I've mentioned on this blog before how much I absolutely love Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Well what I didn't mention is, I also love anything Farafina related. For the past 4 years Farafina has organised an annual creative writing workshop sponsored by Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc, with Chimamanda Ngozi adichie as the main facilitator. I've always wanted to attend the workshop, but time hasn't permitted to submit any piece of writing. Besides I need to polish my writing so that when I do make a submission I stand the chance of getting selected...No one likes being rejected..lol.
After the workshop, a literary evening is always organized which is open to the general public.
This year's workshop began on the 14th of August and ended yesterday 24th of August with the literary evening. I was opportune to attend the Literary Evening and I was/am still ecstatic. It was my first time of attending and I totally loved it.
Armed with the two most important things to me at that time- my camera and my copy of Chimamanda's book, 'The Thing Around Your Neck' (Half of a Yellow Sun is too big to fit into the pouch bag I carried along and Purple Hibiscus was stacked up somewhere amongst my other books far away from my reach), I made my way to the venue, Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
I took a seat happily and in no time the event was due to start. I spotted Chimamanda coming in and I immediately took a shot of her as she exchanged pleasantries with a few people. It felt good to see my mentor for real in real life..lol..
|Muhtar Bakare (Farafina Trust), Chimamanda and Nicolaas Vervelde, MD/CEO NB Plc...Guess who's seated right there in front|
The M.C of the day was Iretiola Doyle of Oge with Ireti fame or more recently Tinsel (where she acts as 'Sheila')
First off was a short speech by Muhtar Bakare of Farafina Trust. Then was the presentation of certificates to the participants of this year's edition of the workshop. On introducing each participant, Chimamanda told us a bit about them and what she felt about their writing.
|with the participants|
|Couldn't get a better shot|
|The Kenyan print version|
Questions and contributions were entertained from the audience; ranging from 'What is African writing.....'?, to 'Why do you think Nigerians don't read.......'?, etc, then a bit of misguided criticism or more of a sheer display of ignorance that got what it deserved...Silence..., and lastly a valid contribution by Odia Ofemum, renowned poet and writer.
It was a blissful evening
The high point of it all was when Onyeka Onwenu took to the stage (yes, you guessed right) and got us shaking our bodies (including me, who doesn't dance in public...lol) to her rich music. She sure knows her art well. 32 years of experience no be beans.
|She loves dancing oh|
|Chimamanda joined her and they sang beautifully in Igbo|
|Chimamanda autographing my copy of her book|
It would sound so cliche, but I'll still say "You guys missed"..lol. Anyways I'll encourage writers and basically lovers of literature to attend the Literary Evening next time.
I'm so trying out for the workshop next year and I hope you'll do too if you're interested.
Till then I'll leave you with advice from Chimamanda, "Keep reading and keep writing" and "Make sure you write the truth and nothing but the truth" (okay she didn't put that this way sha..lol...but that was my major take home from the event in my own words.)
Thanks for stopping by
Always stay happy and optimistic....:)
*Update: Special thanks to my friend who helped with taking the last two photos, and other photos not shown here... you know yourself.. :)