CORA Art & Cultural Foundation

...we are 'cultural landscapists.'


'Kongi's Harvest' Is Venue For Onobrakpeya At 80

Posted by jahman Anikulapo on August 22, 2012 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

The top, open air floor of Kongi’s Harvest Gallery, with a grand view of the Freedom Park and parts of central Lagos, is the venue for the Art Stampede for Bruce Onobrakpeya at 80.

The event , set for 2pm on Sunday August 26, is the second on the scheduled list of activities commemorating the 80th birthday anniversary of the printmaker and patriarch of all of Nigeria’s culture producers. The Stampede is to interrogate the new consciousness in visual art documentation in the country.

Bruce Onobrakpeya was cited by the art historian Dele Jegede, in the 90s, as the most published and publicized artist in Nigeria. After spending considerable time and effort publishing coffee table books about his own art, he attracted international scholars who stepped in and rigorously documented him in beautifully laid out and bound coffee table books. Now that “tendency” is gaining momentum. The Nigerian art scene, today, sort of routinely produces fat, thoughtful, coffee table books on art that reside in private spaces in the country.

The stampede, 'From Brochure To Books, Emerging Trend In Visual Art Documentation', will feature panelists, some of them scholars, some of them collectors, some co-producers of such new books, to discuss the challenging process of production. Some of the books for discussion at the parley include: 'Making History, African Collectors and The Canon Of African Art' by Sylvester Ogbechie; 'Nigerian Artistry', by Pat Oyelola; 'New Trees In Old Forests; Contemporary Nigerian Art in Lagos Private Collections', edited by Jess Castellote; 'A Celebration of Modern Nigerian Art – 101 Nigerian Artists', by Chukwuemeka Bosah and George Edozie; 'Ben Enwonwu: The Making of an African Modernist', by Sylvester Ogbechie.

The discussion will be used as a peg to look at prospects of documenting arts generally in other format — Film and Audio.

Shedding Identity Weight At Nigeria House

Posted by jahman Anikulapo on August 7, 2012 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)
Various authors attracted to Showcasing Nigerian Literature, held last week as part of the Cultural Olympiad in London, try to reveal what govern their sensibilities, writes AKEEM LASISI

The literary component of the cultural showcase at the Nigeria House, London ended at the weekend, but the issues raised by the writers that participated in it remain alive. These include the lingering questions of identity, national dilemma and the relationship between Nigerian writers abroad and those at home.

The project tagged Showcasing Nigerian Literature, which was coordinated by the Committee for Relevant Arts, featured Helon Habila, Nnorom Azuonye, Ade Solanke, Diran Adebayo, Zainabu Jallo, and Chibundu Onuzo. While the author of Everything Good will Come, Sefi Atta, who was also billed to attend, could not make it; the only Nigerian-based writer that participated is latest Caine Prize winner, Rotimi Babatunde.

Babatunde’s presence can be described as being symbolic since, as Christopher Okigbo would say in a poem, he was ‘a shrub among the poplars’. That was until his Bombay’s Republic won the 10,000 pounds prize, thus bringing limelight on what he is capable of doing as a writer.

Followers of Nigerian literature would note that it was the same way the Caine Prize gave Habila’s talent a break, but Babatunde tried to make a clarification on where he is coming from as a writer.

Touching on one of the questions that bordered on the identity of some of the writers, he noted that although he preferred to concentrate on writing, leaving marketing and promotion to publishers, people around Ibadan knew that his personality was not too passive.

He said, “A lot of Nigerians make efforts to self-publish and market their works. I try to concentrate my efforts on writing and reading. But I am a night crawler, though. Those who don’t know me in Ibadan don’t night-crawl.”

Probing questions by Lookman Sanusi, Sola Adeyemi and Ike Anya, who anchored the discussion on different days, touched on the sensibilities of the writers. For Azuonye, who is also the founder and editor of Sentinel Magazine, the identity question is key. Part of how he answers this is by sticking to his African/Igbo name, dropping Sydney, an English name he was given by his parents alongside those (names) he bears now. His children bear Igbo names, despite the fact that the family is based in the UK.

The irony in Azuonye’s case is, however, that he at times finds it difficult to say whether he is a Nigerian or Biafran, since he was born during the civil war. Onuzo’s identity story sweetly contrasts with that of Azuonye.

The father of the author of The Spider King’s Daughter is Igbo while her mum is Yoruba. She does not only jealously keep her Yoruba name — Oluwadara — she also tells anybody that cares that apart from being Igbo, she is as Yoruba as any other person, having been born and bred in Lagos. She, however, added a twist to the identity puzzle in which many people, especially Africans, are caught when she was asked the source of her ‘other name’, Chub.

