Sunday, November 29, 2009

This house is not for sale

The Candy brothers, perhaps the most notorious property developers in the UK (they're based in Monaco - say no more), want to bring Prince Charles to court to explain how he buggered up their plans for renovating Chelsea barracks. How come I missed the news earlier this year that they were property 419'd by four old codgers? Every day is for the thief...


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Gentlemen of Bacongo

Exhibition/book at the Trolley Gallery in London (E2) on the Gentlemen of Bacongo - the so called Sapeurs. Today is the last day so stop what you are doing and get there.

Click here and here to read reviews of the book/show and here to buy the book.



I posted about the expense of sanitary towels forcing adolescent girls out of school in Uganda recently. Afripads is a good response to this - a sustainable and affordable product aimed at schoolgirls in rural Africa.


We have never been modern

We take comfort in stories that are now thousands of years old without caring to think about them or reflect on their meaning. The celebration of Abraham/Ibrahim deciding to sacrifice a ram instead of his son Isaac is a classic example.

For many, I'm sure, celebrating this story is nothing more than the opportunity to eat lots of meat. But what exactly is the real meaning? Is it that animals are always secondary to humans (hence the substitution at the heart of the story)? In which case, it is simply a renactment of the ancient theological hierarchy: animals next to humans, humans next to God - a prejudice without any ground apart from pages in a book. If so, then sacrificing an animal is not the ultimate sacrifice. Why then would God require a lesser act?

Some say that human sacrifice was at the time rife among semitic people (the antecedents of modern day muslims and jews); others argue that the sacrifice required was only ever symbolic - the murder of human or non-human animal was never in question. Whatever interpretation we take, why is it that we cling to ancient stories and assume they have relevance for our lives now? Should time confer significance of necessity and if so, why? If we read in the paper today that a man tried to kill his son because he thought God told him to, we would think him insane (schizophrenic), and agree that he should be sectioned, drugged or prosecuted. Why then would we think differently about a man doing the same three thousand years ago? Should our lives be governed by the idea that blind obeisance is the highest value (to be forever encoded within religious rites)?

Should we accept that our lives have to symbolically repeat (each year) the drama of sacrifice, re-installing an originary violence at the core of our interpretation of life? While we hang on to stories like these (stories of the barbarians from an unrecognisably immemorial past), we cannot say that we have ever been modern..


Friday, November 27, 2009

Sarah Ladipo Manyika interviewed on Radio Nottingham



TED is coming to London with a special Nigeria-focused line up:

Nuhu Ribadu - Former Chief Executive, EFCC Nigeria
Yvonne Ike - Former head JP Morgan Chase West Africa
Segun Aganga - Managaing Director - Goldman Sachs
Chika Unigwe - writer
Audrey Brown - Journalist with BBC World Service

Saturday December 5th in London (at UCL). If you are interested in Nigerian affairs, this is simply unmissable.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Chatham House report on the NEITI

Nick Shaxson's paper on the NEITI was presented last Friday at Chatham House. Its a fascinating read and beyond NEITI, more broadly attempts to summarise the difference between the reformist period at its height under Obasanjo and what has happened subsequently. You can download the report here.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Saturday, November 28, 4pm

Artistic Licence, Sandland Arcade,
230, Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
All welcome!


Review of In Dependence by Toyin Akinosho (first appeared in his Artsville column for The Guardian

Manyika Sets The Tone For 50th Anniversary Debate

BY releasing a novel based on the heady idealism of the late 50s and early sixties, exactly a year before the country's 50th anniversary, Sarah Ladipo Manyika has set the tone for the conversations around the 2010 celebrations. In Dependence, the story of a confident, self assured Tayo - the Nigerian student in search of the golden fleece –and Vanessa, the British lady who falls madly in love with him in Oxford - is the kind that prompts the reader to continually ask "So how did it go so horribly wrong?" 50 years ago, West African students in Britain were already questioning what credentials British filmmakers had to narrate a Nigerian documentary "without the Africans having the benefit of telling their own story".

