26 Nov 2014


There is no doubt that Ebola epidemic that has plagued in Nigeria over the last two months was a very serious issue, leading to the medical quarantine of thirty plus people as well as the death of Dr Ameh Adadevoh and six others.
Special Salt, wanna buy?


24 Nov 2014

The Dancil Anime Guide

What is anime?
P: What is anime? That’s kinda simple I guess. It’s Japanese animation, usually presented as hand-drawn scenarios. In other words, they’re cartoons but with the Japanese zeal injected into them. Sometimes anime comes as computer animation, but it’s usually hand-drawn stuff.
D: Couldn’t have said it better, bro. Simply put, anime is Japanese animation, as in Japanese cartoons, while most cartoons/animation that comes out of America/Europe etc. is known as Western animation. Anime is iconic because its spirit is infused with that particular Japanese culture and charm that can't help but be compelling to the rest of the viewing world.

P: And now we’ve established that basic fact, the next step is to know what types of anime are available for viewing pleasure.

 What are the types of anime?
D: As with any form of entertainment out there, anime has its own illustrious cornucopia of genres and subgenres, some more popular than others. In a broad spectrum, anime genres include: Mecha, Shonen, Magical Girl, Card Battle, Harem, Idol, Yaoi, Yuri and Hentai. Of course keep in mind these are anime specific genres, and most of them usually fall into these AND have a few Western-familiar genres thrown into the mix, so you can have a Mecha anime, with elements of romance, thriller, action comedy etc, you grab the punch.
P: Well… Detanfy seriously punched a hole through that one. There’s little for me to add to this. Of course, there can be a mix of types every now and then, and it’s not an abnormal thing to happen. Even 3 types can get mixed in the same pot. Some clarification though, hentai and ecchi don’t have any particular demographic that responds to them. Hentai’s hardcore animated pornography while ecchi is the softcore version. Just decided to place this here because of an earlier discussion with someone.
D: Yup! We wouldn’t want you to get mixed up and see something you don’t wanna (or do wanna?) see. So we’ll spell it out just a little bit for you:

21 Nov 2014


Isidore Okpewoh’s African Arts Prize for Literature winning novel“The Last Duty” is what any reader would find an interesting read regardless of tribe or race. The novel explores the effects of war on Aku, a young woman whose husband is imprisoned on allegations of collaborating with rebel soldiers. Alone and with a son to cater for, Aku struggles to survive in a town she is hated as she belongs to the tribe of the rebels, Simbia. This makes things even harder for her in Urukpe, as she can hardly venture out for fear of being attacked by a mob incited by the violent and traumatic experiences of war.

19 Nov 2014

The Ebola Debate. Education Or No.

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) previously called Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever is a highly infectious viral disease which is fatal in about 5 of every 10 cases. Ebola was first discovered in 1976 in parts of tropical Africa and Central Africa, but was successfully contained.
Since March 2014, the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has claimed more lives than all the other outbreaks combined, and has spread to more countries than previously seen. Recent statistics showed that Nigeria had 20 cases of Ebola, with 8 deaths. It is believed that EVD first arrived in Lagos, Nigeria through a ‘Mr Sawyer’, a Liberian traveller who was infected with the virus.
Ebola can be contracted through direct contact with diseased animals or humans carrying the virus but only when the human has started to show symptoms. The transmission is majorly through bodily fluids (blood, mucous, breast milk, semen, etc), secretions organs or even infected clothing or bedding. It has been seen that men who recover from the virus can still transmit EVD for up to 7 weeks.

14 Nov 2014

The Etisalat Prize Finally Has It's Long List

The Etisalat Prize for Fiction, an award open to all first novel authors of African descent, in it's second year has just announced it's long list for chosen authors. Africa has so few fully actualized novels come out each year that any recognition, financial and otherwise that these authors get is welcomed. Last year, the Etisalat Prize for fiction was won by No-Violet Bulawayo for her almost afro-punk inspired, gritty novel called We Need New Names. We have fingers crossed to see who will get shortlisted this year.

