews Roses and Bullets by Akachi Ezeigbo

I won’t lie, reading Adimora-Ezeigbo’s latest offering was pure torture. The book sent me to sleep each time I opened it on Adunni’s Kindle. I stopped reading it halfway; I won’t be back to it. Life is too short to be miserable.  I tried, I really did, but I could not get past the clinical … Continue reading Ikhide reviews Roses and Bullets by Akachi Ezeigbo