A young British girl was afraid to become a reporter in Africa because of the talk of indigenisation sweeping through the continent. But the emerging middleclass was eager to invite expertise from anywhere. "There's so much to be done on our continent", Tayo's statement on the book's page 63, recalls Mobolaji Bank Anthony's invitation to J. Brandler in London, as reflected in Brandler's insightful biography of Nigeria: Out Of Nigeria: A Giant's Toils. Just as Chimamanda Adichie's Half Of A Yellow Sun can be said to summarise most of the civil war literature that came before it, so you do find narratives in Manyika's novel that remind you of passages in Soyinka's Ibadan, Brandler's Out of Nigeria, and the "sweeter", earlier parts of Oluremi Obasanjo's Bittersweet: My Life With Olusegun Obasanjo. There is hardly a forty-nine year old Lagosian, today, who is not nostalgic about the day he first went to the Apapa docks, as part of a family welcoming party, to receive an old cousin, just returning from England, on the famous Aureol. Reading Manyika, it all seems like the stars were lining up for the continent in the sixties. But now, with everything having turned out awry, it is people like Vanessa's conservative father, quoted as saying "And frankly, if you look at the mess in the rest of Africa, South Africa is doing well by comparison", who are having a laugh at the moment.

As a contribution to the narratives of the Nigerian immigrant experience abroad, In Dependence is a break from the two standard interpretations. The first theory is that the first generation immigrant is, for a considerable amount of time, so uncomfortable in his surroundings that most of the drama played out in the prose or drama stems largely from this discomfort. This is what you get from reading Onukaba Adinoyi Ojo's drama, Her Majesty's Visit, Segun Afolabi's Monday Morning and the title story in Adichie's The Thing Around Your Neck. The various nuggets in the stories in Lawless, Sefi Atta's Noma award winning collection, also support the thesis. The second theory is that children of the immigrant are so much masters of the surrounding that they even dominate it. These are not Nigerians exactly: they are British or American or whatever. The strange eight year old Jess in Helen Oyeyemi's Icarus Girl fits this mould, so do the twins in Diane Evans' 26A as well as the philandering Oxonian in Diran Adebayo's Some Kind Of Black. What has not been part of the mainstream storytelling in Nigeria's Diaspora literature is a character like Tayo, the protagonist in In Dependence, who goes to England on scholarship to Oxford, just at the expiration of his secondary school studies in Nigeria. He has no hang ups; he has never experienced want; he is not looking for a job. He takes charge of things from day one, even though he is the first person from his family, who will study abroad. Is this about the spirit of those times? Or is it because of his age? There have been Nigerians who have gone abroad for further studies and even gone on to teach in ivy league schools and the stories they narrate (out of bound pages of a novel), are stories of uncertainty about the human landscape around them.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Jide Alakija at CCA..


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Haughton in the 1970s

It was always summer. The large brown tv with curved screen had the cricket on – Dennis Lillee and Colin Cowdrey sweltering at the Oval. The blue budgie chirped in its cage on a stand above us all. Granddad Bob sat in his armchair facing the TV in trousers, white shirt and braces, his string vest showing through. He always had this slightly stale smell about him – fags and a little sweat. Nana Murg sat facing him on the other side of the room, smoking. The room was a fug of blue cig drift. A lava lamp glowed orange lumps on the side table. Granddad had a hearing aid which didn’t seem to work that well. Nana would have to shout “BOB” to get his attention. This was a Liverpudlian space. She would say things like “Go to Bootle!” when she was telling someone off, and “that’ll come with the truck with square wheels” when she didn’t believe something. All this time, Mom was studying for a degree at Stafford Polytechnic. She used to cycle to Haughton with me on a little seat on the back (where Vic was, I don’t know). Granddad had an electric organ in their bedroom. He used to be the pub pianist - appreciative pints lining up on top of the piano as he sang and played away. In the backyard they had an aviary. Past an ancient motorbike, there was a fauvist spatter of birds behind a simple wood and chickenwire frame. I went inside a few times, finding myself amid many brightly coloured birds singing songs of home.

One of the things Vic and I loved the most was when Granddad sat us on his lap. He used to sing and whistle at the same time – or rather, making an ominous low humming sound and whistle at the same time. Then he would crack our knuckles one by one as we screamed with laughter and trepidation.

Granddad died in 1981 – he’d had a hard life of work. He used to tell us he’d painted the Liver Birds in Liverpool – and that he’d fallen off some scaffolding at one point. He’d also been a boxer – or maybe there was another reason why his nose had been flattened in. I remember him drunk (as was everyone else) at their 50th wedding anniversary in 1980 at our haunted house in Marston. Everyone was floating on a boat my Uncle Dave had left by the pond – or else they were in the pond, laughing and falling in again. Nana was probably glowering at him.

