This episode of Channels Book Club featured a linguist with love for the world and diversity of languages, Jamiu Abiola, who speaks over 11 languages and wrote his first book, ‘Realistic Hopes’ in Arabic before translating it to English.
Jamiu, who is also the son of two political icons, the late Kudirat and MKO Abiola, discussed his book, his love for languages and a few other interesting things.
Also, veteran actor and an advocate of Tourism Reformation in Nigeria, Mr Femi Robinson who played the role of headmaster in the successful television drama series of the eighties titled, ‘The Village Headmaster’
Mr Robinson has written a number of books and he joined to discuss his writings and some of his current interests.
On this episode of the Channels Book Club, analysts; Eghosa Imasuen and Robert Lawson discuss the potential effect of a new federal government policy that has imposed fresh tariffs on book importation in Nigeria and a few other issues around the subject. The new policy sparked debates and protests amongst people within Nigeria’s publishing, education and book sectors.
The policy has led to the imposition of over 50% tariffs on importation of books into Nigeria. Here is what the numbers now read for importers of books: import duty: 20%; Surcharge: 7%; ciss: 0.5%; levy: 30% and vat: 5%; all totalling 58%.
Prior to this policy, certain books were tariff free, so to speak. Academic and religious books for instance, fell into that category. With the new policy, all books imported now attract duties and levies.
From the government’s perspective this new policy forms part of its fiscal policy measures designed to encourage self-sufficiency in local industry based on recommendations by relevant stakeholders in different sectors of the economy after extensive consultations. According to the government, this will encourage local printers.
Critics of this new policy have hit back at the government claiming that the policy will drive the costs of books up at least in the medium term, lower the quality of books available in the market, stifle the publishing sector, encourage piracy and generally set the effort to develop a strong book culture back by many years. Some publishers already have containers of books stuck at the ports due to this new policy.
The Channels Book Club was part of Meet – Chat – Buy, an interesting gathering to celebrate and promote Nigerian literature. Today’s episode of the programme shows a bit of how that fun-filled event went.
Also, we had an interview with two of Nigeria’s brightest emerging writers who discussed their involvements and views on Nigerian literature.
Samuel kolawole is one of the rising stars of Nigerian literature. He has contributed short fiction to various journals and anthologies. He is the author of the collection of stories titled ‘The Book Of M’ and the brain behind Writers’ Studio, Nigeria’s flagship creative writing school.
Myne Whitman is the pen name of Nkem Okotcha Akinsoto who is perhaps the most popular romance fiction writer in Nigeria.
She is the author of the romance novel titled, ‘A Heart To Mend’ which made number one on the amazon bestselling romance fiction list.
She is the founder of a story sharing and critique website for aspiring Nigerian writers called Naijastories.com.
Recently, telecoms giant, Etisalat, announced the 2013 shortlist for the Etisalat prize for literature.
On the shortlist are: Finding Soutbek by Karen Jennings; We Need New Names by Noviolet Bulawayo and Bom Boy by Yewande Omotoso which made The Channels Book Club’s shortlist of 15 top Nigerian books in 2013;
The prize is the first pan-African literary prize created to recognize and reward debut fiction writers in Africa. The winner will be presented with a cheque of £15,000 and other exciting prizes.
This edition of Channels Book Club features two promoters of Nigerian literature, writers and books. Titilayo Oyinsan, host of ‘Titi’s on air book club’ on Inspiration fm and Chuma Nwokolo, publisher of African writing magazine both play important roles in promoting Nigerian literature and encouraging our reading culture.
Titilayo Oyinsan is a popular radio presenter with 92.3 inspiration fm, one of nigeria’s leading private radio stations. She is the host of ‘Titi’s On Air Book Club’ a program focused on promoting Nigerian books, writers and a reading culture. Titi is also the founder of Naija Women in Business Network which serves as a platform for women entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
Chuma Nwokolo, Jr. is a Nigerian lawyer, writer and the publisher of African writing magazine. He is author of the poetry collection: memories of stone, the serial tales by conversation, and a few novels, including diaries of a dead African and the ghost of Sani Abacha. He was writer-in-residence at the Ashmolean museum in oxford.
Tosin and Chuma joined us to share their observations and thoughts on what went down in 2013 in Nigeria as far as literature is concerned.
The Secretary General of the Committee For Relevant Art (CORA), Toyin Akinosho on Tuesday recounted the contributions of the late Chinua Achebe to the evolution of African literature. Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Akinosho said the late author used his writings to incorporate Africans into the global discuss.
“That phrase that we’ve all heard about ‘telling our own stories’ is essentially an ‘Achebian’ phrase. We all borrowed it from him,” he said.
Watch the video below for the complete interview with Mr Akinosho.