Monday, 30 January 2017

Chimamanda Adichie Marched Alongside Thousands in Washington, D.C. (Photos)

On January 21st, hundreds of thousands of women gathered in various cities in the US and around the world to march in support of women’s rights.

The march in Washington, D.C, which kickstarted the movement drew an enormous crowd.  Chimamanda Adichie, a feminist icon of note, was there to lend her support.

She shared photos of her time at the march on Facebook and highlighted a few of her favorite protest posters.


Thursday, 26 January 2017

Nigerian Author, Buchi Emecheta, Dies At 72


Nigerian author Buchi Emecheta, whose works included The Joys of Motherhood, Second-Class Citizen and The Bride Price, has died at her home in London at the age of 72.

Emecheta's books were on the national curricula of several African countries.

She was known for championing women and girls in her writing, though famously rejected description as a feminist.

"I work toward the liberation of women but I'm not feminist. I'm just a woman," she said.

The topics she covered in her writing included child marriage, life as a single mother, abuse of women and racism in the UK and elsewhere.


The president of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Denja Abdullahi, said: "We have lost a rare gem in this field. Her works would forever live to speak for her.
"It is a sad loss to our circle. She was known for championing the female gender and we would forever miss her."

Lagos-born Emecheta had moved to the UK in 1960, working as a librarian and becoming a student at London University, where she read sociology. She later worked as a community worker in London for several years.

She left her husband when he refused to read her first novel and burnt the manuscript, a World Service series on women writers reported.

The book, In the Ditch, was eventually published in 1972. That and Second-Class Citizen, which followed in 1974, were fictionalised portraits of a young Nigerian woman struggling to bring up children in London.

Later, she wrote about civil conflict in Nigeria and the experience of motherhood in a changing Ibo society.
An assessment of her writing, published by the British Council, says: "The female protagonists of Emecheta's fiction challenge the masculinist assumption that they should be defined as domestic properties whose value resides in their ability to bear children and in their willingness to remain confined at home.

"Initiative and determination become the distinguishing marks of Emecheta's women. They are resourceful and turn adverse conditions into their triumph."

"Black women all over the world should re-unite and re-examine the way history has portrayed us," she said.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Opportunity for African Writers | Submit to Dwartonline’s Issue No. 3

www.blacktowerpublishers.com.ng
 Dwartonline is a literary magazine managed by Wale Ayinla and Chukwuebuka Ibeh. They recently announced a call for submissions to Issue Number 3, which will be published in April. Submissions are open for poetry, fiction, non-fiction, drama, art and photography.

The theme for Issue Number 3 is “Uprooting,” which the editors explains as follows:

"We are looking for original and compelling pieces that touch on “Uprooting” through such sub-themes as death, spiritual disconnection, physical distancing, cultural alienation, memory loss — just anything that reminds us of a flower being pulled out of the earth. We want a portrayal of the tragedies and comedies of losing one’s root. Pieces that break stereotypes and are told with extra-ordinary confidence will appeal to us more."
Deadline: March 2

Rules and Guidelines

Send your works electronically through dwartsonline@gmail.com
We have interest only in works that have not been published elsewhere.
Every submission must be accompanied by the writer’s/artist’s/photographer’s short bio. This should be in the same document as the piece.
Please write the category you are submitting to in the Subject line of the email.
POETRY: Dwarts accepts not more than two poems from a single poet for this issue. Each poem must not be longer than 30 lines. If more than one, the poems must be contained in a single document.
FICTION: Submissions in this category must not be more than 3,000 words long. Every submission is expected to be compelling enough to pin one down with startling sentences and fluttery story lines.
NON-FICTION: Submissions in this category should be creative and, at the same time, informative. Each submission must not be more than 2,000 words.
ART & PHOTOGRAPHY: Dwarts accepts a minimum of two and a maximum of four art works or creative photographs that clearly depict the theme. Submissions in this category must be made as PDF files.
DRAMA: Short plays that span not more than 6 pages of A4 paper are encouraged. The formatting must be consistent.
Read the full announcement HERE.

Opportunity for African Writers | Apply to the Goethe-Bakwa-Saraba Literary Exchange Project


Writers in Lagos and Yaounde have a chance to take part in a new literary initiative. The Goethe-Institute is teaming up with Lagos-based Saraba Magazine and Bakwa Magazine in Yaounde to create a literary exchange project.

