27 Feb 2015

Babishai Niwe Poetry Award.

The Babishai Niwe Poetry Award from Uganda formerly open only to Ugandan female poets, has now been open to all poets of all African decent. This is amazing news and since it's a competition for amateur poetry, we want everyone to send in an entry. The BN Poetry Award offers recognition and a cash prize of one thousand dollars, amazing if you ask me. In the words of the organizers themselves:

The BN Poetry Foundation has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception in 2008. For 5 years, we were the only poetry award dedicated to Ugandan women. From 2014, we have extended the award to the entire continent and included men too. This decision was based on the signs of growth and spurts of need to be more inclusive. With more competitiveness, the quality of poems submitted also improved greatly and we awarded a sum of One Thousand (1,000 US Dollars) to the winner. The top ten attended various festivals namely The Storymoja Literary Festival in Nairobi, The BN Poetry Festival in Kampala and the Aké Arts and
Book Festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria. All long-listed poets of the BN Poetry Award of 2014 and 2015 will appear in a forth-coming anthology.

25 Feb 2015

Opportunity: The Financial TImes/Oppenheimer Emerging Voices Award.

Another opportunity for young creative writers, filmmakers and mixed media artist, The Financial Times in collaboration with the Oppeheimer Fund has created the Emerging Voices Award. In it's inaugural year, the award will recognise the best young writers, filmmakers and mixed media artists. According to the bodies in charge of the Award, it is to encourage talent and creators in emerging/developing countries and the contributions they make to global art. Here's a blurb from their manifesto.

"There is a remarkable structural shift in the world, propelled by economic progress in the developing markets and the advanced reach of the Internet. More connectivity and greater variety of voices in the business, science and arts communities are leading to a new renaissance. The Financial Times and OppenheimerFunds are delighted to provide a platform to recognise the people contributing to these markets."
The winner in each category will be awarded $40,000, a ridiculous sum when you consider that the Caine Prize awards $10,000 to the winner. Plus the awards are specificially geared towards amateur or unestablished creatives. Sadly, for whatever reason, Each prize is targeted towards specific continents and exempted from others. Africa and the Middle East has the writing competition, South America and the Caribbean has mixed media and Asia has Film making.

The judges aim to reward those in each of the eligible art forms whose work shows outstanding talent and in some way furthers understanding of their region.

23 Feb 2015

Infographic: Habits of Famous Writers.

Ever wondered if Sylvia Plath preferred writing at night or in the day time? Ever wondered if Stephen King was a dog or cat person?

I know I have. So I was delighted to find that I was not alone in this. Someone had asked these questions and gotten answers.

Created by Bid Papers and debuted at bookbaby.com, This funny and enlightening infographic groups our favorite writers based on their habits. It's a little funny and quite revealing. I personally like that Sylvia Plath is a morning person, sort of me. Find out who you share similarities with.

Edwin Okolo,

20 Feb 2015

Valentine Inspired Poetry.

For Wuraola Kayode Fagbamiye

Wura from the black soil - a winsome fairness
Unspeckled skin – sacred to the spectacles
Rays recollected in a feminine silhouette
All eyes can’t but slumber in the stupor of admiration
Oh! Are the orbs of YOURDescription: https://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png oval face moulded from the soil of the sun?
Let YOURDescription: https://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png lamp of love lighten the labyrinth of my heart
Accept prithee my poetic platonic proposal...

Written By Samuel Oluwatobi Olatunji
Samuel Oluwatobi Olatunji is a freelance writer and editor currently studying English at University of Lagos,  Nigeria.

18 Feb 2015

Amazing Artists: Ndidi Emefiele.

We at 9jEducation love young creatives who are redefining what is to be artistic and successful in Nigeria so whenever we come across one of these people we just have to share. Our artist for this showcase is a double talent, a mixed media artist who has distinguished herself with her woman-centric portraits and paintings: Ndidi Emefiele.

