CORA Art & Cultural Foundation

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The 16th Lagos Book & Art Festival is Here!

Posted by Don DADA on October 18, 2014 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (168)


Posted by Don DADA on June 8, 2014 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (6)

Photo: Amaka Igwe with Steve Rhodes at the 2006 Edition of the Lagos Book & Art Festival.

The Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) shares in the grief that has enveloped the Nigeria creative community since the passing away of Amaka Igwe, whose work will continue to influence and inspire the growth of Nigeria’s Film and Television industries.


Mrs Igwe’s popular television serial, Checkmate,which ran on national Television in the early nineties held viewers across the country spellbound; and her TV comedy series, Fuji House of Commotion, has continued to be a national staple till date. She affirmed her creative prowess and understanding of how to engage the Nigerian audience via a series of block buster movie productions – especially Violated and Rattlesnake -- and in no small way contributed to the emergence of the blossoming contemporary film industry now called Nollywood.


Amaka Igwe combined this creative streak with strong entrepreneurial acumen both of which have resulted in different enduring initiatives in the art, practice, training and dissemination of film and television arts in Nigeria. Institutions she created such as Top Radio FM station, Moving Movies Productions and the Amaka Igwe Studios have remained breeding grounds for young talents and skilled hands in TV and movie productions.


Amaka Igwe’s passion for stimulating growth of the TV/Movie industry through her creative and entrepreneurial inventions is similar to CORA’s vision of helping to translate Nigeria’s teeming population into human capital as our contribution to the building of our nation. This shared vision and passion soon found CORA partnering with BOBTV, a bi-annual film and television expo she produced together with her husband Charles Igwe, in staging two editions of the African Colloquium on Film and Television at BOB TV in Abuja in 2006 and 2008.


Beyond BOB TV, Amaka Igwe was a frequent presence at CORA’s flagship annual event, the Lagos Book & Art Festival. At one of these events, worried why the event struggled in getting the teeming audience it deserved, Amaka offered the support of her radio station, Top Radio, for future editions of the festival. Top Radio has been a strong supporter of the festival ever since.


Apply Now To Attend A Workshop On How To Start And Run A Publishing Company in Nigeria!

Posted by Samuel Osaze on November 5, 2013 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (2)

Do you want to run a publishing company in Nigeria?

As part of the 15th Lagos Book & Arts Festival, British Council is running a workshop for people interested in setting up and running their own publishing house.

The workshop will be facilitated by Ms Sarah Odedina Managing Director of the UK Children’s publishing house, Hot Key Books. Sarah has worked in some of the major UK publishing houses and, notably, over-saw the publication of the entire Harry Potter series which was successfully published in English around the world by Bloomsbury.

The workshop will focus on:


A theoretical overview of the process of launching a publishing house from finding a name, building a team, to acquiring titles will be discussed.  The workshop will focus on the logistical side of budget and planning in advance of a launch as well as the important role of marketing and social media in establishing a presence in the market.  The workshop will set your profile in context and help you to understand how you fit into the publishing scene before you start. It will encourage you to use all means possible to make sure that that message is understood by booksellers and readers. There will also be a focus on marketing and social media and how this can help you to achieve success.

Event Information

Date: Wednesday 13th November 2013

Time: 09.00a.m – 5.00p.m


We are looking for

Creative practitioners with a proven track record of working within the literature sector, e.g. magazine editors, literary editors, sales and marketing professionals etcExisting publishers or staff of publishing houses interested in building their capacity to run their publishing organisationsTo apply candidates need to:

Name and or show links to published materials and demonstrate a good knowledge and understanding of publishing practice in an attached supporting statement.

Provide a 200-400 supporting statement detailing their background in publishing/ literature. This may detail previous positions held in the sector, literary initiatives they’ve been involved in or other relevant opportunities pursued.

Be available on the 13 November 2013 from 10.00am till 5.00pm

Click here; ; to download application form, fill and send to on or before 11 November 2013

Unfortunately, we are only able to contact selected candidates and will do this by November 8, 2013.

