Friday, 30 January 2015


(for Professor Yusuf M. Adamu)

In life we have our dreams
And we pursue to fulfil them
No matter what it takes
We don’t rest until
The dreams come true

Sometimes the road maybe full of thorns and dark
But when the desire of the heart was listened to
The thorns and darkness won’t matter
The light of determination will pave the way 
And prayers will carry you through

What then in the end?
Now you are on top of the world
The young [1]Alhajin Koko is
A Don of Medical Geography
A champion of literature
And the lover of Egyptology

You shoot two birds with one stone
Your name echoes in the philosophical planets
And galaxies of African literature
You laid the foundation for us to build
[2]ANA Kano is now a centre of learning
Incubator of new writers and
A palace of entertainment and enlightenment

The sky is now yours to enjoy
You can join the race in the Milky Way
If you wish go to bed
As we celebrate with you today
The stars in the world will twinkle
And celebrate your fame

22nd September, 2012

[1] Alhajin Koko,       Nickname
[2] ANA,                    Association of Nigerian Authors                                           

Tuesday, 20 January 2015


By Su’eddie Vershima Agema
Have you heard about the Nigerian Writer Series (NWS)? No? It is a publishing imprint of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), modelled after Heinemann’s African Writers Series (AWS). The AWS pioneer editor was the literary legend Chinua Achebe. The Nigerian Writers Series was started with a ten million naira grant given to the Association by Governor Aliyu Babangida Muazu of Niger state in 2012. In 2013, submissions were received all over the country and ten manuscripts were selected from the pool by the Series editors: Unoma Azuah, Tanure Ojaide and Chuma Nwokolo. The manuscripts were published in November 2014 by four publishing consultants to the NWS: Parresia, Kraft Books, Jemmie and The Book Company. Presented here (as taken from the blurbs) are the ten servings from the NWS kitchen… Open mouth J

Burning Savannah echoes the menace terrorist groups like Boko Haram inflict on Northern Nigeria even as it convincingly captures the ethno-religious conflict in Jos. In the midst of this chaos is a story of love. 
Burning Savannah

Emeka, an Igbo resident of Haliru Street, Jos, falls in love with Hauwa, a Hausa-Fulani girl. The city-dwellers frown at the relationship, describing it as "haram", evil. Unknown to the lovebirds, Hauwa is betrothed to Hassan, the son of a popular Sheik who happens to be the father of the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jos.  Trouble starts for the young lovers when they are caught pants down by Hassan. The crisis that ensues does not only engulf the innocent lovers, it engulfs the entire city.

Anugba Chikwendu is from Umuchieze in Abia State. He is a graduate of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri. Currently, he is an Assistant Superintendent II in the Nigerian Customs Service.

Cat Eyes is the story of Pededoo, a country boy, who struggles to maintain a civil relationship with his father who has just returned home after many years abroad with a family of Cat Eyes (a white family). 
Cat Eyes

Despite Pededoo's resentment for his father and the new family, he is hardly able to resist and truly dislike Melissa-Jane, the amiable and dashing cat-eyed blonde. Cat Eyes is a bildungsroman, a book of family, adventure, self-discovery and love that would take readers on a voyage they would hold dear.

Pever X’s real name is Pever Martins Paul Aondofa Marie. He is a trained accountant, student member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and Managing Partner of PEA and Associates, a firm into everything in the book industry. In 2013, Pever emerged first runner-up for the ANA Prize for Prose Fiction with his book, Cat Eyes. He lives in Makurdi. Cat Eyes is his first published book.

Crimson Clouds by is a rollercoaster ride into the world of deceit, power, crime, politics and relationships. It is the story of two people from extreme worlds who decide to fight for their right to love each other against all odds. In the process, they find themselves on a quest for justice and become the hope of a nation that wishes 
Crimson Clouds

to bring evil-doers to justice. While written with a political nuance and a plot that progresses fast, Crimson Clouds is ultimately a love story that explores love as it rises above difficult circumstances and triumphs in a world turned upside down by greed and injustice.

