Join me at Unending Conversations- Book 'n' Gauge (September Edition)

Book N Gauge 16: Unending Conversations
Book N Gauge, the monthly Book Culture event, will feature Sylva Nze Ifedigbo author of the recently published collection of short stories, “The Funeral Did Not End’ and Atilola Moronfolu, author of Antonyms of Mirage. The event, in its sixteenth edition, will draw from the theme: “Unending conversations”.  It will seek to explore how literature is fuelling never ending conversations about issues that are dear to our hearts. In the boundless spirit of unending conversations, the 16th edition will also feature Nigeria’s premier spoken word Poet, Sage Hasson and Violin aficionado, Ernest Bisong. Book N Gauge is organised by Pulpfaction Book Club, a group of literary-minded individuals driven by a passion to make reading hip and cool again. The event is scheduled for the Saturday, 29th September 2012 at Debonair Bookstore, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos.

Atilola Moronfolu
Multi-faceted entrepreneur, writer and editor. She is the Publisher of Neighbourhood Magazine publisher, a spoken word artist, and popular blogger, on
Atilola Moronfolu plays an editing and advisory role for fellow writers and bloggers who are prepared to publish their books.  
Because of her style of writing, which borders on the reality of the societal ills, she has been described by readers and reviewers as a social commentator.  She sometimes calls herself “The Character Thief”. She is also one of the leading spoken word voices in the country.
She is the author of Antonyms of a Mirage, the now popularly trending short stories collection in Nigeria. Atilola is currently working on her second novel.

Sylva Nze Ifedigbo
Sylva Nze Ifedigbo is an “Out-of-Practice” Doctor of Veterinary, a writer with ample experience in Project Management, Creative Writing, Public Relations and Corporate Communications.  He is the award winning essayist and author of the novella, “Whispering Aloud” and collection of short stories “ The Funeral Did Not End”.
An award winning fiction writer and essayist, he has written widely on Nigerian Socio-political issues both online and in the print media including the Saturday Punch Youngster’s Page, The Nation, 234next, Nigeria Village Square, KOWA Party blog, Nigeria Dialogue among many others. He currently writes a weekly Sunday column for Daily Times and maintains a personal blog where he shares his views on a wide range of issues. He also has a number of fiction works to his credit including a novella Whispering Aloud published in 2008 by Spectrum Books Ibadan, a collection of stories, The Funeral Did Not End officially released on 15th September 2012 by DADA Books Nigeria and works of fiction in various local and international literary journals including MTLS, StoryTime, Swale Life, Life As a Human, Sentinel Nigeria, Saraba among others. Nze, as he is fondly called by friends has contributed to different international literary Journals, amongst which are MTLS, StoryTime, Swale Life, Life As a Human, Sentinel Nigeria, and Saraba.

Ernest Bisong. (Emythang!)
Ernest Bisong also known as Ernythang! is arguably Nigeria’s best violinist.  Emythang’s control of the violin is phenomenal. This has endeared him to musicians and enthusiasts alike. He has performed as a multi-genre violinist in the United States of America, as well as parts of East Africa.
As a violin Guru, he has worked with some of  Nigeria's best Producers and Artistes such as Cobhams, Wole Oni, Asa, Bez, Mode 9, to mention a few. Early this year, he featured in a Nollywood movie starring Ashionye and Dakore titled 'Journey to Self'. He is currently recording a joint hip-hop album with IBK a.k.a spaceshipboi.

Sage Has.Son
Sammy Hassan is a pioneer and leader of a new poetic movement called Spoken Word. HE describes Spoken Word “…Giving poetry wings to fly”. Sage launched professionally into Spoken Word in 2005  and has since featured in different events such as HipHop World 2006,  Big Brother, Word Up, Unchained Voices, amongst other social and corporate engagements.
Sage Has.Son is his stage name. Sage has boldly released a 16 track spoken word album titled the “The Poet” and plans to wax more lyrical and poetic in subsequent releases. 
Sage is the quintessential “Poetushness”, and he is not alone, he is also a mentor and to several upcoming Spoken Word Poets. He has also lent support to several creative events in the Spoken Word art industry.  He strongly believes in the thrust that Spoken Word will be receive overreaching acceptance by Nigerians in the coming years.
Book N Gauge 16: Unending Conversations, holds on Saturday, 29th September, 2012.

VENUE: Debonair Bookstore, 294 Hubert Macaulay Way, Sabo,Yaba, Lagos
TIME: 2pm to 5pm
It’s an avenue to connect, enjoy, relax, to meet people and to escape on the wings of words.
This event is supported by Parresia Publishers | RovingHeights Nigeria | PrintStreet Media

Five Bull’s-eye ways to identify people leaving Nigeria for the first time... by Atilola Moronfolu

This is a complete guide to recognising someone leaving the country for the first time, but unsuccessfully trying very hard to make it seem like they travel as often as diarrhoea patients run to the toilet. Leaving the shores of Nigeria for the first time is not a bad thing, as all of us born here had our first time. But for the ones that try to make it seem like they leave the country every weekend, even though the closest they’ve come to leaving the shores of the country, is their primary school excursion to the slave-trade port at Badagry, this is the way to recognise them at the airport.