Sarah Odedina Profile

Sarah Odedina began her publishing career working in the adult rights department of Penguin Books.  She moved into children’s books in 1992 and quickly realised that she had found her niche.  After four and a half years working as Rights Director for Orchard Books she moved to Bloomsbury in January 1997 as Editorial Director and during her time at Bloomsbury she commissioned and edited many prize-winning best-selling authors including Neil Gaiman, Louis Sachar and Celia Rees.  She also over-saw the publication of the entire Harry Potter series which was successfully published in English around the world by Bloomsbury.  In September 2011 Sarah left Bloomsbury to start a new fiction list for Bonnier Publishing and has already enjoyed considerable success with one of the Hot Key Books titles winning the Costa Book Award.  She feels now that a start-up is an incredibly privileged place to be allowing for greater integration between editorial and marketing and sales in order to ensure that there is a seamless approach to getting authors books in to the hands of readers


Posted by Don DADA on November 3, 2013 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (175)


THURSDAY 14TH NOVEMBER 2013, from 10am – 4pm @ Goethe Institut, City Hall, Lagos Island.


(Interested participants involved in publishing may send a mail to to secure a place at the forum).


The 4th CORA Publishers’ Forum is hosted in Partnership with Goethe Institut as part of the 15th Lagos Book & Art Festival.




The CORA Publishers’ Forum was conceived in 2010 to provide a concentrated space for key publishers in Nigeria to gain critical insight into their current operations within the context of the challenges facing their industry, brainstorm on their findings and identify key steps that can be taken as individual businesses or as a collective to improve their bottom line. At CORA, we picture ourselves as midwives to the different facets of the creative industries in Nigeria, therefore what we hope to achieve through the publisher’s forum is the blossoming of the nation’s book industry.


We like to see the Publishers' Forum as a 'focus group' or a strategy session with key facilitators as guide. The forum is targeted at principals of publishing houses who seek to grow their market and are willing to engage in creative thinking towards identifying strategies that can make this possible for them whether within a collective or through their individual operations. Our expectation is that cogent strategies would emerge from the session which can be immediately implemented or could be built upon in future.


Taking the conversation about digital publishing forward from where we left off two years ago, the Publishers’ Forum will interrogate what new opportunities have emerged in the intervening time.


Okechukwu Ofili of Okada Books and Kazeem Muritala (Wayne & Malcolm) have put in considerable effort in the past two years to create home grown digital publishing solution via their digital book selling portals- and Representatives of both start-ups will be presenting their solutions, their successes, challenges and possibilities yet to be explored at the 4th CORA Pubishers' Forum.


Debola Omololu's Debonair Publishing ( has carved a niche over the years selling books via the internet and expanded this niche by setting up physical retail outlets recently, now that they have launched a new line of devices- Debonair Devices Limited through which they are moving into the digital devices market, it appears they are closely following the Amazon model of not just selling physical books over the internet, but midwifing the creation of devices that can also aid that process for digital books. In like manner, another organization, established to ‘get knowledge into the hands of the African Child’, Afrelib, ( collaborates with teachers, students, parents and book publishers to collate and curate educational content for individual learners and educational institutions in Africa in order to improve reading, writing and learning outcomes. These programs are accessible in the cloud and on storage devices via tablets, readers, smartphones and personal computers. Based in the Netherlands and the UK, Lanre and Joseph Ajuwon are co-founders of the Afrelib initiative and would be joining in to share their vision and their experiences via skype.


Can Takada, Okada Books, Debonair and Afrelib help in the creation of the much sought after digital distribution back bone for Nigeria's publishing industry? The 4th CORA Publishers' Forum will interrogate this and other questions on the 14th of November at Goethe Institut, 4th Floor, City Hall, Lagos.


The session would have presentations from representatives of the four companies as keynotes to be followed by Q&As and then an interactive / ideas session involving participants drawn from different publishing establishments would conclude the proceedings. The interactive session will feature interventions from Sarah Odedina, Managing Director of Hot Key Books, former Rights Director of Watts non-fiction and Orchard fiction and manager of the Harry Potter series for Bloomsbury; and Indra Wussow who is an editor at “Wunderhorn Verlag”, which is a publishing house that publishes series of contemporary African Literature in German. Both publishers are attending the Publishers' Forum courtesy of the British Council and the Goethe Institut respectively.