According to her, it was the alias she earned from a schoolmate in the UK who found it too tough to pronounce ‘Chibundu’.

In the case of Solanke, who was born and raised in England, the identity issue may just be a ‘Pandora’s Box’ – being the title of her play on which most of the questions directed at her focused. She has never experienced Nigerian life, so she created a story in which some of her principal characters are trying to establish where and how. The book is like her own mental box.

Adebayo has a similar story as Solanke in terms of his background, having been British from day one. His response to issues that surround his identity will largely be found in his novel, Some Kind of Black. But a belief he shares with Azuonye, that home-based Nigerians concentrate too much on heavy subjects such as politics and social issues, bred another question that Habila’s position tended to resolve. According to the author of Waiting for an Angel, an enduring perspective is to focus on people. “I try to be realistic and true to life.”

Habila said when asked why love affairs do not usually work out in his stories. “I write about love, about life and sadness. And our society has more sadness than happiness. I don’t write about agenda. I write about human beings.”

At the encounters held thrice at the Theatre Royal, Stratford, Jallo, author of Onions Make us Cry, recounted some of her experience at a residency she just completed.

CORA, which was represented by one of its officials, Ayo Arigbabu, noted that the project was designed to exhibit the best of Nigerian Literature through book readings, conversations on literature and a display of a wide range of books by Nigerian authors at home and in the Diaspora. It was powered by the Bank of Industry and British Council.



Posted by Samuel Osaze on July 24, 2012 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (0)

The Nigeria House Literature Showcase is a showcase of Nigerian Literature presented through book readings, conversations on literature and a display of a wide range of books by Nigerian authors.

This event is part of a showcase of Nigerian Arts, Culture and Lifestyle holding during the Olympics in London, from 23 July – 15 August at Theatre Royale, Stratford East.

Nigerian authors being featured include: Diran Adebayo, Sefi Atta, Helon Habila, Ade Solanke, Zainabu Jallo, Nnorom Azuonye, Cibundu Onuzo, and Rotimi Babatunde whose recent win of the Caine Prize is still being celebrated.

Meet these authors on the 26th, 30th and 31st of July 2012 at Theatre Royale Stratford East. Their books will be on display and available for sale, at the same venue from the 24th of July till the 3rd of August 2012.

For further information, kindly mail:

This event is presented by CORA Art & Cultural Foundation in association with British Council, with the support of the Bank of Industry.



1) Ade Solanke is a playwright and screenwriter, and founder and creative director of Spora Stories, developing and producing high-quality, entertaining, socially-engaged plays and films about the African diaspora. Ade gained her MFA in Film and Television at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where she was a Fulbright Fellow and Phi Beta Kappa International Scholar. She worked as a story analyst for several Hollywood studios and has taught scriptwriting at the University of London and Pan-African University, Nigeria.

Earlier in her career, Ade was voted 'London's Top Young Entrepreneur' for her writing business by Nat West Bank and Shell UK. In collaboration with other diaspora storytellers, Spora explores new story-delivery systems.

2) Chibundu Onuzo was born in Nigeria in 1991 and is the youngest of four children. She is currently studying History at King's College, London. When not writing, Chibundu can be found playing the piano or singing. The publication of her first novel, The Spider King's Daughter, in 2012 by Faber and Faber was greeted with acclaim for her achievement at getting such a coveted publishing deal at a young age. In June 2012, she was named UK’s Number 1 best black student. The award was given by Rare Rising Stars. She proved to be the first woman to top the list.

Chibundu has since started a blog to promote her book and chips in commentaries on Nigeria, notably a recent article published on the website of the UK Guardian, on the resilience of Nigerians in the face of widespread terrorism.

3) Diran Adebayo is an acclaimed novelist, short fiction writer and cultural critic best known for his vivid, picaresque takes on modern Britain, and his distinctive style. His debut novel, Some Kind of Black, was one of the first to articulate a British-African perspective, and was hailed as breaking new ground for the 'London novel'. It won him numerous awards, including the Writers Guild of Great Britain's New Writer of the Year Award, the 1996 Saga Prize, a Betty Trask Award, and The Authors' Club's 'Best First Novel' award. It was also long listed for the Booker Prize, serialised on radio and is now a Virago Modern Classic. His second novel, My Once Upon a Time, a dazzling slice of neo-noir set in a re-imagined city, was also widely acclaimed, and solidified his reputation as a groundbreaker. In 2004 he co-edited 'New Writing 12', the British Council's annual anthology of British and Commonwealth literature, with Blake Morrison and Jane Rogers. Diran has also written for television and radio, including the 2005 documentary 'Out of Africa' for BBC2. As a critic, he's written extensively in the national press and appeared as a guest on shows such as 'Newsnight', 'The Culture Show', 'This Week' and the 'Today' programme, discussing everything from sport and race to politics and popular culture.