Nana Murg lived on – until 1995. She had a bungalow by the canal in Weston, the other side of Stafford. I cycled to see her once down the viciously steep Weston Bank. For some reason, she was never that fond of me – always preferring Victoria. In a way, this was a good counter-balance to my Dad’s folks preferring me. I think I might have been a bit lippy once or twice when I was younger. I see her now, pulling on a ciggie, chatting to Mom about one of her children, a marriage or how somebody’s work was doing. Aunty Brenda and Uncle Dave lived across the road in a shrunken cottage full of things… but that’s another memory.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Teju Cole at CCA, Lagos tomorrow, 2pm

Unmissable event if you are into the arts and live in Lagos...


Thursday, November 19, 2009


The Mongolian flag is now my favourite flag. The colours are not the issue; its rather the insignia on the left hand red column that sparkles the attention. It was apparently designed in the seventeenth century by Zanabazar, the Mongolian version of Michelangelo. My translator explains it thus: the fire on top is the symbol of eternity, then there is the sun below, cradled by the moon. Both of these are elemental figures grounded in the shamanism that has been around these parts for centuries. The yin/yang figure is partly influenced by Buddhism, but also relates to the watchfulness of fish. The two vertical columns indicate the strength and protection of walls - but could nowadays refer to the landlocked situation of Mongolia, squeezed between Russia and China (with friends like this, who needs enemies?) You see this insignia everywhere: on car number plates, on official stationery and random stickers. I like the idea that a country's identity can be grounded in visually powerful symbols (elemental at that) rather than words...


UB bling

UB bling, originally uploaded by nobodaddy69.

Hummers, Armani, Louis Vuitton.... could the resource curse be coming to Mongolia at the speed of a tsunami, or will the vast mineral wealth of the country benefit all 2.7 million citizens?


The Government House UB

The Government House, UB, originally uploaded by nobodaddy69.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chinggis Khan statue

Chinggis Khan statue, originally uploaded by nobodaddy69.


UB Government House

UB Government House, originally uploaded by nobodaddy69.


Chinggis Khan in the office

Chinggis Khan in the office, originally uploaded by nobodaddy69.

Rather than have heads of state (and ministers) as the bureaucratic iconography as in African States, Mongolian offices opt for images of Chinggis Khan, the founding father/warrior. Here we are in an office in the Ministry of Finance (taken with my blackberry).


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Talk Lounge comes to Kano..


Gers near Ulaanbaatar city centre

Gers near UB city centre, originally uploaded by nobodaddy69.


prayer wheels

prayer wheels, originally uploaded by nobodaddy69.


Gargoyles and pigeons and pigeon gargoyles..


buddhist pigeon..

buddhist pigeon.., originally uploaded by nobodaddy69.


Janraisig Buddha rearview

Janraisig Buddha rearview, originally uploaded by nobodaddy69.


buddha dolls in the Migjed Janraisig


Gadan Temple pigeons

Gadan Temple pigeons, originally uploaded by nobodaddy69.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Manzushir panorama, near Ulaanbaator

Manzushir panorama, originally uploaded by nobodaddy69.


Jessica and Lkhama in a ger at Manzushir monastery ruins


View from my hotel room

Just arrived in Ulaanbaatar. Its -25 degrees here and 300 people have swine flu. More later..


Friday, November 13, 2009

Funding on security transformation

Small Grants Initiative

We are looking for individuals who aim to stimulate creative thinking on the

subject of security as well as open spaces for new actors to engage with and

challenge existing approaches. The funds are open to young researchers and

policy activists under 35 years of age from developing countries who want to

make written contributions, undertake research, or launch policy initiatives

on subjects related to the Global Consortium on Security Transformation

(GCST) (click here for more information on the GCST’s main research topics

<> ).

The GCST requires that research proposals include some of the following


1. The need to observe the impact of public policies and/or

international cooperation on poor and excluded sectors of society.

2. The study of the perceptions and demands of poor sectors of society

on security.

3. The need to observe the impact of citizens’ participation in the

security realm.

Applications can be submitted in English or Spanish. You can apply via email

or postal mail. To apply, please send the following:

* The Application Form (download it here

<> )

* Curriculum Vitae (maximum length of four pages)

* Research plan in 1,500 words maximum that describes your broader

research project(s) as well as what you plan to do with this award

* Budget proposal

* Two reference letters*

*At least one reference letter must be submitted by a sponsoring institution

or university. Both letters must be sent by electronic or postal mail to the

GCST by the recommenders themselves, not by the applicants.

