Farafina Magazine's Visual Arts and Literature Event - The Lowdown
First of all, we have to say that here at Farafina, we are extremely humbled by the attendance and enthusiasm of those who came on Saturday. Thank you very much for showing up, with your sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, with cameras and camcorders, with your willingness to listen and your patience at our technical mishaps, and for braving the traffic,and filling Bambuddha with an atmosphere of celebration, relaxation and good humour, we say thank you so much.
We recognized some of you from the equally vibrant 'Architecture of DemasNwoko' launch on Thursday. We should do this more often!
ChieduIfeozo is going to go a long way, and his name will be remembered by all those who heard his beautiful poetry recitations. He also read out Tam Fiofori's lovely poem "Dahomey meets Benin" which introduced "Ghestapo's" solo photography exhibition.
Adolphus "Ghestapo" Opara's stunning black and white photos were then unveiled. The exhibition will be up for another week, during which time you can still view the images in Bambuddha and contact us if you are interested in buying one. Trust us, they are very beautiful - very collectible.
What followed was a succession of talks, discussions, audience interrogations(!), musical performances, and a lot of meeting of minds. Our thanks and good wishes to Timi Dakolo, whose silken tones and note-perfect delivery silenced the near-constant murmuring from the crowd, and to JumokeVerissimo and KafayatQuadri. Timi Dakolo is a true gentleman - he was thoroughly polite and professional, and we will be featuring him in depth very soon in Farafina Magazine. The man knows where he's going. Look out for his album too as soon as that drops.
The 2008 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature winner NnediOkorafor came with her beautiful daughter Anyaugo. The author of "Zahrah the Windseeker" was very engaging, intriguing too, almost shy but still every inch the writer, fascinated to be meeting and interacting with other writers in the house, and still full of curiosity about the art of writing, and particularly the science-fiction genre.
EghosaImasuen - is there nothing this man is capable of? The writer, whose first novel 'To Saint Patrick' debuted on the Farafina imprint earleir this year, set the tone for the event like a good comedian, putting the crowd at ease while deepening our understanding of his particular brand of "alternate history" fiction.
These were two very intriguing authors to see and hear in the flesh; the third was the elusive, elliptical and eminently absent Ben Okri. Luckily, Molara Wood, the lovely and very talented arts writer and journalist was able to record an exclusive and fascinating documentary interview with him. It was great to hear her talk before the screening. Welcome back to Nigeria, Molara Wood.
Those that stayed were able to buy the newest issue of Farafina magazine, Issue 15, subtitled Remapping Africanness, as well as a number of other Farafina books. NnediOkorafor, EghosaImasuen, and writers-in-the-audience such as ChimamandaNgoziAdichie, BiyiBandele and Toni Kan were all very friendly and approachable, signing books and chatting away with guests who persevered until the end.
We have to reserve a special mention for the management and staff at Bambuddha Restaurant. They were very hospitable and well-organized, and their 2-year old restaurant is still one of the most alluring spaces in Lagos. We like that natural light coming in from the skylight, and the eastern decor. If you haven't visited yet, you should do.
We'll be posting more photos in the coming days, and letting you know what we have planned for an encore very soon.