Thing about this publication is that it places on the agenda what we really know, but hardly ever utter, that taboo. In this case, that of being Nigerian and its place and function in contemporary society. So, ja, yaa’ll will read about the woman who smuggles drugs in her viscera via trans-continental flights; her motivation and lodestone the disabled very horny young male she has produced. And yes, there’s a parodic 419 email from Dubya’s wife, Laura. The Ogoni 9, encapsulated in the name of poet and anti-global oil warfare activist Ken Saro Wiwa, receive an obituary in the form of a tale about their last minutes on earth before the late Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha hangs them. Yes, there’s the story of an educated woman who goes job hunting in Lagos, gets her butt mauled by the males who will pay her wages and takes the job. Street photographer in Akinbode Akinbinyi resurrects the power and beauty involved with artists from the hood who choose to represent our own. Olu Oguibe, with great bitterness and historical precision lays down the history of Biafra, that West African genocide that is iconic of the ethnic madness that Frantz Fanon calls the “oppression of the oppressed” – that condition where we kill and maim in the name of an imposed progress. Ishtiyaq Shukri writes of walls, visible and not, from here to Palestine. All of this wrapped and motivated by Wole Soyinka, that inimitable voice from the wilderness of the west of Africa, who, on Nigerianess, mos sings in pidgin: “E push me so, I push am back/ Na’im and me go live till I die.” And, of course, OF COURSE, this issue is about the Chief Priest, Fela Kuti: King of Afrobeat and people art, and the art of being people. Anikulapo. An amazing interview with him – his last – conducted by musician Keziah Jones. Plus great visuals; plus poetry; plus more.
Cover art by Rucera Seethal