by NNOROM AZUONYE
In This and That 24th April 2010
-Babangida: A Country's Terminal Cancer
-Champion Poems becomes Sentinel Champions
-Build Africa (Excel for Charity) Poetry Competition 2010
-Sentinel Literary Quarterly April 2010
Babangida: A Country's Terminal Cancer
waking to English mornings after red-hot dreams
discoloured by pictures of soldiers' boots
glinting in the sun, heels hard on helpless groins
He recalls grumbling silences at Village squares
after fingers raised to choose a people's voice
were broken by a head-hunter lusting to rule and loot,
when drummers hid their drums in small bushes,
petrified women and their humbled husbands
herded barefoot children into disrepaired huts.
A grey time of numbing terror, when the sky darkened
dimmed by liberated fears, tears and confusion.
When men, yet men, gathered in small groups to talk.
Fractured, their future mocked by oversized berets
whose nooses and bullets have in a decade
of brazen bloodletting so silenced finer hunters
and poets, that they who were once men
can only smile passive kolanut smiles in fatality.
(Excerpted from 'Giant on a Tightrope' - Letter to God and Other Poems*)
Those of us who were old enough to process events in Nigeria in the last 25 years know that Ibrahim Babaginda is a dangerous human being, if he is even that. It is mind-numbing that he should even be contemplating becoming Nigerian president again after his disgraceful record that mocked, battered and raped democracy. Now he wants to be a democratically elected president. This is not a laughing matter. Babangida returning to even the electoral process is not only akin to the country catching terminal cancer, it is an insult to every Nigerian alive or dead.
Never a fan of Moshood Abiola, and I did not vote for the man, but there seemed to have been a consensus that he won Nigeria's presidential election in 1993, which Babangida violated and annulled. Just under 20 years later, this clown wants to return to head Nigerian government. He and his cohorts either are convinced that Nigerians in general are stupid and ignorant, or they believe all Nigerians have files missing in their memories.
I urge everybody who has Nigeria's future at heart to resist this spectre of evil waltzing to Aso Rock. Blog against it. Speak against it. Join every group set up to crush Ibrahim Babangida's evil aspirations. I am convinced that our children and our children's children will not forgive us if we allow Babangida back in to complete the destruction of millions of Nigerian lives that he started a long time ago.
If you are aware of genuine anti-Babangida's presidential aspirations groups, kindly respond to this post and leave the groups' web addresses.
"Champion Poems" becomes
Champion Poems, the quarterly print magazine started in 2009 to celebrate the very best entries from the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition will be retitled Sentinel Champions from the May 2010 issue. This change has become necessary as the content on the magazine will not include the best entries from the SLQ short story competitions, and may in due course include drama and essays. WIN ONE YEAR'S SUBSCRIPTION TO SENTINEL CHAMPIONS. Every quarter, for the next 4 issues of Sentinel Literary Quarterly, we will give away 1 annual subscription to Sentinel Champions magazine delivered directly to your door. All you have to do for a chance to win this subscription is to (a) write a review of any issue of Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine. (b) write a review of a single item - a poem, a short story, or a play published in any issue of Sentinel Literary Quarterly.
Go to www.sentinelquarterly.com click on Past Issues and read to your heart's content. If you feel motivated to review and entire issue. Great. If you feel motivated to review a single item, by all means do so. The review that wins the subscription will be published in Sentinel Champions. If we like your review, even if you have not won a subscription, we will ask your permission to publish it. If you grant us the permission to publish the review, we will make a decision based on a variety of factors whether to publish it online in Sentinel Literary Quarterly or in print in Sentinel Champions.
Send you reviews to email@example.com
Build Africa (Excel for Charity) Poetry Competition 2010
Build Africa is a UK Charity working exclusively with young Africans in Africa by building and equipping schools and helping kids achieve success in life through education. One African child's success and independence is to the benefit of the entire world. We have had good response to this competition so far, but more needs to be done. There is still time to enter - anytime up to midnight on the 30th of April, you may enter online. One third of all entry fees will go to the charity. If your poem wins, you will receive a cash prize of £150, second prize is £75 and third prize £35. To enter now, go to www.easternlightepm.com/excelforcharity
Sentinel Literary Quarterly April 2010
The next issue of Sentinel Literary Quarterly will be published just after 9pm on April 30th 2010. This issue boasts some exciting book reviews, short stories, poems and plays. The results of the Sentinel African-Writing review free-to-enter competition will also be announced in that issue. If you submitted a review to SLQ for this competition, hold your breath, you may be a winner of 1 year's subscription to African Writing Magazine. There will also be the results of the SLQ Poetry and Short Story competitions April 2010 and the reports by the judges Claire Askew and Chuma Nwokolo jr. You will also be able to enjoy the first publications of the winning entries. Keep a date with SLQ by visiting www.sentinelquarterly.com anytime from 9pm on the 30th.
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Enjoy the rest of your Saturday.
*Letter to God and Other Poems by Nnorom Azuonye (Nsibidi. 2003)