Preference will be given to comparative proposals that are regional in

nature and that are related to the themes of the GCST’s Working Groups. We

also prefer proposals from citizens who are from and currently researching

in the regions mentioned in their proposals.

Grant-winners will be awarded US$5,000 in order to carry out their research

projects. US$1,000 will be provided for field research and US$4,000 will be

provided after submission of the final report and working paper.

The research must be completed in no more than 10 months. Grant recipients

are expected to submit 1 brief report upon completion of their research as

well as 1 working paper on their research findings. Best papers will be

disseminated through the GCST webpage.

For more information on the Small Grants rules, click here


Applications are due on December 15th, 2009 and must be sent through postal

or electronic mail to:

Global Consortium on Security Transformation (GCST)

Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO)

Av. Dag Hammarskjold 3269, Vitacura, Santiago de Chile

Email: [email protected]

Phone.: (+562) 290-0200


Sunday, November 08, 2009

African audiences - from Hollywood to Nollywood..

Historian Chuck Ambler (UTEP and African Studies Association president) on the work of the ASA and his ongoing research on African audiences ‘from Hollywood to Nollywood.’ He also discusses a manuscript-in-progress on mass media and popular culture in colonial and post-colonial Africa. With guest co-host Laura Fair.

Download this mp3 podcast here.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Job opportunity: compliance officer

A Compliance Officer (CO) is required to assist a Port Harcourt based British and Middle Eastern maritime company in adhering to Nigerian Maritime Law . In this capacity, the CO is expected to perform the following duties :

  • inspections of the company to ensure that they are adhering to Nigerian Maritime Law standards
  • analysis of the current organisational structure for compliance
  • advise the company on what is needed for compliance - working with a maritime lawyer
  • advise the company on a compliance structure (if required) - working with a maritime lawyer
  • a plan for implementation (including a timeline) - working with a maritime lawyer
  • overview of the Nigerian maritime industry and benefits to be gained from being compliant (identifying new opportunities etc) - working with a maritime lawyer

The above will be compiled into a report which will be submitted to the client.

Person Aptitude and Skills
Demonstrated high level of investigative, interview and compliance skills including the ability to critically analyse issues, interpret complex legislation, provide sound advice and write reports in a clear, concise, logical and legally acceptable manner.
Proven high level of experience with the enforcement of legislation and application of inspection, education and enforcement procedures and practices.
Proven experience in providing leadership and coordination to small teams engaged in field operations and compliance activities including planning and coordinating work activities to ensure satisfaction of organisational goals and efficiently and effectively managing operational and administrative documentation.
High level interpersonal and written and verbal communication skills to consult and negotiate with a range of stakeholders, deal tactfully and impartially with conflict, develop and present educative information to groups and maintain a high level of personal integrity and credibility.
Demonstrated high level knowledge of the “Guidelines onimplementationof coastal and inland shipping (Cabotage) Act, 2003.Revised 2007” in particular the 6 categories of Cabotage trade vessels. These are referred to as the ‘Special Registers’.

  1. Education: A Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s desired.
  2. Experience: At least four years of proven professional experience.

The successful is expected to travel to Port Harcourt but will primarily work from home (and attend periodic meetings in Victoria Island with the maritime lawyer). Work to be completed within one month. There will be a signed contract between the successful applicant and Riplington & Associates.

Salary: $1,500

Application: Please email CV and Covering Letter (addressing how you meet the person aptitude and skills) to Abiola Sanusi via email only to : [email protected]

Deadline: 20th November
Abiola Sanusi
Principal Consultant
Riplington & Associates
Tel: + 234 1760 5167
Mob: +234 807 850 3887
E: [email protected]
W: <>


Job opportunity

Click to enlarge/read/print..



Still not sure "the" pidgin rapper has bubbled to the surface yet tho...


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

NEITI report/discussion coming up at Chatham House

Friday 20 November 2009 
11.30 to 12.30pm

Nigeria's Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative: Just a Glorious Audit? 

Nicholas Shaxson, Associate Fellow, Chatham House

Discussant: Uche Igwe, Civil Society Liaison Officer, NEITI 

The ambitious Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) came to prominence in 2003 and was widely held up as a success, touted as the flagship programme of global EITI.

This event will launch the Chatham House study by nick Shaxson analysing the extent to which NEITI has achieved it goals and potential, and whether it deserves the reputation it garnered in its early years. The paper also questions the assumptions upon which the EITI process is built: that better transparency will lead to better governance and accountability, and these in turn will foster growth and reduce poverty.