He is currently writing his third novel, The Ballad of Dizzy and Miss P, and a sports-based memoir. He is a member of the National Council of the Arts Council of England and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He studied Law at Oxford University.

4) Helon Habila studied Literature at the University of Jos and lectured for three years at the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, before going to Lagos to write for Hints Magazine. He is a poet and prose fiction writer. Extracts from his collection of short stories, Prison Stories, were published in Nigeria in 2000. The full text was published as a novel in the UK under the title Waiting for an Angel in 2002 and received a Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region, Best First Book) in 2003. Also in 2002, he moved to England to become a Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia.

Helon Habila also won the MUSON Poetry Prize in 2000 and was the arts editor of the Vanguard Newspaper. He is currently teaching Creative Writing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where he lives. His second novel, Measuring Time, the tale of twin brothers living in a Nigerian village, was published in 2007, and his latest novel is Oil On Water (2010), shortlisted for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region, Best Book).

Helon Habila’s novels are stories of individuals discovering and dealing with loneliness, ennui, love affairs that don’t quite work out, political corruption, brutality and violence, and the enduring importance of freedom of expression.

5) Nnorom Azuonye is a poet, writer, dramatist, essayist, interviewer, literary editor and publisher. Founder and Administrator of Sentinel Poetry Movement, publishers of ‘Sentinel Literary Quarterly’, ‘Sentinel Nigeria’, and ‘Sentinel Champions’ magazines, he is the author of the poetry collections: ‘Letter to God and Other Poems’ (2003), and ‘The Bridge Selection: Poems for the Road’ (2005). His play ‘A Tasty Taboo’ received its world premiere in 1990 at the University of Nigeria Arts Theatre, Nsukka, and ‘Funeral of the Minstrel’ (a short play) was published in the Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology (2011). His poems, short stories, essays, and interviews have appeared in several international journals including: Opon Ifa, Sunday Statesman, Weekly Star, Agenda, Theatre Forum, Orbis, DrumVoices Revue, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, African Writing, Flair, Sentinel Literary Quarterly and Eclectica. His works have also appeared in the anthologies: ‘Voices Against Racism: 100 Poems Against Racism’ (Edited by Thomas O’Flaherty), ‘For the Love of God’ (Edited by Desmond Kon et. Al.), ‘Songs for Wonodi’ (Edited by Dike Okoro), ‘Not Only the Dark’ (Edited by Jo Field and Nicky Gould), and ‘Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology’ (Edited by Nnorom Azuonye, Unoma Azuah and Amanda Sington-Williams). Azuonye lives in South London with his wife and children.

6) Rotimi Babatunde is a poet, playwright and fiction writer. His short stories have been published in Little Drops, Fiction on the Web, and Mirabilia Review, among other publications, and broadcast on the BBC World Service. He is a fiction award recipient of New York’s Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, a winner the Abuja Writer’s Forum Cyprian Ekwensi Prize for short stories, and his story Bombay’s Republic was shortlisted for the 2012 Caine Prize for African Writing. Rotimi Babatunde’s plays include An Infidel in the Upper Room (presented at the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, at the Institute for Contemporary Arts (ICA), and broadcast on the BBC World Service); The Bonfire of the Innocents (commissioned by Riksteatern, the Swedish National Touring Theatre, and staged in Swedish translation as Elddopet); and A Shroud for Lazarus (world premiere at Halcyon Theatre, Chicago). He is currently working on a new collaborative theatre project, part of the London 2012/World Stages London, jointly produced by the Royal Court Theatre and the Young Vic. His poems have been published in Daybreak on the Land, A Volcano of Voices, NT Lit Mag, and translated into German. His writing has been recognised with literary fellowships by the Fondazione Pistoletto’s Unidee Program and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre in Italy, and by Ledig House and the MacDowell Colony in the United States. Rotimi Babatunde lives in Ibadan, Nigeria.

7) Sefi Atta was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She was educated there, in England and the United States.

A former chartered accountant and CPA, she is a graduate of the creative writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her short stories have appeared in journals like Los Angeles Review and Mississipi Review and have won prizes from Zoetrope and Red Hen Press. Her radio plays have been broadcast by the BBC. She is the winner of PEN International's 2004/2005 David TK Wong Prize and in 2006, her debut novel Everything Good Will Come was awarded the inaugural Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

Her short story collection, Lawless, received the 2009 Noma Award For Publishing in Africa. Lawless is published in the US and UK as News From Home. She lives in Mississippi with her husband Gboyega Ransome-Kuti, a medical doctor, and their daughter, Temi.


