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Akwaeke Emezi, a Nigerian writer based in the U.S has undergone a major surgery to cut off her uterus, the most cherished, as perceived,...
Considering how Nigerian spoken word poets are gradually taking their place in mainstream entertainment, Egg Creativity (EGC), one of Nigeria’s foremost poetry platforms has rated Dike Chukwumerije as the most dominating contemporary poet that rocked Nigeria in 2017. As communicated on their website www.egcreativity.com, the ranking of poets is done yearly based on the nominations that dwell on achievements (individual or collective). As such, Dike rose from the number two spot in 2016 to the coveted number one spot in 2017. Dike Chukwumerije isn’t just a spoken word poet, he is also an impressive page poet (written) and one of the promoters of Abuja Literary Society. In 2016, Dike launched a successful poetry show franchise that ran alongside a stage play and also earned him a spot to speak at the Nigerian Economic Summit. The ‘Made in Nigeria’show was held in different states including Abuja, Lagos, Enugu, Benin, Ile-Ife before retiring back to Abuja in 2017. Other spoken word poets that occupied the numbers two, three, four and five spots are: Kukogho Iruesiri Samson (KIS), Graciano Enwerem, Donna the Poet and Bash Amuneni. To read the full list,visit www.egcreativity.com.
By Larry Sun “What does the criminal want to come back for? He shot Cain and went away with the pistol. Do you think he would come back to check if the victim had died? One rarely survives a bullet to the head. And the idea of looking for fingerprints or whatever print there is is impossible.” “May I ask why?” “Because I know, but permit me to chip one reason into your palm-oil-soaked brain—a strong wind blew on that Saturday morning, didn’t it?” “I don’t know. And as Lincoln said, ‘Ignorance is preferable to error.’ ” “I believe it was Thomas Jefferson that made that statement, Famous.” He shrugged indifferently, “Anyway, I can’t remember a strong wind blowing that morning.” “I confirmed from an outsider, a strong wind did blow. So, any print there might have been cleared. Remember, where the corpse was lying was quite sandy, if you will agree with me.” “Agreed,” Daniel sighed, “But still, I don’t think this crime can be solved.” “O! Ye of little faith! Since when were you baptized a pessimist? Have you forgotten Hakeem’s words so soon?” Even a part of him felt some of the air bleeding out of his own balloon of optimism. “Okay, okay,” he said grudgingly, “I wish you luck.” Even for bad luck, he thought, one needs luck. “Us.” Daniel felt he was in a dystopian investigative chamber because to him, everything was going forth in the wrong directions, he asked hastily, “Who should I call in this time?” “Not now. Right now, we’ll do another thing. We are going to search the dead man’s bedroom.” Daniel was flabbergasted, “What!” “You heard me right.” The police officer shook his head, “I’ve never probed into other people’s secrecy before in my life.” “Then today is your first chance, grab onto it.” “I’m not looking forward to the pleasure, sir.” “And who said you had any choice here?” “Lord,” he breathed as he got up; he didn’t know he had just said the world’s shortest prayer. “What have I gotten myself into?” The detective also stood up and said cheerfully, “Let’s go a fishing.” As they headed towards the door, Daniel wiped the sweat forming on his forehead with the back of his hand and muttered under his breath, “What a crazy being this detective is?” FIFTEEN Daniel Famous was astonished; the mysterious gumshoe had not been sweating all through their moments in the suffocating box called the interrogation room. The outside breeze was refreshing and he breathed as much as he could with every heaving of his chest, he had appreciated the importance of the free oxygen after learning the day before that suffocation had been considered one of the most painful means of meeting one’s ancestors. He was still not supporting the idea of searching the deceased's room but all efforts and means he had employed to discourage the detective had proven futile, Lot’s mind was set on the task. “You are forgetting what we’re here for,” said Lot calmly, “Let me remind you, we are here to unlock secrets lurking behind doors in this building.” He pointed. Both men went into the building. The detective looked interestingly at the lawyer who was sitting beside the widow—their thighs, he noticed, were not very far apart, both were apparently discussing in a low voice; he was surprised that they had not seen them enter, their voices were too faint to be heard, Lot tried to listen by straining his eardrums but he could not hear, all he was able to catch were: ‘don’t worry, everything is fine now’. It was the lawyer who said that to the widow. Daniel saw them discussing and felt a brief pang of jealousy within himself. If he had had a hammer he would have bashed the lawyer’s head in. The soporific effect of the air-conditioner in the large room had made its impact on Richard, he was lying asleep on the three-seater; Lot was contemplating if he was really asleep as he looked or he was faking it, and amidst the atmosphere of the silent ennui was Hakeem on his feet swaying to whatever was pulsing through the headphones of his Discman, he was throwing himself around the room like a whirling demented dervish. He bellowed in delight as he saw Daniel and Lot. At one corner of the room, a mobile phone had been placed on a charger inserted in the electric wall socket. As Daniel watched as the light of the charger pulse off-and-on he felt it had a kind of connection with himself and the case they were trying to investigate, in which ideas and motives behind the late man’s action that night pulsed off and on in his own mind, too. “Have you found the stupid man who killed Mr. Martins?” he asked seriously. “Not yet,” replied Daniel, after gulping air. Hakeem frowned, “Why? I want to kick that idiot so much that my boots will have to be surgically removed from his bottom. Seriously, I pray whoever killed Mr. Martins have AIDS.” The detective smiled. “Please, make your investigations snappy,” said the boy, “I cannot wait to kick the baboon.” Daniel Famous swallowed hard and said, “Yes, sir.” The boy faced Lot and Daniel, “You know I told you that I wanted to help on this