In presenting his report, Mr. Shaxson will be joined by discussant Uche Igwe of NEITI. The report will be available to download from the Chatham House website on 19th November 2009.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN


How old is under 17?

According to Sahara Reporters, the captain of Nigeria's Under 17 team, Fortune Chukwudi, is actually 25 years old..

Excuse the flowery prose.


A Swamp Full of Dollars

The FT's former man in Nigeria, Michael Peel, has a book out on Nigeria, called A Swamp Full of Dollars. Its already getting rave reviews. For more info on the book, go to his site,


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Why Africa welcomes the Chinese

by Paul Kagame


Monday, November 02, 2009

Congrats to Sefi Atta!



31 October 2009


The Noma Award for Publishing in Africa announces that Sefi Atta has won the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa 2009 for her collection of short stories Lawless and Other Stories.

The Jury’s citation reads:

“This collection of short stories and a novella represent the work of a first class writer. The gripping stories of the Nigerian quotidian are of consistently high quality and uniformly outstanding. The writer has an immense gift of language and mastery of narrative in which she redefines the Nigerian social imaginary. She tells her stories in different voices and from the perspective of a whole range of memorable characters, balancing content and form. She does not romanticise or demonise the world of her characters: her genius is to deprive the stories of their sensationalism, allowing her to display complete mastery of her craft. One of the most original, imaginative and gifted fiction writers in Africa, and arguably the best of her generation.”

Sefi Atta was educated in Nigeria, the UK and US, and is a former chartered accountant and a graduate of the Creative Writing Programme at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her short stories have been published in literary journals, her radio plays have been broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation, and she has received many awards for her writing. She was the winner of the PEN International 2004/5 David T.K. Wong Prize, and won the first Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in 2006 for her debut novel Everything Good Will Come.

The US$10,000 Noma Award, under the auspices of UNESCO, will be presented to Sefi Atta at a special ceremony in Africa, details of which will be announced later.


The covering letter

Finding staff who can write is a migraine for employers in Nigeria. Here is a sample of covering letters (all from "graduates") that just fell into my inbox. The spelling/grammatical mistakes are all exactly as they were sent. Spot the yoruba candidate who drops and adds h's in writing, replicating the yoruba tendency to do the same in speech:

1. Dear sir/ma


It is my priviledge to demostrate the zeal and enthusiast to be part of your event organisation,i am please to say to your honour that,i am qualify to be your event manager, first and foremost,i have undoubted skill couple with my industrious ability to work with team,compliance to my superior in authority,and bear to the maximum end any challenges confronting my giving tasks until success emerge.

similarly,i have gotting excellent ideas and event managerial skill when i was the zonal correspondent to DYNAMIX AWARD and MAGAZINE inLAGOS,besides that,i am passiponate about event planning and party arrangement,because it as been part of my interested area right from my secondary school days to my university days.

finally, i have no doubt about my ability to handle events,as long as due process is follow and compensation is base on performance.

it will be my sincere appreciation if i am consider to be interview base on my past experience and ideas.

Thanks for your consideration.


I am writing to apply for a contract deal. As your talent identifying consultant. Using my talent-identifing software. Which works thus. After knowing a job descricption requirement. As in required thought pattern to achieve such job need. A command is giving to the software. So as to select the brain power required for such task. Using infomations in the curricular vitea. Preferably if patterned, as my own attached below.

Because of the productivity need. That is why this software was even produce at the firt place. The benefits includes recruiting for self and clients talented staffs. To promote their productivity level.

Now I do it at TEN THOUSAND NAIRA per head selecetd. That is to say. If you are to give us a try. All you need to do is to give us the job descriptions. The number of people you needed. And ready our payment. By multiplying the number of staffs required. With our fee of TEN THOUSAND NAIRA only. Though yuor have to verify the infomations you sent us yourself. As every software programm is garbage in garbage out. And otherwise

Thanks for your co-operation.

yours faithfully


Has regards the call for Event Manager Opportunities, i hereby declare my readiness to serve at this capacity. You cannot get what i imply lest you invite me over for a creative presentation. I head a creative hot-shot presently sub-managing T_____'s account in creative matters. In depicting your messages, controlling the marketing process, strategising and bringing the vision of this envisaged Award event is our expertise. We needn't to present CV online because it is rather too compressed also the visuals that are too heavy for attach process, just invite us and you'll see what you envision. Your success is our concern, try us today.


As it was clearly posted online that you might have need someone with a background and experience as an event manager, my experience has ingrained in me the confidence and ability in order to prospect my skills for the position in your organisation .