Writers in both cities get to attend workshops on creative non-fiction run by these two amazing literary magazines.

We love the idea of studying writing through a cross-cultural experience. Best part is that it is an all-expense-paid workshop. We strongly encourage all the aspiring writers to apply.

Deadline: February 15

 Submission guidelines:
Apply by sending an an e-mail to libo@lagos.goethe.org. Your email subject should read “Application for Literary Exchange 2017
Here is what should be in the body of the e-mail:
  1. Your Name
  2. A short bio not more than 200 words with relevant publishing history statingwhether you are applying from Nigeria or Cameroon.
  3. An unpublished writing sample of not more than 700 words written in Englishand submitted twice in .doc format. One sample submitted with your name onit and the other without.
  4. Your availability to travel between 10th-16th May 2017 and other dates afterbeing given prior notice.
Your sample of work must be included as an attachment in your mail. Applications not following the rules will automatically be disqualified. The working language of the workshop is English.
Selection process:
Applicants will be selected by a jury appointed by Goethe-Institut Lagos and Yaounde. The jury’s decision will be final and non-appealable.

Deadline for Submission is February 15, 2017. Only those accepted will be notified by March 10, 2017. Details regarding dates of exchange and meetings will be communicated upon approval of your participation.

For further enquiries, contact: libo@lagos.goethe.org.

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

Friday, 13 January 2017

Is Kingdom Tales by Charles Umerie The Next Animal Farm?



Kingdom Tales is sometimes labelled a fairy story, but it’s far from that. It’s an allegory to the events that took place in Africa after most of the African nations were free to rule themselves. It was a time plagued with wars and coups, and the author of Kingdom Tales did an amazing job retelling those stories using animals.

It was written in an elegantly simple style, and the author, Charles, used the animal kingdoms as a metaphor for the African nations. The story started when King Hasha (Eagles’ king), the ruler of Mountain Kingdom defeated the Cave Kingdom (the Bats) in their quest for a legendary Dark Staff. In real life, this Dark Staff can be a total freedom or independence; because in African folklores, staffs always signify independence or having authority.
Then in the Mountain Kingdom (Eagles’ home), Charles made us to understand that even though the kingdom is strong, it still received support from the ‘creepy’ Falcons who aren’t part of the kingdom. This can be analyzed as the support most African nations got from their colonial masters, which they didn’t believe were genuine supports, rather as a way their masters hoped to exploit them more.

Also while the Mountain Kingdom, Cave Kingdom, and the Forest Kingdom were all searching for the Dark Staff (total freedom), they were also plagued with internal issues. King Hasha lost his throne to one of his soldiers, and was exiled to another kingdom for some time. Something of that nature also happened to the Bats’ king. This could be the time African nations were plagued with coups, civil wars and genocides.

Even though this novel is politically minded, it’s still very entertaining for kids to enjoy. The author has a good sense of humour and great writing style. When I first read it, I really enjoyed it as a fairy story about animals fighting for supremacy, not knowing it represented something deeper. That’s why I say it’s safe for kids to read too.

Charles was able to add African folklore and medieval feel to it too, so anybody from anywhere can totally enjoy the book. And it’s a quick read too. Very classic.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

SHOCKING: See What Kingdom Tales Was Really About






Kingdom Tales is a dystopian allegory about a group of animal kingdoms fighting for power, love and total control of other kingdoms.

Charles Umerie wrote this book as an allegory to the events that took place in Africa after the end of colonial rule in Africa.

Towards the end of slave trade in Africa, there were no countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and the Congo; there were only tribal groups and kingdoms. The missionaries at the time worked with philanthropists to create a public opinion hostile to slave trade, and also helped promote penetration of the hinterland.
This led to the rule of the colonial masters during the 1910s and 1920s. This period was marked as the time Africans lost confidence in their culture and personality; and anything of African origin was looked down upon. During the World War II, a good number of Africans were provided opportunity to travel the world, and they witnessed the nationalist struggles happening in other parts of the world such as Burma and India. When they returned home after the war, they indirectly shared their nationalist ideas with their fellow Africans.

