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…


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


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 


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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#GrillandReadLagos2: Fun All the Way

#GrillandReadLagos2: Fun All the Way

Sunday, December 18 2016 will go down #GrillandRead history as the best event ever and the template by which other #Grillandread events will be measured. From the guests to the audience to the ambience to the palmwine, all things came together to produce a great show.

@tonypox was in his element as usual. I think he should be an auction master. The book auctions are fast becoming one of the most exciting features of #GrillandRead and this time, we had books from @Quramo_Limited, @Rovingheights and the anthology “Route234” for auctioning. We also had artwork supplied by @ToniKuyinu. All proceeds went to @TCL_lnitiative.

We can rightly say we delivered on our promise to make people see reading events as fun and have fun during a reading event. Spoken word by @Olulu4ever and @Rezthapoet was top notch. Authors, @moskedapages and @PeluAwofeso impressed the audience while talking about their books. The talk by @nkwocha_chris was quite enjoyable and in all you could see that everyone had a part of the event that impressed them and most, had two or three 😜.
 Of course, the book and food stands were again the points of convergence for a lot of our guests. Many, as usual, wanted the palmwine but we also had iced tea, water melon drink and water for the guests.

We must take out time to thank the people at @ethnicheritage. They were superb hosts and they have excellent customer service. I will not hesitate to recommend them to anyone wanting to host a book event on the island.
A low point for the event would be the timing. People did not arrive on time and this has been noted as we travel from city to city. Come 2017, we shall work around this so that people who arrive on time will not be forced to wait for those who are late. 


We ended 2016 with a bang thanks to all our friends, fans and supporters. It has been an exciting four months of learning and growing since the debut of #GrillandRead in August 2016. We look forward to greater collaborations in 2017 as we open new chapters in the book of Grill and Read.

We will use this opportunity to thank the publishers who worked with us this time. We thank @quramo_Limited and @rovingheights. Our guests, @nkwocha_chris, @tonikuyinu, @peluawofeso, @moskedapages, @olulu4ever and @rezthapoet. We thank members of the G&RVolunteers and the #GrillandReadingSupportGroup and all others who helped to promote and support #GrillandRead in cash and in kind. God bless you all.

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Posted by on December 20, 2016 in General


And So #GrillandRead Abuja Held…


All we feel is gratitude.

First to Hedge and Pembrook for sponsoring the entire show. #GrillandRead Abuja would never have happened without your funding it. Thank you for keying into our dream and believing.

To all the blogs that carried our Press Release without demanding a kobo from us. Thank you for your love @NewsWireNGR, @BTBreakingTimes, @LeadersNG, @BagusMutendi @SparkleWriters, @PeluAwofeso, @waka_about, @MobilityArena and all others.

To the publishers who partnered with us @KurdanP @Parresiabooks. Thank you.

Reports reaching us shows that the about sixty persons that attended the event had lots of fun. We sure are looking forward to see you all again in 2017! We hope each of you makes a #GrillandRead convert before we return. Just spread the gospel that #GrillansRead is set to encourage people to read for pleasure without pressure. Deal?

A Brief Report of the Day’s Event

It seemed the 2pm start time was too early for the laid back people of Buj(😒). So we busied ourselves with the grill and drinks until we were able to get a good number to start off. At about 4pm @Ruddapoet opened the show with a resounding performance that sent the audience clapping quite loudly. Our Compere, Ilemona @i_am_Anomeli was a toast and I heard someone say this lawyer had chosen the wrong profession.

Another major highlight of the show was @TJBensonNG’s presentation. A good number in the audience physically stood and followed as he talked about his artistic photography.

And then there was the wonderful performance put up by @richardalijos with a reading from his work “City of Memories”.

People could not stop talking about the food and drinks. There was lots of grilled chicken, chips, turkey, palmwine, orange juice, watermelon juice and other drinks available. No one could complain about this department.

Then there was the auction with books kindly donated by the bookshops/publishers working with us. Tabitha Heritage was handed the takings from the auction as part of #GrillandRead’s way of giving back to the community.

The day was wrapped up by another scintillating performance by @ruddapoet. He showed us why he had won the Abuja Literary Society Poetry Grand Slam!