This year's long list has a Nigerian author published in Nigeria Reward Nsirim and two authors of Nigerian descent Chinelo Okparanta and Taiye Selasi. Also, not surprisingly, Taiye Selasi's Ghana Must Go is shortlisted, (which means I need to actually read it, I've been procastinating for the longest time).

These are the longlisted authors in no particular order.

An Imperfect Blessing by Nadia Davids

Whoever Fears the Sea by Justin Fox

The Thunder that Roars by Imran Garda

Penumbra by Songeziwe Mahlangu

Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

Fresh Air and other stories by Reward Nsirim

Happiness Like Water by Chinelo Okparanta

Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi

These ten long listed authors are in line to win £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterst├╝ck and an 
Etisalat-sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia under the mentored of Professor Giles Foden, author of the Last King of Scotland. What wouldn't I do for a sponsored fellowship right now?

The long list is just the first in a round of choosing. The long listed authors will be pared down to five final authors before the winner is announced on the 23rd of February 2015. 

I'm rooting for Chinelo. Like a lot of people, I find Taiye Selasi mercurial, hopefully people look past the person and judge Ghana Must Go for the amazing first piece of work that is. I know I'm trying.

Bring it home Nigeria, we need someone to join Chimamanda in the upper echelons. 


Additional information from: www.bookslive.co.za 

12 Nov 2014

Book Review: Measuring Time



Helon Habila’s classic novel Measuring Time is a novel that cannot be hurriedly read neither is it a book that can be easily forgotten. Through the creative use of language, strategic setting and a complex yet simple plot and other literary devices, the writer through the lives and experiences of a single family paints us the history of Africa’s history, pain and leadership.

The titular character Lamang, is an renowned womanizer whose legendary promiscuity and skills with women earns him the nickname “King of Women” by the people of Keti, a local government in the northern part of Nigeria. Not only does he get nickname but a song is also composed to laud his conquest of the women of his town. Unexpectedly, Lamang settles down to marry Tabita, the daughter of a rich farmer; although he is in love with another woman, Saraya. He however marries Tabita because his marriage to her accords him the opportunity to benefit from his rich father-in-law who sets him up in the cattle business. Unfortunately his sojourn into the world of dirty politics brings him to a dishonourable end.       

We have the characters of twin brothers, Mamo and LaMamo. They are Lamang’s only children given birth to by Tabita who dies during childbirth. The twins despise Lamang, they have heard the numerous stories of how he cheated on their mother and never loved her back, driving her to despair. They indirectly blame him for their mother’s death and set on making his life a misery. They even go as far as putting a scorpion in his bed when they were children. While Lamang takes a big portion of the book, the novel’s true protagonists are the twins; Mamo and LaMamo are as different as chalk and cheese. Mamo is the sickly, frail and intellectual twin while LaMamo is the strong, healthy and adventurous one. Their health and intellectual differences maps out different destinies for them. Mamo stays back in Keti to be a village school teacher and later a renowned biographer, LaMamo becomes a rebel fighter who partakes of gory wars across Africa.

The novel Measuring Time expertly tells of the greed and corruption of African leaders and its resultant effect on the entire society. Through the shameful story of the Mai and Waziri, we see how African leaders carry themselves as demi-gods while in power living in opulence to the detriment of the citizens who suffer and live in abject poverty. Asides the theme of corruption and greed, the author tells of the aftermaths of war on a people and soldiers. We see that in the life of Haruna who returns to Keti deranged and finally commits suicide or even LaMamo himself who loses an eye. There is also the theme of misguided faith and man’s quest for happiness. Zaraya has a failed marriage and despite her sexual relations with Mamo, she is still unhappy and can’t seem to find peace. Not least is the theme of cultural retrieval which the author expertly uses the character of Mamo to talk about.