This led to most African nations under colonial rule to start making some demands from their colonial masters. Their colonial masters were sympathetic to their demands because most of these African nations contributed a lot in man-power and money to aid them during the World War II. The demands brought about development in road, air travel and some other places. These developments–especially in broadcasting–allowed Africans to quickly know what was going on in the world and that solidified the nationalist idea already in the people’s mind.

After World War II, the same Africans that lost confidence in their culture and personality all of a sudden started demanding for self-rule, and the clamour for that self-rule reverberated across Africa. 1950s and 1960s saw a great deal of African nations gaining their independence and putting an end to colonial rule. But that was just the beginning of civil wars and ethnic conflict. 

In Kingdom Tales, the war between the bats and the eagles had been a thing of see-saw win and lose. It went from kings to kings, till King Hasha, eagles’ king, was able to conquer some parts of the bat kingdom and had access to the shrine of the legendary dark staff.
The eagles lived in the mountains (Mountain Kingdom). The bats lived in the caves (Cave Kingdom). And the other animals like lions and tigers lived in the forest (Forest Kingdom). These three kingdoms had same borders like Nigeria, Cameroun and Niger Republic.

The author had to work with animals, so they were privileged to enjoy the things we humans enjoy. In this book, they could speak, laugh, think, fight, and even love. Apart from that, this is a perfect strategic book that doesn’t need a complex mind to grasp the intriguing and unpredictable events as they unfold in the book.

It was written in an elegantly simple style, and the author, Charles, used the animal kingdoms as a metaphor for the African nations. The story started when King Hasha (Eagles’ king), the ruler of Mountain Kingdom defeated the Cave Kingdom (the Bats) in their quest for a legendary Dark Staff. In real life, this Dark Staff can be a total freedom or independence; because in African folklores, staffs always signify independence or having authority.

Then in the Mountain Kingdom (Eagles’ home), Charles made us to understand that even though the kingdom is strong, it still received support from the ‘creepy’ Falcons who aren’t part of the kingdom. This can be analyzed as the support most African nations got from their colonial masters, which they didn’t believe were genuine supports, rather as a way their masters hoped to exploit them more.

Also while the Mountain Kingdom, Cave Kingdom, and the Forest Kingdom were all searching for the Dark Staff (total freedom), they were also plagued with internal issues. King Hasha lost his throne to one of his soldiers, and was exiled to another kingdom for some time. Something of that nature also happened to the Bats’ king. This could be the time African nations were plagued with coups, civil wars and genocides. 

See Why Kingdom Tales Could Be The Best Book By A Nigerian Author




Nigerian Literature has gone through some growth in history, and that growth led to the emergence of writers like Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka whose impact are still felt today.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe – described by Wikipedia as the most widely read book in modern literature. Achebe’s book came out in 1958 and gained world acclaim. So did Wole Soyinka’s works which got him the Nobel Prize in Literature and also making the first African to win it.

In more recent times, new writers like Chimamanda have emerged to carry the light and lead the way for Nigerian Literature; with their works portraying African struggles, myths and folklore. Unlike the old Nigerian literature, more universal books are out on the market.

During the old Nigerian literature days, books were so regional. Authors pointed out a certain region and only identified with it. Most of Achebe and Soyinka’s works delved into issues typical to only Igbo and Yoruba societies respectively.

But now, modern writers are doing amazing job uniting and putting out books that anyone from any part of the world can enjoy and still understand the main reason behind the book. One of those writers is Charles Umerie, the author Kingdom Tales.


It’s safe to say that Charles Umerie is putting the grease to the wheels of eBook publishing and fantasy fiction in Nigeria with his most recent book, Kingdom Tales. Fantasy Fiction is a genre most Nigerian writers always try to avoid, but Charles Umerie did an amazing job with Kingdom Tales.

Kingdom Tales has sold more internationally, and that won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has read Kingdom Tales. Charles Umerie gave it a little medieval and African feel, and he was conscious about identifying with a particular region; instead he identified with all regions. Anyone from anywhere reading Kingdom Tales can easily say, “Hey, that happens in my community too.” And no matter your age, you can read Kingdom Tales and totally understand it on your own mental level. Charles once said in an online interview that Kingdom Tales is deeper than most people think. It embodies love and hate, trust and betrayal, forgiveness and revenge, political injustice people face, and the spiritual tussle between good and evil.

