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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

CelebrityRead 2: Independence Edition


Location: Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Salvage Street, VI, Lagos.


See... Our Celebrities Read.

Does any dictionary give space to accord meaning to the word 'African Timing'? No, you say? But at the second edition of CelebrityRead held at Terra Kulture, it did play out. The programme which was billed to start at 3:00pm and run till 6:00pm kicked off an hour late. This month's edition of CelebrityRead reflected the celebration of the country's 50 years of independence as it was tagged the Independence Edition, though only little part of the discussion carried the undertone of the celebration.

Out of the four celebrities that were penned down for the literary reading, only Yinka Davies (a singer/ song writer and dancer), Dipp (R&B artist, song writer and writer) and the eccentric show host, model and  dancer, Denrele Edun were present to handle their invitations for the event.

The anchorman, Deji Badmus from Channels T.V., was bitter about the population that thronged the event. He said the numbers were not encouraging when compared to the literary enthusiasts that came over for the last programme. Deji Badmus expressed disgust and surprise at the turnover. He had hoped the attendance would quadruple the numbers of attendees recorded at the last one.


Celebrities Reading:

The 'restless' Denrele Edun in his colour-confusion clothing and warlike metal adornment read his most inspiring book first.  He couldn't bring himself to seat when he was offered one. He acclaimed to the fact that his personality and fidgety nature wouldn't allow even if he had wanted to sit. He gave the audience a brief insight of the background that affected him with the reading culture.

 'My mother was a full-time housewife before my family had a change of fortune. Everything was going well for us and she had all the time to read all the books, she had cartons of it. There's one set she would never allow me to touch, it's called 'The Temptation', the most erotic of every of the books. I found myself reading virtually everything I could find.... At times, I tried convincing my sisters to read, but they would just not. So, I took it upon myself to read all the books for them. After my two parents went their different ways and we were with our mum, my mum would call us to educate us on sex. But because of the knowledge I had garnered from different books, I was already in the know. None of the things my mum was saying would sound strange to me. I was even educating my sisters more from the books I had read...''

Denrele Edun underscored the importance of reading to his career as a TV show host and interviewer. 'Before I interview anybody on TV, I would go deep to make researches on the person to be interviewed in order not to run out of words.'' Denrele Edun read a passage from the book that inspired him, it was a book that caught his attention immediately he stepped into the Terra Kulture's library. He read 'A Child is a Song' from Michael Jackson's 'Dancing the Dream'.

Yinka Davies's reading was an unusual one. She waxed more philosophical as she read from the bible. She read some biblical lines from a small pamphlet. She said her choosing to read from the bible is not accidental as it is the only book that was always making her to laugh anytime she read it.

'I was always laughing anytime I read this book.... you're just too sure that what this book is saying is not feasible in this our society, e no just dey possible... How can you define the corruption that has eaten us this deep?'

She was however less of a pessimist to an optimist when she says:

'... sometimes you just feel like crying and strangling your neck in anger whenever you are just too angry, anger no good o. What we sincerely need is a change of heart and belief. We really need to change our orientation on some things in this country.... I believe Nigeria will be great...'

Dipp, the R & B crooner took time to chronicle how he came to love books. His father was always forcing him to read books.

'My dad would force every one of us to read. To him, education is sacrosanct; you must be through with education before giving time for other things that you have flair for. It was until I was through with getting my degree that he supported what I was doing (music)...'

Dipp was quick to inform everyone that was interested to know when he said fame could not be achieved as a matter of spontaneity. He flashed back to the struggles he had to put up with and the free shows he had to perform before he could get to where he is now.

What inspires Dipp most were some lines from his favourite's poet. The title of the poem was not known, but the lines read hinted on innocence.

'Innocence stones without my permission

...Innocence rips away too soon.



The first performance was a soothing recital by Rez Da Poet. His rendition which was titled The Lines of the Youngman's Wrinkles, easily convinces one that oral poetry cannot be easily substituted with written-poetry. He recited with the tone and the mood the poem was to take. What tickled and excited one most was the rhyming scheme the poem maintained throughout. When Rez stopped, it was as if he was going to say some lines more; people were pining for more stanzas.

Veronny Sister Soul combined the power of the tunes from the guitar and the violin with a flexible feminine voice to refresh the event when she sang.

Oludolapo read his poem from his fondled Blackberry. According to him the poem was impromptu. The poem was a high-spot of the experience he had at Lagos Business School when he was thrilled by the face and features of beautiful women. 

Eleri (The Witness) Orilogbon (Head is brain) Christropher Kolade (The bringer of wealth) and his brother Kehinde who handled the guitar sang Arise O Nigeria. The presentation drew the curtain down for the programme.


My Future Expectation:                                        

The event was not properly planned to toe its aims and objectives which were to inculcate reading culture in every Nigerian child and inspired them to read more through the invitation of their various beloved Stars. Those on seats could not be taken for the children that may have been discouraged from reading in one way or the other. The event was some show of whose sophistication is the greatest. It only provided people of the same calibre and social status with the opportunity to network and chit-chat. I earnestly look forward to when CelebrityRead will put on the colour of its aims to a nicety. Though the host, Deji Bamidele, promised that it will indeed be looked into, one is still left with the feeling that the programme might be difficult to return to its normal form.

Despite this...

When one consider the resources (both material and immaterial) that go into organising reading of this nature, it's easy to get dampened. It could become a challenge when the turn-outs that ought to embolden such gesture are not as they are expected. CelebrityRead has not only taken a bold step by doing this wonderfully at a time when readings are being ratcheted down due to dearth of zeal or means, it has really given lovers of books the snowball's chance to rub minds with their likes.

CelebrityRead truly rocks!!!


  1. Great review Joseph. I also believe it is a welcome development what CR is doing. I wish them the best.

  2. Yeah Myne, it is indeed a good development. I wish them strength to remain more dynamic in future readings.
    It is frankly not a child's play to organise readings in this part of the world where music and entertainment are the in-things.
    I really did have a nice time on Saturday @ CR.
    Thanks Myne.


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