Ayodele Arowosegbe is an essayist, literary blogger, and media professional. His works have appeared in SAGE, a lifestyle magazine, and Inscribed, an online literary magazine. In July 2011, he co-founded the Literary CafĂ©, now LitCaf Nigeria, an outfit that seeks to promote creative writing as a social consciousness in Nigeria. Ayodele completed a Master’s degree in Media Enterprise at the School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos. He currently does freelance media consulting and blogs at Ideology’s Corner. Crimson Clouds is his first Novel.

Cupid’s Catapult is a collection of twelve short stories set in Nigeria,
Cupids Catapult

depicting how love relationships often begin and blossom. From Lawrence who comes to Amina’s rescue in “Baggage to Love”, until we meet Kate in “Subtle Changes”, who after her stepfather’s death, moves to her benefactor’s house where she slowly loses her heart to Jude, Cupid keeps aiming and shooting, spinning this universal emotion as he pleases. The stories in this collection show us the many faces of love within life’s potpourri of laughter and pain. Above all, they urge us to keep believing in love despite all odds.

Hannah Onoguwe spent most of her growing-up years in Jos where she discovered her love for writing. She studied at the Universities of Ibadan and Jos. Her work has appeared in various journals in print and online. She enjoys travelling and has a weakness for romantic comedies.

Patroits and Sinners x-rays a typical under-developed country bedevilled by corruption and sundry ills. Siella, the stubborn and self-willed daughter of the President is in the centre of the story. Siella refuses to school abroad, choosing instead to confront the rot in her home
Patriots And Sinners 

country. She becomes a victim of a high-profile kidnap saga that brings her face-to-face with the rampaging evils that hold sway in the country she loves unflinchingly. When she meets the patriots, a group of deadly, dare-devil men, she is forced to see the other side of crime and to assess patriotism from a different angle. It is a story of love, crime, betrayal, corruption and above all, hope.

Nnenna Ihebom hails from Mbieri in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo state. She is married into the Ihebom family of Umuomi Uzoagba in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo state. She wrote her first story book, The Rejected Stones in 2007. Her novel, The Web, won the ANA/Chevron prize for environmental writing 2009. She has a passion for Igbo writing and also won the ANA/Ken Nnamani prize for Igbo literature 2007.

Souza Boy is a moving account of a motherless Nigerian boy who is born in Cameroon and grows up 
Souza Boy

with his father to become inextricably involved with the foreign surroundings in which he is birthed. But a sudden relocation into a supposed “Land of Promise” soon casts a terrible cloud upon him and the bliss he once experienced abruptly turns into nightmares, a shocking experience from which he never recovers. The result is a gripping work of art – a work of art committed to its artistic values. The author, with remarkable deftness, takes his readers on a gripping voyage from Cameroon to the West African nation of Nigeria to produce a literary piece which is unputdownable.

Elias Ozikpu is a playwright, autobiographer, novelist, student, and a social commentator. He was born in Souza, the Littoral Region of Cameroon but hails from Obudu, Cross River, Nigeria.

The Angel That Was Always There
The Angel That Was Always There talks about single parenting in the Niger Delta. It is a true-life account of the author who is himself a product of a single parent.
Julius Bokoru is an essayist, historical-fiction writer and memoirist. His works have been featured on various local and international literary magazines. In 2012 the government of Bayelsa state named him among the 50 most influential people of the state for his literary contributions.

The Oath is about Ojeiva Jumbo, a poor school teacher, who realizes he needs to get involved in partisan politics and secure power to save his people from the onslaught of poverty, violence and illiteracy in the fictional state of Azayi State.  But this power will not come free as he will require the
The Oat
assistance and connections of a powerful godfather. Jumbo is made to take an oath to reward his godfather financially when he becomes the governor which he will break eventually, drawing the ire of forces hell-bent on destroying him. Jumbo will however survive plots against him, and work hard to fulfil his mission in the government house in this suspenseful political thriller.