Zainabu Jallo was nominated in 2011 by the Royal Court Theatre London, British Council and Ford Foundation Nigeria to join nine other young Nigerians to begin a ‘New Writing from Nigeria project.

In 2008 she was nominated by the same bodies to attend a summer writing residency at the Royal Court Theatre in London. In 2009, she was awarded a fellowship for a three –month residency at The Global Arts village New Delhi, India where she had readings of some of her work. Onions Make Us Cry, her second play got published in 2010. The play had a reading at the Contacting The World International Theatre Forum in the same year got nominated for the 2010 Nigeria Prize for Literature.

Onions Make Us Cry was read at the festival of new international plays in March 2011 at the LARK in New York. The play had full performances by the Crown Troupe of Africa in Lagos, Nigeria. In November 2011, Onions make us Cry was announced as one of the six winning plays of the National Studio London, Africa Project. Zainabu is one of the playwrights whose work will be featured at the 9th Women Playwrights international conference in Sweden in August 2012. She has recently been offered a place at the Sundance Theatre Lab as writer in residency 2012 as well as a place in the 2012 Château de Lavigny, Maison d’écrivains Fondation Ledig-Rowohlt Residency Laussane, Switzerland. Her new play HOLY NIGHT has received a few readings and made it to the final round of the internationalist Playwright Contest with readings in New York later in the year.

Book Display begins at same venue on July, 24th,  till the event  closes! Be there!

Be there!

Amb. Segun Olusola: The Value Of Thrift And Fellow Feeling

Posted by Samuel Osaze on June 23, 2012 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

The Committee For Relevant Art (CORA)commiserates with the family of Elder Artist, Chief Segun Olusola, creator of the legendary TV series Village Headmaster and mentor of a huge cast of culture producers.


Chief Olusola was a patron of CORA, was an enthusiastic participant in most of our programmes and chaired the very first meeting of our Board of Trustees and Governors. His presence in those events gave them gravitas.

 The committee understands the grief that both the family and the community of artists are going through. We share the feeling of loss and mourn the passing away of a true icon of contemporary arts of Nigeria, a man who was a diplomat in the truest sense of the word, who could spontaneously ingratiate himself into the rituals of art practice and in the next breadth fit into the community of those who walk the corridors of power.

 Village Headmaster, the gift he gave Nigeria, started the country on the path of TV drama series, which evolved into television soap operas, which, both in themselves and with other efforts in filmmaking, helped to shape the Nollywood tradition.

As young beneficiaries of the wisdom of this great contributor to the artistic progress and the discourses around our national well being, we should ordinarily affirm that his death, like that of any African elder who has run a good race, is an occasion for celebrating his life and legacies. We do. But Chief Olusola’s death also allows us to reflect on the role of models and the need for inspiring leadership in a nation adrift with corruption and shackled by violence and insecurity. The Ambassador of peace was a man whose overriding ethos was reconciliation of extreme views. He lived a life which, in its telling, highlights the value of thrift and fellow feeling and the finer points of family values. He is resting in peace.



Toyin Akinosho


Secretary General

How LABAF 2011 lit up Freedom Park

Posted by Samuel Osaze on November 29, 2011 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)

-Terh Agbedeh

The annual Lagos Book and Art Festival, LABAF, which is in its 13th year and is run by the Committee for Relevant Art, CORA, took place from November 18 to 20, 2011. The theme for the 2011 edition was ‘I Vote to Read: The Book and the Voice of the People’.

The festival started on Friday, November 18 at Freedom Park, with a session with children called My Encounter with the Book and The Festival Colloquium.

My Encounter with the Book featured Prof. Babawale (Director General of CBAAC). He gave a motivational talk to children and thus opened the kiddies’ segment of the festival.

The Festival Colloquium, was in two parts and had two themes, ‘Documenting the Governance Challenges: Africa in the Eyes of the Other’ and ‘Arrested Development: Why Can’t ‘They’ Get It Right?’ featuring readings, reviews and discussions on key books. Books discussed include A Swamp Full of Dollars by Michael Peel, Dinner with Mugabe by Heidi Holland and A Continent for the Taking by Howard French for the first session. The second session had books like; The State of Africa by Martin Meredith, Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink by John Campbell and It’s Our Turn to Eat by Michaela Wrong.

