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KUKOGHO, THE DEVIL’S PAWN & THE DUSTY MANUSCRIPT CONTEST: THE UNTOLD 9-YEAR JOURNEY OF MY BOOK

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You know, when good things happen, it is always easy to forget about the journey that led to that good thing – the thorny paths walked, the hurdles surmounted, the sacrifices, the failures and the discouragements. All these things are part of the ingredients of the celebrated ‘good thing’. But we often forget them.

So on Wednesday I was announced the winner of Guaranty Trust Bank’s inaugural Dusty Manuscript Contest. This came with a N1 million cash prize and a publishing contract with Farafina Books.

As expected, people – even those who have never communicated with me, and those who have ignored me for ages, congratulated me. Good. Thank you. Some immediately asked for their share of the cash. Dem go wait tire.

But a lot happened before this winning point. I will try to talk about it. It is a long story.

From 2004 – 2006, as an undergraduate at Ahmadu Bello University, I hand-wrote a full length novel titled the Black Cats. I haven’t typed it yet, even as I write this. It was my…

WORDS RHYMES & RHYTHM – AUTHORPEDIA: THE MAKING OF A CORPORATE BUTTERFLY

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Exactly eight years ago, I decided to convert my Facebook page into a peer-review literary platform for young Nigerian writers like me. I called it Words Rhymes & Rhythms: same title with a (still unpublished) collection of poems I wrote longhand between 1999 and 2008. At the time, Nigerians were just discovering the internet as a writing resource and ‘writers’, especially poets, were largely considered a weird breed of humans. 
Words Rhymes & Rhythm (WRR) was nothing but a playground for writers at the time I started it. We had ‘lectures’ written by members from Ghana, Nigeria, Europe and America and had classwork rewarded with N200 airtime tokens. It was a vibrant and fun group that would go on to form the foundation for many of today’s poets and literary bodies. 
In 2013, we introduced a literary prize for poets. This was unusual because most literary prizes ignored the poetry genre. By 2015, we had four respected literary prizes and an annual literary festival. That same yea…

DEVIL'S PAWN IS HERE

Sorry, that was an April Fool's joke... 😋But Devil's Pawn is really about to make a huge landing and the arrival time is June/July 2020.
Anticipate!

Happy Birthday: KING OJ IS 2!

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Happy Birthday son,



OVIE, DO!
son, there are tears in my eyes as i write you these words for i know that you do not know that life waits with tricks, for he knows that you do not yet know…
that he who must run swiftly must first learn to brave distances on  blistered knees and he who must be heard above earth noise must first master the coo coos and da das
that the straight road is often more bent than the one snaking through the forest and those who walk along the river may be thirstier than the traveller in the dessert
that glowing smiles which last too long may be make-up applied to conceal snarls and a handshake that travels beyond the shoulder is a planned attack
that people who laugh with you will laugh at you when you turn your back and friends will scratch your back with razors

FLOWERS I SAW IN PORT HARCOURT - THE GARDEN CITY (PHOTOS BY KUKOGHO IRUESIRI SAMSON)

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Port-Harcourt, the oil-rich metropolis that doubles as the capital city of Rivers State is popularly called ‘The Garden City'. While many see this as a mere metaphorical appellation, the reality is that Port Harcourt is actually home to many flowers. It is a common sight to see flowers planted around the corporate and residential building.
Planting flowers seems to be a ‘thing’ for Rivers people. I remember in the late 90s when I was a student in a school in Rivers State we (the students) were mandated to bring flowers from our various houses for planting in the school. So when I traveled to Port Harcourt last month, I spent hours in the evenings and mornings of my two-week stay taking pictures of flowers – growing in the wild, planted in flower pots/beds and roadside gardens (one even had a live praying mantis perched on it).So, the truth is that this post is just an excuse to share the pictures I took. I hope you like them…and feel free to identify the flowers in the comment secti…

NIGERIAN WRITING: SEASON OF LISTS AND 'CABALISTIC' AWARDS

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It is that time of the year when the Nigerian writing community bickers over ranking lists and personalized awards. As a person who has been very much involved in the Nigerian literary space as a writer, publisher, and promoter, I think I need to say a word or two about this annual ritual.

First and foremost, l must state categorically here that I do not consider ANY award, in any sphere of human endeavor as 100% objective. I simply refuse to accept that. Subjectivity has always been involved in the selection of award recipients which is why hardly any award goes without some form of grumbling – remember the Nobel Prize for Literature 2016, the 2018 Ballon d'Or, Burna Boy Headies snub? Some are just louder than others.

Secondly, anyone who denies that social media played a BIG role in the resurgence of Nigerian literature – particularly the versing genre, is only trying to deny the existence of air. A larger portion of our contemporaries was birthed as writers and weaned off soci…

MY 2KOBO OPINION ON (NIGERIAN) LADIES PROPOSING TO A MAN

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First of all, before you ever let yourself get carried away by ‘love’ and the modern trend of ‘women too should be able to propose’ you must first come to terms with the fact that we are Africans, and the current crop of eligible bachelors have not been weaned off patriarchy.
Our age grade grew up being fed with ‘be the man’ mantras and we are still patriarchal, even though we profess gender equality and liberalism on our lips. The honest truth is that the average Nigerian (young) man that is between the ages of 18 to 40 is still largely patriarchal to varying degrees.
Now, to the proposing itself, if you must do it: Be 101 % sure of the man’s quest in your garden – that what he wants from you is MARRIAGE, not just a relationship. Sadly bur true, many guys are just in for the sex and saying the sweet things to keep the window open. Be 101 % sure that he is financially ready to marry you – even your attempt at marrying him with your money can cause a man to panic and feel emasculated …