Friday, September 30, 2005

Akaraigbo - Nzuko Ndi Igbo

Ndi Igbo ekene diri unu. Site na nkwado umu Igbo ozo dika Uduma Kalu, Obi Nwakanma, Afam Akeh, Obiwu na otutu ndi igbo ozo, anyi ebidola akaraigbo - nzuko ndi igbo na ugorodide zuru uwa nile.

Oburu na ibu onye igbo choro iso anyi na atapia okwu nna anyi ha, soro anyi na atule omenala na ihe ndi ozo di iche iche gbasara ndi igbo, pinye aka na ka akpobata gi.

Udo diri unu.

Nnorom Okezie Azuonye

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The 2nd Sentinel International Poetry Competition

The 2nd Sentinel International Poetry Competition (November 2005) is now on. The last competition in July was a success and was won by Jane Gyamfi-Sarkodie with her poem "Rwanda".

The new competition closes on 7th November 2005. You may enter any number of poems on any theme. Entry fee is just £2 per poem or £8 per batch of 5 poems.

First Prize is £100.00 + 1 year's subscription to Sentinel Poetry Quarterly.
Second prize £60 and Third Prize £40.

Adjudicator is Tom Chivers - editor of Keystone magazine and associate editor Tears In The Fence.

For more details click here.

On the passing of Chima Ubani

I join many Nigerians and lovers of freedom and justice worldwide in mourning the death of Chima Ubani, Executive Director of the Civil Liberties Organisation who died this week in an automobile acciddent, after a protest rally against the increase in petrol price in Nigeria to N65.00 (about 26p) per litre. For a country where over 70% of the population still survives on about 75p per day, paying 26p per litre of petrol is not amusing.

Obviously the people surviving on 75p per day probably don't have their own vehicles, but there is a knock-on effect. Public transport operators and taxi drivers who will pay more for petrol will no doubt increase fares. Cost of transporting goods will increase forcing prices of everything in shops.

It is easy to say that Nigerians should appreciate the global rise in petrol prices. The stuff is nosing towards £1 (about N250) per litre in the United Kingdom for instance. However, it is not easy to convince a people whose country is the world's 8th largest oil producer that they should be paying so much for petrol.

What I am not sure about is if this unfortunate death of Mr Ubani will make the Nigerian government reverse the price increase. It is very unlikely that this will happen. If the increase is a necessary and unavoidable financial drive, it most likely will stick. We will see.

As for Ubani, I never met the man personally. I saw him several times at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, but we were never introduced and never spoke to each other. I liked his politics however. He had spirit and power and a courage that seemed at odds with his small build. People who admired him and revered him made comments like 'great things come in small packages' while the more cynical said 'Small shit wey dey spoil nyash'. Not everybody likes a great one amd Ubani was one. I recall that when my friend Benedict Iheanacho who has since joined the US Army, took part in student union demonstrations and were cracked down by the government's security forces, we teased him and asked him if he thought he was Ubani. In a way, the man's name became synonimous with protest and with resistance against the unjust.

What I can say is that having read the mountains of tributes written to the fallen hero in the press, and in discussion groups, it goes to show why we must make our time on earth count. Look at the end, at our funerals, when our days stop breathing, what will people say? Will they have only good words for us, or would they say 'good riddance'?.

Everybody has good words for Chima Ubani today, except perhaps for some goons of the Nigerian government who felt that he was a thorn on their side. I hope for the safety of their souls that Ubani indeed died in an accident and was not killed as his widow, Ochuwa, alleges.

I wish you, Chima Ubani, a speedy return to live your earthly live again.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Celestine Chijioke Looking For Lost Love

A visitor to my website at left a message on my Guest Book. The message was a brief advertorial for his long-lost love. I feel compelled to help him spread the message. I hope also that his love still feels the same, and better still, is not taken. Here is Celestine's message.

"well, i am really missing someone in my life,
someone who makes me complete.
There was this girl i met since 1998,
in owerri,imo state nigeria.
Her name is chinyere ugorji,
a student of imo state university, nigeria.
Medicine and surgery. I completely lost contact with her.
I dont know how to reach or locate her.
I have being trying every medium to get her,
but all my effort proves abortive.
I dont know if anyone here can help me find her.
Here is my e-mail address if necessary

Wherefor at thou Juliet?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Sordid Rituals

As I have mentioned earlier in this journal, I intend to use it not only to announce what I do, but also to promote the works of my friends and other great works I come across.

In this post I present Sordid Rituals, a collection of poems by artist and writer Victor Ehikhamenor. I shall be crawling the net for reviews of this book, and will post them here.

Ehikhamenor is also the artist whose painting is used on the cover of the forthcoming Issue #5 of Sentinel Poetry Quarterly and the covers of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Purple Hibiscus and Unoma Azuah's Sky-High Flames which appeared earlier in this journal. To grab a copy of Sordid Rituals click on the Amazon link below: