Thursday, 31 December 2009


Dear Literati,

As 2009 comes to an end we, at Kowry Kreations Media, will like to wish all poets, writers, journalists, theatre practitioners, artists and artistes, dance troupes, musicians, and arts promoters, arts enthusiasts, and our valued audience, who in one way or the other have contributed to the success of our various events this year, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It is only with your support that Kowry Kreations Media thrives and we hope that in 2010 your contribution will be more than ever.


We have come up with another concept in which you can support our organisation - Friends of Kowry Kreations Media. The goal of the Friends of Kowry Kreations Media is to generate funds in order to be able to embark on arts projects for which public funding are not available in Nigeria.

To be part of this new association of our reputable organisation, please find the attached document.

We will be glad you reply on or before 25th of January, 2010.


We must bring to your knowledge that we now have a new programme tagged: P.A.G.E.S, which its focus is to establish the strong connection between art and literature.


P.A.G.E.S, the confluence of literature, art works, comics and photography brings together artists and writers in dialogue with their art and literature. This programme is designed to converge fictionist, poets and playwrights, arts and literary lovers at Art Exhibition Halls around the world to give literary interpretation to works being exhibited and dialogue around it at all time.

We started this project in collaboration with the Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos, in February 2009, to give literary interpretation to the works being exhibited and dialogue around it at the Centre during each exposition. And it’s been an amazing experience since inception.

Kowry Kreations Media and Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos continue their innovative programme (P.A.G.E.S) of bringing the Visual and Literary Art into dialogue. We proudly present after the initial groundbreaking collaboration with Jude Dibia during Like A Virgin... the 2nd with Onyeka Nwelue during The World is Flat, 3rd with Toni Kan during Trash-ing, the fourth event with a double portion presenting Teju Cole and Jumoke Verissimo during Identity: An Imagined State.

Onyeka Nwelue is currently working with a Dane artist (Lassie Lau) he met during the second edition of P.A.G.E.S on the film of his book “The Abyssinian Boy.”

Here is our Income and Expenditure for 2009.

Contrary to our financial obstacles owing to the world financial meltdown, 2009 is a great year for us. We recorded seven editions of Poetry Potter, just like last year, instead of twelve; this is due to our financial constraints.

We had yet another exciting edition of our Youth Empowerment Project (YEP); still we explored the Fashion aspect of the project, which had the theme of “Fashion Revolution Reloaded.” We got support from GML Entertainment, Club 02, 0331 Entertainment, Image and Heritage, Soundcity, HEV/Snap Pictures, Danielle Cryptic, Spice TV, Nu3ix, and 21:11 Entertainment.


Poetry Potter, a unique platform created for poets, storytellers, folksingers, folk-dancers, artists, art promoters, cultural workers and arts journalists, to display their creative ingenuity, free of charge.

Separately from what use to be our monthly show, we embarked on a special 3 month show tagged: “1st POETRY/SPOKEN WORD RED CARPET in Nigeria, if not in AFRICA,” in promotion of poetry as a form of social entertainment, with support from Capricorn Tents & More and HEV/Snap, between August and October 2009. Visit our weblog: for the detail.


In October 2009, Poetry Potter, as a moving/literary arts (poetry/spoken word) platform was chosen to be part of the maiden edition of the would-be yearly festival, sponsored by GTBank Plc; Produced and Directed Ben Tomoloju.

At the GTBank Poetry Festival, Kowry Kreations Media, created the platform to discuss the theme: "Poetry - its genesis and future in the Nigeria literary arts scene," during the POETRY POTTER Youth Forum segment.

The renowned poet, Odia Ofeimun, took the youth, who were the major in participants, through the genesis of poetry, root of poetry in Nigeria and Africa, while Sage Has.son, the Nigerian spoken-word exponent tackled the present phase of poetry which is "Hip-Poetry."

During the Interview Segment, Odia Ofeimun submitted that the only way forward for poetry and spoken words was to start documenting them in books and provide more platforms for further discussion. The Poet, who wrote the “Poet Lied,” argued that New Media documentation (CD, Tape, mp3 format etc) of thoughts in lines and stanzas would make no poet out of anybody that is in the business of poetry and spoken word entertainment.

With this project, POETRY POTTER Youth Forum, we decide to publish a poetry collection of Sage Has.son, which we hope the foreword will be written by Odia Ofeimun. The book will be presented during the second edition of GTBank Poetry Festival, 2010.

We hope that our contribution toward promotion of poetry and arts in general be remembered in years to come. And we promise not to disappoint you with innovative ideas throughout 2010.

Our Guest Artistes through 2009

Toni Kan (Author, journalist and essayist)
Sage Has.son (A spoken word exponent)
Yinka Davis (A musician of high repute)
Red Strat (The organizers of the Future Awards – Chude, Adebola and Emilia)
Terry DaRapman (A renowned rap artiste)
Lilian Amah (An actress and film Producer)
El Nukoya (An award winning author of Nine Lives)
Plus One (A new and promising music group)
Felyne (A Nigerian-American female rap artiste)
Wizkid (A new hip-hop singer in the Nigerian music scene)
O.C Ukeje (The winner of Amstel Maltal Box Office 2 –AMBO2)
Jumoke Verissimo (A poet and award winning author)


Uche Nwosu-Igbo 20,000
Deji Toye 9,000
Toni Kan 10,000
Juwon Haastrup 55,000
Toyin Akinoso 5,000
Ahmed Maiwada 20,000
Olumayowa Williams 30,000
Babatunde Ajayi 20,000
Mirian Travis 5,000
Oyindamola Adesina 8,000
Ololade Adewunmi 4,000
Wole Oguntokun 10,000
Mobolaji Adenubi 5,000
Total 201,000


Hall (Rotunda Hall, National Library) 10,000
Public Address System 15,000
Chairs & Tables 3,600
Refresment 10,000
Phone Calls / Sms – Invitation 10,000
Internet 10,000
Transport 5,000
Miscellaneous (petrol and petty expense) 2,000
Total 65,600


65,600 x 7 months = 459,200

Our Debt

Sound System Engineer 44,000
Chair Rental 5,000
Total 49,000

Balance Sheet
Expenditure through 2009 (65,600X7) = 459,200
Income through 2009 = 201,000
Total = 258,200
Subtract debt 49,000
Our Financial Input (KKM) in 2009 209,000

Aderemi Adegbite
Kowry Kreations Media,
Lagos, Nigeria.
Tel: +234 708 428 7828

Thursday, 10 December 2009

POETRY POTTER Wine Party 0|2

December last year was the very first time we asked member of the audience to come with a bottle of wine for POETRY POTTER, and it was awesome.

Baileys, Champagne, Hennessey, Whiskey – Red Label, Black Label were few among the wines that Poetry Potter lovers brought for the celebration. We also relaxed with some episode of Fuji House of Commotion as directed by Chris Ihidero who was our Guest Artiste for that edition of the programme.