The forum will be moderated by Bukky Oyedeji an architect, artist and a researcher whose specialization in the design of educational facilities branches into the facilitation of learning environments, creative workshops and brain storming sessions.


Call for Application

Posted by Samuel Osaze on September 19, 2013 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (1)

The CORA Arts & Cultural Foundation in association with British Council Lagos, requests the participation of creative visual artists, (digital artists, graphic designers, video artists / concept artists) in the creation of promotional videos (60 seconds) for the 15th Lagos Book & Art Festival.

Participants are welcome to redefine, through their work, what a graphic montage video should do and what a promotional video should be.


Young creatives working in the areas of digital art, graphic design, video art and animation, given to experimentation are most welcome to send in entries. While groups or partnerships may apply, it must be understood that the application form must bear the name of one group member who the group has accepted to represent it at every stage of the process. Only original works may be submitted and works showing evidence of copyright infringements will be automatically disqualified. 


  • Create an appealing visual video, 1 minute duration hosted on YouTube that can serve for driving viral publicity for the LABAF festival
  • Upload the YouTube video with subject name LABAF 2013 MONTAGE and your full name after it.
  • The links that have been submitted to the email address will be displayed on British Council social media platforms after the deadline for submissions for applications and then the entries will be voted for by liking the entry on the British council Nigeria arts Facebook page.
  • The entry that has the most votes on the last day for voting will be announced as the winner of the competition.

You may get more information on LABAF below and view photos / videos from previous editions on the CORA website: or at the LABAF website:

The British Council will oversee a selection process from which entries will be shortlisted. These entries will be exhibited at LABAF 2013 from November 15 -17, on the CORA / LABAF websites, their social media channels and other broadcast channels available to them before the festival dates. The overall winner will be announced at the 15th Lagos Book & Art Festival (15th – 17th November 2013).

The winner of this competition wins a flight to South Africa to participate at the Design Indaba Expo (28th February – 2nd March 2014) in Cape Town, South Africa.

In addition the candidate who is successful will be given space to exhibit / feature their works / portfolios at LABAF for the duration of the festival and would be expected to mentor school students participating in the children’s creativity workshops at LABAF 2013 (Nov 15 – 17). Availability for these dates is key.


Deadline for submission of entries: 21 October 2013

Voting period of video montage on 28 October – 01 November 2013

Announcement of shortlist: 06 November 2013


The annual Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF) is a four day culture picnic with a high book content. LABAF is a culture picnic primed to attract families and a public that seeks cultural entertainment. The past fourteen editions have been filled with fun and thrills, with bands performing, galleries displaying art, theatre performances, and a series of art, craft, textile, dancing workshops focused on kids happening all over the open field. The festival features scores of book stands, symposiums on literature and book parties. There are at least four drama skits and full theatre productions on the festival grounds throughout the three-day duration of the Festival. The idea is to make “The Book” have mass appeal. LABAF is not a Book Fair; we rather like to describe it as an art festival with a high book content. The first edition of LABAF was held in 1999, the festival has since grown to be a world class – albeit home-grown – cultural event that has since become a highpoint in the nation’s cultural calendar. Curated by CORA, LABAF thrives on the participation and partnership of volunteers, artist groups, cultural institutions and the support of other organizations / individuals.


Holding at Freedom Park, the old colonial prison site on Broad Street, Lagos Island, (a location which resonates keenly with this year’s theme) from November 15 – 17, 2013, the 15th Lagos Book & Art Festival is themed: Nigeria’s Centenary: The Lagos Narrative. Through this theme we aim to kick start the conversation on Nigeria’s centenary celebration in 2014 by highlighting the pivotal role the city of Lagos has played in the emergence and growth of the Nigerian state.  As customary with the festival, this theme will be explored through music concerts, visual arts exhibitions, theatre performances, author readings and conversations. Highlights include mentoring for children by comedian Julius Agwu and a presentation of his book, Conversations surrounding Mallam Nasir El Rufai’s book The Accidental Public Servant and books signings by the author, The Green Festival (children’s’ creativity workshops and mentorship sessions), two music concerts, one poetry slam, two theatre shows, one art stampede on the books of Nollywood, two workshops for young writers and publishers facilitated by Sarah Odedina and (sponsored by British Council), Publishers’ Forum featuring Nigerian publishers and other publishers from other African countries (supported by Goethe Institut), events featuring 2 of the writers on Granta’s 2013 UK list of young writers Taiye Selasi and Benjamin Markovits (sponsored by British Council) amongst other events.