1. The ladies are on very tight high-heeled shoes or sandals. Apparently, people that haven’t travelled don’t know that when you go up up in the air, your skin expands, and your already tight shoes suddenly become tighter. Heels are not comfortable in the sky, and believe me, up in the air, comfort is the number one need. By then, that saying that that geography teacher you detested so much in high school – the one whose cane required four bottles of Robb ointment to cure- that saying that he drummed in your ears, that popular saying that ‘the higher you go, the cooler it becomes’, yes, that saying: it suddenly comes alive when you are up in the sky. And then, you realise that contrary to your opinion, your geography teacher knew what he was talking about after all. Put water or meat into the freezer and test it. Did it expand? Yeah. That’s why people suddenly become magically fat in the plane. They sleep thin, but they wake up three hours later to realise that it is either their pencil-jeans has suddenly turned to broomstick-jeans, or Nanny Mcphee has magically turned them from a lepa-toh-bad to a replica of Lepacious Bose.

So any traveller that doesn’t ditch the tight stilettos with six-inch pencil heels, save it for the Friday night at the club, and instead buy the N500 colourful rubber sandals they sell at Balogun market, knowing it sure costs less, because comfort and cost are not directly proportional, believe me that person is sure leaving the country for the first time.

2. The guys have blings and baggy jeans and shirts, like the hip-hoppers they are aspiring to be like. Because they have never left the country, they think everyone in UK, US, Canada, etc., dresses the way they see in music videos, since that is the closest encounter they have ever had with Hartsfield-Jackson airport. So they dress this way, as they assume this will help them blend in quickly when they get to their destination, without being noticed. Ehm… wrong!

They start encountering their problems right from the rundown airport we have in Nigeria. With each beep at the security check point, an ear stud or two, Snoop Dogg-ish bling, heavy metallic wristwatch, giant skull belt, gigantic rings, chin studs, even teeth stud, and other things that remind us of the things white men used to shackle the bodies of our forefathers during the era of slave-trade – with each beep, those things come down one by one. Bless your soul if the person is a jean-sagger, we are left to see the already fallen jeans fall further down to the knees, and are left with the full glare of multi-coloured brief of boxer shorts.

Experienced travellers try their best to travel light, especially when it comes to what they wear on their bodies, but these ones make sure they visit the Ijebu blacksmith, and wear all his converted raw materials on their body, just because they want to travel and look like their mentors, T-Pain and Lil Wayne.

3. They are decked up to the tooth. They look very on-point. Their hair is neatly-made, without a strand out of place. They have their shades on, their lipstick doesn’t bleed. Spick and span is the word. “We must baff up to the last, and wear our best outfit” is the rule here. They look so good that they make it look like travelling out of the country is an occasion they are going to, in which they would meet President Obama, and all the important people in the world there.

When you see a guy wearing a very shiny leather jacket in July, or a lady wearing spaghetti-strapped top in January, know that you have just encountered one. “We must make an impression on these oyinbos, we need to prove to them that not all of us are ugly monkeys” is the mind-set here.

4. For families, all the kids wear and-co. If you don’t know what and-co is, let me quickly explain. You remember how during Christmas in the late eighties and early nineties, when our parents dressed us in the identical ridiculously-looking cinderella-wannabe dresses that Tailor Kola sewed, the ones that the net under the cloth was bought from aba market, and painfully pricked our waists, the ones that had plenty gum-stay to make the fruit patterns on our then-flat chests stay, the ones with the hideous-looking shoulder pad? Yes, those ones we and all our cousins were made to wear, with them looking exactly the same, the girls wearing the same, and guys wearing the same, with the difference only in size? And God help us if Tailor Kola thought four-year old Bola was actually a girl instead of a Boy. Come Christmas Day, Bola would be pathetically made to dress exactly like his female cousins, because on Christmas day, we must all wear the same cloth, anything else is a taboo! Unfortunately, the mistake couldn’t have been discovered previously, because no one was allowed to see the clothes before Christmas day, so that the current year’s style could remain a secret. After this is very lengthy description of what and-co clothes mean, I am sure you finally get the idea.

Back to the main gist, this and-co phenomenon is more common when the family wins visa lottery to the US. They dress the children alike. It doesn’t matter whether the child is five months or 15 years old. They must all wear the same thing. Girls dress alike, and so do the guys. The bigger the family, the more obvious the and-co. As house-helps and cousins are not included in the benefit of Visa Lottery, only father and mother are left to keep their eyes on four of five kids. So in case, the stubborn goat of the family decides to stray from his fellow future American citizens at the airport when his parents momentarily take their eyes off him, his and-co uniform will serve as a great advantage in fishing him out of the voracious crowd at the airport. I am not saying this is why they wear and-co, but it is another sure way of recognising families leaving the country for the first time.