Kingdom Tales is a dystopian allegory about a group animals fighting for supremacy and control over all the other animal kingdoms. Charles Umerie wrote the book as an allegory to the events that took place in Africa after the colonial rule has ended. That was a time Africa was plagued with wars, coups and genocides. 

Charles retold the story using animal kingdoms as metaphor for the African nations.
It started when the eagle king, Hasha, came home from a long battle against the bats, and found out he had missed his family so much. The birth of his new twins made him to give up fighting, and he appointed a new general, Uzza, to help him run the kingdom.

General Uzza had a secret plan of his own. Behind king Hasha’s back, he engineered the execution of king Hasha’s close friend, Kayel, who he thought would be an obstacle to his secret plan.

When general Uzza’s plan was ready, he stormed king Hasha’s palace with the help of rebels terrorizing king Hasha’s kingdom. General Uzza managed to turn the kingdom officials against king Hasha, and they exiled the king to a kingdom they thought he wouldn’t survive living there.

Luckily for Hasha, he survived. He stayed in the kingdom and made new friends. When the time came, he started planning of way to get back his kingdom, even at the expense of working with his old enemies, and giving up secrets no one ever knew about.

It was written in an elegantly simple style, and the author, Charles, used the animal kingdoms as a metaphor for the African nations. The story started when King Hasha (Eagles’ king), the ruler of Mountain Kingdom defeated the Cave Kingdom (the Bats) in their quest for a legendary Dark Staff. In real life, this Dark Staff can be a total freedom or independence; because in African folklores, staffs always signify independence or having authority.

Then in the Mountain Kingdom (Eagles’ home), Charles made us to understand that even though the kingdom is strong, it still received support from the ‘creepy’ Falcons who aren’t part of the kingdom. This can be analyzed as the support most African nations got from their colonial masters, which they didn’t believe were genuine supports, rather as a way their masters hoped to exploit them more.
Also while the Mountain Kingdom, Cave Kingdom, and the Forest Kingdom were all searching for the Dark Staff (total freedom), they were also plagued with internal issues. King Hasha lost his throne to one of his soldiers, and was exiled to another kingdom for some time. Something of that nature also happened to the Bats’ king. This could be the time African nations were plagued with coups, civil wars and genocides.

After reading Kingdom Tales, you don’t need an expert to understand what society and injustice Charles was talking about.

There are other new writers that seem to be the way for Nigerian literature, but they need more attention than they get now.  Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe are the foundations of Nigerian literature, but not the measurement for today.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Publisher Emeritus Walter Wick dies