5th CORA BOOK PARTY fixed for August 18, 2013 @ Eko Hotel, Lagos

Posted by Samuel Osaze on August 9, 2013 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (2)


The shortlist for the $100,000 Nigeria Prize for Literature (NLP) will be announced nextweek, according to the promoters, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG. The Prize this year is devoted to Poetry.


As its traditional, the CORA BOOK PARTY organised annualy as complementary programme to the announcement, has been tentatively scheduled for August 18 at the EkoHotel, Victoria Island Lagos in anticipation of the announcement.


This is the 5th edition of the Book Party, and the CORA, is setting up an elaborate feast to honour the shortlisted works and authors, expected to emerge from the near 200 entries, which  the organisers said they received for the 2013 prize.


The essence of the Party is to enable thepublic encounter the poets and engage the works that have been adjudged fittingto earn the $100,000 (N16million) prize money.

As experienced in the past four editions of the Party, the shortlisted authors(Poets in this instance) will be brought face-to-face with the core of Lagos literary community as well as members of the public.

The shortlisted works would be reviewed, discussed and critiqued even as the individual poets read from their work. It is a package of literary feasting, featuring performances, wining and dining, where the shortlisted authors and their works are celebrated for emerging as some of the very best in the country.


The Book Party is usually staged to herald the announcement of the Final   THREE laureates, out of which the winner of the Prize money would emerge.



The Committee for Relevant Art is a group of artistes, art enthusiasts, art promoters and art writers committed to the development of the Arts of Nigeria and their enabling environment.

Its projects include the quarterly ART STAMPEDE, the annual LAGOS BOOK & ARTFESTIVAL (LABAF), the quarterly LAGOS THE CITY ARTS GUIDE, and the annual LagosOpen Air CINEMA CARNIVAL. It also collaborates with other artistes, activists and enthusiasts to organise the annual LAGOS COMICS CARNIVAL and the GREATHIGHLIFE (Revival) PARTY (ELDERS' FORUM).

It continues to seek out, tend, groom and harvest the best of the old and emerging arts of Nigeria.


MISSION:To Create An Enabling Environment for the Flourishing of the Contemporary Arts of Nigeria and the Continent.

VISION:To Make Art & Culture the Prime Destination for Investment in Nigeria and Africa by 2018.

DEFINITION: We Are 'Cultural Landscapists. The CORA is the Winner of the Prince ClausAward, 2006.


FRD: Celebrating Essence of the Legend

Posted by Samuel Osaze on June 14, 2013 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (5)


The iREP Documentary Film Forum, iREP, the Committee for Relevant Art, CORA and the Freedom Park collectively regret the passing of the octogenarian Kokoma Highlife musician, Fatai Olagunju aka Rolling Dollar.


Fatai was one of the last mainstream practitioners of the music still very active, well to his death; giving the impression of immortality.


Highlife music is a unifying genre, a result of the introduction of the guitar and other wind instruments into traditional Nigerian music. It grew rapidly along the coastal towns of West Africa at the height of the demand for independence across the continent, benefiting from the mood and aspiration for liberty.


Fatai was one of the few Kokoma musicians, whose main instrument was the agidigbo (the thumb piano) coupled with the palmwine-type guitar  playing style, that embraced the new fusion of traditional beat and western form; and thus influenced and shaped the direction of Highlife music as it is known today.


Rolling Dollar’s symbolic death, on the20th anniversary of June 12, 1993, is instructive of the unique contribution that the artist brings to the discourse on National well-being.


A  tragic loss to the Nigerian world of music and the collective of the Creative Industry of the continent, Fatai's passing is a forceful reminder of the need for our countries to re-evaluate the essence of the Culture Producer and give the species its proper due.