Habib Yakoob was born in Okene, Kogi State. He had his first degree in Mass Communications from Bayero University and second degree in Media Arts from University of Abuja. He has published several   articles, and written many yet-to-be published short stories and poems. His play, The Ugly Ones Refuse to Die, published in 2004 has been on the reading list of secondary schools   since 2006.  

The Right Choice is a novel about a group of young military officers who, under the leadership of Brigadier Saleem Sa’ada, strikes and overthrows the regime of General Danjuma. The new military 
The Right Choice

government designs a five-year transition programme to shift power to a democratically-elected government. As the elections approach, the UPP, a political party, lobbies Sameera, a radical writer and journalist, to accept its presidential ticket. After a heated race, Sameera emerges victorious. She will instantly become a world political figure who will set about to actualise her vision of a united economically and politically vibrant African continent.

Zaharaddeen Ibrahim Kallah is a Kano-born writer. He holds a B.Sc. Sociology/Political Science, and Masters in Development Studies. He is a bilingual writer, writing in English and Hausa languages. He works with the Directorate of Academic Planning, Bayero University.

The Threshing Floor is a collection of a dozen short stories that has just a bit of everything. From religious hypocrisy, marital infidelity and human deception and fraud, to spiritual mysteries, the limits of justice (in our land), the many and uncertain shades of love, and the redemptive value of 
The Threshing Floor
suicide, Isaac Attah Ogezi skilfully and sensitively explores the human condition in its social, psychological and spiritual dimensions. The stories are both universal and uniquely individual as everyone can identify with one or another of the characters whose experiences are portrayed in The Threshing Floor. The author's mastery of language and power of narration will surely seduce any reader.
Isaac Attah Ogezi is a legal practitioner and writer. His published works include: Waiting for Savon (2009), Casket of Her Dreams (2010), Under a Darkling Sky (2012), Embrace of a Leper (2013) and The Threshing Floor (2014). In 2014, he was nominated for both the Soyinka Prize for African Literature and NLNG Prize for Nigerian Literature for his Under a Darkling Sky.

So, there you have it! The books as told by the blurbs… What do you think? Interesting enough? Go grab a copy and see why the Editors took these ones from a full pool… And please, don’t forget to share your thoughts too. You can follow Nigerian Writers Series on twitter @NWSBooks or like the facebook page.

Su'eddie blogs @ and tweets @sueddieagema

Monday, 19 January 2015

Wake Up

(for [1]Sardauna)

It is time to wake up [2]Arewa
Your olden days were bright
Your name sailed in the oceans
Your spirit was seen, even
Lugard witnessed your potential
And settled there

Wake up and regain the courage
You have what nobody has
You have what everybody wants
In the olden days
You served the nation with trust

The spirit they raised for you
Was slain and eroded
Today they kept calling
Sardauna! Sardauna!! Sardauna!!!
But his actions are not practiced

When the sun likes you
And its planets adorn your sky
Let everyone hate you
The earth is yours
As the dew falls
It adorns the grass

It is time to wake up Arewa
It is time to regain your courage
The world has taken a new style
You have seen yesterday
Today shouldn’t be a problem
You then decide for tomorrow now
It is not yet late
You have all the resources

25th March, 2012

[1] Sardauna,              Ahmadu Bello
[2] Arewa,                 The North

Friday, 16 January 2015


As the scholar, Anthony Oha, once argued, many poets over the years have been made to churn out poetry as simple debased appeasement to a certain class of “scholars” who pride themselves as consumers of poetry. Such debased poetry is not just difficult (linguistically, contextually and ideationally), but has lost any pragmatic or aesthetic value. A true poet, then, is one who sees poetry as a service to the society; indeed the poet as Oha further argues is he who “believes in correcting by reflecting”.

       It is in this regard that After a Long Silence needs to be seen and appreciated. Zaharaddeen’s poetry is one that is tinged with pain, and offers the discerning reader very little pleasure. For the poet is an angry man who is clearly bothered by the myriad of problems afflicting his country, Nigeria and is moved to action, albeit metaphorically, to sound a note of warning through poetry.

