June 30, 2010

Pilgrimages: Thirteen African Writers, Thirteen Cities, Thirteen Books

The Pilgrimages Project
Pilgrimages is a ground-breaking, pan-African project organised by The Chinua Achebe Center Bard College, in partnership with Kachifo Limited in Nigeria, Kwani? Trust in Kenya, and Chimurenga in South Africa, in celebration of Africa's first world cup. The project involves 13 African writers visiting 12 cities across the continent and one in Brazil for two weeks during the World Cup. At the end of the project, each writer will produce a book of non-fiction travel literature based on their experiences, forming a series to be published next year.

The Writers
The writers and cities involved in the project are Funmi Iyanda (Durban), Alain Mabanckou (Lagos), Abdourahman A. Waberi 9Salvador, Bahia), Akenji Ndumu (Abidjan), Doreen Baingana (Hargeisa), Chris Abani (Johannesburg), Uzodinma Iweala (Timbuktu), Billy Kohora (Luanda), Kojo Laing (Cape Town), Binyavanga Wainaina (Touba), Yvonne Owuor (Kinshasha), Victor Lavelle (Kampala), Nicole Turner (Nairobi) and Nimco Mahmud Hassan (Khartoum).

Alain Mabanckou in Lagos
Alain Mabanckou from Congo-Brazzaville is considered one of the most talented writers in Francophone African literature today. His most notable works are Verre Casse (Broken Glass), Bleu-Blanc-Rouge (Blue-White-Red) and The African Psycho. His work, Memoirs of a Porcupine, won the Prix Renaudot, one of the highest distinctions in Francophone literature.

Alain visits Lagos from the 25th of June to 2nd of July 2010, during which time he will crisscross the city, from the 'highbrow' to the 'slum'. Each day of his stay will alternate stops at football viewing centres, local bukkas and beer parlours, upmarket bars and relevant cultural events, and will include interviews with local denizens, artists, writers and other social commentators. Alain will be guided around the city by architect, writer and publisher, Ayodele Arigbabu, who will also blog about their daily experiences on the Pilgrimage website.

The Website
A dynamic and state-of-the art multimedia website has been launched as part of the Pilgrimages project, at www.pilgrimages.org.za. During the 13 Pilgrimages the writers and their local guides will blog on the website. Correspondents, artists and photographers in each city will also post topical content on the site.

The Books
The Pilgrimages Project will culiminate in the launch of twelve books in four African cities in January 2012 during the African Nations' Cup. The collection promises to be the most significant, single addition to the continent's archive of literary knowledge since the African Writers' Series of the 1960s. The books will be published by Kachifo Limited in Nigeria, Kwani? Trust in Kenya, Chimurenga in South Africa and a francophone publisher to be announced. 

For more information on the Pilgrimages Project, please visit the website here.

For more information on Pilgrimages and Alain Mabanckou in Lagos, please email info@kachifo.com, rayosword@gmail.com or call (+234) (0)7084344856
This post in its full form was authored by the coordinators of the Pilgrimage Project

June 19, 2010

The BookJam @ Silverbird - Fifth Edition

"The BookJam @ Silverbird” event hosted by A. Igoni Barrett and the Silverbird Lifestyle store, has its fifth edition slated for the 26th of June between 3pm and 5pm. The event will feature book readings, musical performances, poetry recitals, book signings and a raffle draw. The guest writers scheduled for the event are:
Toni Kan Onwordi author of When Dreams Linger Too Long and Nights of the Creaking Bed. His writings have appeared in Salthill and Sentinel Poetry Quaterly. He is a joint winner of journalistthe 2009 ANA/NDDC Ken Saro-Wiwa Prize for Nights of the Creaking Bed. He is currently a managing partner at Radi8, an ideas company.

Kunle Ajibade is a journalist and writer. He is the author of Jailed for Life: A Reporter's Prison Notes, which is an account of his years in jail during General Sani Abacha's regime. he is presently the executive editor for the NEWS and P.M. News publications. Jailed for Life won the Victor Nwankwo Book of the Year award in 2005. His latest book What a Country! was released in 2008. He is married with children.

Abraham Oshoko is the author of June 12: The Struggle for Power in Nigeria. He is an illustrator and graphic designer. His cartoons have appeared in several publications including the Farafina and NEXT newspaper. June 12 is his first graphic novel, and he is currently working on its sequel.

Admission to the BookJam is free. Members of the audience who purchase books during the even stand a chance to win a special prize in a raffle draw that will be held. Raffle prize sponsor: DAVID WEJ (DW) Clothing and Accessories. Refreshments will be provided by: COKE and SPEEDMEALS Admission to the BookJam is free. Members of the audience who purchase books during the event stand a chance to win a special prize in the BookJam raffle draw. For more information send an email to

[Images and post content provided by Auggust Media]