We are calling you again to come and SAVE the last's our last event for the year. You will arrive on the REDCARPET and proceed to see the latest technique in the theatre world by Lekan Balogun, in his new play title “SOYINKA in the EYE of SHAKESPEARE.”

For the 32nd edition of this monthly event, there shall be no Guest Artiste. But as part of the plan for this annual event, the publisher of DADA Books will be celebrating the birthday of his first author – JUMOKE VERISSIMO, the author of I AM MEMORY whose name recently appeared on the Future Awards 2010 Nominees list for the Creative Artist of the Year. Sure, we will cut some cake, if not more than that.

And afterward, you shall throw more than two fingers in air as there will be cakes and small chops to accompany the wine, while the DJ rocks your body through the night with some groovy songs.


VISA: Your WINE(s), be it soft or hard, we will ICE them for you.

DressCODE: Make sure you never leave your SWAGGER behind!

Everything is all about POETRY!

Friday, 20 November 2009


P.A.G.E.S and CCA,Lagos continue their innovative programme of bringing the Visual and Literary Arts into dialogue. We proudly present after the initial groundbreaking collaboration with Jude Dibia during Like A Virgin... the 2nd with Onyeka Nwelue during The World is Flat, 3rd with Toni Kan during Trash-ing, the fourth event with a double portion presenting Teju Cole and Jumoke Verissimo during Identity:An Imagined State.


This Saturday is going to be an interesting one, relaxing, interacting and full of fun @ the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos as Teju Cole the author of Everyday is for the Thief - a fiction novel on Lagos, and Jumoke Verissimo, the author I am Memory - a poetry collection engage 12 artists in a video art exhibition at CCA,Lagos

This is equally an opportunity of getting your copy of either Everyday is for Thief or I am Memory signed by the authors.



31st October - 28th November 2009
Identity:An Imagined State
A video art exhibition featuring the works
of Nigerian,African & South American artists.
Curated by Jude Anogwih and Oyinda Fakeye
Gallery Opening Mon-Fri 12pm - 4pm
Sat by Appointment. Call 07028367106

Sunday, 18 October 2009


"Representing NAIJA" is the tag for the 31st edition of POETRY POTTER. The tag is neither ordinarily used nor used as cliche, it was creatively coined to be used for this edition of the event, by the Image/Branding Director of KKM, Mr. Segun Olawoagbo, as October is the Independence Month of Nigeria (NAIJA).

Also, Kowry Kreations Media (KKM) is going down with The Future Awards (TFA) on the "I represent Naija" theme of the 5th edition of the truly Nigerian Youth Awards, by RedStrat, this month.

There is no doubt that this edition of the event will surpass the previous in all ramifications. It's going to be a gathering of young meaning Nigerians under one room in a serene atmosphere of the Rounda Hall, National Library, Alagomeji, Yaba, Lagos. To discuss the present and future of Nigeria creatively, with rendition of rhythmic words and lines which will be accompanied with nice rhythm.

As Yoruba will say, ariwo ko o, it's not unnecessary noise that will drive home the change (the real change) that the country is currently clamouring for, it's by meeting and discussing the issues with creative approach. And this is the reason why KOWRY KREATIONS MEDIA is in partnership with THE FUTURE AWARDS for this very edition of the literary arts monthly platform.

Therefore, let us all, the youth stand up and say YES to change today, in securing our FUTURE. Because yesterday is gone, today we can't stop but tomorrow we can predict like the world leaders and organisations i.e USA, UK; UNESCO, WHO, G8 etc.

Saturday, 17 October 2009


As announced by the Producer and Artistic Director of The GTBank Poetry Festival, Ben Tomoloju, in his press release on the festival, Poetry Potter, as a literary arts (poetry/spokenword) platform has been chosen to be part of the maiden edition of the would-be yearly festival, sponsored by GTBank.

As a literary arts platform, Poetry Potter has won the hearts of arts and literary enthusiasts. It is wholly youth-centred and does not alienate adults who are regarded as the reservoir of wisdom from which the younger generation must drink.

And for the first time in the history of the monthly event, the organisers will be coordinating the first POETRY POTTER Youth Forum during the festival. The catch is, "poetry-its genesis and future in the Nigeria literary arts scene."

The renowned poet, Odia Ofeimun, will take us through the genesis of poetry, root of poetry in Nigeria and Africa, Akeem Lasisi, the folk poet, will expatiate on it from the folk/orature point of view, while Sage Has.son, the Nigerian spokenword exponent will tackle the present phase of poetry which is "Hip-Poetry," and the future of poetry/spokenword in Nigeria will be decided afterwords.

Come join the discussion. It's going to be an evening of talk and performances as the OPEN MIC segment of Poetry Potter will be alive.

For enquiry please call: Seun-+234(0)8057143261 or email:

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

P.A.G.E.S eXodus:3

At eXodus:3 of P.A.G.E.S, Toni Kan, the author of Nights of the Creaking Bird and Song of Absence and Disp, is the Guest Author in the house who will review the artworks of Kainebi Osahenye with pages from his books. Both the shortstory and poetry collections have connection with what Kainebi works stand for: the street children and its business, the government, international influence and difference, rape and rage, and more.

P.A.G.E.S, the confluence of literature, art works, comics and photography brings together two patriots and compatriots in dialogue with their country - Nigeria with their art and literature. This programme is designed to converge fictionist, poets and playwrights, arts and literary lovers at the Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos, to give literary interpretation to the works being exhibited and dialogue around it at the Centre every month.


Toni Kan is an award winning poet, essayist and short story writer. He holds both a B.A. and M.A. English (Literature) degrees from the Universities of Jos and Lagos. His works have been published widely in the Art pages of prominent Nigerian newspapers and his poems have appeared in the anthology 25 New Nigerian Poets edited by Toyin Adewale. He has also had short stories published in anthologies like We-Men, Little Drops (1) and Diamond and Ashes. An award winning poet, essayist and short story writer, his awards have taken him to Scotland and Switzerland. Toni Kan is the author of the novella Ballad of Rage, Nights of the Creaking Bird and When A Dream Lingers Too Long. He is currently working on a novel, Secrets of the Untold.


Trash-ing. New Works by Kainebi Osahenye
Opened on Saturday, 12th September 2009, by 3pm and Exhibition continues till 10th October 2009.

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is pleased to present an exhibition of  new mixed media and painterly installations by acclaimed Lagos based artist Kainebi Osahenye. With over twenty years of artistic practice, this current incarnation Trash-ing builds on the continuous process of experimentation which has pushed the boundaries of his painting.

Trash-ing signals a new departure from his well-known large-scale neo-expressionist paintings towards the incorporation of more conceptual concerns through a format that increasingly borrows from an installation orientated process. Losing none of his gestural signature strokes, nor the luminosity of his colours or the edginess of his subject matter, Trash-ing highlights some of the issues that have pervaded his work for over a decade. In the recent works these existential, political, religious and everyday themes which habitually manifested with a degree of playfulness are presented less implicitly in favour of a suggestiveness which attests to the state of maturity he has attained in his career.

