Is it my graying hair
that makes you so defer?
– from Lunch & Laughter, (Penitence of Fire, forthcoming collection)
Today, I have Uyo on my mind, but first I guess I have to explain Day 5’s subtitle. My name ‘Chuma’ is actually short for Chukwuma, which breaks into the two Igbo words, Chukwu (God) and ‘ma’ (knows). Clear enough? Good. One year ago, in a riotous Abuja convention centre, Nigerian writers were seduced by the presentations of the Akwa Ibom chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (and visions of a more serene conference) to chose their state capital, Uyo, as the venue of our 2012 convention. That convention starts this Thursday. Very soon, the writers of Nigeria will descend on this more provincial capital that conjures up visions of touristy ease. As to serious business, the theme will be… Nigerian Literature, Social Media and Security. ‘Social Media’ is logical enough, with recent calls for ‘more policing’ from high quarters, but ‘Security’ is a odd subject to appear on the conference agenda of creative writers, to be sure. Still, exploding bombs have a way of intruding onto anyone’s agenda. I am particularly looking forward to meeting the keynote speaker, a Nigerian public intellectual export to Canada who is to be re-imported for ANA’s Keynote business. It is true that I have known Prof. Pius Adesanmi for several years, but that is all thanks to telephones and internet connections – it is also true that I have never met him in the flesh. Hopefully on Thursday that will change and I might audition (as a potential father-in-law) photographs of the toddler daughter he is so proud of. Turns out that I will be talking on the subject, The Nation in a Post-Corruption Age, The role of the Creative Imagination.
What’s all that about?
Right now, only Chukwu ma.