Day one closed with ‘How Familiar is this Town? The City as a Key Character in the Fictional Narratives of the Continent’ and featured readings, reviews and discussions around the books; Good Morning Comrades(Luanda, Angola) by Ondjaki, The Yacoubian Building (Cairo, Egypt) by Alaa Al Aswany, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives(Ibadan, Nigeria), Tropical Fish (Entebbe, Uganda) by Doreen Baigana and Under The Brown Rusted Roofs (Ibadan, Nigeria) by Abimbola Adelakun.

CORA is grateful to all its partners and sponsors for making a success of one of the most important book events in the country.

CORA was founded in June 1991 with the MISSION to create an enabling environment for the flourishing of the contemporary arts of Nigeria and to increase human capacity of the continent. VISION is to make Culture the Prime Investment Destination for the Country and the Continent by 2018.

see pictures here.      

LABAF Publishers' Forum tracks the book in the age of the microchip

Posted by Samuel Osaze on November 29, 2011 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (1)

-Terh Agbedeh

The Publishers’ Forum, which is part of the 13th Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF) organized by the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) took place on Thursday, November 17 at the Goethe-Institut, City Hall, Lagos. Since the forum started last year it has functioned as a pre festival event bringing publishers together to discuss their challenges and how they can surmount them.

The second in the series this year’s edition had the theme: ‘The Book in the Age of the Microchip’. Three speakers discussed sub themes derived from the theme in a hall filled with established and aspiring publishers.

The first to speak was Mr. Bamidele Sanusi of Best Technologies Limited, a company based in Ibadan, Oyo State. He did justice to the topic: ‘Optimising digital platforms in book editing, design and production.’ In what turned out to be a very interactive session with those in attendance making useful contributions to the discussion. The talk centered on how to move from the traditional way of producing books to the digital way outlining the many formats in which online publishing can be done. The conclusion was that the world is going digital and everyone in publishing who hoped to stay relevant must jump on the bandwagon.

Next to speak was Mr. Kazeem Muritala, a web developer with Wayne and Malcolm Inc. He spoke on the topic: ‘Optimising digital platforms for book distribution, marketing and sales’. Apart from talking about the differences between the traditional way of selling books, Muritala also talked about securing digital data particularly in book form.

The third discussion was led by Mr. Deji Toye, who is an enterprise lawyer and member of CORA. Titled; ‘E-business opportunities for the publishing industry’, it dwelt on best practices in the publishing industry worldwide, particularly in Canada and the United States and was based on the Value Chain Analysis theory by Michael Porter. He described the activities that take place in a business and related them to an analysis of the competitive strength of the business. In this case publishing of books. It was indeed an incisive paper which challenged the young people about the opportunities in the existing publishing houses. It also called on them to sit down and create a niche if they hope to go far in business.

The forum gave way to a cocktail which had two publishers speak on the topic: ‘Wooing the Mass Market’.

CORA was founded in June 1991 with the MISSION to create an enabling environment for the flourishing of the contemporary arts of Nigeria and to increase human capacity of the continent. VISION is to make Culture the Prime Investment Destination for the Country and the Continent by 2018.

The festival is supported by Vanguard Media Limited, Guardian Newspapers, TV Continental, Top Radio, Homestead Publishing/Waka About, Century Energy Services, Z-Mirage, Freedom Park, Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas Limited, British Council, Pillar Oil, Platform Petroleum, Renegade theatre, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation and Goethe-Institut, amongst others.

CORA is grateful to all its partners and sponsors for making a success of one of the most important book events in the country.

see picture here.


Posted by Samuel Osaze on September 22, 2011 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (0)



Theme: I Vote To Read: The Book and The Voice Of The People.

Dates: November 17-20, 2011

Main Venue: Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos

Scheduled Programme of KEY Events

Pre-Festival Events


Monday November 14:

1. Opening of the National Reading Week

Festival Events

Thursday (November 17) 10am-5pm (GOETHE INSTITUT, CITY HALL, LAGOS)

2. Publishers Forum: Theme: Bridging the Digital Divide. A business forum for publishers designed to add value to their business through critical feedback on processes, input on the most challenging areas they have to deal with and useful networking. This year’s Forum will run a set of seminars on harnessing digital applications available today for the publishing industry (Subject to pre-registration. Call or mail for comprehensive programme and to confirm attendance).

Thursday (November 17) 5pm-6.30pm

3. Publishers’ Interface With The Public /Pre-festival cocktail(Open event): A roundtable discussion involving some publishers and some ranking writers and journalists, will explore the publishing business from the digital perspective and key projects that the publishers have undertaken or currently have under development within that context. A cocktail will round off the discussions.