Osahenye moves seamlessly from the metaphysical to the physical, from the unreal to the real, foregrounding issues for which he is well-known and expanding on others such as globalisation, consumerism, man’s inhumanity and the environment forming the entral(nodal) focus of this new body of work. In so doing the exhibition’s title succeeds in playing on the multiple connotations of the word to ‘trash’ to signify destruction, abuse, rejection and waste. It also serves as an explicit reminder on the one hand of man’s disregard for one other and on the other, towards the environment.

Using appropriation as a tool, Osahenye’s most ambitious work to date is the ceiling to wall installation titled ‘Casualty’, 2009. Made of thousand of beer cans, the work is less about the ‘trendy’ fad in recycling than in
acknowledging the limitation of the traditional mode of painting whilst simultaneously recognising the abilities and the possibilities of pushing boundaries without losing the essence of the painterly. On sighting the burnt cans near a garbage dump of a hotel in Auchi, Osahenye states that he ‘was instantly confronted with thoughts of war, cruelty, melancholy, pain, displacement, anguish and deformity and I started conceiving ways to install
this large scale work to express the force and the power that I felt.’ Whether the totality of this and other works of the artist marks the beginning of the ‘new’ face of contemporary Nigerian painting remains to be seen.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Don't leave your SWAGGER!

Don't leave your SWAGGER at home, come with it!

The stage is set. Tomorrow is the day when Poets/Spokenword artistes will make a statement that will play a roll in the history of poetry and performance poetry in Nigeria and Africa.

Poetry is in everything called entertainment. The business aspect of this genre in the Nigerian and African orature is essential for its promotion and income generation too.

Come join us as we at Kowry Kreations Media raise the bar of poetry business in the country and Africa at large, with this edition of POETRY POTTER, our monthly poetry event.

Sage Has.son, the spokenword artiste that will never accept to being refer to as Rap artiste, will be around and his new spokenword CD will be on sale.

Our guest artistes: Plus One and Felyne will blow your mind. Remember Plus One is a new group of three young energetic and creative minds, accepted with their debut album. And Felyne, a female Nigerian-American Rap artiste, has made her mark in the music industry in the US and ready to make her mark in the Nigerian music industry - a sub-sector of the Creative Industry, which is expected to start contributing at least 30% to the Nigeria GDP per annum.

Note: Dress for the REDCARPET.

Call 08057143261 for any info.

Monday, 21 September 2009

POETRY POTTER 30th edition

We announced the 1st POETRY/SPOKENWORD REDCARPET in Nigeria, if not in AFRICA, last month. But it did not hold because of an unfortunate situation beyond our control.

Indeed, 29th edition of Poetry Potter was voted as a successful event by our Guest Artistes: El Nukoya and Lilian Amah, and unanimously by our distinguish Members of the House. It’s on this thrust that we intend to build a solid foundation, and this month which marks the 30th edition of the event, will be the beginning of the three months RedCarpet event for Poets and Spokenword artistes in Nigeria and Africa.

This in an initiative of Kowry Kreations Media, which attempts to spur the business of poetry/spokenword in the country and Africa. And as well make the genre as lucrative (business wise) as its sister genre, music. We hope introducing some social elements into the promotion of poetry will push it a bit forward from its current point. And we promise to do this consistently with integrity.

With our Partners: Capricorn Tents&More and HEV Pictures/Snap, Poetry Potter is aiming at its peak. Sage Has.son, the ace spokenword artiste will be around and his new CD will be on sale.

FUNLOLA AOFIYEBI - the winner of Celebrity Takes 2/Actress
PLUS ONE - a new hip-hop group of three young and creative minds.
FELYNE - a Nigerian female rap artiste based in the US.

Come show yourself LIVE!
Poetically and Lyrically though!
Incorporated with your body language!

Date: Saturday 26th, September 2009
Venue: Rotunda Hall, National Library opposite Casino Cinema, Alagomeji, Yaba
Time: 14:00 p.m. to 18:00 p.m.

Interested media outfits should contact Oyindamola Adesina on 08067599900.

Seun Ajayi
Project/Programme Director
Kowry Kreations Media

Monday, 14 September 2009

Curators take a bashing at Poetry Potter

By Ireyimika Oyegbami
September 6, 2009

The alleged role that curators play in making artworks inaccessible to the public took the front burner at the last monthly meeting of Poetry Potter, held on August 29.

A regular gathering of artistic minds in Lagos, the programme, which drew participants from the city’s poets, painters and other artistes featured drama presentations, music and dance.

A play titled Death of the Curator, directed by Lekan Balogun, highlighted the perceived role of curators in keeping works of art from public viewing, a charge Bisi Silva, a curator, vigorously defended.

Corruption in the art world

This subject was the focus of the hour-long drama performed by three men dressed in traditional costumes depicting the North, East and Western parts of Nigeria.

Characters spoke about how curators around the world were responsible for the dearth of art and also on corruption in the art world, which made it impossible for ordinary people to relate with the arts.

One says, “The common man is no longer able to improve his happiness through arts as the curators sit on artworks keeping them out of reach of the common man, hiding art away in coffins and moving them around rich men’s homes and museums, away from where the artwork originated from.”

The curators and not the artist, it was argued, get paid the huge revenues generated by artworks. Successive world governments were not left out of the bashing as the curators were described as their tools in the perceived worldwide aim to systematically rob mankind of the precious gift of art.

The play was very well put together and was well received by the audience.

In her submission, Silva said that while the supremacy of the curator could be curtailed, they should not be done away with. She wondered what the artists would do if there were no curators.

Playwright, director and actor, Lekan Balogun, spoke on the role of theatre in pre-independence society when the people in government applied such disdainful terms as “cockroach theatre” and “moribund plays” to the theatre and dramatic works.

Writers and vanity publishing

Among the special guests at the event were El Nukoya, author of the novel Nine Lives and Lilian Ama Aluko, actress, movie producer and author of the novel Echoes of a Heartbeat.

Ibadan-born Nukoya, who paints, said his pseudonym is the coinage of a Yoruba phrase which means “to select” in Arabic.

He revealed that it took him years to write Nine Lives because as he stated: “I never write when I’m not inspired to do so,” adding that computers were rare when he started writing in school. After his youth service, he had 1225 sheets of diverse colours and sizes on which he had scribbled his work.

El Nukoya, who self-published his book, said the so-called vanity publishing was an intellectual challenge which was up to the writer. He listed some of the challenges he encountered on the road to publication.

An international publishing firm refused to take him on, saying they could not place his book because he had characters wearing Valentino shirts and driving a Porsche, which did not fit in with the Africa they wanted to portray.

He further claimed that the few publishing houses in the country only did two kinds of publishing: academic writing and biographies of celebrities where the publishers are sure of making at least ninety percent returns at the book launch. “This is why most Nigerian writers are self-published,” he concluded.

