Not my fault

Dear brethren,
I must write to tell you how am doing. It has been long since I left to this my unknown journey. You must have missed me a lot, but I miss you all more. I still recall the lovely days we share together, laughing, eating, and playing together. Everything was just normal not until the sickness came calling. My very being changed, I could not help it as I always walk on the streets talking to myself or run when no one had the thought of chasing me.
What changed me was what I cannot tell as you dreaded me like a contagious disease. Nobody wants to help or make me come back to my normal senses rather you all conspired to have me chained because you claimed am becoming a great nuisance in the society. For days, you left me hungry and thirsty under the mercies of blood sucking mosquitoes. I urinated and do the backyard business on my clothes. Come rain, come shine I was there hoping that one day I will be free and much better than I use to be. None of you remembered the good old days that I throw naira notes around and you will joyfully drench me with praises.
The hope turned sour as you all conspired again, you went, and brought the psycharitic officials to do God knows what to me. However, I gave them the best beating of their lives as I fought like a wounded lion. I broke the chains with my bare hands while the tree that had been my companion was too sorry as I uprooted it. Talk about possession, I was more than possessed. Seven different spirits waiting to unleash their anger because they hate to be chained. I was a monster because I could no see any of you as a human. I chopped ears, nose, fingers just name it. Mazi okeke must be in great pain, my teeth and fingers never pitied him. My destruction was huge as everywhere seemed like a war ground. Battered and looted. Loses were much. Cries at every corner. It was a run for safety, staying back means you don’t love yourself. Nothing could stop me not even the police that was invited, but took to their heels as they shot at me, without the bullets doing anything to me. It was as if I was being watered.
I wasn’t the one doing those things, it was the spirits. They are unhappy. They want the streets. To see the outside world and feel its breeze. I couldn’t resist due their total hold on me. Am told what to be done and where to go. Sometimes it just seems fun all the way, while other times I was too violent. Not my fault that is madness spirits.
Right now, I don’t even know where am going. They are the one leading the way. I pray and believe that one day they will lead me back into your arms. Until then, I remain your brother and friend Nonso.

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Rotimi Babatunde wins 13th Caine Prize.

Rotimi Babatunde has won the
2012 Caine Prize for African
Writing, Africa’s leading literary
award, for his short story
entitled ‘Bombay’s Republic’. The Chair of Judges, Bernardine
Evaristo MBE, announced Rotimi
Babatunde as the winner of the
£10,000 prize at a dinner held on
Monday at the Bodleian Library
in Oxford. Rotimi Babatunde’s fiction and
poems have been published in
Africa, Europe and America in
journals which include Die
Aussenseite des Elementes and
Fiction on the Web and in anthologies including Little Drops
and A Volcano of Voices. He is a winner of the Meridian
Tragic Love Story Competition
organised by the BBC World
Service and his plays have been
staged and presented by
institutions which include the Halcyon Theatre, Chicago and the
Institute for Contemporary Arts. He is currently taking part in a
collaboratively produced piece at
the Royal Court and the Young
Vic as part of World Stages for a
World City. The winner of the £10,000 Caine
Prize will be given the
opportunity of taking up a
month’s residence at
Georgetown University, as a
Writer-in-Residence at the Lannan Center for Poetics and
Social Practice. The award will
cover all travel and living
expenses.

