CORA Art & Cultural Foundation

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Posted by Samuel Osaze on November 10, 2012 at 12:35 AM Comments comments ()



As part of its 14th Lagos Book & Art Festival which holds from the 16th till the 18th of November 2012, Committee For Relevant Art (CORA) hereby announces its plans for the 3rd Publishers’ Forum which will hold on the 15th of November.


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.


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.


In appreciating the importance of funding and cash flow management to any business, we have chosen to focus on the theme: FINANCING THE BOOK TRADE for this year’s Publisher’s Forum with the hope that ideas generated will serve well in 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) where two publishers will share from their current work and experience in the publishing business. This year, we will have Otunba Lawal Solarin who established Literamed Publishers in 1969, in conversation with Muhthar Bakare who in turn founded Farafina Books in 2004. This conversation will be followed by a cocktail reception to help set the tone for the festival.


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 16 to 18 at the grounds of Freedom Park, 1 Hospital Road, (Old Broad Street Prison site) Lagos Island.


The Publishers’ Forum will hold from 10am – 6.30pm on the 15th of November at Goethe Institut, 4th Flr, City Hall, 30 Catholic Mission Str, Lagos Island.


The summary of the schedule is as follows:



10am – 5pm @ Goethe Institut, City Hall, Lagos

CORA Publishers’ Forum

Theme: Financing The Book Trade

Nigerian Publishers workshop the opportunities the environment offers for financing of publishing. It’s a brain storming session that will lead to concrete, implementable solutions to be published as a document. Lead presentations by Muhthar Bakare and Deji Toye.


5pm – 6.30pm @ Goethe Institut, City Hall, Lagos

Publishers’ Interface with the public / Pre-festival cocktail

Farafina Books will have a conversation with Literamed Publishers on funding options they have employed in running their businesses amongst other pertinent issues.

Discussants: Otunba Lawal Solarin (Publisher, Literamed) and Muhthar Bakare (Publisher, Farafina).



Posted by Samuel Osaze on November 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM Comments comments ()

Amalion Publishing invites you to these two events as My Life Has a Price, a gripping tale of pain, strength and triumph is presented at the Lagos Book & Art Festival. Venue is: Freedom Park, 1 Hospital Road, Broad Street, Lagos. 16-18 Nov.


2pm – 3pm

My Life Has a Price

A panel discussion around the newly released personal memoirs of abuse victim- Tina Okpara and the theme of abuse, rape and how literature can fill the gap. Published by Amalion Publishers, the book My Life Has a Price is being introduced to the public at the 14th Lagos Book & Art Festival. Discussants include Emmanuel Iduma, Adaudo Osigwe, Dami Ajayi, Sylva Nze Ifedigbo moderated by Chris Ihidero. Produced by Saraba Magazine.



10am – 11.45am

My Life Has a Price- Meet the author

Tina Okpara's memoir, MY LIFE HAS A PRICE takes us on her 5-year journey to hell; from a loving yet poor childhood in Nigeria to the ordeal of modern day slavery in wealthy, suburban Paris.  She was only 13 when celebrity footballer, Godwin Okpara and his wife Linda, lured her father into giving her up for a supposedly better life in Europe. Tina Okpara will share from that experience, especially on writing the memoir and the closure it brings.


One morning in the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria, a lucky 13-year-old girl named Tina, who came from a modest family, is preparing to go to France to become part of Linda and Godwin Okpara's family. Linda is a home maker and Godwin is a footballer at top French club Paris Saint-Germain and for the Super Eagles, Nigeria's national squad. They have four children and Tina dreams of going with them to school and joining in their games and pranks, living the European dream. But soon after her arrival the reality becomes different.


Written in collaboration with acclaimed journalist, Cyril Guinet, Tina recounts how imprisonment, torture and abuse in a suburban house in the middle of gentrified Europe in the twenty-first century could not break her. Tina's gripping story of survival and escape is a moving testament to a remarkable woman, a true survivor.

My Life Has A Price is one of the books of the festival. To this effect, a panel of discussion is set around the newly released personal memoirs of the abused victim- Tina Okpara and the theme of abuse, rape and how Literature can fill the gap.

Published by Amalion Publishers Dakar, the book is set to make waves at the 14th Lagos Book & Art Festival.  This is a heartrending true lifestory that encapsulates the agonizing pains of a childhood servitude in the hands of adoptive parents. A-must-read, an eye-opener to those who place a high price-tag on humanity and the right of the child!

Entry to the Lagos Book & Art Festival is absolutely freee!

For more information, visit, call: 08189417037.

Bishop Kukah, Ali Baba To Headline the Lagos Book and Art Festival.