Aluko asked why Nollywood was not known for adapting good books to movies and noted that copyright acquisition is difficult. Her going into playwriting and acting, she said, was due to her love of reading in her childhood, when she constantly raided her father’s library.

ommenting on the complaints about the sound quality of movies produced in Nigeria, the actress blamed it on the noise of generators while shooting movies as the neighbours often put on generators which disturb the peace.

Both Aluko and El Nukoya gave advice to the creative writers at the event. They read excerpts from their works, and also signed autographs.

Excerpted from234Next: Curators take a bashing at Poetry Potter

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Poetic history...this Saturday

The place is vet
The stage is set
Our best bet
We sure will belt!

This edition of POETRY POTTER, which is the 29th, is of great importance to us at Kowry Kreations Media, and therefore everything is put in place for your pleasure and solely for the promotion of poetry and spokenword sub-sector in the creative industry. Read more about it on our facebook page:

And if you miss the opening of the drama titled: “Death of the CURATOR,” and its command performance at the Little Theatre (NCAC, Artiste’s Village National Theatre) last week, don’t worry, the 30mins play will be the opening performance at this edition of POETRY POTTER. All you need do is to make the RedCarpet segment which will dovetail into the play presentation.


Charles Ayo Dada
Sage has.son
Omowunmi akinde
Wole oguntokun
Uche Uwadinachi
Wordsmith WellSaid
Wole Ojo
Segun Laf’up Ogundipe
Konga Masta
Segun Adefila
Qudus Onikeku
Kafayat Quadri
Prince Adewale Adeoye
David Nnaji
Lanre Lawal
K – Solo
Ajibade Oyemade
Lookman Sanusi
Akinbo Cornerstone

Don't be told...
Be there to tell someone...
This is history without part two!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009


The new team of Kowry Kreations Media has decided to stay put in the orgnisation's core focus, which is “adding values to arts, and literature in Nigeria and Africa at large." And it’s in this revere; KKM is ready to add new value to its monthly event tagged POETRY POTTER this month.

Because of the fact that poets and the lovers of spokenword are generally seen as literati/elites, therefore poetry/spokenword is not really selling in Nigeria and for that reason, as promotion of arts: Poetry/Spokenword, Folktale, Folklore, Folksongs, Rap, Dance, and Drama, is a basic factor in our organizational objective; we have decided to produce the 1st POETRY/SPOKENWORD REDCARPET in Nigeria, if not in AFRICA.

As it’s obvious that the business of poetry/spokenword in the country, Africa, and world over is not really as lucrative (business wise) as its sister genre, which is music, we hope introducing some social elements into the promotion of the genre will push it a bit forward from its current point. And we promise to do this consistently with integrity.

Really, innovation is what you will find peculiar to the new directors of KKM, and this could be seen in our recent events ranging from POETRY POTTER to P.A.G.E.S and FR:2 = FASHION REVOLUTION RELOADED. But this time, poetry/spokenword is our priority.


We have chosen three interesting, witty and inspiring Guest Artistes for this edition of the event and guess what, there is a riddle for you to unfold.

For the 29th edition of this monthly event, there is a scenario and here it is:
“there is a Writer who has written an interesting and groundbreaking story, he needs a Producer who is interested in basically uncommon stories and uses rare Actors/actresses for her films.”


Well, not to keep you much expectant, here is the answer to the riddle:

El Nukoya, the author of Nine Lives (a novel) is the Screenwriter.
LiLian Amah, the ace actress is the scarce Producer
OC Ukeje, the winner of Ambo 2, is the rare Actor.


We expect Nigerian poets, resident in Lagos, to be precise, to grace this event, as they will be recorded as the first set of poets in the country who takes their art to the social domain. Poetry lovers are important to this event, because it’s because of them that poetry is still alive in Nigeria.

DATE:29th August 2009.
TIME:2 p.m. prompt
VENUE:Rotunda Hall, National Lib, Alagomeji, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria

Love it!
Live it!
Believe it!

Interested media outfits should contact Oyindamola Adesina on 08067599900...details for procuring your passes will soon be posted.

Monday, 3 August 2009


This monthly gathering of young minds has been undercover for few months now. It's actually not that we don't have you (our fans) in mind but to be too passionate about your salivated yearning for the event may only put us off the track and perhaps out of poetry business. And so, we put POETRY POTTER on pause but we are ready to un-pause it this month.

Really, the soup we have been cooking for this long is still steaming in the earthen-pot - o un gbona felifeli - and we promise to keep it steaming on the three spotted-stones-stove till you have a taste of it on 29th of this month.

AUGUST 29th, 2009! Don't miss it...still hot like fire (some tym hotta than tha fire)...those poems and lyrics in the mouths of those poets and lyricists.

Come show yourself LIVE!
Poetically and Lyrically though!
Incorporated with your body language!

Interested media outfits should contact Oyindamola Adesina on 08067599900...details for procuring your passes will soon be posted.

Seun Ajayi
Project/Programme Director
Kowry Kreations Media

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Blogger's Statement on FR:2

By Jennifer Ehidiamen

“This is an unusual place to hold a youth empowerment event.” I whispered to the lady standing beside me, who nodded in affirmative. The venue was O2 Nightclub on Sanusi Fafunwa street, Victoria Island; time-check, 9pm and Yes, many youths were already trouping into the club, oblivious of what was would happen that night; The event was FR:2 (Fashion revolution reloaded) by Kowry Kreation media.

According to young Aderemi Adegbite, the programme was initiated to provide a platform for young and promising Entrepreneurs to showcase their innate creative talents which would revive the mainstream of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) in Nigeria and in the process inspire other young people to change their perception of believing that engaging in frivolous activities or traveling abroad is the opium of life.

As I sat in the nightclub-cum-event hall, among other equally empowered youths yearning to inspire their peers and mingle with those who were ready to take up the challenge, I observed how keen the participants were, thanks to the boldness of a generation willing to stretch themselves farther in order to salvage the future without compromise.

Indeed, it has become very crucial for more youth organizations to adopt innovative approach in addressing issues affecting young people through a channel that will effectively reach their target audience. For example, Aderemi’s concern about the inability of youths to transform their innate talents to make profound contributions towards development inspired him to create a platform (fashion show) where young people succeeding in the industry can inspire their peers.

Herbay Stitches, who designs Denrele Edun’s clothes; Buga Fash of University of Lagos; and Allen Culture, a distinctive designer from Olabisi Onabanjo University were some of the young and vibrant designers selected to showcase their work on the runway. No, they didn’t make any elaborate speech, but only showcased their work for their actions to speak for them.

Aside these designers, other young creative talents added colors to the event. Sage Hasson performed spokenwords, Ibiyemi thrilled the audience with her songs and Laff-up got the audience falling off their seats with his rib cracking jokes. The music by Labogini, a new face on the block, also got a loud accolade for his performance.

Hopefully, the young people who attended the event returned home in the early hours of the morning inspired with a stronger conviction that they too can dig deep into their innate talents and transform it into entrepreneurship. Although some guys and girls complained that their business as usual at the nightclub was disrupted, as if the nightclub was burnt down, I believe it was for a good cause. They definitely will see that spot through a new eyes when next they visit, and lets see if they can resist the urge to go do something and impact their world positively.

