The third monthly BookJam took place at the Silverbird Galleria in Lagos on Saturday April 24. Here's writer Igoni Barrett who started the BookJam series (left) with 'God of Poetry' author Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, one of the featured writers at the latest event. Author of short story collection 'From Caves of Rotten Teeth', Barrett has become a leading advocate for writers and writing in the last year. 2009's highly successful Nine Writers Tour, was his brainchild. I guess we'd call Igoni Barrett a literary activist now.
Uzor Maxim Uzoatu greets Toyin Akinosho, the General Secretary of arts advocacy group CORA (the Committee for Relevant Art). Akinosho maintains the popular Artsville column in Nigeria's Sunday Guardian. In the background is playwright Wole Oguntokun whose theatre company lays on Theatre @Terra. Thanks to him, a play is performed twice every Sunday at Terra Kulture, Lagos. The play for May is Oguntokun's 'The Other Side'.
The BookJam is packing them in on the last Saturday of every month and features 3 writers every time. On the programme for April were Karen King-Aribisala (lecturer at the University of Lagos and author of 'The Hangman's Game' as well as 'Our Wife and Other Stories'), Uzor Maxim Uzoatu and Wole Oguntokun, who read from his playtext, Gbanja Roulette.
Among the poems read at the event by Uzor Maxim Uzoatu was 'We Will Vote With Stones', which has extra resonance now, given that one of Nigeria's most reviled military dictators, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, has had the gall to reveal he's gunning for the presidency - to rule Nigeria again! - in 2011. Here's hoping a hail of stones drives IBB the evil genius back to his hilltop mansion in Minna, and that he stays there not showing his face, for the rest of his days. That's the hope, the reality in Nigeria nearly always trumps logical conclusions. If only this were fiction and one could fix the ending.
Images courtesy QF Photos.