FRD's legendary artistic life affects not only individuals but also institutions to which he lent his services as a performing musician and as well his humane, generous spirit



Fatai Rolling Dollar should be mournedas an expression of our humanity --- for his life and career affected ourindividual beings in divergent ways. But FRD deserves more to be CELEBRATED bythe collective of the Creative Industry for the effect of his Artistry on our collective essence as Artistes and Creatives. 


The iREP Documentary Film Forum, iREP, the Committee for Relevant Art, CORA and the Freedom Park -- three institutions to which Fatai was affliated in the last years of his life -- have resolved to celebrate the essence of the legendary FRD  through a night of reflection on his life and career.


This would involve reflections on his life; reviews of his career; screening of perhaps the only documentary film on his life titled ROLLING DOLLAR: A LEGEND UNPLUGGED, produced and directed by Femi Odugbemi and released in March;and a session of musical tributes by his fellow veteran highlife musicians, and many young ones whose careers he affected, and to some extent helped to shape by his own exemplary service to the music industry.


Join on Wednesday June 19; at 5pm at the Freedom Park, 1 Hospital Road by Broad Street.Lagos for the event: 'FATAI ROLLING DOLLAR: Celebrating the Essence of the Legend'


Please come with your One-Minute tribute--  in Poem, Song; Chant; Reflection orother forms of tribute.


Signed: Jahman Anikulapo,




Sam Osaze, CORA (08036554119),

Lanre Olupona, iREP (08051702004i

Tola Ibeh, FP (08095006567)




Achebe: The African Perspective in the Global Conversation

Posted by Samuel Osaze on March 25, 2013 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (2)

(Short Statement by The Committee For Relevant Art, CORA, on the event of the passing of Professor Chinua Achebe)


The Committee For Relevant Art (CORA) commiserates with the family of Professor Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian arts community as well as the entire nation on the occasion of the death of the man deservedly referred to as ‘the father of the African Novel’ and founder of the Association Of Nigerian Authors (ANA).


Everything about Achebe’s career was geared towards contributing the African perspective to the global conversation on humanity’s ways of being. First, his Things Fall Apart (TFA), published in 1958, when he was 28, was the first novel to engage with European colonialism from an African perspective. The story spoke to an international audience.


As he worked on his second novel, Achebe took some time to bringing, into the literary pantheon, a vast number of other young, talented African writers through the African Writers Series, which he edited for Heinemann of London. He was always about us doing things in our own way.


Achebe led the way in the campaign for robust, world class, indigenous publishing. With the phenomenal success of TFA which gave him enormous influence over the British owned Heinemann’s Africa Writers Series, and three other successful novels, Achebe could, by 1971, demand that his books would henceforth be published, first by a Nigerian publisher, from whom a reprint could be requested by any British or American publisher. Granted, a tradition of request for rights to books from Nigerian publishers, by overseas publishing houses, had been established much earlier – the throbbing literary scene in Ibadan in the 1960s provided the impetus for foreign publishers to have a look in and buy rights to works of the emerging writers of that period, from the Mbari Club (which doubled as a society and a publisher) – but Achebe returned from the Civil war certain that homegrown Nigerian publishing ‘will make its way in the world’. 


It is that same lifelong pursuit of ‘our own thing for us’, that propelled his invitation of Nigerian writers to Nsukka, in 1983, to reconvene the body of writers now known as ANA.


The almost unanimous expression of grief by the entire nation at Achebe’s death, coming so soon after the frenetic debates over certain facts and opinions contained in his last book, the memoir There Was A Country, shows that, while opinions might be divided on the literary icon’s recollection of Nigerian history, his place in the pantheon of our men of ideas and ideals remain undiminished in the estimation of an appreciative people.


The Committee understands the grief that the family, the community of artists and the entire nation are going through. We share the feeling of loss and mourn the passing away of this true icon of the contemporary arts of Nigeria. We know that he is resting in peace.


  For: Committee for Relevant Art


Toyin Akinosho

Secretary General


An Arthouse Forum On Whiteman's Book On Lagos

Posted by Samuel Osaze on March 6, 2013 at 2:55 AM Comments comments (2)

An Arthouse Forum On Whiteman’s Book On Lagos

The poet and sometime painter, Deji Toye will moderate a conversation around Kaye Whiteman’s 'LAGOS: A Cultural and Historical Companion' at the Freedom Park (1 Hospital Road, by Broad Street, Lagos) at 4pm on Thursday, March 7, 2013.

