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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Introducing Grill and Read Annual Readers’ Awards

Introducing Grill and Read Annual Readers’ Awards


The Speech House International, initiators of Grill-And-Read programme are happy to announce a call for nominations for the inaugural G&R Annual Readers’ Awards  (GaRARA).

The awards seek to recognise the contributions of the reading community to the socio-economic development of the nation. The awards also recognises that readers occupy a position of influence in the society and that their collective strength can be harnessed to bring about change in the way reading and writing are perceived.

The awards which will honour readers, authors, publishers, and organisations will come in 13 categories and will include the following: Reader of the Year; Celebrity Reader of the Year; Readers Event of the Year; Readers Show of the Year (Radio/TV); Reader’s Person of the Year; Book of the Year; Classic Read of the Year; Author of the Year; Book Discovery of the Year; Book Review Site of the Year; Book Club of the Year; Book Cover of the Year; and Publisher of the Year.

There will also be special awards for NGO of the Year and Spirit of Reading Award.

Nominations will be open from February 1 through to April 30, 2017. All nominations will be made on the dedicated site: http://www.grillandread.com/readers-award.

Nominations are to be based on books and literary activities in the outgone year up until December 31, 2016.

All nominees and nominated books should be resident in Nigeria.  Further information on the awards will be provided in the coming months.

Grill and Read is committed to putting the hip back into reading and encouraging individuals to read for pleasure through fun events and other activities.

Signed,

Abigail Anaba

Project Co-Ordinator

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in General

 

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A Side Note on Objectivity

A Side Note on Objectivity

The social media space lends itself to a lot of analysis. Even a website like Instagram which should be about pictures has a comment section because when you think of it, even thougn a picture can speak a thousand words there is still room for a few hundred more.

Everyday, we are hounded by our very presence on social media platforms to offer an opinion, solicited or not, on an ongoing issue or situation. It takes string restraint to not comment on every issue when you know you have an aufience ready to listen. When we do offer our thoughts, we do not one to be judged as people taking sides, who are showing bias in our judgements, who are subjective.

The facts remain though that even before we open our mouths we are already biased by  our upbringing, religious leanings and learnings, political preferences, education, level of exposure or not to a given topic and so on. How then can we be objective?

The years between 2012 and 2015 will always be pivotal in Nigeria’s history. Most of the sociopolitical conversations we are having today were shaped in those years. People took camps or were camped based on the comments they made during the Occupy Nigeria protests. Terms were coined to label people, because really how can you identify people if you don’t label them? There was no room for neutrality (read objectivity). You were either for the government or for the people. The people eventually morphed into the Buhari camp and objective analysis of issues was replaced by group think.Today, there is a crisis of identity. Who really stands for the people?

In a way, I see Nigeria being replayed in America. But, I am no ‘expat’ in American politics and my observation is confined to the local exposure of one living thousands of kilometres away. The dynamics may definitely be different but the “Us vs Them” mentality that prevailed in Nigeria then is what I’m seeing now: If you voted for Trump then shame on you for supporting anarchy. If you had not been that stupid, we would not need America to be great again! 

Lines are being drawn and objectivity is getting blurred as each individual is forced to take a side. The sidelines have been eliminated.

With the dearth of objectivity, one can imagine that if this trend continues, we will be running an obituary soon. 

However, a few people are fighting hard to see that objectivity does not die. They are trying to keep it alive by engaging in what I term ‘Equal Bashing’. This is a system whereby one quantifies bashing in measures.Each bash is termed a dose. So if one issues two doses of bashing to Camp A, he must as a matter of principle find a reason (even if it does not exist) to issue two doses of bashing to Camp B.

When I was growing up, my father would never take my side in an argument that involves non family members. He said this is becuse he held me to higher standards. He felt I should know better. This annoyed me to no end. I felt this was really unfair. 

This is how I feel about the Equal Bashing technique. Instead of helping build objectivity, it is actually providing the nails for this coffin. For example, A presidential media aide goofed, the proponents of equal bashing will after bashing them for impropriety, find a reason to bash the other camp no matter how ridiculous their reasoning sounds. It could be: If Jonathan’s media aides didnt set the bar low, you wouldn’t be able to go lower or why do these GEJ people always come to defend him when his name is mentioned. ( Will it be over the top if I inserted a meme here?)

One dictionary defines objectivity as fairness.Where is the fairness in turning logic on his head in the name of Equal Bashing? Can a person not consistently lend support to a side and still be objective? If we say they can’t, it means we are postulating that loyalty and objectivity are parrallel lines. Are they?

