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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Justice in Saraba Issue 12

·         Read previous reviews of Saraba Issue 10 and Issue 11

#65 or Nothing 
Saraba 12 is an extended warfront in the permanence of words. It is the later-sobs of our screams as justice was rumpled and ripped out in our faces. Saraba 12 lends voices to issues we would rather nurture in the weak crevices of our hearts.  We may not have succeeded in our battles, but we fought and shocked miseries – that much does this Saraba edition say. This edition reminds us of our broken battles, gained strength, poignant pasts and the placards we carried to #Occupy streets and roads.  Of all the previous editions, this indeed is the one that reflects our raw passion. After all, these are our pains. And whoever tells them must be ours, doing ours. This Justice Issue nudges us to carry on with our personal fights and collective struggles.

Pinging and Protesting
Photo: Ray Daniels Okeugo
In this edition, it is justice all the way. Saraba 12 is compactly packed. Conversely, Saraba Issue 12 compactness does not muddy its fieriness, it only bakes the few published pieces. These wars that I speak of are not arcane to us. There are the wars we wrestled, and are still fighting with the power of our tweets, blackberries, WhatsApp, Cams, Youtube and blogs.

If vengeance is the irrationality of imbalanced emotions, then justice is the fairness of vengeance. In Saraba 12, justice is the words stirred with vengeance - nothing is irrational.

One thing I must ask the co-publishers, Dami and Iduma, though is if their strength is wavering. This issue of the mag took long in coming. I understand there are pressing needs, but my fear must be made known. If Saraba ever stops publishing, I may give up eating egusi and stop tweeting all together. It would be that painful and God forbids that happens. Rescue my egusi, go download this e-mag and show you commend this gem of literary creation. We now have Saraba edition 12, it’s been quite a journey from the first edition. Trawl through the archives and you will know what kind of journey it has really been.

Their Evils; Our Justice

Of Similitude and Verisimilitude – Tade Ipadeola

I was beginning to like Ahmed Maiwada until he corked his gun and shot himself. Even a literary baby would not doubt he was running on liquor when he submitted Rotimi Babatunde’s Caine Prize shortlist, Bombay's Republic, a rehash of Biyi Bamidele’s Burma Boy. It was justice served when the said Bombay's Republic later won the Cain Prize. In this essay, Tade takes his time in dissecting the issue of plagiarism and how such word does not hold true when Bombay’s Republic and Burma Boy are compared. This essay also highlights Rotimi’s immense literary achievements over the years. Certainly, Rotimi Babatunde cannot have fitted with the word plagiarism. He is well versed in his craft for that. Ahmed is only skilled at causing cyber restiveness. Until now, Rotimi does not maintain social media presence. Or alternatively, he craves social demureness, which is bad. In this social media generation, tweets raze kingdom faster. When you see Mubarak, ask him.

Sons and Mothers – Chioma Iwunze Ibiam

Who says prose isn’t the hybrid of the real with the imagination? Chioma’s Son and Mothers jags at the reader’s emotions as it pans on the reality than once was. This story is an adaptation of the ABSU-5 gang rape. It almost reads as the true story. What is different between this story and the ABSU-5 rape case is the closure this story achieves. It never stops with the sloppiness of our police in investigating the case. This story takes it further; the perpetuators are caught; they are charged; and the reader gets to read the perpetrators' side of the story.

Of Tears and Sacarsm

Victor Ehikhamenor‘s two essays address the multiple dooms of a country. In Letter to a War President, Victor takes a benign scorn at the President. The mockery is only noticeable in the fake seriousness of the letter. What this letter sets out to tell the President is not new. It is just what a sensible President should know. In this letter, Victor babysits the President as he tutors him the simple principles of handling a country in the face of security challenges. If one Goodluck is daft, there is a Victor that is smart.

Children Without Revolution almost achieves no significance other than his pitiable continuous whine. This piece is marinated in deep self loathing and the reader’s taste is only spurred by the poeticity of Victor’s words. I only love this piece for his poetic-prosaic language. Its clichéd mournful tone puts one off.

Home and Losses

Émigré (1) – Jumoke Verissimo
Jumoke’s verses plunge into the private solitariness of an immigrant;

“Tonight like every other night to come
you will stay awake thinking of home…”

As one thinks Jumoke’s advice might bring respite the way of the émigré, she says this;

“keep your mind open to popular wisdom:
the only smell of distrust between
a country and a citizen is exile.”