Walter M. Wick, an inductee in the Arizona Newspaper Association Hall of Fame and Publisher Emeritus of the Sierra Vista Herald/Bisbee Daily Review, died Christmas morning at his home in Hereford.
Wick, 85, who with his brother Robert have guided ownership of Wick Communications for more than a half century, died following a recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
“I was blessed as much as any brother ever could be with Walter’s presence in my life. We at times had our differences but we each knew our love transcended all problems,” Robert Wick said Tuesday. “In my life this great soul is passed but his reverberation will ripple throughout all those who have known him.”
The brothers purchased their uncle’s interest in Wick Communications in 1965, following his death. Their father, Milton Wick, and uncle James, founded the company when they acquired the family’s first newspaper in 1926 in Niles, Ohio. Family members remain active in the business today, with Walter’s daughter, Rebecca Rogers, currently serving on the company’s Board of Directors; nephew Francis Wick serving as the President and CEO; daughter Pat Wick is the Assistant General Manager at the Herald/Review and her son, Andrew Saenz has been named interim general manager of the Nogales International.
“Walt was a shepherd of the Wick family and stalwart of the Wick organization. His leadership and teachings have created a strong foundation for the company to continue under family ownership for years to come,” Francis Wick said.
Walter and Robert Wick assumed full ownership of the company, which expanded to 27 publications, in 1981 following the death of their father. Wick Communications, under Walter and Robert’s stewardship, currently has holdings in 11 states, including publications in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, on the East Coast, Half Moon Bay in California, Wasilla, Alaska, to the north and New Iberia, Louisiana, to the south.
“My brother Walter was a brilliantly unique human being. With a ferocious memory for literature, history, and newspapering,” Robert Wick said.
Herald/Review Publisher Manuel Coppola, who serves as president of the ANA, said Wick’s support for community journalism has left an indelible mark in the industry’s history book.
“Walter and Robert Wick were inducted into the ANA Hall of Fame for their devotion to newspapers and their support of community journalism,” Coppola said.
Coppola came up through the Wick ranks and was recently named publisher of the flagship, The Sierra Vista Herald/Bisbee Daily Review.
“Walt’s and Bob’s anecdotes about growing up in the newspaper business inspired those of us who were in the infancy of our careers in relation to their experience. Walt would take a genuine interest in you as a person, as a publisher and about the newspaper to which you were assigned,” Coppola said.
“With that deep newspaper background and personal touch the brothers earned the respect of my fellow publishers and I who saw them — and still consider Bob — more as colleagues than corporate figureheads.”
Friends and community members expressed sympathies and remembered Walter Wick as a poet, publisher, businessman and strong supporter of his community.
“He was a wonderful conversationalist, listening carefully to the thoughts of others, and responding in a very thoughtful and profound manner. Even something as brief as a thank you note would be written in a poetic and thought-provoking manner,” said Sally Holcombe.
Holcombe said it has been more than 30 years since she and her late husband met Walt Wick.
“Everyone who knew Walt knew of his devotion to and concern for his family and friends,” she said.
Wick was born at Northside Hospital, in Youngstown, Ohio on Feb. 4, 1931 to Milton and Rosemary (Lomas) Wick of Niles. Wick was born into a pioneering Norwegian family of Lutheran and Presbyterian pastors and ministers. He attended Washington Junior High School and McKinley High School in Niles, graduating in 1949. He attended college at Kent State University and the University of Minnesota.
Wick married Joyce M. Nelson in June of 1951 and worked as a publisher of the Niles Daily Times until 1961 where he also served a term as president of the Niles Chamber of Commerce. In 1962 Wick and his family moved to Williston, ND where he worked as Publisher of the Williston Daily Herald. In 1974, they moved to Arizona, where Wick was publisher of the Sierra Vista Herald/Bisbee Daily Review and co-chairman with his brother of the board of directors of Wick News, Inc. for many years.
He was preceded in death by his son, Thomas Walter, 16, in 1973, nephew Stanley Walter, 17, in 1980, and his former wife, Joyce M. Wick in 2002.
He is survived by his wife, Beverly E. (Sullivan), with whom he was first acquainted in Niles during junior and senior high school. Beverly and Walter’s courtship was resumed in 2004 during a 55th high school reunion and they were married in Sierra Vista in 2009.
He is also survived by his brother, Robert J. (Estellean) Wick of Bisbee, his children, Robert (Robin) M. (Linda Golya) and Jonathan P. (Theresa Sowersby) both of Hereford, Christopher M. of Phoenix, Patricia Wick (Samuel Zackey) and Rebecca Rogers, both of Sierra Vista and Martha Lundin (Steve Frye) of Waukesha, WI. Grandchildren, Andrew J. (Jerusha) Saenz of Sahuarita, Morganna (John) Guzzon of Mesa, John (Claribel) Saenz of Willcox, Fiona Rogers of Tucson; Neville Wick of Flagstaff, Jessica Beam of Bronx, NY and Lucas Bostrom of Olympia, Washington; and great grandchildren, Zane, AJ, Markus, Danika, Matthew, Sara and Max. He is further survived by his nephews Francis (Amanda), Nathan (Tera), and Horace Wick and nieces Cornelia Gun (Alan), Rosemary Wick, stepchildren Tom (Karen) Caswelch and Doug (Coleen) Caswell and former wife, Joellen (Fisher) Wick .
He was elected to the Arizona Newspaper Association Hall of Fame in 2004, and also received the Presidential Medallion from Kent State University as the co-founder (along with brother Robert) of the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University in memory of his son Thomas, and his nephew, Stanley. Wick also established the Walter Wick Family Foundation with the Arizona Community Foundation and contributed most significantly, along with other family members to the Sierra Vista Boys and Girls Building Fund.
Wick’s interests, outside of being with and loving his family, included newspapers, literature, history and poetry. He loved bird watching, fine dining, and caring for his dachshunds. He was always up on the latest news, New York Times book reviews, and health information.


Gift memorials may be made to the Tom and Stan Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University, P.O. Box 5190, Kent OH 44242; attn: David Hassler. Services are being planned for Jan. 6, 2017 in Sierra Vista, and more information on times and locations will be published at a later date.