No matter where you turn in Nigeria, whenever the discourse is about books, there is usually lamentation about the country’s inability to provide elementary key infrastructure for learning and knowledge acquisition. It also ends with the plaintive calls on government to do the needful.
In fact, the moderator, poet and music critic, Dr. Dami Ajayi, virtually turned the searchlight on the country’s publishing industry and how the home-based writers managed to get their works published, when last Sunday at MUSON Centre, Lagos, the NLNG/CORA Book Party was held to celebrate and acquaint the reading public with the 11 longlisted writers for the coveted USD$100,000 The Nigeria Prize for Literature 2016. The winner of the prize will be announced on October 9.
While some of their foreign counterparts, like Canada-based Yejide Kilanko (Daughters Who Walk This Path) and U.S.-based Dr. Mansim Okafor (The Parable of the Lost Shepherds) who joined the conversation via Skype had it fairly easy getting a publisher, the three home-based writers in attendance – Aramide Segun (author of Eniitan – Daughter of Destiny), Maryam Awaisu (Burning Bright) and Ifeoluwa Adeniyi (On the Bank of the River) – all had their books self-published after difficulties securing publishers failed. Read more