The DJ/Sound guys on the other hand ‘showed themselves’- as we would say in Nigerian pidgin. The DJ was terribly late and when he arrived, his equipment refused to work 😦

To all who turned up for the party, to all who had advice to offer to improve the show. To all who supported by way of retweets and shares…you all are the reason we are.


Up next, #GrillandReadLagos2. This time we are hosting the event at Ethnic Heritage Centre, 35A Raymond Njoku Close, Ikoyi. We hope to see you all who enjoyed the first edition there and then more. If you would like to volunteer to work with our publicity team for the Lagos event please send either me or @joyceodukoya a Direct Message (DM). Our DMs are open. I am @Anabagail on Twitter.


Posted by on December 4, 2016 in General


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Conspiracy of Ravens Review. Verdict: Silver Plated Gold.

I just realised that my last post here was a review. I’m not sure I want to do this very often but when I’m asked by a fellow author to give an honest opinion about their book, I feel a sense of responsibility to do so. So here is a brief assessment of the last Nigerian Author I read.

Book Title:

Conspiracy Of Ravens

How I got to know about the book:

Friends who had read it talked about it on Twitter and then I was privileged to meet the author at the #GrillandRead Book Party Port Harcourt and got gifted a signed copy of the book.

Name of Author:

Othuke Omniabohs

Book genre:

Book Summary:

It is a conflation of stories that is built around a ‘conspiracy theory’ that Boko haram and the Niger Delta militancy is somehow related. It is about a man who seems to be seeking revenge for the wrongs his country meted out on him. The story is set off by an assassination and then the daredevil kidnapping of expatriates in a Shell Oil rig.

Why I like about the book:

I loved the pace of the book towards the end. I loved the way the writer eventually wove the stories together and seamlessly married  Boko Haram, Niger Delta Militancy and the Fulani herdsmen Crisis. I also loved the way the writer explored the issues affecting the Niger Delta through his characters.  The presentation of the story itself is suspense fllled and quite believable. I found myself drawing parallels with real people. The politics of kidnapping in the Niger Delta is also explored. At the end one is left with the belief that things are often never as they appear to be at first. Most importantly, I also liked the way this could easily become a whodunnit movie. I was impressed by the work.

Other comments
I felt the resolution was a little Nollywoodish. I expected something stronger. I also thought the book dragged with unnecessary details at the beginning, I skimmed through certain paragraphs full of descriptions. Also most of the characters sounded alike and so had a hard time differentiating them. Also I didnt like the idea of an Amercan rescuing the kidnapped. Felt so let-me-just-roll-my-eye-at-this-ish. Cant we save ourselves? I must say I almost stopped reading the book at points but I’m glad I read it to the end!

Rating *****Platinum ****Gold ***Silver **Bronze *Brass.

Silver plated Gold.


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Posted by on November 29, 2016 in General



#TLGotS Review – Verdict: Refreshingly Different. 

​Imagine if you were present watching the events that lead up to the ouster of Satan from heaven as recorded in the book of Revelation. And then,  imagine that the Devil and his legions make a comeback to reclaim heaven because of human error, not just any humans,  but the only four humans spiritually equipped to stop Lucifer – the Guardians of the Seal.  Hard to imagine? Worry not,  Tunde Leye has done all the imagining and put it down in his book, Guardians of the Seal. 

This  185 page book tells a story that many Bible readers have had a hard time following . Yet,  the book is not a Bible story. In fact, only avid Bible readers will recognize how deeply certain parts of the Bible were explored. The writer takes many liberties with timing and order of these biblical events which,  of course,  is what qualifies his book a work of fiction. Beware, a fanatical mind might declare it heretical. 

The story starts out with a description of Lucifer’s Neatherworld. Not anything you may not have imagined if thinking about Devils and demons is your thing. It may seem surprising  that even in the midst of the chaos in this world, order is maintained in the hierarchy of demons. One is reminded of what it is like working in some industries, a dog eat dog situation.  

The reader is quickly eased into the connection between events in Lucifer’s world and the world of humankind through the eyes of a woman. You may begin to get a feel of the “feminst” leanings of the writer as one of the major characters in his book, Tara,  finds a way of having a child without the aid of a man. This episode appears to be a spin off to the biblical record of the conception of Jesus presented as a scientific breakthrough. (Is God a feminist?)  This is just one of the many times that Tunde Leye gets the reader wondering if science and spirituality are as estranged as many want us to believe. 