case, and I have been doing some thinkings of my own. Do you know what I have been trying to do? I was trying to put two and five and eight together to get seven. It cannot be done, it simply cannot be done.” “You can’t know the killer; you’re not a detective, are you?” “Okay, I give up, let us ask the tec. Do you know the criminal, sir?” “No,” Lot replied, and before the boy could protest any further the detective added, “But I have an idea of whom the person might be.” “That’s nice,” brightened up Hakeem, “Who is the one?” The detective looked with calm eyes at the boy, “And you expect me to tell you?” The boy nodded vigorously, like one of those crazy dolls at the back screens of cars. “Then follow me. Let me tell you the murderer in person.” As the boy began to rise from his seat, Lot added, “But you may be killed too.” That scared Hakeem and he involuntarily relaxed back in his seat, “What have I done wrong?” he screamed. “Many things,” answered Lot, “One, you saw the body first; two, you called the policeman; three, you want to know the murderer; and four, which is the most devastating reason—you want to kick him in the bottom. I strongly suggest that you keep out of this. If there’s a murderer lurking around the corners, be he of flesh and blood or atmospheric vapour, summon not his attention to thyself, wise one.” The boy shook his head and said hastily, “I do not need to know him anymore; I am not ready to nod a flying bullet.” “Better,” Lot looked around and asked, “Where’s the doctor?” “Here,” the doctor replied from the door, “I went to make a call to the morgue concerning the deceased. Can I see you a moment, detective?” Both men went out and returned a few seconds later, looking as placid as possible. The doctor calmly took his seat and Inspector Lot faced Abigail. “Mrs. Martins,” he said, “We’ll like to search your bedroom, since I understand that you and your late husband shared the same bedroom.” “If I may ask, Mr. Detective, what do you want there?” “Just a general inspection,” said Daniel, “We are hoping to find something which can help us on this case.” Daniel had intentionally spoken so as to have the attention of the woman to himself. Abigail looked at him and smiled warmly, her smile almost sent his head spinning. “You are free to go,” she said, “Just don’t check my wardrobes, you might find a skull.” She laughed and pointed to the entrance, “That’s the room.” “You’re a funny woman, Mrs. Martins. I’ll laugh next week.” Said Lot, without any trace of amusement on his countenance, “We will appreciate it if you lead us, ma’am.” ******************************************** Thanks for reading our story. Stay connected for another episode and click on our ads.
By Gideon Odiase “It is only when you have won your war you can go for peace keeping mission. The battle within” – Odiase Gideon She sat at the back seat, in the very last row of the new-generation church. It was one of those churches that had started to gain rave and momentum due to the incredible testimonies it recorded in its many crusades organized in several states across the country. It was a very large auditorium that could probably contain all the Aba market women, if they decided to attend a service for whatever reason. The crest of the church was boldly sculpted on the standing wall behind the altar; it was visible, even from the entrance door. It was the focal point and somewhat, a spiritual monument of the very beautiful and majestic cream-coloured auditorium. Pastor Dash preached that Sunday, having being given a rare opportunity by the Senior Pastor. He was among the teeming ministers cum pastors in the church, all under the auspices of the Senior Pastor. Among them all, he was the most loved. His very jovial character made him a favourite of the aged and the youths loved his jocular demonstrations which were anticking at times, but nobody saw a rough ball of hair in them. Elizabeth could barely look up, let alone look at him as he spoke on the pulpit. He dished out the sermon with so much passion, aplomb and character, which had a few ‘admitted’ members on their feet, clapping and hailing him from within the congregation. She held on to her already bulged belly; she was seven months pregnant. Dressed in an uncharacteristic manner that provoked rebuke from familiar faces that saw her but couldn’t recognize her. All they saw was a nineteen year old girl who had committed immorality and had gotten pregnant in the process. It was really disheartening for her to see that she was already being judged by people who barely knew her and even more by people who did, before she could even get a seat in the last row. No one cared to listen to her part of the story; for all they knew, she had 'spoilt' her life and was about to spoil something even greater. About a year ago, Elizabeth was a white sheep, perhaps the whitest in the band of choristers who led the church in song ministrations. She was a very important member of the choir and was easily the joker card and ace in the Choir Master’s pack of cards, especially when he needed something special, something different in the praise and worship section of the service. She easily became an Abel in a den of Cains, who accused her of using her beauty to charm and her body to seduce the coordinator to favour her above the rest choristers, but in this was a truthful lie; she was beautiful and charming but never seduced him or anyone, she didn’t have to. Her voice was the best by a mile and she always found a way of stirring up the spirits of worshippers through her deep songs. "Sister Lizzy, you did very well today. You must keep working on your voice and the manuscript I gave you for next week Sunday. It is a classical Sunday, so I need you to be at the top of your game, ehhn?” “Yes, Choir master”, Elizabeth replied, after being briefed by the coordinator after the service as is the norm. “Come on Lizzy, you know you can call me Kola. Please, I prefer that. And stop the sir… sir, everywhere sir, just be free with me.” He said in an attempt to dissemble the bricks of formality that stood between his position as the choir coordinator and expressing his feelings for her. “Okay Kola, I’ll be taking my leave now, see you on Friday for the rehearsal.” “Wait… please… wuuu… wait. I need to tell you something. See, Lizzy, I have always... ************************ Thanks...