Friday (November 18), 9am-1pm (FREEDOM PARK)

4. (9 am, Hall 2) My Encounter with the Book (Kiddies’ Segment– Chima Ibeneche (Petroleum Engineer and Managing Director, NLNG)-a motivational talk to kids, kicks open the kiddies’ segment of the festival.

5. (11am-1pm, Hall 1) The Festival Colloquium(I): Theme: Documenting The Governance Challenges: Africa In The Eyes Of The Other-I: Readings, Reviews, and discussions around (a)A Swamp Full Of Dollars- Michael Peel (b). Dinner With Mugabe-Heidi Holland; (c)A Continent For The Taking- Howard French,

Friday, (November 18), 1pm-3pm(FREEDOM PARK)

5A. (1pm-3pm, Hall 1)The Festival Colloquium (II) Arrested Development: “Why Can’t ‘They’ Get It Right?: Africa In The Eyes Of The Other: Readings, Reviews, and discussions around (a)The State Of Africa-Martin Meredith, (b)Nigeria: Dancing On The Brink-John Campbell, (c) It’s Our Turn To Eat- Michaela Wrong

Friday, (November 18), 3pm-5pm(FREEDOM PARK)

6. How Familiar Is This Town? The City As A Key Character In the Fictional Narratives Of The Continent.

Readings, Reviews, and discussions around (1)Good Morning Comrades(Luanda, Angola)-, by Ondjaki, (2)The Yacoubian Building(Cairo, Egypt) by Alaa Al Aswany

(3) The Secret Lives Of Baba Segi’s Wives(Ibadan, Nigeria), (4)Tropical Fish (Entebbe, Uganda)-Doreen Baigana; (5) Under The Brown Rusted Roofs(Ibadan, Nigeria)

Saturday, (November 19), 10am-1pm(FREEDOM PARK)


Saturday, (November 19)

7. (11am-1pm)My Encounter with the Book (Kiddies’ Segment– Austin Avuru (Petroleum Geologist and Author/Managing Director, Seplat Petroleum)-a motivational talk to kids ….

(12noon to 1.30pm)

8. (12noon to 1.30pm)Town Talk1: Theme: Books as tools of The Knowledge Economy: Can a book make you rich? A top notch panel of discussants review the role of books in the Knowledge Economy, using three books as take off points: Hot, Flat And Crowded- Tom Friedman, The Tipping Point-Malcolm Gladwell, The Ascent Of Money-Niall Ferguson

8B.(1.30pm to 3pm)Town Talk2: Theme: The Book As Key To The Knowledge Economy: A conversation around Tom Friedman’s The World Is Flat, and Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers.

Saturday, (November 19),

9. (3pm-4pm, Hall 1) Challenging The Present: African Authors And The Global Discourse On Governance: Readings, Reviews and Discussions around: Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working And What Can Be Done About It, By Dambissa Moyo, When Citizens Revolt: Nigerian Elites, Big Oil and The Ogoni Struggle For Self Determination By Ike Okonta.

Musical Interlude/Live Performance(FREEDOM PARK)

Saturday, (November 19), 4pm-6pm

10. Mapping The Future: Four young authors and publishers under 35, discuss the changing landscape of the publishing industry and express, in detail, their dreams/plans in contributing to the revamp. Inserted in this conversation is a 25 minute presentation by Toni Kan with a working title: What happened to The Pace Setter Series- and when will the new Nigerian thriller come?

Saturday, (November 19), 6pm-10pm(FREEDOM PARK)

11. Festival Birthday Party

Combined birthday party for: Fatai Rolling Dollar@ 85, Chukwuemeka Ike @80, Benson Idonije@ 75, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett@ 70, Charly Boy @ 60, Richard Mofe-Damijo @50, Joke Silva @50, Yeni Kuti @50


Sunday, November 20, 12noon(FREEDOM PARK)

12. Arthouse Forum: Art Of The Biography:Reviews and discussions of Femi Osofisan’s J. P. Clark: A Voyage, Adewale Pearce’s A Peculiar Tragedy: J. P. Clark and the beginning of modern Nigerian literature and Dele Olojede/Onukaba Adinoyi Ojo’s Born To Run: a biography of Dele Giwa.

