teaching. lanugage. travel
Browsing ktravula – a travelogue! blog archives for May, 2012.
It’s a year already since we started Book N Gauge. Are YOU surprised? Oh yes, it is a year since the debut edition that featured Jude Dibia and Odili Ujubuonu. If the event were a baby, we would be crawling by now; yet we have crawled, walked, learnt and are still learning. The twelfth edition of Book N Gauge is scheduled to hold on the 26th of May, 2012 at 2pm; venue is Debonair Bookstores, Sabo, Yaba.
In the one year that the event started, Book N Gauge has featured over thirty writers, and over fifteen performers. Book N Gauge has had eleven book readings with writers and performers from different parts of the country. Does this call for celebration? We think so. And that’s why the twelfth edition, a book party, is dedicated to YOU.
The book party would feature more music performances than ever before, more giveaways and more participation from YOU. Why YOU? Because you have been with us throughout this whole year. And we need to show our appreciation to you by opening our floors to the readers in you. We have decided to open the floor to budding poets for the first time. So, if you would be interested in performing; send us your details: firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can include you in the plan.
HOW? YOU will read excerpts from your favourite books. YOU will tell us what makes the book your favourite and why you love it so much.
Our lineup of performers include: Musicians, Ese Peters, Isebiama and poets, Plumbline, Efe Paul Azino, Razaq Ivori and YOU!
Efe Paul Azino got a rousing ovation after he thrilled the crowd at the last edition of the Book N Gauge. Regarded as one of Nigeria’s leading Spoken Word Poets, Efe Paul has been a headline performer in many performance poetry venues, including Anthill 2.0 and Taruwa. Efe has delivered Spoken Word Poetry locally and internationally. Reflecting the suffering in African societies and the hope that keeps them going; Efe Paul’s poems cut across class, social and religious boundaries. Efe Paul is at once entertaining and thought-provoking; he leads a generation of poets in lifting poetry off the printed page, out of the shadows of academia and placing it right before the audience.
Plumbline studied as a Geo-scientist, rather than digging oil pipes; he “mines” words. Influenced by poets like the late Mamman Vatsa and the late Ken Saro Wiwa, the songwriter and spoken word artist wrote poetry from his secondary school days. He performs Spoken Word Poetry at most Lagos Events like Wordslam, Anthill, Taruwa and hosts Chill and Relax. His words dash straight through the heart of the audience and leaving them with thoughts, little mementos to take home.
ISEBIAMA is a sensational singer, songwriter, guitarist whose love and passion for music has taken him through phases most focused and accomplished musicians pass through. He is a product of the MUSON Diploma School Of Music;where he learnt a whole lot about music. From the basic music foundation, to sight reading & writing his own music, to understanding the connection that should exist between different instruments & performers in small ensembles, group performances & chamber groups. Isebiama is indeed a musician of purpose; his genre of music is deeply rooted with originality and cultural credibility in Soul and World Music. Though born and bred in Lagos, Isebiama hails from Okrika in Rivers State. His songs which are written & delivered in English, Yoruba, Okrika and Pidgin English, are an expression of his experiences and the stuff that go on in his heart. His dynamic play of the guitar with speed, passion, mental strength, balance and panache, and his remarkable vocal intonation through his mid to high notes registration are assets to be reckoned with. ISEBIAMA, the new sound of music.
Razaq Ivori: Spoken Word Artiste. He is a prolific writer whose career was launched by writing as “a ghost pen”, in the form of biographies, for the rich and famous. Razaq Ivori graduated from Ahmadu Bello University and the Institute of Journalism. He has two unpublished works in the offing: The Sperm, a Sci-Fi African drama piece and The Adventures of Illinick. He longs to bring back the art of the quintessential town crier poetic semantics which he dubs “narrative news”—a system where actual news content is infused in free flowing prose rendition like the Yoruba “ewi”, though delivered in English yet not without the characteristic melodic chant of the past. For six months, Ivori premiered this art at the Bogobiri House, ikoyi, where some said the uproar it generated prompted the proprietors to establish a full scale stage house next door for performance poetry
Ese Peters (Musician) : Ese Peters has a knack for making beautiful music. A self-taught guitar player, He started out as a solo performer of the Alternative Rock/Soul genre after graduating from the university in 2008. A young man who sings from his heart, Ese carefully crafts his songs which come from his experiences and a wealth of influences, citing John Mayer as a major reason he decided to pursue music as a career. Ese puts an interesting spin on guitar-driven pop music.
Auction Session: There will be an auction session. What do you get? Latest books that you can only find online. Hot CDs that are yet to be on the streets… There is also a surprise X auction item, come to find out. What are you waiting for? Let the bargaining begin.