5. They avoid asking questions, and end up making the stupid mistakes. They try not to ask questions, because they don’t want people to know they are travelling for the first time. They try to look confident, in order to give the impression that they actually know what they are doing. At the end, they are the ones with extra-luggage issues at the check-in counter, the ones who after twenty minutes on a line, suddenly realise that they are on the wrong queue. Sometimes, they even get to the presence of the entry clearance officer at the destination airport before discovering that they are supposed to pick and fill an immigration card, and they end up being sent to the back of a 150-man queue.

Lastly, as an added bonus, if you read these tips, and end up going around looking for people that fall into this category, you are probably a first-timer yourself, and are only trying to avoid falling into the trap of being tagged one.

And for those people that escort their family friend who is travelling to UK to Murtala Muhammed international airport, and get back home two hours later with an American accent, well… we will treat that topic another time.

Now that you have read this very 'educative' piece of mine, I don't think I need to convince you too much to nominate my blog for the Best Writing Blog for 2012, and the Nigerian Blog of the Year 2012. After all, I don write for una tire this year oo (remember the Ewa Aganyin, The script writer, Milkeyes, The Atheist, Almighty's Formula, The God of Visas, Internet Celebrity, Not Another Statistic... and loads of other blockbuster articles I can't even begin to count that I have served you guys as hot dish this year).

Oya, please, ayam begging you, head over to this link and nominate me for the two categories I mentioned. It is closing this sunday, 23 Sept, 2012, so please, do it as soon as you read this post. After nominating (me), they will send you and email to confirm your nomination. If you don't see the email, please, check your spam mail, it will be there. If you don't do this, the nomination won't count o.


Appreciation Giveaway: Free download of Antonyms of a Mirage on 12 September

I am announcing this two days earlier because last time I did a giveaway, some people missed it as they saw the post days later.

Let me quickly mention that if you downloaded the book during the last giveaway, or you have read it by any chance, please, head over to amazon and drop reviews. I will really appreciate this. Thanks so much

Just to appreciate everyone that has supported me in anyway in my publishing journey, I will be giving away free downloads of Antonyms of a Mirage throughout 12, September 2012. This offer opens by 12.00am US Pacific time, and closes by 11.59pm US Pacific time.

Another good news is that you don't need to own a kindle to get it. Just download the Kindle App for free, and you are on your way there.

So, what are you waiting for? Go on amazon, type the book title and start downloading away. You can use any of these links.

Amazon Kindle Edition - US Residents
Amazon Kindle Edition - UK and other Residents
And if you are in one of these EU countries, you know what to do. Use your own country's amazon.

P.S: For those who don't know about Antonyms of a Mirage, click here to read about it, including the synopsis.

How is your Blogtitude?

I am not one for controversies and try to steer clear of them as much as I can, both in real life and on the internet (especially on the internet). If I stir up controversy, believe me, it is unintentional, cos I know people sometimes misunderstand me. 

However, I decided to quickly insert this post, which has been in my draft for about five months, as a sequel to some people's post, I noticed something on blogger, which I felt led to talk about and I am very sure many people will agree with me. Mine is a slightly different perspective, so I am not just hammering what they said. Please, read and comment on the following points stated.

I wonder why some bloggers won’t comment on people’s blogs, yet the opening comment on their posts is how they appreciate more comments on their blog. If you don’t comment on any other bloggers’ post, then I think you should be happy when you get a maximum of three comments on your post, though you have 107 followers. People want to be appreciated too.

Why is it that the only reason why some people followed others blogs is just so others can follow them back. Once they follow back, that is the last you hear of them. What makes it worse is that some of these people actually don’t post interesting stuffs on their blog, but one might consider it rude to unfollow because they are on one’s followership.

Why don’t some bloggers have the google follower gadget anymore? Does it have anything to do with google plus. Of course, this is not a blogtitude problem, I think it’s more out of ignorance. I have been sure to point it out to new bloggers who had this issue.

When you do any of the first two points above, and you are not Bella Naija or Linda Ikeji (who actually don’t have to follow you for you to follow them back), other bloggers might excuse you for a while, but after a while, they begin to notice your bad blogtitude and it actually puts them off (believe me, it does, even if they don’t say it). And then interest in your blog posts drops and you wonder what is happening.

If one wants more comments, then one should comment on other people’s blogs. One want more interest in one’s blog, then one should show interests in other people’s blogs. Unless one is really dishing out hot gists that people can’t resist to comment on, or one is satisfied with having a followership of 167, with an average of 1.5 comments, then we gotta work on changing that blogtitude.