Posted by Don DADA on November 5, 2012 at 2:35 AM Comments comments ()

Ali Baba, the country’s top comedian and Matthew Kukah, the nation’s spiritual guide and confessor, will speak back to back at the opening ceremonies of the 14th Lagos Book and Art Festival scheduled for Freedom Park on Broad Street on November 16, 2012. Mr Ali Baba, who symbolizes the possibilities of a successful career in an intangible vocation, will deliver this year’s My Encounter With The Book speech, at 10am prompt, to open the Children segment of the three day fiesta. The speech has become some sort of the Festival’s keynote address, even though it is designed to mentor children on the role books have played in the life of the speaker. Past keynoters have included Professor Pat Utomi, Professor Femi Osofisan and Professor Tunde Babawale. Shortly after Mr Ali Baba’s message, Bishop Kukah will be led to the podium, in a parallel session, by the poet Tolu Ogunlesi, for the Festival’s Opening Conversation. The discussion, around the Bishop’s latest book Witness To Justice; An Insider’s Account of Nigeria’s Truth Commission, will kickstart the Festival’s 10 panel sessions and conversations over the next three days. LABAF will feature over 10 book events, three music concerts, two theatre shows, 11 workshops for children and a visual art exhibition. There are over thirty books being discussed at the festival including Fela: This Bitch of a Life by Carlos Moore, Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley by Timothy White. Power, Politics & Death by Segun Adeniyi, Bitter-Sweet My Life with Obasanjo by Oluremi Obasanjo, A Measure of Grace by Akin Mabogunje, Bomboy, by Yewande Omotosho, Voice Of America, by E. C. Osondu, Stealth Of Nations: The Global Rise Of The Informal Economy, by Robert Neuwirth, Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson, Open Graveyard by Wale Osun, Out of the Shadows by Kayode Fayemi, Roses and Bullets by Akachi Adimora Ezeigbo and Witness To Justice by Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah.


CORA's Book Party For OCTOBER 7, FREEDOM PARK, Lagos

Posted by Samuel Osaze on October 1, 2012 at 2:35 PM Comments comments ()

The Committee for Relevant Art(CORA) cordially invites you to its fourth annual BOOK PARTY holding on SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7 at the Conference/ExhibitionRoom of the Kongi's Harvest Gallery,Freedom Park , 1 Hospital Road, opposite General Hospital, Broad Street,Lagos. The event runs from 1pm to 5pm.

The session of readings, reviews, conversations and fraternization will featurethe Shortlisted Writers in the yearlyNigeria Prize for Literature who will be reading from their works as well as engaged in conversation among themselves and with members of the public.


The authors to be honoured andfeted are:

OnuoraNzekwu, (Troubled Dust); 

Vincent Egbuson ( Zhero); 

Lola Soneyin  (TheSecret Lives Of Baba Segi’s Wives), 

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani (I Do Not Come To You By Chance);

Jude Dibia (Blackbird),

Chika Unigwe (On Black Sister’s Street),

Olusola Olugbesan’s (Only A Canvas),

Ifeanyi Ajaegbo’s (Sarah House )

E. E. Sule’s (Sterile Sky) and

Ngozi Achebe’s (Onaedo, The Blacksmith’s Daughter).

 NB: The list will be shortened to three by October 9. 


The readings/jam session/reviewwas started four years ago to honour those who make the Shortlist of the$100,000 Nigeria Prize for Literature, NPL. The objective is to make theShortlisted work and its author known to the members of the public by creatingconversations around the work and the author. Our conviction is thatbeing on the Shortlist is already a certification that the Writer with hiswork is one of the very best; and as such a Winner even at this stage of the competition. 

It promises to be a mini-Literary picnic – talking, wining, dining andfun -- celebrating Nigeria’s literature and the creative spirits of our land.

The gate is FREE but come promptly, please.

 With respect,



RSVP: 08036554119 (SMS preferable, please)


CORA & TheLifeHouse Anchor Discussion @ Lights, Camera, Africa Film Festival, 2012

Posted by Samuel Osaze on September 20, 2012 at 10:45 AM Comments comments ()


You are invited to participate in a discussion on this year’s festival theme – "Shine Your Eye": Film as Eyewitness on Saturday 29th September between 3.30pm and 4.30pm. The venue of the discussion will be the Southern Sun Hotel in Ikoyi. Participants are kindly requested to arrive at 2.30pm

This hour-long moderated discussion to be anchored by Cora Art and Cultural Foundation & TheLifeHouse is targeted at film-makers, students of film and general film and culture enthusiasts. We anticipate that it will provide an opportunity for the discussants and the audience to interrogate the role of film in acting as a witness to historic events.

The films selected for this year’s festival illustrate the use of film as eyewitness and the citizen’s intervention in this regard. The experience of the discussants as film-makers and dynamic culture ambassadors in utilising film as a tool of witness would be useful as it would serve to broaden the perspectives of the audience.