The child grows and becomes a subject of controversy like the biblical seed of the woman. But again, the child is female. And at this point, those who started off thinking this was just a bible story begin to wonder when Jesus will make an appearance or if Tunde Leye is in some way insinuating that there is a woman  in all of us,  even in Jesus. Heresy? Or Feminism being put in perspective? I will let you be the judge. 

Guardians of the Seal is divided into ten chapters of two parts. Five light chapters and five dark chapters. This division,  which a few might miss, is further emphasized by a change in typography at the beginning of chapter 6. Perhaps, Leye uses this to symbolize the coexistence of good and evil in equal measure and the need for balance in making decisions as one can easily tilt either way. 

For a thinking mind,  #TLGotS offers a lot of fodder. Leye explores themes such as love,  heroism, lust, drug abuse, sexuality, spousal abuse and truth among others. He does this without moralizing. A part of the book that stood out for me is his exploration of how the abuse of drugs affects the human mind putting it in close proximity to the world of demons. Leye relates the experience of one of his characters,  Tony, after he had smoked the “illuminator”, “By the time they got to the podium in front and the DJ turned down the music, Tony was seeing different creatures flying over the warehouse.  One seemed to look straight at him like it really saw him.  For a moment,  a chill ran through him as their eyes met.  But he reminded himself it was just the high and he laughed at himself for being scared.” 
From the outset of the story,  the reader believes that good will triumph over evil, yet, as they read it becomes difficult to put the book down because somewhere in their minds,  they are unsure how the writer will spin the story. One of the reasons for this is that God is relegated to the position of an onlooker in this novel. So many times the reader expects an introduction of deux ex machina to the plot but God keeps allowing humankind use their freewill to make decisions. This in spite of the fact that this ecclesiastical story lends itself to divine intervention. The writer deserves kudos for his self control in allowing the plot unravel without such interruptions. 

At certain parts of the book, the reader finds himself flipping pages, often skimmng to keep up with the story but at the same time being conscious not to lose the plot. Whereas at other parts the pace is leisurely and the reader may be tempted to skip pages to get the story going but for the fear of losing the plot. 

I would  not say that Guardians of the Seal is the best Nigerian book  I have read this year but I can say that it would easily rank among the top 5 were I to make such a list. It certainly will not be described as forgettable. 

#TLGotS will make a refreshing and easy read for a lover of fantasy and has a couple of plot twists that could make one’s heart race a little faster as one reads.  

I am biased towards this story. To understand why read the acknowledgement page of  this book. Nevertheless,  I  score Tunde Leye a 3.8 for his great effort in this work. Wondering why it is not a 4 then read the book and prove me wrong. 

Guardians of the Seal is refreshingly different in a world where African writers are generally known for writing about pain and war. #TLGotS will be a great addition to any booklovers  library. 

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Posted by on September 4, 2016 in General


All is Well… A look back at #GrillandRead Book Party 

I woke in the morning of August 27th 2016 thinking to myself, “Finally, this day has come”.  I had mixed feelings.  I was apprehensive because the #GrillandRead team were trying something that had never really been done before. The idea behind #GrillandRead was to sell reading to people in a way that didn’t make anyone feel that they had to be “intellectual” in order to be readers,  it was aimed at attracting none readers and assimilating them into the reading commumity. With all due respect to the reading community, book events have somehow become associated with drab “jorks” who must sit,  talk and react in a particular way to books. 

The focus of #GrillandRead is reading for pleasure.  When I read for pleasure I sit with a snack and a drink,  lie on the sofa and put my leg up.  This is atmosphere we sought to create at the event. Our biggest fear was whether “book people” of our generation were ready for this kind of event. Were they ready to let their hair down and go from “drab”  to “fab” ?  Were they ready to loosen up and let in converts who were simply leisure readers? Annnnnnnnd what if it started raining (This one I could not shake off 😢) 

These thoughts preoccupied my mind as the kids and I prepared for the event.  We were to be picked up by 10am so that we could get to the venue well ahead of time. I had even planned to sneak out to attend another book event organised by Winepress Publishers and stay for a few minutes before returning to #GrillandRead. And then everything started going wrong… 

First my ride was cancelled. 

