Cross Country Conversations; From Lagos to Limbe

Goethe Institut

Emmanuel Iduma, editor of Saraba Magazine welcomed everyone to the Lagos to Limbe panel talk before introducing Dzekashu Macviban, editor of Bakwa Magazine, who continued the session by drawing political and literary similarities between Cameroon and Nigeria which he believed to be largely unexplored. Participants of the project were then asked to read excerpts from their work before opening the question and answers session.

When asked about a brief history of his work for the project Raoul Djimeli from Cameroon commented that he wrote French so this was his first attempt at non-fiction. When asked how he managed to preserve security of the people he talked about in his non-fiction he replied ‘ah me I don’t have that problem you see in my family I am the only one who writes and reads English. So I can write anything and my father would never know.’

 

Nkiacha Atemnkeng who had won the Sylt foundation residency in Germany organized by the Goethe Institute said he wrote ‘Aviation fiction’ because he worked in the airport so this was also his first attempt at non-fiction writing. Adams Adeosun was originally doing a literary journalism piece but he lost his friend during the period so he wrote out his grief for the project instead. Sada Malumfashi wrote on his grueling thirty-six hour train ride to the Ake Festival last year. Socrates Mbamalu ventured into non-fiction out of curiosity and his non-fiction piece was about his relationship with his father. Howard Meh-Buh ximus was already familiar with non-fiction because he kept diaries when he was growing up but Caleb said he found non-fiction difficult because it was hard to tell the truth. Caleb’s piece was non a mad woman he lost.

The most exciting and perhaps controversial question came from Tope Adegoke who wanted to know how honestly the writers depicted their sex lives in fiction. Several members of the panel struggled with the answer but the most memorable came from Sada Malumfashi ‘If you can write sex well as fiction then you should be able to write it better in non-fiction.’

TJ Benson

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