Festival picks to look forward to include- " Our Beloved Sudan" by a female Director; Tagreed Elsanhouri, tells a tale of the two Sudans in the run up to independence celebration for South Sudan. Yoole describes the harsh ordeal undergone by young Senegales men who leave their homeland in search of better life. Closer to home, Akin Omotosho's "Man On Ground" which has been well received at global film festivals around the world, shall open the festival and, guests can look forward to a Q & A session with Omotosho himself.

To participate, send email to; or by telephone to +234 703 403 0683 or +234 816 264 3836

Thank You.

for LCA!!!2012 Film Festival/The Life House

CORA Launches the 14th Lagos Book & Art Festival

Posted by Samuel Osaze on September 14, 2012 at 8:05 AM Comments comments ()


Toyin Akinosho, Publisher of Africa Oil & Gas Report and Secretary General of the CORA Art & Cultural Foundation has announced the dates for the 14th Lagos Book & Art Festival. The festival would hold from the 16th – 18th November 2012 at Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos Island with a pre-event Publishers’ Forum and Cocktail holding on the 15th. A theme has also been announced for the Festival: The Narrative of Conflict-which focuses on how the written word and the literacy it engenders interrogates the different conflicts that surround our current existence and recent past. The festival is dedicated to the veteran artist Bruce Onabrakpeyawho turned 80 this year and whose work and dedication to the arts continue to be a source of inspiration to generations of Nigerians.




TheLagos Book & Art Festival, or LABAF as it’s often called, is a landmark event on the nation’s culture calendar with sprawling book displays,exhibitions, live music and drama performances and of course, nuanced literaryevents that take time out to dig deep into the content of books. Says Akinosho-“LABAF is self-styled as Africa’s Biggest Culture Picnic because we don’t just put together a book fair, a performance concert, a literary festival or an art expo, what we do is a healthy fusion ofall four in a festival atmosphere, and for the past 14 years, the festival hasbecome an important destination for families, literary and art enthusiasts, cultureproducers, children and even lovers. We have had people who came as childrenyears ago still attending now as young adults. We have also had people who metat the festival grounds for the first time years ago, still attending asmarried couples. What keeps them coming back is the way the festival allowsthem to engage with culture in a fun atmosphere, that is why it is Africa’sBiggest Culture Picnic.”


Setto hold this year from the 16th – 18th November atFreedom Park, 1 Hospital Road, Lagos Island, LABAF will feature over 10 bookevents, 3 music concerts, 2 theatre shows, 11 workshops for children and 2visual art exhibitions. There are over thirty books being discussed at thefestival including Fela: This Bitch ofa Life by CarlosMoore, Catch a Fire: The Lifeof Bob Marley by TimothyWhite. Power, Politics & Death by Segun Adeniyi, Bitter-SweetMy Life with Obasanjo by OluremiObasanjo,  A Measure of Grace by Akin Mabogunje, Bomboy, by YewandeOmotosho, Voice Of America, by E. C. Osondu, Stealth Of Nations: The Global Rise Of The Informal Economy, by Robert Neuwirth, Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson, Open Graveyard by Wale Osun, Out of theShadows by Kayode Fayemi, Roses and Bullets by AkachiAdimora Ezeigbo and Witness ToJustice by Bishop Mathew HassanKukah. Because the LABAF book events usually engage with books at a deeperlevel beyond the star power of the authors that produce them, most sessions areusually driven by robust discussion panels, some of the writers and thinkersconfirmed for these panels include: Sola Olorunyomi, Bisi Arije, Femi AkintundeJohnson, Toni Kan, Femi Aisida, Toki Mabogunje, Odili Ujubonu, Tolu Ogunlesi,Wale Ajao, Derin Ajao, Tunji Lardner, Niran Okewole, Tade Ipadeola, LayiwolaAdeniji, Eghosa Imasuen, AnwuliOjogwu, Kayode Komolafe amongstothers.


But LABAF is not just about heavy book events to getyou giddy with book knowledge. The Childrens’ Programme coordinated by ChildrenAnd The Environment (CATE) usually draws children in their thousands and willfeature loads of activities, workshops, talks and performances centered aroundthe festival theme of The Narrative of Conflict while marking the National CreativityDay and UN Child Rights Day.


Ina tightly packed performance bouquet, The Crown Troupe of Africa would bestaging Zainabu Jallo’s ‘Holy Night’ while the internationally acclaimedRenegade Theatre will also be taking the stage during the course of thefestival. Add to that a Jazz Concert produced by Inspiro Productions,storytelling, spoken word, music and reading sessions produced by Pulp Faction,Image & Heritage and Laipo, a return of CORA’s Great Highlife Party in thebiggest Highlife Concert in a long while, all rolled into a scenic venue with acaptivating history then you know why Freedom Park is the place to be from the16th – 18th November at the 14th Lagos Book& Art Festival!


Formore information on the festival and to contact the organizers, please visit:




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

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

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 ()
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 ()

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 ()

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