Curled from

Friday, 8 May 2009

Report in the Guardian LIFE

Below is report on FR:2 = Fashion Revolution Reloaded, published in the Guardian LIFE Magazine on May 3rd, 2009.

Colour Men Perfect

EVERY man deserves to look his best; and like the women, men are becoming stylish and fashion conscious. This season, their outfits are making bold statements with colours.

At the Kowry Kreations Media Fashion Show held on April 25, at Club O2, Sanusi Fafunwa, Victoria Island, men’s fashion sneaked in discerning colours.
Tagged Fashion Revolution Reloaded 2, the show featured creative and breathtaking men’s wears designed by Herbay Stitches and Buga Fash.

These two designers played with fabrics such as ankara, woodin, lace, denim, linen, mercury, plaid, shirt and trouser material, among others, which was enhanced with precious stones, studs, sequence and trimmings.

Men’s fashion is having a pink moment this season, and the lady’s fair colour for love seems to be redefining masculinity.

This not-so-typical colour sorts the men from the boys, as it takes guts and skill to wear; requiring men to make a modern colour statement while still maintaining a masculine edge.

This can be done by keeping cuts and fabrics very traditional and teaming it with neutral shades, such as white, beige, gray or black.

From Herbay Stitches and Buga Fash Collections displayed on the runway, models like Denrenle Edun and others stepped out in pink, cream, purple, white, blue, black, green, beige and navy blue colour.

However, these colours will benefit any gentleman concerned with style as they are making surprise comeback and show no signs of stopping in the near future.

Link to the author's blog:

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

After Event - Fashion Revolution Reloaded

Whaoo! It was two weeks ago that we had FR: 2 = Fashion Revolution Reloaded on the Island, at Club O2. Really, it was a revolution in the Fashion Industry of Nigeria. Nothing was conventional from the Red-carpet to the performances and the runway modeling. It was fun all through.

Although, we had three designers on our bill, billed to showcase at the event but it was only two of them that were available at the venue. All efforts was made not to let the absent of one of the designers wane us down and in essential not to dapple the spirit of our guests. We, at Kowry Kreations Media, realized through this project that some people are not just ready to move on or perhaps they’re not hungry for success as LES BROWN, an all time motivational speaker will put it.

As stated in the invite message sent out before the event that the red-carpet would be the opening segment of the event, it was fun with personalities from various sector of the entertainment industry and other disciplines on the red-carpet which was covered by Spice TV, the fashion arm of SOUNCITY, GML Entertainment, GeneX Magazine, Guardian Life Magazine and some others. At some minutes past 9 p.m. the curtain of red-carpet dropped, and the showcasing prevailed.

The most recent best actor in Nigeria as rated by the Nigerian Breweries through one of her brand promotional shows, Amstel Malta Box Office (AMBO), Wole Ojo set the ball of the show rolling immediately after he gave the opening remarks.

The brand Buga Fash, exhibited first and his designs were indeed what could be describe as perfect. Few designs but well packaged.

Her-Bay stitches, a fairly known brand exhibited three sets of styles ranging from native attires to english wears to crazy outfits, having Denrele Edun as his brand ambassador. The guests who could not curtail their excitement giggled, in fact some of them laughed out each time Denrele Edun mounts the runway. Seun, a presenter with Spice TV, also model for the brand.

Ibiyemi was really at the height of her performance mood, she thrilled everybody with her matured voice and music. Sage Has.son, the spoken-words master didn’t disappoint his fans at all with his poem: Behind. Slim and Ginger, gingered with their classic dance, while Laf-up, the comedian, cracked ribs with his intelligent jokes.

FR:2 was anchored by Seun Ajayi and Oyindamola Adesina, Stage managed by Segun Olawoagbo and produced by Aderemi Adegbite.

We appreciate everybody that came out to support us for this project. We are indeed grateful to the Volunteers, thanks a million times.

You can get pictures of the event by clicking on this logo
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Photo(c)Charles Okolo, 2009

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

FR:2 = Fashion Revolution Reloaded PICTURES

Below are the pictures taken during FR:2 at Club O2, Sanusi Fafunwa on Victorial Island.

Locate the picasaweb logo under the last picture and click on it to view the rest of the pictures.

More picutures will be uploaded soon.

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Photo(c)Charles Okolo, 2009

Monday, 20 April 2009



Friday, 10 April 2009


We are indeed happy to announce a new date for our Fashion Show which was postponed due to logistics reasons last month.

DATE: 25.04.09

VENUE: Club O2, 27 Sanusi Fafunwa, Victorial Island, Lagos




We at Kowry Kreations Media, are concerned with the inability of transforming innate talents in the Creative Industry to the main stream of SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) in the Nigeria and Africa as a whole. And for this reason, we are out to scout, select and provide the young, talented and promising enterpreneurial the platform to achieve their dreams and ours' of making Nigerian and African youths believe in themselves by digging deep into their innate talents and transform it to entrepreneurship. This will make them to be responsible and reliable in their various departments in business and also, change their opinion on believing that travelling abroad is the opium of the life of a third-world country youth.

Hence Kowry Kreations Media, a non-profit and non-governmental organisation, came up with the project Youth Empowerment Project, under which we have Fashion Show, Art Exhibition, Musical Concert, TV Reality Show and many others.

And to actualize this project, we started with the Fashion Show last year in collaborations with the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) and now we are going to have the second edition of the project tagged: FR:2 (Fashion Revolution Reloaded) with the support of GML ENTERTAINMENT, an entertanment company.

We have chosen three young and vibrant designers, Denrele Edun's (Soundcity mad-presenter) desinger, HerBay Stitches is one of them. Allen Culture, a well known designer in Olabisi Onabanjo University and Buga Fash, the University of Lagos undergraduate. Denrele, Goldie, the musician, C'mion and many more will grace the runway.

Ibiyemi, the new and fresh voice in the Music Industry, Sage Has.son, the acclaimed spokenword performer, Slim and Ginger - professional dancers and Laff-Up are the major artistes on the bill to give life to the event.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Maps and Literature

By Temitayo Olofinlua
March 30, 2009 04:54PMT

Curiosity kills only the ‘cat' of ignorance, I finally mumbled to myself as I thought about the theme of PAGES for the month of March: The World is Flat. So, I decided to wear my cap of curiosity in search for knowledge.

I sweated in the bus on my way to Yaba under the hot Lagos sun even as questions filtered through my mind: how can they say the world is flat? Was it ever really flat? Has it stopped being spherical as I was taught in my Geography class? What is the meeting point between Onyeka Nwelue's The Abyssinian Boy and the shape of the world?

PAGES, a monthly event organised by Kowry Kreations Media (KKM) in collaboration with the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Lagos, usually revolves around a particular theme but brings together various art forms in a bid to understand our world better.