Sunday, November 20, 2pm(FREEDOM PARK)

13. Stampede- The Nigerian Abroad: Fictional Accounts Of The Immigrant Experience. A panel discussion on the The Phoenix By Chika Unigwe, Some Kind Of Black, By Diran Adebayo, 26A By Dianne Evans, A Squatter’s Tale, By Ike Oguine, Her Majesty’s Visit, By Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo, Icarius Girl –By Helen Oyeyemi, Lawless, by Sefi Atta, The Thing Around Your Neck, By Chimamanda Adichie

14. Sunday, November 20, 6pm (FREEDOM PARK)

14-Festival Play: Waiting Room by Wole Oguntokun: To Commemorate A Fresh Start Of Our Democracy


Jahman Anikulapo

Programme Chair

Media Sponsors: Vanguard Media Limited, The Guardian Newspapers.

Supported by the National Theatre, Century Energy Services, Z-Mirage, Freedom Park, NLNG, Renegade Theatre and Centre For Black &African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC), Goethe Institut

For Sponsorship please call: 08022016495 or mail:


Posted by Samuel Osaze on September 22, 2011 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)






As part of its13th Lagos Book & Art Festival which holds from the 18th till the 20th of November 2011, Committee For Relevant Art (CORA) hereby announces its plans for the 2nd Publishers’ Forum which will hold on the 17th of November as a part of the 13th Lagos Book & Art Festival.

The Publishers’ Forum provides 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.

For this year’s Publisher’s Forum, we have chosen to focus on the theme: THE BOOK IN THE AGE OF THE MICROCHIP in appreciating the vast potential that digital technologies hold for empowering publishers in developing economies like ours to dramatically scale up their businesses.

Within the four hours marked up for the business forum, we intend the participants to add value to their businesses through the intervention of key facilitators, critical feedback on their processes, input on the most challenging areas they have to deal with and useful networking.

The Publishers forum will be followed from 5pm to 6.30pm by a conversation (open to the public) tagged: “WOOING THE MASS MARKET” where two publishers will share from their current work and their future plans, by discussing a selection from their publishing list. This year, we will have two publishers discuss their efforts at publishing literary journals and what mileage the internet afforded them in their efforts. A digital display of past editions of their journals will be presented. The discussions will be brought to a close with a cocktail.

A most apt way to describe the Publishers' Forum is to call it 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.

The Lagos Book & Art Festival is a comprehensive, four day programme of events; readings, conversations around books, art and craft displays, kiddies’ art workshops and reading sessions, book exhibitions, live music and dance. It will run from November 18 to 20 at the ground of Freedom Park, 1 Hospital Road, (Old Broad Street Prison site) Lagos Island.

The Publishers’ Forum will hold from 10am – 6.30pm on the 17th of November at the Goethe Institut, City Hall, Lagos Island, a short walk from Freedom Park.


9am – 10am Registration

10am – 11am Session 1: Optimizing digital platforms for book editing, design and production.

11am – 12noon Session 2: Optimizing digital platforms for book distribution, marketing and sales.

12noon – 12:20pm Tea Break

12:20pm – 1.20pm Session 3: The book in the age of the microchip

1.20pm – 2pm Q&A / interactive session.

2pm – 3pm Lunch Break

3pm – 4pm Session 3: E-business opportunities for the publishing industry.

4pm – 5pm General discussion and wrap up.

5pm – 6.30pm WOOING THE MASS MARKET- Discussion between two publishers / cocktail


Session 1: Bamidele Sanusi / Best Technogies

Session 2: Kazeem Muritala / Wayne & Malcolm Inc.

Session 3: Goethe Institut

Session 4: Deji Toye / The LODT

The three facilitators will strive to intervene within the following contexts:

i. Main issues and challenges

ii. Opportunities presented by digital technologies

iii. Suggested strategies to adopt

While taking care to address the following key areas of concern for the industry:

1. Financing Publishing in Nigeria

2. New Technology and the publishing industry in Nigeria

3. The reading culture and impact on the publishing business in Nigeria

4. Book distribution and IP violation in the publishing industry.

Session 1 and Session 2 will explore available options for optimizing digital technologies for the production and distribution of books, Session 3 will expound further on the previous two sessions while Session 4 will take lessons learnt in the preceeding sessions and attempt to evolve a workable business strategy from them for the participating publishing houses. An interactive session will conclude the forum, allowing for some feedback and evaluation, just before the final conversation between two publishers and cocktail. Please contact the undersigned to register for the Publishers’ Forum or for more information on the 13th Lagos Book & Art Festival.