       The poems in After a Long Silence though they lay no claim to any dexterity of metaphorisation, or the attendant deepening of imagery, nonetheless are, in their own ways, works of great promise and potentials. The forty-four poems collected here make a strong statement about the poet’s intention and offer to the reader, in a simple, uncluttered diction, his various ideas and feelings on a number of themes: love, heroism, patriotism, political opportunism, poetry, education and that well thumbed subject so beloved of poets: love and the effect of time on even the most enduring of romances.

      Poetry, like other human endeavours, is often subject to the mercy of being enhanced or inhibited by other strands of human experience. This is more so when one looks at the intertwined nature of orality and literacy, which necessarily means for the poet, indeed any writer, to be known and valued, he or she must be technologically empowered.  
       Given the above, the old romantic conception of poetry as “spontaneous overflow of emotions recollected in tranquility” has to be reconsidered. The spontaneity would now be replaced by the poet’s response to the impinging world of experience; thus de-emphasizing poetry’s so-called spontaneity.

       Zaharaddeen, like many other poets writing in the digital age, appropriates the advantages of the present era in order to write the poems collected here, which are suggestive of the contemporary experience in their relative sophistication and conception. The poems were written around national, even supra-national, and local themes, which, in turn, range across cross-cultural and global concerns, lending cadence to the book’s claim to the universality of poetry.

       To be specific, the poem “Kano” (following its spatial and cultural antecedent closely) celebrates Kano in few words, compensated by a heightened level of closeness, of belonging and a suppressed nostalgia about Kano’s past glory and its imagined future. The same tenor lurks behind most of the poems with similar disposition to “Kano”. In “The Old Kano” for example the poet renders, in a quick pace, the briefest and bravest history of Kano, yet the often ensuing exaggerated veneration that follows such poetic historical summation is avoided with ease.

       In between poems about and of Kano there are other poems (such as “The Choice”, “Death”, “The Nigerian Monster”, “Remembrance”, and “Life is History” among others) which could be described as emblazoned into a particular place, person or event, but which simultaneously aspire to something much more particularizing and delineating than a place, a person or an event.

       The above cited poems offer an apt overview of Zaharaddeen’s poetry. A deep enthusiasm imbues the poet with the voice and vision to celebrate and criticize not just the object of his admiration, but also other things: private, communal, cultural and religious. As such, simplicity and sincerity are forged into a single metaphoric entity in this enigmatic debut collection.

Ismail Bala     
Department of English and Literary Studies
Bayero University, Kano

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Before the Day-Break

In the dew dropping sky
With the stars adorning the sky
She was found weeping
Oh! Baby

He raised the hiding face
With dewing eyes
Cry no more, he opined
With words lighter than the air
The young queen listened
The love tales
Of a stirring tongue

As the dew plummeted
Heart upon heart
Arms wrapped round 
She has no more with life and with death

21st November, 2008

Tuesday, 13 January 2015


Who knows what power is it
The power that forced me to
Reveal this unspoken secret
Concealed deeply inside me
For days and nights uncounted?

I gift you this passionate lyrics
A love-tale wrought in a poet's mind
I am not lying, and never will
She was my life, my dream, my hope
A fragrance of love and its petals
She was an endless desire

It is not late to read to you
The book of my endless dreams
I will continue to sing my song
To allow more crossing of swords
For an invaluable prize to be won
Our candles can burn at both ends
Even if they cannot last the night

When swords are crossed by all concerned
A giant lion will emerge with a roar
So let the swords cross undisturbed
It is not late for me or her
We are not late, or are we?


In my memory are images of those years
When we walked in the shower of rain
With a look that cannot be hidden
Observant friends know it well
Something came from those eyes
I walked into the battlefield
When the rival horseman
Saddled upon the horseback
It was a great battle lost
Hands down.

21st November, 2008