Objectivity means balance. Perhaps Equal Bashing borrows it’s tenets from this. Perhaps seeing a scale and wanting to ensure that one side is not tipped against the other on each issue raised. But here is the thing, balance is not judged based on equalising the scale but on presenting every possible side of an issue and weighing them. An objective mind will put all arguments on the scale weigh them and decide which is heaviest. His balance is achieved in weighing every argument and not throwing any out. At the end, one side may be tipped against the other as a result of objectivity.

Happily, there are still a few objective voices who can analyse issues with an open mind. Who do not care how they are being labelled and would rather remain open minded. To such people, I say, may your light not be extinguished. To those trying to learn the art of objectivity, I say, stay away from Equal Bashers. Try not to join people who are quick to throw labels. And this last thing I was taught: do not be too quick to give your opinion on matters on social media. Most issues have a life, when they are born a lot of people come out to talk about them, especially when their birth is accompanied by feasting of a ‘naming ceremony’ but the true worth of that child is in the growing and maturing. Then you will know in what direction the child is going and have something tangible to say about them. Always wait for a story to mature, when you have heard from all sides, then you can do an objective analysis.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2017 in General

 

ABUM NWAFOR BIAFRA (A poem inspired by the book #SectorIV

Sometime last year, I got a DM from @dictrace. We had met for the for the second time at the #GrillandRead book party. I will be sharing his DM with you, with hs permission of course and I hope you enjoy it too😃 

 I just finished your book SECTOR IV and it inspired some writing, I’m a closet writer (I write for my own consumption) but I thought I should share this with you…

ABUM NWAFOR BIAFRA

I believe in the land called Biafra

I believe in the people of Biafra

I believe in the spirit of Biafra

I believe in the Diplomacy of Zik

The Dexterity of China

The Ferociousness of Kaduna Nzeogwu

The Courage of Ojukwu

Nwannem Abum Nwafor Biafra
I love the Calmness of Enugu 

A town akin to that talked about by the Messiah

Indeed it is set upon a hill

And enveloped by nature

Oh! What a city to behold

I’m in love with it’s industrious people

The serenity of its environs

The language of it’s people

Oh! What a song to behold

Imana Abum Nwafor Biafra
I love Rivers State

A land laced with aquatic splendour

A land where I have found a home

This land is the reason I can dream

I love the pride of the Kalabari’s

I love no nonsense Ikwerre man

And identify with the struggle of the Ogoni’s

This land is indeed the treasure base of Nigeria

Yet its people carry on in poverty

No wonder they avenge

Nwannem Abum  Nwafor Biafra
Sadly I hear cries of death in my beloved Biafra

Sounds of war, though distant but near

These sound are carried by waves 

By the people who claim to love my beloved

I hate to think these sound would envelop my beloved in no distant time

I hate to think that destruction may abound
Have we not learnt

From Stories

Stories told, though not by moonlight

We cannot yearn for more destruction

Have we not learnt from 3 years of Destruction

Nwokem idi sure na I bu Nwafor Biafra
Remember Aleppo?

The once bubbling city brought to rubbles

You want an Aleppo in Biafra

Mbanu!

My Enugu would not be brought to rubbles

Our garden in Port Harcourt shall not be turned to death fields

We shall resist the calls for War

We shall rather jawjaw

Jawjaw that our Biafra may remain 

Dianyi 

Abum Nwafor Biafra…

 

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2017 in Poetry

 

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Daughter of No One

What do I have to do?

To get you to notice me too.

I got this Malaysian hair new.

Eyelashes and this flashy shoe.

Hoping it will make you to.

Turn me into your beau.



My name ends not.

With a hyphen but a dot.

I have an appendage glut.

No prefix to be sought.

All doors to me have been shut.

Cos I am Ms So and So not.



Just give me a chance.

To prove to you I have fans.

In the ball room I can dance.

My character I’ll enhance.

I will not bow to happenstance.

I’ll let nothing be an encumberance.



See, I can laugh like the elite.

With their intelligence I can compete.

Like the buorgeoisie I greet.

Mixed accents, a dash of conceit.

Come with me take a seat.

Table the caviar and sushi, let’s eat



What do I have to do?

To get you to notice me too.

I have to be a Buhari.

To get to marry an Indimi

I have to be a Dangote.

To attract a prince, make him stay.



I am the Daughter of No One

So destined

I am 

To perish as Mrs No One.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2017 in Poetry

 

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