-Ayodele Arigbabu

For: CORA Art & Cultural Foundation

Email: phone: 08033000499

Bringing back the book to Nigerians

Posted by jahman Anikulapo on August 22, 2011 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)



THE Bring Back the Book Initiative conference is not politics but for lovers, critics, readers, writers and the civil society to say what they feel about 'Bring Back the Book' so as to get it even to areas like Ajegunle Ajangbadi etc. and to build reading culture for the relevance of Nigeria in the committee of nations' said Mr. Oronta Douglas.The first citizen's framework one day book conference on the Bring Back The Book Initiative held at the Eko Banquet Hall Lagos, organized by the Committee of Relevant Arts (CORA) had the glitterati in the printing world like Mr. Ben Tomoloju (moderator of the proceedings), Mr. Kunle Shogbehin, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Publishers Association, Mr. Lanre Adesuyi, president of Nigerian Booksellers Asssociation, Dr. Jerry Agada, the former Minister of Education and ANA President, The Executive Secretary of the NUC represented by Prof. Festus Adio Ogunbona, Mr. Dilibe Onyeama,Dr. Mrs Ogochukwu Promise of Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature, Dr. Mrs. Olalade Otitoloju, Dr. Mrs Bakare Yusuf, Mr. Erabor Okogun, Mr. Odia Ofeimun, book activist and a poet who was to have spoken with the President, Goodluck Jonathan on the essence of bringin back the book and the likes.

Music from Edaotan, Awoko, Cornerstoneand two other friends set the ball rolling before the conference director, Mr Deji Toye called on the CORA's General Secretary, Mr Toyin Akinosho to read the CORA's statement and stated that CORA came to being through the convening of a gathering of culture producers in Festac Town in June 1991, with the expressed mission to help create an enabling environment for the flowering of the enabling arts of Nigeria.

The conference was divided into four proceedings The Business, the creative, the educational aspects and the promotional aspects (Governance Triangle) of the Book, having discussants to talk more on each segment.

Speaking on the Business of the Book, Mr. Lanre Adesuyi said the government should upgrade the educational policy, the book policy of the Federal government that books should be bought from booksellers and not publishers should be reverted and the entertainment has its impart in promoting disinterest in the printed word but Mr. Kolade Mosuro of Booksellers Ltd said the aim of the book is to spread its content and to see books as a life- long learning process but it's reading is under pressure because students lack the skill of sitting down to read to reflect on the book. He then suggested that books should be launched around football, music, special plays, national news, and fast foods since the young ones are interested in all of these.

Also speaking, Mr. Kunle Shogbehin said the printing industry should be exempted from custom tax and asked that government should help institute literary prizes, support book exhibitions, form book advisory and readership committee and ensure that the 774 local government areas in Nigeria should be mandated to have at least one functional library.

The creative and the educational aspects of the book were combined in the same section. The former Minister of Education and President, Association of Nigerian Authors what to do next after the president's initial action is for stakeholders to meet to discuss how quality education should be given to all Nigerians and government should review educational system to meet up with the international standard and establish a national reading culture to improve reading culture in Nigeria.

The Executive Secretary of NUC, Mr. Julius Okojie represented by Prof. Ogunbona Festus blamed the decline of reading culture on the introduction of ICT; he said there should be the introduction of young readers association, reading association and reading clubs. Contributing Mrs. Abimbola Dada from the Nigerian Library Association said students like reading questions for answer books and suggested that modern public libraries should be established and allocation of budget for libraries to be monitored by well trained librarians. Mr. Odia Ofeimun said Nigeria is one of the 9 bottom countries dealing with illiteracy and the fact is not that government doesn't know what to do but government has refused to implement the policy made. He added that education is meant to be free and people fail to pay attention to the body in charge of books adding that all writers should pay their dues.

Dr. Mrs Bakare Yusuf stressed that money should be put in the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Culture including literary festivals so as people can apply for fund while Mr. Dilibe Onyeama said 'no matter how developed a country may be, you will still encounter books default and no matter how we go, we wil still find a way to complain about the system. However, we should meet to discuss how to go forward'.
In an exclusive interview with Mr. Ayo Arigbabu of the Dada books on how to sustain the bring back the book, he said, CORA has been at the forefront of promoting reading culture and the president's decision to back the book project was informed by CORA's activism and even if the president leaves, CORA and other people would help promote reading. In his words, 'CORA is trying to bring stakeholders together to use that interest as a source of energy towards getting some things done that can have lasting impart'.
Also responding, Mr. Jeremy Weate of Cassava Republic said, 'having book festivals to talk books and ideas help to bring back the book, because you're promoting reading, authors, books'.

National Daily gathered from Dr. Jerry Agada that the event organized by CORA is to ensure that the president's initiative does not get lost with the political development. 'In my paper I suggested some agencies which if established can stay for good unlike the individual who can leave but if it is built around an institution, the initiative will stay even if an individual leaves and that's what I think we can do even if the president leaves office '. He also revealed that the president will unveil the Writers' Village in February. Login Follow the discussion