The conversation is part of an arthouse forum, organized by the Committee For Relevant Art(CORA), in honour of Whiteman, who flew into town to launch the book. The author himself also turns 77 around that date and so there’d be a small musical show at the Park’s food court after the conversation.

The discussants are Tolu Ogunlesi, poet and journalist, and Toni Kan, poet Short story writer, journalist and publicist, and Femke van Zeiji, a Dutch Journalist who in recent years relocated to Lagos.

Whiteman first came to Nigeria in the 60s, but he fell for Lagos when he lived in the city for two years between 2000 and 2002.

The book’s blurb says that the author “explores a city that has constantly re-invented itself, from the first settlement on an uninhabited island to the creation of the port in the early years of the twentieth century…. The city’s melting-pot has ferti­lised a unique literary and artistic flowering that is only now beginning to be appreciated by a world that has only seen slums and chaos”.

Jahman Anikulapo @ 50

Posted by Samuel Osaze on January 8, 2013 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (4)

Jahman Anikulapo will be 50 onJanuary 16, 2013. This period also coincides with his exiting a long, stellarcareer at Guardian newspaper group as the Sunday Editor. In the last twodecades or so, Jahman has pressed his talent, position and material means to service in aid of the development of the cultural sector in Nigeria.


It is in light of the foregoing thatthe friends of Jahman Anikulapo, under the aegis of Committee of the Friends OfJahman @50, have planned a month-long programme of events to celebrate this cultural agent. The Committee has now released the timetable for the celebrations, with the overall theme: ‘3D-Jahman: The Three Dimensions of a Cultural Change Agent – Artist, Activist and Art Journalist.’


 Full Details of Events andActivities


·      January 13, 2013: Arthouse Forum

Arthouse ForumFor Jahman Anikulapo At 50: Apanel conversation around how the Interplay between Art Advocacy, ArtJournalism and Art Practice has shaped the evolution of cultural propagation inthe last 25 years. This will be followed by two other events later that evening

-      Tributes and Readings For Jahman Anikulapo

-      An evening of songs, theatre skitsand performances


Time: From

Venues: Kongi’s Harvest Gallery(Second Floor), Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos.

RSVP: Ayodele Arigbabu (08033000499).

 iREPRESENT INTERNATIONAL FILM DOCUMENTARY  ( Friends of  CORA) has also planned an event to celebrate Jahman Anikulapo. Date is FRIDAY, 18th of January, 2013, at Freedom Park, Marina, Lagos, 7:00pm prompt.

RSVP: Sam Osaze 08036554119


·      January 20, 2013: Invitational Dinner

Jahman’s colleagues in the Guardiangroup of newspapers host him to an evening of dining and tributes.


RSVP: Andrew Iro Okungbowa (08023152195)


 ·      January 25, 2013: Stripped Bare: Jahman Anikulapo, Warts and All

The celebrant in an intimate conversation with a whistleblower about childhood, upbringing, betweenarea-boyism and ajebotterhood, the promise of youth, the gap betweenexpectations and middle age reality, hooliganism, the secrets of journalisticsuccess, the challenges of advocacy, the hopes of culture advocacy, a peek intolife after the Guardian.


Time: From 5pm.

Venue: Quintessence Book andArtshop, Falomo Shopping Centre

RSVP: Sam Osaze (08036554119).


 It should be recalled that onDecember 30, 2012, Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) of which Jahman isProgramme Chairman held a celebration for him at its annual year-end party inFestac Town, Lagos, at which there was a symbolic cutting of cake and a pouringof libation superintended by Mr. Benson Idonije, patriarch of Nigerian artcritics.


Also, the artists Nkechi Nwosu-Igboand Toni Kan have already launched call for submission into a poetry collectionto be published in honour of Jahman Anikulapo, just as we understand that thecall for contribution of papers into a festschrift for a similar purpose willbe made in the next few days.


We look forward to your active participation in this season of celebrations.


Thank you.