Last month, I confronted graphic images exploring female sexuality (Lucy Azubuike's ‘Menstruation Series' and Zanele Munoli's photo studies of black lesbians) and there was a discussion of Jude Dibia's Walking with Shadows.

Thus, I had an expectation of something "shocking," and was quite caught off guard when I entered the venue but only saw THE WORLD IS FLAT painted in bright colours on the wall, with various maps of different places on flat tables.

Then, I knew that art should not be predictable in whatever form it comes to you: literature, painting, cartography, drama, photography. It should be able to not only shock you, but crawl into your skin, sometimes bringing knowledge or pleasure and at other times, something you can't describe.

The Exhibition: Understanding the World through Cartography

We were less than 30 in the audience and there were five discussants on the table: Johanne Logstrup, the curator of the exhibition and one of the artists whose work was exhibited; and Bisi Silva, the artistic director at the CCA; Onyeka Nwelue, author of The Abyssinian Boy; and Deji Toye, a literary critic and writer.

Bisi Silva helped us across our rivers of ignorance with her introduction, and paved the way for Logstrup to talk more deeply about the theme.

I listened, rather patiently as I tried to enter the world of maps, subjectivity, cartography, the interpretation of maps and the way artists (and people) come to maps. Maps are supposed to be factual, accurate and objective when it comes to description and showing places, however, an artist confronts a map subjectively.

‘The World is Flat' is aimed at seeing the world, not only through maps but through the eyes of the artist in a different way. Okay. Let me break it down from what I understood: if you tell 10 cartographers to draw maps of Lagos, you will get 10 different maps.

Not that they'd differ in size or location, but the way they'd approach the subject of "Lagos" would be different, resulting in different interpretations of Lagos on their maps. Consequently, in the individual maps, we will find different questions answered: geographical, historical, political, cultural and creative.

Logstrup took questions from the audience ranging from her choice of the theme to the aim of the whole project.

From her brilliant responses, I was able to see that, just as maps should not be seen as only geographical tools, we should begin to ask questions about our world in order to see it anew, not just "a one-way-traffic" of seeing without taking on board the possibility of other realities.

The Reading: Maps in the World of Fiction

Where does reality end and fiction begin in a work of literature? When does the writer cross over from the world of real landscapes into fiction? How true is the statement: work with what you know as a writer? When does New Delhi get too real or unreal in Onyeka Nwelue's portrayal of the city in his novel, The Abyssinian Boy?

How real is the Rajagopalan House where most of the events unfold? These were some of the questions Deji Toye raised by way of introduction to the author, Onyeka Nwelue, who in a way bridges the gap between literature and the world of cartography.

Nwelue said later that he tries to stay true to his description of the places that the novel takes the reader to: New Delhi, Lagos and Ezeoke, his village. He travelled to India and walked the streets of New Delhi. He, however, felt that in his bid to make New Delhi real, he made it "too small."

However, those who have been to New Delhi, agree that the descriptions are true and they could recognise many places. The author read from page 11 of his novel with a focus on the "cultural mappings" that we make around ourselves.

An Indian couple want to get a visa to honeymoon in US but are not allowed for reasons best known to the American Consul; the lovebirds commit suicide because they are indebted to the tune of over two million rupees. This leads to a protest and the closure of the British and American embassies for two weeks.

Just like maps, "visas" are tools that we use to define our territory and maintain our control over it and other people.

Questions now arise as to whether it is possible for a writer to describe perfectly a place that he/she has "no knowledge" of.

True or false? My answer: false. Whether a place exists in reality (as in Sefi Atta's Swallow or Joy Isi Bewaji's description of Lagos in Eko Dialogue), or is a mixture of the real and the ideal (as inverted Nigerian history in Eghosa Imasuen's To Saint Patrick) or does not exist at all (see in JK Rowling's novels or Ben Okri's world of the abiku in The Famished Road)--the place truly exists vividly in one place: the writer's head.

Reality transcends what it seems; and most times, in a work of literature, reality does not necessarily have to exist in "real life." However, unreal a place may be, verisimilitude allows the writer to make an ideal setting so real it's believable.

Just as the subjectivity of the cartographer brings a new interpretation to a map, literature breaks boundaries that have been created by maps, and takes the reader on flights to places: known or unknown, real or ideal, to meet characters, real or fictive.

The writer as a map-maker

The next round of questions showed that the writer is, amongst other things, a map-maker whether he stays true to describing reality as it is, mixes it with fiction, or goes into the realm of fantasy. S/he creates new worlds, new streets (and new characters) that are believable.

Walking around to take a look at the works in the exhibition, I entered Shahram Entekhabi's world of ‘parasite architecture' and had a brief history lesson about the Tuileries Garden (with an antique marble statue of a wild boar in it), Paris, which set me thinking.

Over time, the significance of the garden has changed: from a site of great slaughter, the extension of a royal palace and a royal prison, a gathering spot for evil spirits, hangout for homosexuals, to a resort centre, playground, and who knows what it can be tomorrow? The boar has been moved to the Louvre Museum since 1992.

Since places change, the writer (and cartographer) stays true to not only description of place but the mood and timing, amongst other things. For instance, we encounter Lagos at different times in Cyprian Ekwensi's Jagua Nana and Toni Kan's more contemporary Nights of the Creaking Bed.

Thus as map-makers, writers are also historians because each setting has a story: personal, social or political. They preserve moments through their stories whether real or ideal.

The debate is an ongoing one, however, the writer is many things and the creative process of writing is one that is very difficult to dissect.

Just as the uniqueness of each map-maker and map-reader contribute to the map, the individuality of each writer and reader brings a lot of subjectivity to our interpretation of fiction and the world around us.

PAGES has shown through this exhibition, "The World is Flat," that there are many ways of, not only looking at maps or fiction, but the world around us, and promises more interesting ways of understanding our world from many sides of this coin called art. To this end, my ignorance is dead because now I know.

Olofinlua is a writer and editor based in Lagos.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

P.A.G.E.S series 2

Presented at P.A.G.E.S
by Onyeka Nwelue

Onyeka Nwelue is the author of The Abyssinian Boy (DADA Books, 2009) and a recipient of a grant from the Institute for Research on African Women, Children and Culture (IRAWCC).

The Writer’s Work as a Geographer

Hi. This is not a lecture; it is just an explanation of what I’ve done in my novel. Most writers are good at giving lectures, talking intellectually in gatherings, but I’m very far from it. I try to distance myself from the whole intellectual talk where you have to cite references and bibliographies; I tend to say things I know, I tend to talk about things I have good knowledge about. And when I was asked to talk or should I say discuss the use of map in fiction, I grabbed it quickly with an open hand, because it is something I like talking about and something I enjoy doing. More like something I like encountering in books, where I have to see things that I know on the sheet of paper, staring at me, like, ‘Hey, guy, you don’t know me or something?’

Like a moron, I would nod, ‘Yes, I know you.’ And I would have to start to ask, ‘Yes, you are that street after that street, eh? You are that house after that house, huh? You are the tree after this tree, oh? You are the bank after that post office, right?’

