Sunday, August 24, 2008

Nigerian Hip-Hop: CNN's Inside Africa features Kano artist Ziriums (Nazir Ahmad Hausawa)

CNN's Inside Africa featured my friend Ziriums (Nazir Hausawa) yesterday. At some point, I will try to put up part of my own interview with Nazir. In the meantime, here is his myspace page:

(Update 10 April 2012): To check out Zirums' album This is Me on, click below:

The last time I saw him--

Louisiana, Christmas 2006. The last time I saw my grandfather. He spent a lot of time looking out the window into the light. I felt he was leaving us, even then.
The funeral is on Wednesday. I wish I could go.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

These youth are very restive: Death Threats by Text Message...

The issue of censorship in Kano is becoming more and more worrisome. Last week Ibrahim Sheme, editor of Leadership and publisher of Fim Magazine, published on his blog a very menacing text message that his publisher recieved from an unknown sender.

I am very concerned. Also musing on how the language register of the text message, most often seen in playful abbreviated banter of friends can be used the menace of a death threat from an anonymous source.

So from the creative abbreviated language used in something like: "hope ur well. miss u. C u 2morro. :-)"

(to the language used here, and I quote--this is only part of the message Sheme recieved): "We don't want to believe u hv a hand in ds, hence ds call to put a stop to it. We don't know what will happen if u do not, but we do know tht d u're putting d Leadership nwsppr on line as well as ur othr invstmnts. We don't know wht indvdl members of d Coalition will do, but I do know tht we've been restraining thm with effort. And these youth are very restive."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Novel Jiji by Plateau-based author Changchit Wuyep

Several weeks after I arrived back into Nigeria, I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of Jos ANA (Association of Nigerian Authors). I was quite involved with the Jos ANA chapter when I lived in Jos from 2001-2003, but the membership has almost completely changed. Nevertheless, I don’t know if I have attended another ANA meeting in which I have been so impressed by both the quality of the works read and the level of commentary and discussion about writing. While there, I met Mrs. Changchit Wuyep who read from her novel Jiji, a mythic novel set in pre-colonial Plateau State. I bought a copy and finally got around to reading it on a 12 hour trip on a bus from Ibadan (where I had gone for a conference) to Jos last week. I was enthralled, and wanted to write a little blurb for it here. This weekend I did an interview with Mrs. Wuyep, which I will post, together with the blurb on my other blog.

Jiji by Changchit Wuyep

With a storytelling flair remniscient of Amos Tutuola, Abubakar Imam, Flora Nwapa, and Zainab Alkali, nurse and writer Changchit Wuyep spins a tale about a Sinbad-like hero that is rooted in the worldview of the Tarok people of Plateau State:

In one of the worst storms ever seen in the village of Jangnap, a child is born who will bring both misfortune and deliverance his people. Claimed by a river goddess who will not be appeased, the child is miraculously saved from drowning by a gorilla and is raised by mountain people, propelled from one adventure to another by multiple warring gods, who desire him as their champion. The novel takes the form of a journey in which the hero and his faithful gorilla companion are pulled between two forces of dark and light, the water goddess and the mountain god. While given supernatural forces by the gods, his strong sense of justice comes from what he has learned in his years of travel in the mountains, the forest, the desert, and the sea, and his interaction with hermits and villagers, spirits and gods. After having grown from an infant to a man, Jiji arrives back to Jangnap. It is his sense of justice learned of his wanderings, even more than the gifts of the god, that bolsters him in his final battle against oppression.

To read my conversation with Changchit Wuyep, see my other blog.