Things Fall Apart named among, 50 Most Influential Books of the last 50 years

A group called ‘SuperScholar’
made this selection, and named
Achebe’s first novel amongst the
50 most influential books by
other world acclaimed writers. Things Fall Apart, which focuses on the clash of colonialism, Christianity, and native
African culture, is famed as one of the most widely
read fiction of African literature. It was 1958 and has been translated to more than 60
languages across the world. Other novels on the list include Toni Morrison’s
‘Beloved’, Salman Rushdie’s ‘Satanic Verses’,
Joseph Heller’s ‘Catch-22′, and Gabriel Garcia
Marquez’s ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’. Achebe, who is now a Professor of Africana Studies at
Brown University, Rhode Island in the US, is author of
five other novels, several volumes of poetry and essay
collections. His latest book, ‘There Was A Country: A Personal
History of Biafra’, is expected to be published in
September, 2012. According to the editors at SuperScholar, in compiling
the books on this list, the editors tried to provide a
window into the culture of the last 50 years. “Ideally, if you read every book on this list, you will
know how we got to where we are today. Not all the
books on this list are “great.” The criterion for
inclusion was not greatness but INFLUENCE. All the
books on this list have been enormously influential.” The books we chose required some hard choices.
Because influence tends to be measured in years
rather than months, it’s much easier to put older
books (published in the 60s and 70s) on such a list
than more recent books (published in the last decade). Older books have had more time to prove themselves.
Selecting the more recent books required more
guesswork, betting on which would prove influential in
the long run. We also tried to keep a balance between books that
everyone buys and hardly anyone reads versus books
that, though not widely bought and read, are deeply
transformative. The Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa never sold as
many records as some of the “one-hit wonders,” but
their music has transformed the industry. Influence and
popularity sometimes don’t go together. We’ve tried
to reflect this in our list.

Things Fall Apart named among, 50 Most Influential Books of the last 50 years

A group called ‘SuperScholar’
made this selection, and named
Achebe’s first novel amongst the
50 most influential books by
other world acclaimed writers. Things Fall Apart, which focuses on the clash of colonialism, Christianity, and native
African culture, is famed as one of the most widely
read fiction of African literature. It was 1958 and has been translated to more than 60
languages across the world. Other novels on the list include Toni Morrison’s
‘Beloved’, Salman Rushdie’s ‘Satanic Verses’,
Joseph Heller’s ‘Catch-22′, and Gabriel Garcia
Marquez’s ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’. Achebe, who is now a Professor of Africana Studies at
Brown University, Rhode Island in the US, is author of
five other novels, several volumes of poetry and essay
collections. His latest book, ‘There Was A Country: A Personal
History of Biafra’, is expected to be published in
September, 2012. According to the editors at SuperScholar, in compiling
the books on this list, the editors tried to provide a
window into the culture of the last 50 years. “Ideally, if you read every book on this list, you will
know how we got to where we are today. Not all the
books on this list are “great.” The criterion for
inclusion was not greatness but INFLUENCE. All the
books on this list have been enormously influential.” The books we chose required some hard choices.
Because influence tends to be measured in years
rather than months, it’s much easier to put older
books (published in the 60s and 70s) on such a list
than more recent books (published in the last decade). Older books have had more time to prove themselves.
Selecting the more recent books required more
guesswork, betting on which would prove influential in
the long run. We also tried to keep a balance between books that
everyone buys and hardly anyone reads versus books
that, though not widely bought and read, are deeply
transformative. The Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa never sold as
many records as some of the “one-hit wonders,” but
their music has transformed the industry. Influence and
popularity sometimes don’t go together. We’ve tried
to reflect this in our list.

Nigerian writer, Babatude shortlisted for 2012 Caine Prize

Nigerian budding writer,
Rotimi Babatunde is among
the five short listed
names for the 2012
prestigious Caine Prize for
African Writing. This is contained in a
press release signed by
the Vice President of the
Caine Prize, Ben Okri.
Babatunde made the
short list with his entry, Bombay’s Republic
published in Mirabilia
Review Vol. 3.9. Other writers shortlisted
for the literary prize
includes: Billy Kahora from
Kenya, Stanley Kenani
from Malawi, Melissa
Tandiwe Myambo from Zimbabwe and Constance
Myburg from South Africa. Rotimi Babatunde who is
the only Nigerian on the
shortlist, if declared the
winner will join other
Nigerian past winners of
the award like Segun Afolabi (2005), Philip
Osondu (2009), Helon
Habila (2001) and Olufemi
Terry (2010). Zimbabwe’s NoViolet
Bulawayo won the 2011
Caine Prize for African
Writing, for her short
story entitled Hitting
Budapest, from The Boston Review, Vol 35, no.
6 – Nov/Dec 2010. The Chair of judges,
author and Fellow of the
Royal Society of
Literature Bernardine
Evaristo MBE, described
the shortlist as “truly diverse fiction from a
truly diverse continent.” The Caine Prize, Africa’s
leading literary award is
named in the memory of
late Sir Michael Caine,
former Chairman of
Booker Plc.