The language of the novel is advanced and definitely a book set to improve the vocabulary of its reader. Through the use of language, the author makes us aware of the social and intellectual strata of the various characters. The colourful use of language as well paints us vivid images of the things the author is writing about. Measuring time is set to be a Modern African literature classic and a must read for all as it cuts across a subject that affects both the rich and poor, the old and young, the ruler and the ruled.      

Akinyoade Akinwale. 

10 Nov 2014



The committee for Relevant Art (CORA) is one of the bodies behind the upcoming Lagos Book and Art Festival starting on the 14th to the 16th of November 2014. The book and Festival this year is celebrating Wole Soyinka at 80 amongst many other themes. This is an insanely good endeavour and one we at 9jeducation wholly support.

But the CORA organization can't do this alone, this is why the CORA organisation along with the organizing committee for LABAF 2014 has made available internship spots for this year's festival. This year young Lagosians from all walks of life who love writing will be given the opportunity to participate in bringing to life a Book and Art Festival while learning valuable skills about the literary industry works. There is also the added perk of being able to add this kind of work experience to one's resume. And finally you get to make connections working so closely with professionals and your Nigerian Literary idols and becoming a part of the CORA and LABAF communities, something I think every aspiring writer needs.

 I personally would intern if I could, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't. If you have time to spare this and next week and would like to contribute to a worthy cause, you can go over to www.coraartfoundation.com or just fill their volunteer application form here:


Just fill it up and they will reach out to you, who knows, you might end up meeting Wole Soyinka himself.

From us, its Hello.

Edwin Okolo.

7 Nov 2014

Hot On Our Radar: Lagos Book and Art Festival.



One of the major complaints I hear from young people who love to read and write is that there are no cultural events that celebrate a reading and writing culture. Add this to the not so slow decline of literacy and the terrible reading culture currently in Nigeria, book festivals are a great and welcome thing. This is why when I heard the first rumors that there was going to be a Lagos Book and Art Festival, I have to admit I was ecstatic. Well the LABAF is no longer a rumor, it’s been confirmed and even has a website and a date set. This is really happening people.

Imagine my surprise when I went trolling the internet for information on the festival and I stumbled on their website. It turns out that the Lagos Book and Art Festival has actually been running for fifteen years with varying degrees of publicity. The 2014 LABAF will be the sixteenth edition of the festival. This year’s festival is extra special because it’s a commemorative year organised in celebration of Prof. Wole Soyinka’s 80th birthday and will celebrate his achievements over the last fifty years he has been active as a writer. There have been a lot of events celebrating Prof. Soyinka’s becoming an Octogenarian, with the Ake Festival which holds in Abeokuta, his hometown on the 18th to the 22nd of November this being the culminating literary festival.

I could rephrase whatever I put up, but I think the blurb on their website is so well put together I’ll just replicate it here.

Each passing day brings down the curtain on 2014. How far have you come from 2013?

The Lagos Arts and Book Festival travelled a thematic journey from Lagos Story in 2013 to Freedom and the Word—the theme for this year’s festival. It is a natural progression, because to tell a story is to gift another with insight, and only in freedom can one truly give or receive.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall; the 20th anniversary of South African democracy; and the 15th anniversary of Nigeria’s 4th republic. These milestones remind us of paths humanity must never again tread. They also suggest that we appreciate the writers who used their art to protest a system of suppression or provided comic relief in a climate of oppression. The importance of reading their books should never be lost on us, as James Kelman—Booker winner 1994— said, ‘one of the few remaining freedom we have is the blank page. No one can prescribe how we should fill it.’
The 2014 Lagos Art and Book Festival is dedicated in honour of Prof. Wole Soyinka @ 80.
The pre-festival events kick off on the 10th and end on the 13th of November. The events to look forward to are: a book trek, creative writing workshop, and a publisher’s forum. The Book Trek will take place at British Council in Ikoyi, Lagos and it is designed to ignite a passion for reading amongst children, young adults and anyone with a suspicion for books. It will be followed by a one day creative writing workshop organised by British Council for aspiring writers. The final pre-festival event is the publisher’s forum. The discussions will be focused on cutting operational costs and making profits by taking advantage of the marketing opportunities e-media presents. CORA (Committee for Relevant Arts) and Goethe Institut will facilitate the forum. The forum ushers us into the main festival events which will run from 14th to 16th of November:

Day One
We celebrate the works of Nobel Laureate—Prof. Wole Soyinka. Prof. Biodun Jeyifo—Harvard don and foremost critic of Soyinka’s work—will deliver the keynote address on Soyinka’s contribution to the quest for Freedom and Justice for all people. The speech will set-off discussions on Soyinka’s non-fiction and its impact on freedom and nation building.
The second session is tagged Soyinka: the public intellectual. Prof. Chidi A. Odinkalu—chairman of the Nigeria Human Rights Commission—will set the tone for discussions with an address on Soyinka the great defender of freedom of speech.
And then there will be readings and performance of Soyinka’s plays and poems: Dance of the Forest, Madmen & Specialists, King Baabu, Beatification of an Area boy, and The Road. Also poets cum rap artistes will entertain the audience with poetry and spoken word recitation in tribute to Prof Wole Soyinka. A befitting finale to first day proceedings is the staging of Alapata Apata by Crown Troupe of Africa.

Day Two
Join Chuma Nwokolo, Adewole Ajao, Toni Kan, Kola Tubosun and co as they discuss books on the theme ‘In Search for Freedom’. Books to be discussed: 1. David Welsh—The Rise and Fall of Apartheid. 2. Nelson Mandela—Long Walk to Freedom. 3. Peter Schneider—The Wall Jumper. 4. Ala Al Aswany—Chicago. 5. Wale Adebami—Trials and Triumphs: The Story of TheNews
A panel of four coordinated by BusinessDay will anchor discussions on the theme ‘Keys to Knowledge Economy’. Books to be discussed: 1. Thomas Picketty—Capital in the Twenty First Century. 2. Dambisa Moyo—Winner Takes All: China’s Race for Resources and What it Means for the World. Also the following books will be discussed on the theme The Aftermath: What Happens after Freedom: 1. Ike Okonta—When Citizens Revolt. 2. Antjie Krog—A  Change of Tongue. 3. Naomi Klein—Shock Doctrine. 4. Wladimir Kaminer—Russian Disco.
British Council will anchor discussions on themes for young adults for example: do we entice them to read by writing fantasy or is reality equally bizarre and interesting? Then Cassava Republic and a panel of authors will discuss of a new digital romance imprint—Ankara Romance. Finally, Rotimi Babatunde—Caine’s Prize winner 2012—and a panel of four discuss contemporary Nigerian writing.

Day Three
Join Sage Hasson to explore the theme ‘The Book and Youth Empowerment’. Focus is on books published by authors under 35, like: 1. Okechukwu Ofili—How Stupidity Saved My Life. 2. Chude Jideonwo—Are We the Turning Point Generation. 3. Ayo Sogunro—The Wonderful Life of Senator Boniface and other Sorry Tales. Benson Idonije—veteran journalist and music critic—will present his book on Fela Ankulapo Kuti titled Dis Fela Sef.
We saved the screen for you on the last day! Come and watch The Supreme Price, a documentary film by Joanna Lipper that will make you appreciate 15 years of democracy in Nigeria, that will make you cry and make you laugh too. The movie segues in to the CORA Art Stampede—a free for all discussion on the importance of documentation to the quest of freedom.
For the last hurrah we present poetry slam by a 100,000 Poets and Musicians whose aim is to induct you as champion for change. The Lagos Art and Book Festival promises to be a picnic of books, and one book a day will keep senility at bay.
So there you have it guys, The three day event will start on the 14th and end on the 16th with a three day pre-festival event schedule that will reach out to children, aspiring young adult writers and a forum for the publishers and literary agents. The venue is Freedom Park at Broad Street, Lagos Island. 

If you need more information, and to make reservations and other enquires, check out their website, www.lagosbookartfestival.org