- A platform for book lovers to meet, interact and network.
- Freebies, lots of it. Let’s start with this. Invite five friends, ensure they come for the event and win a free book.
- Live Musical performances by: Ese Peters and Isebiama.
- Poetry by Efe Paul Azino, Razaq Ivori and Plumbline
DATE: May 26, 2012
TIME: STRICTLY 2pm – 5pm
VENUE: Debonair Bookstore, 294, Herbert Macaulay Way, Sabo, Yaba.
Remember: Bring five friends and win a free book! Gifts are available for early birds too.
There will also be a raffle draw with the star prize being a Kindle.
There were about six recent past issues of The Economist outside my door when I opened the door this evening. My supervisor and mentor had left them there. And although I’d read many of the stories in them online already, holding the glossy prints still left a mixed feeling of the times. As with books I had bought (and been given) sometimes reluctantly, one big problem will be where to put all of these when it’s time again to move.
My editorial commentary in the current issue of Nigerianstalk Litmag briefly touched on the passing of children’s writer Maurice Sendak. Like Dr. Seus, I didn’t know much about Mr. Sendak until I came to the United States, and one of my most remarkable contact with him was through Stephen Colbert in a very recent, every affecting interview (as if either of them knew how short a time the writer had left. He died at 83 on Tuesday). Maurice is the author of the popular children’s book Where the Wild Things Are. He admitted to Colbert that he didn’t see himself much as a “children’s” writer but as someone whose work has been accepted as appealing to children. The second part of that interview is here.
Listening to his other very remarkable, emotional interview with Terry Gross of NPR, it is hard to see him as anything but remarkable a human being – much more than the brilliant writer and illustrator that he was. Ending the interview with an advice to “live your life, live your life,” it appears that one of his most enduring legacy will be his ability to defy all odds of negativity and skepticism in order to achieve immortality. As Colbert himself will now acknowledge after receiving the boost of approval from Mr. Sendak for his own new book for children I’m a Pole (and So Can You), genius loves company.
These are some of the last words on that NPR interview, a commentary on his life: ”I have nothing now but praise for my life. I’m not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more. … What I dread is the isolation. … There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.”
RIP Maurice (Obituary in the NY Times).
One of the biggest victories for the new media is the relegation of language as performance to language purely as thought, purely as an abstract medium. Maybe it’s not a total progress if we look at where we came from (in fact, it could be a form of regression), but the result is a total transformation of old systems into even older ones (in the garb of new shiny ones) where language becomes relevant only as a tool, and no longer as an activity.
I’ll break it down.
Prehistoric man as I imagine him lived only on grunts, brute behaviour, and the subliminal expectation that those around him understood every of his actions as relating to certain demands or requests, as many who ended up on the blunt side of his club found out. Language however brought clarity, and thus sophistication, and a need for a more active set of rules with which everyone negotiated the rote of existence. Our tongues adapted to the needs of our mind, and the mouth became not just a hole for food consumption but for actual articulation of speech. It has been a long time since then.
I’ve been thinking about the benefits of new media – technology, mostly – if you could call them benefits, and how it has returned us to silence and the rote of hand movements. The image here is of a couch in a public park on which two teenagers sit, each using an iPhone and texting (either each other, or others. It doesn’t matter). An alien looking at them might – if s/he is aware of our earlier methods of communication – conclude that humans have finally given up on talking to each other, in favour of more effortless means of interaction: sitting side-by-side. A more discerning alien may however find out that our new means of communication includes hand gestures – not of the usual, traditional kind that you’d find between two deaf humans, but those between the thumb and a mobile touchscreen. All around the globe as I convey these thoughts to you using the same means of mute finger-based thought transmission processes, millions of other people are doing the same, some – like me – while also staring at a live picture of another human being located thousands of miles away in another continent. None of us is “talking”, at least not to each other at the moment, yet our fingers keep moving, and thoughts move between us.
It is not inconceivable that when man discovered language and found that it was much easier to talk one’s way out of a threatening gesture of a spiked club pointed by a bigger man with a menacing eye than simply running away or bending in obeisance, he never thought that evolving into more sophisticated means of communication will one day lead back to a different culture of silence. On the bright side, the process evolved through a fascinating period that showed us (from Alexander Bell’s telephone to the telex, fax and then email), the many creative ways of staying far away from each other and still get our points across. As for the fallout of our evolution, we may not end up being physically fitter for it – not needing to move our jaws as much anymore except for eating – but we can at least fool all earth-bound aliens that we’re not communicating to each other whenever we sit idly at our desks and stare at the screens.
Maybe that’s how ants and other lower animals have managed to fool us all these years.