You can find these things in the new Nigerian novel, maybe, because we’ve gotten tired with all the ramblings of not calling a spade a spade. We are tired with calling Nsukka, Nkassu, just to elicit some kinda what? I don’t know. You can’t read a book and feel a sense of belonging again. You feel that all you are reading about is a far away land; meanwhile, this could be some place you know very well.

I remember travelling to Nsukka for the first time with a copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus. I did that for one reason: I had been told by a reader that Ms Adichie’s description of the University campus was accurate. So, when I got admission into the University of Nigeria, and I had travelled to Nsukka for my registration, I thought that maybe, Kambili must have existed. The thing is that I began to visualize Ms Adichie as Kambili. I know she will hush me for saying this. But she should not, because this is the reader’s opinion, ok?

Few months after my matriculation, I got two young men, Eromo Egbejule and Osondu Awaraka who are writers, involved and we took motorcycles to Marguerite Cartwright Avenue to locate the house where Ms Adichie lived and we were faced with a heavy reality: a house that matches the description of Aunty Ifeoma’s house in Purple Hibiscus. I nudged and wondered what and how powerful creating a fictional setting from a real place could be.

That said, I have to tell you that I have problem with writers who want to sound smart, but are really not smart by even fictionalizing the names of streets, cities and countries, through renaming them, like someone called Nigeria, Naigara. Many writers have done this and the most irritating is the one Patrick Wilmort did in his last novel. We are all entitled to our style of writing, technique and how we figure out what stories we tell, but we must put the society we live in into consideration when we are writing about them, even when we have to do justice to real settings.

There’s a certain degree of joy and amusement I get when I encounter a place I know in fiction. It elevates me and the authenticity of the setting keeps me squirming. It happens that I suspend my belief for fictional events and focus on the fact that the setting is real. In Amit Chaudhuri’s A Strange and Sublime Address, there’s a beautiful description of Calcutta (Kolkata). I decided to travel to Kolkata after reading the book and learning that the places described existed. While on train from Delhi, thoughts raced through my head and I kept thinking as we past greenery hills, mountains, beautiful trees and monkeys parading on treetops. By the time I got to Kolkata, I realized that the houses, shops and bazaars described in the book exist, but not with the names in the book. And the characters are nowhere to be found. But I knew that if you looked into the houses, you’d find the characters. Maybe, not with the real names. But you’d find them. The roads are not as dusty as have been described in the book. Many things have changed. Maybe, just maybe, Mr. Chaudhuri’s candid and poignant description of the bad structures forced those in authority to take on the reconstruction of the city, which leads me to where I’m going now.

Fictionalising real settings with the real names can help a city, a country, by luring more tourists into it, depending on how you’ve done it.

You can help your environment by preserving its present or past for the future. I know that some authors find it easier just to make up fictional town or setting, but that is less a redeeming quality.

The geography in my novel is real. I took so much liberty in describing New Delhi, Lagos, Owerri and my village, Ezeoke. Readers have emailed me, telling me how pleased they are. An Indian lady who was at my book launch/reading told me how good she felt when she read my book and recognized each remarkable place I have described in it. That’s more of the happy side.

Writing about a real setting in a fictionalized way is very good, I must tell you. It helps. But every writer should be able to follow his heartbeat. The old cliché, ‘write what you know’ is at the same time, right and wrong. If we were all to write about what we know, JK Rowling wouldn’t have written her fantasy tales of the wizard boy. I can aptly assume that Jude Dibia wouldn’t have written the story of Adrian Njoko in Walking with Shadows. Or Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wouldn’t have written Half of a Yellow Sun. She never fought during the war, she was never there.

Maps, real maps fictionalized, can help readers have a sense of belonging when they are lost in a work of literature. It is more like building the future in the present; you understand your setting better when you know it better. There’s more to being a reader when you find yourself enjoying the description of the place you know by heart, which brings me to the conclusion that a writer is more like a Creator, a Geographer, a Map Reader, because he has the rare power other artists don’t have, to evoke a selfish world that can enliven the reader’s enthusiasm.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

P.A.G.E.S : 2 (2nd Series)

The author of The Abyssinian Boy will be reading pages from his debut book this Saturday (21.03.09) at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos.


P.A.G.E.S, is the confluence of literature, art works, comics and photography. This programme is designed to converge fictionist, poets and playwrights at the Center for Contemporary Art, to give literary interpretation to the works being exhibited at the centre every month.


Onyeka Nwelue will read pages that will give literary interpretation to the theme of the exhibiton: The World is Flat, from his new book The Abyssinian Boy. The World is Flat has been developed and conceived as a mobile travelling exhibition. None of the artworks included in the exhibition take up more space than a traditional map. They can therefore be folded and inserted into a large envelope and sent to selected exhibition spaces around the world.

Venue: Centre for Contemporary Art, 9 McEwen Street, behind Domino Dinners, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos.

Date: Saturday 21.03.09

Time: 3 p.m to 5 p.m

Monday, 16 March 2009


We are concerned with the inability of transforming innate talents in the Creative Industry to the main stream of SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) in the country. And for this reason, we are out to scout, select and provide the young, talented and promising enterpreneurial the platform to achieve their dreams and ours' of making Nigerian and African youths believe in themselves by digging deep into their innate talents and transform it to entrepreneurship. This will make them to be responsible and reliable in their various departments in business and also, change their opinion on believing that travelling abroad is the opium of the life of a third-world country youth.

Hence Kowry Kreations Media, a non-profit and non-governmental organisation, came up with the project Youth Empowerment Project, under which we have Fashion Show, Art Exhibition, Musical Concert, TV Reality Show and more.

And to actualize this project, we started with the Fashion Show last year in collaborations with the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) and now we are going to have the second edition of the project tagged: FR:2 (Fashion Revolution Reloaded) with the support of INSPIRO, an event management company, also the producer of Nijazz and Lagos International Jazz Festival.

We have chosen three young and vibrant designers, Denrele Edun's (Soundcity mad-presenter) desinger, HerBay Stitches is one of them. Allen Culture, a well known designer in OOU and Buga Fash, the UNILAG designer. Denrele, Goodie, the musician, C'mion and many more will grace the runway.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

P.A.G.E.S is here

This is to announce to our Supporters(Matrons and Patrons) and fans that Kowry Kreations Media, now has a new project tagged: P.A.G.E.S This project is in Collaboration with Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Lagos.

Jude Dibia @ P.A.G.E.S

We had the first edition of the project at CCA on February 7th, 2009. Jude Dibia read excerpts from his first book "Walking with Shadow," which he had never read from since the time of publication, dated four years. Actually, The author read book which, won him his first national prize and also, the copyright had been bought in South Africa. It was really an interesting experience for the author to see that his book is still relevant to current issues and reposed the hope that it will still be relevant in future.

Nkechi Nwosu-Igbo, a poetess and renowned artist and Jude Dibia, the author of "Working with Shadows" @ CCA

Nkechi Nwosu-Igbo and Jude Dibia during Book Signing.