I would like to be considered for an event manager in which someone of my background could make a contribution , I am intensely interested in contributing my skills and experience to your organisation because of your organisation reputation for quality .

Should you require any additional information ,kindly find the copy of my curriculum vitae for your perusal .I will always be available and look forward to hear from you soon for test /interview .

Thank you


5 DearSir/Ma


I wish to bring to your knowledge information concerning my personality profile of which in my view would be of immense importance to you and the prospects that lie ahead of us all.
My name is ------------ I had my tertiary education acquired from Lagos State University in Lagos State. I did my youth service at Ogun State.

I am a B.Sc holder with 2.2. I have acquired skills in my discipline, Banking and finance and from the angle of job experience drawn from varied backgrounds and from many years of dedicated and committed service. These skills include but not limited to banking and financial knowledge, marketing (both FCMG and Others), research and studies to mention but few.

I wish to boldly ascertain that I have always been competent and not lacking in any tasks, assignments and responsibilities given me. I also draw more due to my ability (though in this wise, curious) in making findings and establishing facts.

My unique selling point is very simple. I am a relational – relational kind of person. In my dealings with people, I have this high attraction to identifying peoples’ needs and challenges hence meeting same. Once this is established, permit me to say that there is nothing that I cannot sell business-wise.

My values. I believe in diligence. Also in my custody is the believe in mutual respect. I am a very disciplined person.


Toni Kan wins the NDDC/Ken Saro-Wiwa prize for prose

Toni Kan has won the NDDC Ken Saro-Wiwa prize for his collection Nights of the Creaking Bed. The prize was awarded at the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) awards gala night on Saturday 31st October. The book was published in 2008 by Cassava Republic Press.

On winning the award, Toni had this to say, "The ANA awards is the most credible and widely respected literary awards in Nigeria today. I am happy to have received this honour which is, above all else, a recognition of my work and the resurgence of a publishing industry with companies like Cassava Republic at the forefront."

'My mother said there was something they drank that made their voices sour, something that made their voices hoarse and hollow like a ghost's spectral cough.'

These first words of a story about a bus conductor – initially light hearted but quickly turning dark – demonstrate Toni Kan's unique way with words.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sarah Ladipo Manyika tours Lagos and Abuja

Cassava Republic Press is pleased to announce a new voice in Nigerian literature: Sarah Ladipo Manyika and her debut novel In Dependence. Sarah, a resident of California, is visiting Nigeria this November to promote her book, which will be available nationwide from December. Sarah spent much of her childhood in Jos, Plateau State, but has lived in Kenya, France, and England. She currently teaches literature at San Francisco State University.

The event is sponsored by Bogobiri House Hotel - the coolest place to stay when you are in Lagos. The Facebook event page is here.

About In Dependence
In early 1960s, Tayo Ajayi sails to England from Nigeria to take up a scholarship at Oxford University. As he leaves his mother warns him not to fall in love with English women. In this city of dreaming spires, he finds a generation high on visions of a new and better world. And it really does seem as if the whole world is ablaze with freedom movements. The post-independence fires are burning brightly back home in Nigeria, fuelled by the politics of Pan Africanism and financed by a fortuitous economic boom. On the other side of the Atlantic, the US Congress is about to pass the Civil Rights Act and Che Guevara is busy trying to export the Cuban Revolution. Meanwhile, across the West, the first tremors of the countercultural and sexual revolutions are about to be felt.

It is in this heady atmosphere that Tayo meets Vanessa Richardson, the beautiful daughter of an ex-colonial officer. In 1960s Britain, they face racism from passersby, Vanessa’s father and the police. Tayo also worries about his own family’s acceptance of Vanessa and whether she will be able to cope with life in Nigeria. Vanessa, on the other hand fantasises about returning to West Africa, where she spent her early childhood, with Tayo. Just as Tayo is about to propose, he receives a telegram which prompts his return to Nigeria. Once back in Nigeria, a military coup prevents him from returning to Vanessa. A few years later, when he decides to visit Vanessa again, he is arrested at the airport.

Quintessence, Falomo Shopping Centre, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi
Time: 4.00pm
Date: Sat 7th November 2009

Pen & Pages
Time: 5.30pm
Date: Tues 10th November 2009
Plot 79, Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent, White House, Wuse 11

Listen to Sarah read from her novel here:


Publishing in Africa

Nice piece by Frank Bures in the current Africa Report.


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