I remember sitting on the floor and trying my best not to burst into tears. After plenty of back and forth,  I opted for a taxi.  (Please someone remind me to overcome my fear of driving) We got one easily enough and set out from the traffic ridden Alagbado area of not so Lagos, only to,  after crossing Iyana-Ipaja, realise that I had left the tickets at home. The taxi made a turn and took us back home. 

And then my ride was back on. 

But then it was already 2pm and I was still at Alagbado and it was threatening to rain. Somehow we managed to arrive CCHUB,  the venue for #GrillandRead at 3.05pm.

But there was no grill. (😖) 

I found that the team coming with the grilled food and drinks were having their share of car troubles.  The plan had been that guests would be greeted by the smell of grilled food as they arrived and they could start informal conversations over the grilled food and chilled drinks even before the programme starts. This surely was not going to be the case. So we had to find a way of improvising. 

But where were our guests? (😱) 

I tried not to go into panic mode. There were just about 5 people already at the event at this time. We sold our first ticket about 10 minutes after I arrived and I thought to myself, “oh well, at least we tried”. But then we sold another and another and another…

And so we started late. 

Partly because of all of the above and partly because our guests were mostly Nigerians. And I forgot to change into the dress @skinart made for me or to wear any makeup (If I don’t look good in any of the photos,  this is my story and I’m sticking to it 😒) 

And so the party started. 

@Rezthapoet’s performance set the stage for what some have described as an “amazing”, “lit” and insert some other rave review here.  I checked in on Twitter at about 10pm heart pounding only to discover #GrillandRead was trending and not for any bad reason. (🙌) 

Everyone we invited came. 

It was amazing to have award winning Nollywood Director Dipo Abdul and writer and critic Oris Aigbokhevbolo discuss Book to TV, Getting it Right. It was a highly entertaining conversation which involved the audience in ways I did not even imagine. We had the right  mix of book and movie people in the crowd. 

@tundeleye and @SeunOdukoya later took the floor to talk about African writing and how much the system needs to begin to respect writers within the continent who have no “international exposure” (People like me 😏 By the way,  have you read #SectorIV?)   This session ended with a conversation on if Africa was a book… I’m hoping to see this hashtag on Twitter soon. 

In between,  we snuggled in quizzes to win freebies including #TLGotS and #SectorIV and an auction of two sets of books to raise some money for @TCLinitiative,  a charity that wants to establish more libraries for the next generation. 

How can I forget @Chika_Jones’ performance that sent chills down everyone’s spine. 

And the  @Rezthapoet again did a final performance. 

Then the grill came. 

Everyone was happy to get something grilled finally! @Simplyroli did an amazing job on the grill.  She has a secret sauce which she swears by.  Time to get into Plankton mode. (If you don’t watch Sponge Bob Square Pants,  of course I judge you 😐) 

Did I fail to mention that our photog for the day @bowiiii and his crew were busy capturing every moment?   I’m sure he will flood our space with his photographs soon. 

And so,  it ended well. 

I want to say a big thank you to @tonypox. I overheard someone saying she has an MC for her wedding. Tony did a wonderful job of keeping the audience entertained. 

To the #GrillandRead crew: @skinart3020, @simplyroli, @akintonmide @joyceodukoya, I thank you all. 

To @sparklewriters, @farafinabooks,  @bookhubng, @BookWawa, @BookBarterNG, @themustycorner, @main_book_cafe @Rovingheights and all the other woke book people that came out to support us today,  we say a huge thank you. 

To all that supported us with DP change to broadcast this event,  those who sent the event to their networks, for believing in us when we had “nothing”  to show,  I hope we did not disappoint you.  Thank you for your faith and love. God bless you. 

To @theTPL who believed and sponsored this event. 

To God, who held back the rain till we were done.  I feel this was a personal favour. (🙆) 

And we are back to the drawing table. 

We promise that #GrillandRead2 will be even more lit!!! We will certainly keep you posted of the next event date. Follow @GrillnRead on Twitter,  Instagram and Facebook, we shall keep you updated. 

Thank you all. Blessings! 

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Posted by on August 28, 2016 in General