Ndidi is a mixed media artists known for integrating every day objects such as discarded laser discs and ankara wax prints into her highly expressive grand portraits of women. A graduate of Delta State University Abraka graduating in 2007 and currently studying at the Slade School of Art, UCL London, Ndidi has participated in many art collectives. Her first Solo exhibition in Abuja showcased a collection of abstract paints. Her second solo exhibition in 2013 titled Unmatched Beauty also opened in Abuja showcasing the female portraits that have now become her calling card. Ndidi has exhibited widely in several group exhibitions and is currently one of the most sought after artists in Nigeria. Here is some more of her work.

13 Feb 2015

Self Discovery

“Man can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as… from a lack of bread.” – Richard Wright, Native Son, 1940

When I came across this quote from Richard’s Wright “Native Son,” it reminded me of one of my days in the studio on Teen’s Time with Chichi, a motivation programme on Inspiration Fm 92.3 and the topic in focus had been self discovery. Self discovery is something that every individual has to go through and it is simply that process of learning about one’s self and one’s capabilities. It involves gaining knowledge of your own abilities, character and an understanding of one’s self.

While it may sound relatively easy to say that discovering one’s self should be quite easy, it poses a major challenge for a lot of people. Without properly discovering one’s self and what you want out of life, then a person is yet to find a purpose for his existence. I believe you have found yourself the moment you are aware of your own strengths and limitations, you are in sync with that which makes you happy and you let nothing stop you from achieving this happiness. Who we are is different from what others want us to be and in truth as we continue to grow; we would continue to learn new things about ourselves. The self discovery process is a continuous one and we shouldn’t be afraid of trying out ideas of things we believe we can do.

11 Feb 2015

Submissions: Open City Lagos.

Photo Credit: Julian Roder

German firm Henrich Boll Stiftung is partnering with the Nsibidi Institute and Fabulous Urban to create the project 'Open City: Lagos' a collection of written, painted, photographed and sung pieces from amateur artists, writers and musicians that captures what it is like to live and be a part of the behemoth that is Lagos. In their own words:

"Open City Lagos' is a simple but powerful initiative that explores how accessible, inclusive and livable Lagos is as a city. Keeping with the ethos of the project, the Call for Contributions is an open invitation for all to share their insights, experiences and ideas on what makes Lagos ‘open’ as a city and why. Respondents are encouraged to look into different aspects of ‘openness’. This includes the experiences of new arrivals, the quality of its public spaces, navigating the city, interacting with its boundaries, as well as the concept of openness itself."

9 Feb 2015

Smart Social Media Sites You Should Consider joing.

Everyone complains that the internet is a soul sucking drain of time and energy and social media is the absolute worst creation of the internet age (debatable). While that might be subjectively true, the internet is also the largest resource of information in the world and nowhere is this information better curated than on social media sites. So we at 9jeducation want to introduce you to a few sites that you might have overlooked. .

QUORA: Quora is a crowd sourced answer site, continuing in a long line of answer sites started by Yahoo Answers. Considered one of the smarter social media sites. Quora crowd sources the smartest answers by site members on any question asked and then is either sent to the top of the page or sent to the bottom by votes from other members, a process called 'Upvoting' or 'Downvoting' (We'll see this again in Reddit). Unlike other Social Media, Quora requires you to use your real name as your screen name and religiously censors what questions can be uploaded, so there is little chance for trolling or thinly veiled pornographic scenarios, a problem most other social media sites have. Another thing Quora has that some people might not like is that it allows questions users have asked be brought up during Google searches.

Quora is exclusively a Q and A site. Discussions might result from the questions asked, (called Edits and Suggestions) but largely the format remains the same.

2 Feb 2015

Short Story: Abiku - The Reincarnation

photo credit: www.asirimagazine.com

The woman was bent over the still figure of the child as she tried to pry his mouth open so she could feed him some of the concoction in the earthenware pot she was holding. The boy turned his head away from his mother and let out a loud wail. His little three year old cry filled the tiny hut and the woman dropped the earthenware pot on the floor as she sat on the mar the boy lay on. She pulled him closer to her gently and lay his head on her laps as she tried to comfort him. 1“Akanni mi, dakun ma se mi bayi, oju kan epa oju kan ere.” She pleaded with him in Yoruba in a tear filled voice as she begged the sick boy to take his medicine.