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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.

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