Even the émigré’s country is no less culpable in this matter.

The Old River Bank – Tonye Willie-Pipple

These are verses with emotive lines. This poem narrates the stolen peace of an ambient seaside community. Until the evil seafarers visit the River Bank, they are people in their simple remoteness.

“There was a certain year
when oyster-shells massaged
founding feet
pacing the old riverbank…

…The years before the first ships arrived
beat our mother,
raped her hard,
and raised the flaring flag”

Download Saraba 12 now. It is hot-hot. Trust me. You don't want to miss out on this.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Of Superstition and Rubbish

Ignore the above picture for now and let’s talk about something…

A malicious mind can plant a lie and watch it grow viral in minutes. Such is the power of the new mediaTade Ipadeola
I have been racking my head lately on how these numerous weblinks called the internet could bring together a mass of people without congestion. I have also been trying to appreciate its significances in our lives, placing it side by side with other of its numerous evils and see how they could individually be measured out. Certainly, the new media is now a new language disdaining our borders and cultural divergence. Just when you think something is new and chic, other newer events speedily drab it into out-datedness. Such is the smartness of the new media. We move; we post; we laugh; we text; we tweet and watch videos almost simultaneously, multitasking ourselves.

When we talk about this new media, let’s also factor in the phone. The phone technology is making history with this innovation too. At times, you cannot just pinpoint which is driving which; the Internet or the mobile gadgets. Our phones indeed are no more what they used to be. They have become major platforms keeping us on the go with the new media. With the streamlining of our lives into the virtual, it would now seem we have also hauled our greases and grimes onto it. This is really interesting if you ask me. How? Well, that means our use of the internet now goes on to show previews of what our physical lives are – an extension of our real lives; with the rubbish and the irrational.

Are you still with me on this? Okay.

I am doing this short post not to cast sarcasm at the superstitions being broadcast and spread with the wings of this media. My two friends have done that here and here. I would just write a few things about them and hopefully believe my phone and fb wall would be rescued from the incessant attacks they have been under in recent days. It is now a fashion that people rebroadcast public panic that claim to show the love of the sender to one. You should be familiar with this. Have you ever received a message on your phone or on any of your social accounts; telling you to spread some God’s news to ten people and receive His blessings? You certainly should have. The message does not stop there. If it does, it will indeed not have been anything near disturbing. It will simply go on to detail the repercussion of not forwarding such message. The last I received of such was from a friend. This particular one gave me the options to be saved from Hell Fire if I forward it to all my friends or become deaf if I refuse to. That was indeed taking it too far. I called the friend, informed her of my displeasure and flayed her when she insisted on the truthfulness of the message. Haba, why are we a people so given to believing anything speaking religion and protection???

There I am.. in red
Phew… And when I thought the drama had climaxed, some few weeks ago, while I was trying to reply comments on this blog, another came in again. It whimsically forewarned me not to put on anything red on a particular day in order to save myself (my blood actually) from becoming a sacrifice in the redemption of Nigeria. That really turned out to be a comedy of some inane sort; as the message came on the very day it advised against. And I was already in red. Lol. However, Adunni said “if this is what it will take to redeem Nigeria…, then let’s do it cheerfully”. Anyway, let’s leave that for now, it is subjective considering how our past heroes have always been messily treated. I don’t want to join the list.

Following that, there was another insane one, a-cosmic-atomic-waves related panic. The message asked we switched our phones off at a particular time to avoid losing the phones to cosmic-atomic-waves. That really had me jerking in convulsive mirth as my phone got the message one hour past the time. To prove its credibility, it went further to cite BBC as its source. Chai! If only the composer of the message knew I had BBC as my computer’s homepage.

Let’s get back to the first post-picture now and consider the irony of it all. That sight certainly shouldn't be unusual if you stay around here. What actually interests one is to see the opposite of what it denounces sitting together with it. One thing this questions is the extent some can go in employing the absurd to scare and make people act to their rules. That doesn’t do it. If you have an opinion, don’t create public scare to make people believe in it, explain why they should.

NaijaStories has just released a Dana Anthology to memorialise the victims of the Dana plane crash. That is one fine message to pass across. If you are looking for a broadcast to forward, kindly inform your entire contacts-list to download this anthology and preserve the memories of those hurriedly taken away from us. That is a noble broadcast to make viral, not the heaven-promising-red-avoiding rubbish!!!
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