The Ibadan Laipo Book Reading

By Nwachukwu Egbunike

I attended this book reading for selfish reasons.

Nze and I

Nze Sylva Ifedigbo made sure I did not miss his first appearance – as the author of The Funeral Did Not End – in the land of rusty roofs sandwiched between seven hills. Our friendship was ignited about six years ago when I edited one of his short stories. It was not that easy for both of us to trust each other: Nze was scared of entrusting his work to a stranger while I was weary of a remote pay check.

Odili and I

Odili Ujubuonu read from Pride of the Spider Clan. I did the copyediting of Odili’s novel as well as that of another author of the Jalaa Writers’ Collective. However, I have neither met Nze nor Odili though we have kept in touch through the Bermuda Square of smart media – Facebook, Twitter, Google and mobile telephony.

Ayo

Ayodele Arigbaburo is a friend of a friend. We got acquainted two years ago when he visited Ibadan. Ayo’s mission was to drink from the fount of Demas Nwoko. Little did I know that he was a writer and publisher besides his craft in architecture and journalism. Ayo’s serenade “Special Secretary” was part of A Fistful of Tales – a collection of short stories.

Asides the first need of meeting these friends in flesh and blood; I have craved for long to be in the company of writers once again. In Enugu, the Orient Literary Group had satisfied my writing fellowship lust. This was another opportunity to gist with people who shared my madness.

Prof Femi Osofisan

Writing is not like selling cement or oil. It is not lucrative but you do it because you like it – Femi Osofisan

I cannot agree less, the evening was blissful. Though it started a bit later than scheduled, but it was worth every second it lasted.

Onyeka

Onyeka Nwelue – with a superficially shy persona – took the first reading. His lesson was from the book of The Abyssinian Boy a novel that straddles both India and Nigeria.

Iyeyinka

Iyeyinka Omigbodun – a teen prodigy – gave us a twin menu of drama and poetry. She read excerpts from The Country I Love (drama) and Death Trap(poetry) – that captures the essence of that morgue called Lagos/Ibadan Expressway. Iyeyinka published her first two books at fourteen and her third at sixteen. She is still in high school.

Jacob Ojuola hypnotised the crowd with Mura Si Eko re (Take your studies seriously).  Jacob is a driver to the owner of Musoru Booksellers Ltd.

Ayodele

Ayodele Olofintuade was a hit. I think Ayodele would have done better as a theatre artist. Her rendition of Eno’s Story– a child accused of witchcraft was comical.

Professor Remi Raji

Laipo is a reference to the power of the word and its ability to attain certain force. Laipo is about prostrating while you stand tall in pride… – Remi Raji

Update: Obviously there were guest, I did not take a headcount but it was a pretty respectable crowd. A cross section of guest are shown below:

12 Comments

    1. Ayo, it was both ways: fantastic for you and the other organisers; and for me. The thanks is yours, the pleasure mine!

      Reply

    1. Thanks Myne. There were indeed guest, just being ‘selfish’ I forgot to mention that. Thanks for drooping by my blog.

      Reply

  1. Thanks a lot Nwachukwu, you guys made the reading great and we had lots of fun. Glad to have met you finally and all the other big names like Femi Osofisan and Remi Raji. We really should do this more often.

    Reply

  2. Nwachukwu, I enjoyed reading this very much. It reminded me of the readings and other literary events I attended when I lived in Nigeria. Are you in touch with Prof Osofisan? How can I contact him?

    Reply

    1. Aunty, you can say that again. That was my first impression – it flooded back memories of the days of Orient Literary Group held in Enugu. In the space provided by the British Council, I still have fond memories of weekly readings by: Prof Okoye (Eze Goes to School), Prof Anaezie Okoro (One Week, One Trouble), Mrs Izuora and co.

      As for Prof Osofisan, he lectures in the University of Ibadan, I may get across to him when next we meet and get back to you.

      Reply

  3. Great work Nwachuckwu! I would like to receive invites to upcoming events of such category. Though I cannot promise to be there, but if I’ll be chanced, knowing about the event is necessary.

    Reply

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