P.A.G.E.S, is the confluence of literature, art works, comics and photography. This programme is designed to converge fictionist, poets and playwrights at the Centre for Contemporary Art, to give literary interpretation to the works being exhibited at the centre every month.

Art is art. Be it literature, painting, poetry, pottering or sculpturing. This is the reason why Kowry Kreations Media, an African art and culture organization came up with this unifying concept in collaboration with Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA).

The first edition of the programme was held on February 7th at the centre. And Walking with Shadows, Jude Dibia's first novel was the central literature to discuss the exhibition theme: "Like a Virgin." Feminisim (womanism) was the focus of the discussion.

Pictures from the EXHIBITION

Human figure, sexuality in contemporary African art
By Anote Ajeluorou

FOLLOWING the groundbreaking, dramatic work of Eve Enslar, The Vagina Monologue (and Nigeria's adaptation, V-Monologues), a veil seems to have been lifted off the feminine anatomy that has since been shrouded in myth and taboo. Whereas while Africans in pre-colonial era were scantily dressed, they were nevertheless less naked; now with so much modernity around us, Africans are so well dressed up yet they are so naked, especially the women, whose nudity has become a by-product of consumerism. Images of nudity among female folks have come to be regarded as the norm rather than the exception. Whether this is a sign of the times, is still debatable.

However, art and its practitioners have pushed the argument forward in their effort to reflect current temper. In its role of reflecting society, art is beginning to upset the hornet's nest in its uncompromising portrayal of sexual trends that lie potent beneath society's skin, particularly the human body and sexuality in society. Particular mention is the weird and aberrant sexual form known as homosexuality!

How much do we really know about our bodies with regard to the sexual dynamics that govern it? What about our sexual preferences, whether heterosexual or homosexual; do we owe society explanation as to how we like it? How modern can we claim to be regarding homosexuality? Or are we still so conservatively intolerant of it that we would rather legislate against it for the sanity and morality of society? And how confident are these fellows in following through with their 'weird' sexual preference?

These were some of the controversial issues that came up for discussion at an interactive session last Saturday at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, a collaborative project with Kowry Kreations Media. Recent works of three artists set the tone for the heated discussion. They were a photographic exhibition of the works of two female artists titled 'Like A Virgin...'and a novel, Walking with Shadows by Jude Dibia. The show by the two women, Lucy Azubuike of Nigeria and South Africa's Zanele Muholi, depict two different orientation and ways of looking at the female form and her experiences as a 'victim' in a male dominated society.

The two works are disturbing and daring in their visual presentation in using essentially tabooed images to confront the reality of womanhood. In one vein Azubuike creates visually tasking images from women's bloodied pads and blood from her cycle. In another level her works are pristine as she finds in nature forms that are parallel to the female. Azubuike uses these artistic parallels to woman found in nature to highlight certain perceived cultural stereotypes militating against womenfolk in our modern era. Muholi also boldly and unabashedly tackles the issues of lesbianism as something that can be openly talked about with mutual understanding, and without shame. Being gay is an open and common practice in her country; it still wears a taboo tag in Nigeria.

Nevertheless, Dibia's novel, Walking with Shadows from which excerpts were read, is about homosexuality in Nigeria, societal attitude towards it, an attitude that is still less generous even when it is a widely practised sexual preference across all strata of society. The novel explores the gay's confused view of himself against his intolerant society, the rejection and stigma he experiences, the loss of his family, friends and colleagues. The book probes the individual and society's sexual preference and questions why our society accepts every other imported stuff from the West and not homosexuality and those unfortunate enough to practise it.

These three artists, in their different consciousness and media, see the human body as true artistic models worth examining with compassion and love. Muholi's works probe the nude female body as two women fumble with their vital parts; they are women demystifying women in the exploration of their otherwise tabooed anatomies with their own hands.

Azubuike presents another aspect. In her works the viewer is not spared the gory sight of women's bloodied sanitary towels, and her sexuality in its unvarnished form. It is a new way of breaking the taboos and myths surrounding a woman's body. In another level as well, she leads us by the hand to let us see forms of woman's anatomy in nature. Every inverted Y-shape formed in trees stands for a woman's sacred grove - her navel, waist private parts and thighs. So that the viewer is made to see the waist from the junction where the limbs part to reveal her femininity that nature has so subtly but graciously dressed.

Azubuike goes several steps forward to imbue her trees with shocking feminine realism. She strings beads round the waists of some; others she ties lace wrappers to set off a visual feast typical of those found in fables, where animals and trees talked. There's one titled female genital mutilation (FGM); it vividly depicts a circumcised female with an open scar, where her clitoris has been cut off. No live picture of a circumcised female could come close to it! And she stated at the session that though she's not a feminist, she uses her visual images to speak to humanity about the unending plight of women, who are still held down by stereotypes. "I feel for women because of our male-dominated world," she stated simply.

The curator of the show, Bisi Silver, stated that it was the newness and provocative nature of the works that attracted her to the works of the two artists. She further praised the women for daring to work on such bold subjects, which she described as "the visual diary of women talking about themselves in an uninhibited manner meant to shed stereotypes. Muholi's lesbian women and Azubuike dressing trees in women's guise - I find the works fascinating and relevant; the synergy between the two artists comes off very well. They show that we should not be ashamed of our bodies and whatever we do with them is our own business."

One of the discussants, Ken Okolie, and art historian, argued that morality was a private matter and carpeted intolerant societies that would not face up to the reality of homosexuality as Muholi openly depicted. He said art has the capacity to look at tabooed subjects with unusual frankness and deliver refreshing perspectives. "In Africa we show poetry with our sculptures," he argued. "Art is still art used to tell the untold. These women tell us about things around us. It is only artists who can bring out images of lesbians like this; using sanitary pad to produce art by a woman is very interesting. It's innovative and creatively interesting using our bodies to create some avantgard kind of art, which is creating an amalgam from our environment with women's body. These works show that women are pervasive in all things."

From the literary perspective, another panelist Deji Toye, underlined the hypocrisy inherent in Nigerian society with regard to gay people as treated in Walking with Shadows. He argued that legislating against homosexuality as the National Assembly wanted to do was hypocritical and amounted to denial of people's rights and freedom of choice. He said homosexuality was a reality in our society, which no legislation or denial can erase; and that the perceived battle-line between heterosexuals and homosexuals was a mirage and not one that could be won. The hero (or villain?) of the novel, Adrian, finds himself on the wrong side of society's sexual preference by being gay. His wife sues for divorce on discovering her husband's queer sex preference; his family and colleagues reject him. He is left with no option but to relocate outside of the country to a more tolerant clime in his attempts to come to terms with his sexual preference and escape the stigma associated with his weird sexual life.

The panel discussion was moderated by Hansi Momodu.

Culled from THE GUARDIAN of Friday, February 13, 2009

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


ROTUNDA HALL, National Library, Alagomeji, Yaba, Lagos.